Artist Conversation: Aliza Bejarano

Alexandra Bronte Newe

Week 2, B2 Artist Conversation

Artist: Aliza Bejarano

Exhibition: Peace in Chaos

Media: Drawing & Painting, Installations, Mock Resin & Oil,

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West


Instagram: @aliza_b_

Aliza Bejarano is in her last semester of her undergrad and on track to get her BFA. Within the college of the arts, she studies Drawing and Painting. Aliza came from a rough background and used art as a means of escape and expression. She believes that art “keeps her going and lets her become alive. It was like [she] was in another state of mind” (Bejarano).  Aliza not only works with paint and layering, but she also builds installations, like the psychedelic one in her art gallery today. She likes to explore the ideas of the thought process, in how a thought materializes in the mind.

Aliza’s exhibition consists of 8 pieces. 7 of them are paintings, and one of the exhibits is an installation. All of her paintings revolve around psychedelic perspectives. They are very bright and colorful, and give off a blurred, jagged texture. One painting in particular, Screen, depicts a child in a hallway with blood red walls, facing a white opening. The way that Aliza pieced this together was through paint and layers of plastic. Through meticulous layering, the painting gives off a luminescent sheen. Although the painting gives off energy, there is a sort of peacefulness to the work as a whole. The canvas looks as though its slowly melting, like a memory fading away. The softening of the lines is reminiscent of the mind and how blurry things can become over time. One of the things that stands out in Aliza’s gallery is her installation piece. It is an interactive exhibit, that projects you into your own mind. Half of the room is guarded off by plastic tarp. Once you enter the tarp, you are surrounded by brick and bright colors splattered across the wall and floor. In the center of the room is a single chair lit up by a light. Once you sit in the chair, you are forced to stare at a TV which projects a broken, distorted static image. It is very hectic to be surrounded by so much color and movement, however once you sit down, the isolation feels peaceful.

Aliza was so eloquent and descriptive when she described her pieces. It was clearly evident that she had put her heart into her work. The whole conception behind “Peace in Chaos” is that through the chaotic symphonies in the mind and the chaos in our world, there is an “eye of the storm” or a quiet space where there is complete silence. Complete peacefulness where one can think and process. It is that “psychological state where you are trying to piece all of your thoughts together” (Bejarano). Once you sit down in the chair in the room,  you are fully and completely connected to yourself. Aliza wants us to look at the television in hopes of expecting an answer, and then feel lost. This is a physical representation of how the answers won’t be given to you, you must find them yourself. Introspection into the mind can be chaotic, but through it you can find peace.

I had to spend a good hour in this room to fully understand it. As soon as I walked into it, I was overwhelmed by the colors and the movement. I was also confused and a little scared of what was behind the tarp. Once I entered the room and sat in the chair, I felt as if I was the only person on the planet and my thoughts were screaming at me. However, after some time had passed and my mind wasn’t racing, I felt this sangfroid composure wash over me. Staring at the static on the screen of the Television almost entranced me. It all clicked and u understood what Aliza was doing. She let us peer into her mind and in doing so, opened up our minds to the mess of the human brain. Our world is a cruel, and chaotic, place and it can often feel overwhelming to live in it. If we focus more on ourselves and embrace the chaos, we can find the peace hiding within the jumbled mess.

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