Artist Conversation #4

Artist: Ariel Maldonado 
Media: fired clay, metal binder hooks

Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery East

Year: 4th year

Instagram: @ariel__maldonado 
         This weeks galleries were very fun. This weeks galleries were very different from the pasts weeks. There were galleries that were more relatable to the childish side of people. There was a gallery based on memes and on flip books. But the gallery that stood out the most to me was the gallery “Talk to Strangers” by Ariel Maldonado. Her gallery was toys and games you would see in a doctors waiting office with colorful flashing lights. Instantly my friend and I wanted to play with some of the pieces. At first we were skeptical if we were allowed to touch the art but we played with it anyway. After some fun and games my friend and I interviewed the artist. We learned that was her goal to test her audience to see what kind of people they are, to see if they are the kind of people to let the kid inside themselves touch the work or look at it as if it were not allowed to be touched. She wanted to overcome that mental block that you’re not allowed to touch the work. When my friend and I told her how we instantly began to play with her work like kids she seemed really happy like yes thats the point. There were no signs to touch the work or to take a souvenir. She explained that the name of her gallery “Talk to Strangers” was inspired by another student. She talked to another students and they spoke about how they had never talked to each other that they’ve always seen each other but always had a feeling holding them back. Ariel said it was when we were taught as kids not to talk to strangers. How that lesson has stayed for us for years. As a child a stranger was a scary man that would take us away, but if you think about it everyone are strangers to each other. You’re not born with instant friends or classmates. To become friends with people you have to break that rule of not talking to strangers. Its hard to tell when it is okay and when it isn’t okay to talk to a stranger. Right now Ariel is getting her BFA in fine arts with emphases on ceramics. Instantly in high school ceramics, Ariel knew she wanted to continue her studies in ceramics. After graduation she would like to continue her studies and possibly become a teacher. 

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