Artist: Justine Rightsell
Media: (1) Discarded lumber, cement, silver gelatin print, vortex rod, charred redwood, soil, glass vessel, building supplies, paintbrush. (2) Amplifiers, radio, cords, cords, cords, voice recording.
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merline Gallery
About the Artist
On September 21, 2016 I interviewed Justin Rightsell who is an artist. He is a U.S. born citizen. He grew up in Colorado then he moved over here at California. He loves expressing himself through self-portraits. He is not religious, nor is he an atheist because he believes that there is a creator; instead, his way of living is through his philosophy. As of right now, he is a second year grad student at California State University of Long Beach seeking to earn a Master’s in Fine Arts (M.F.A).
He used several material in order to emphasize is experience in nature with non-human based life forms. This work is known as Evocation, Relic, Alter, and Obelisk Self-Portrait. The whole setting of the gallery is obviously not happiness; instead, the setting feels dark and mysterious. He wants to emphasize on his encounter between the living things that came across in his path since he was a child. Ever since he was a child he has had questions about aliens and demons. Those questions were soon answered, and it led him into a path of curiosity. As a result, this gallery shows us how he tries to confront these demons, aliens, and spirits. His experience and curiosity creates this dark and mysterious setting in his work. The two pieces that I will introduce is the Relic and the Evocation. The Relic (1) is made out of discarded lumber, cement, silver gelatin print, vortex rod, charred redwood, soil, glass vessel, building supplies, and a paintbrush. the Evocation (2) is made out of amplifiers, radio, cords, cords, cords, and his voice recording.
The work that he displaced took about two weeks to finish. He did not work on it every day. He took a few breaks here and there. The two pieces that drew my attention was the Alter and the Evocation. The Evocation was created by him because it shows us that he is confronting the non-human creatures. For example, why are you doing this? When he does this, his tone of voice is solid and firm. The Alter resembles nature because of the wood and the photograph that is placed in the center, which is of the woods. He purposely goes out there to Mother Nature to get some feedback by these things that are out there. The voice recording that occurred in the wilderness has all been created because of his personal experience with such life forms. Ever since he was a child living in Colorado, he has had abduction dreams and sometimes when he sleeps he is paralyzed where he is unable to move, and sometimes he sees the night crawler. This is why he decided to create this piece of art to share with the rest of us that there are things out there that we may or may not know or we think we know. As a result, he continues to seek answers.
His work grabbed my attention in a way that was different from all the other pieces of art that I have seen that day and other previous weeks, because I felt a connection. The minute that I stepped into that gallery I felt uneasy because of the voice recording. When it just said the word demon, I froze because I was frightened. Then when I came face to face with the Alter I was amazed and then as I looked closer I saw the woods in the middle of the lumber. At that moment I was even more frightened because I started having flashbacks when I saw things at night. Also, I remembered when I’d get paralyzed and her demonic voices. When Justin and I were talking, we discussed about UFO’s. We both said that we believe in aliens, and alien abductions. I felt like myself around him, and I shared a moment of my own that I saw an alien space ship when it was Halloween. In addition, we are both curious to learn about them and seek answers to our questions. I loved his work because I related and it was very interesting.