Artist Conversation #1: Megan Macuen

Exhibition Information

Artist: Megan Macuen
Media: Fiber art
Gallery: CSULB School of Art

About the Artist

Megan is a first year graduate student at California State University, Long Beach. She has her MFA degree in the School of Arts Fiber Program. Megan stated that her main interest would primarily be weaving, but she also is a collector. Most of the pieces she collects are represented in her art one way or another. Her art expresses her ideas in the “domino effect” meaning that she does not create her art from inspiration, rather, she finds a relationship between each piece and goes from there.

Formal Analysis

The piece I mainly focused on of Megan’s was called “Untitled 1”.Her work is very clean and sinuous. She used wood, house paint, cotton rope, muslin, aqua resin, collected ceramics, collected fake fruit, and hardware. With the use of the cotton rope, wood, and hardware, she was able to create a gravity defining effect and an element of illusion. The only pieces with color were of the collected ceramics and fake fruit. Each piece hand painted by herself. The pieces of the blue/white painted ceramics create an undulated feel to the piece.

Content Analysis

Megan’s piece, in the beginning, initially have no meaning. It is not until after she feels complete of her art, is when she starts to uncover the true meaning. For example, when we asked Megan what inspires her the most, she simply said, “I do not work from inspiration, I find the relationships between each piece and go from there.” She finds beauty is antique stores and abandoned children’s ceramic pieces because she knows the innocence of a child’s art and the uniqueness of the antiques she finds. In “Untitled 1” she explores the ideas on perfection and how there are different levels to it. At the bottom, we have upside down children’s art which shows the imperfections in adolescents. In the upper levels, we have a perfectly uniformed, leveled land, all hand painted. Although each  piece may look different, each piece is painted differently showing how things are never exactly the same.

Synthesis / My Experience

At first when I laid eyes on Megan’s piece, I did not feel anything towards, no love nor dislike. I had no idea what I was looking at. It was not until I actually spoke to Megan and heard what she had to say about her piece, my feelings changed. It turned from an emotionless attitude, to an amazed outlook. Megan works without any inspiration and just builds. I have never heard/met anyone quite like that before. Each piece in her mind has a relationship with another and she finds that. That idea is something I have never thought of before. When it came to art, I always thought artists’ had an inspiration for every piece, honestly, I thought that was the only way art was created! Megan opened my eyes to endless possibilities. Megan has taught me that not everything in life or school has to have a certain meaning, or a specific outlook. Sometimes we just have to build/ learn as we go.

Thank you Megan Macuen for taking the time out to talk to us and display your one-of-a-kind art.

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