Wk9 – Artist Conversation – Vanessa Olivarez

Artist: Vanessa Olivarez

Exhibition: Tender

Media: Distortion

Gallery: CSULB School of Art


Vanessa is a senior and a sculpture major. She is graduating at the end of spring semester which is awesome. She loves to think impulsively and come up with ideas on the spot. She also always carries her camera with her to take pictures to use as ideas that can be incorporated.

Format Analysis 

Vanessa’s art got me very curious. I wanted to understand what she was trying to say, it felt like I was looking at a mirror or a reflection. It was as if I was staring back at myself. Something was made to look at me and review myself.

Content Analysis

Vanessa wanted to make her audience feel as if they were looking at themselves. It was a new perspective to the art for me especially because I got to see art that was staring back at me as if it was a mirror. It was as if I was evaluating myself in some degree and seeing what I had to make of the art. Vanessa wanted to create an environment to let her viewers access a vulnerable space and see how to work with trauma and with bad experiences. She used her art as a defensive mechanism of how people try to cope with their traumas.

Synthesis/My experience 

I overall felt a little intrigued at Vanessa’s art piece. I stared at it, as if I was staring at myself and it made me feel a little weird. After interviewing her, she described her artwork as a way to look into the vulnerable spot of the person’s bad memories or trauma and I felt a little on edge hearing that. It did make me think to how I set defensive mechanisms to cope with such traumas but my way was just forgetting what happened. I personally don’t like to linger around with bad memories so I try to just erase it out, or just forget what ever happened. I was interested with how Vanessa wanted to go that way with her art piece of being able to access the vulnerable space because not everyone wants to be able experience their trauma’s again.


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