Wk4 – Artist Conversation – Carly Lake & May Ta

Exhibition Information


Artist: Carly Lake and May Ta

Exhibition: Closer

Media: Mixed Media, Sculptures, Paintings, acrylic paint, Digital Media

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Website: None

Instagram: @maypta


About the Artist

May Ta is a senior at CSULB working on her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Illustration program. She is an international student from Vietnam that started her studies in Cal State Fullerton and transferred afterword’s to CSULB for its great public art department. She grew up in a family that had their background in science or engineering. She had the pressure to follow these career paths, and making the decision of going to school for Art was not easy for her. Over time she did get the support that she needed the most continue on this path. She created the exhibit, Closer, with another artists Carly Lake but she was not present during my time at the gallery.

Formal Analysis

When you first step into the gallery, you see different art pieces and panting’s hanging on the walls. The pieces were all set up nicely, as you are supposed to see each piece in order from left to right when you first walk in. Each painting and piece is made up from different materials, one of May’s paintings titled “Estranger” is made of acrylic and ink paint. Then there is another piece called, “The Windows” which look like six little windows each displaying pieces that is made using an ink jet printer. There are people in the windows each displaying different things like sitting alone at the kitchen table. There was also a chair in the middle of the room with a pair of shoes that are tied together on top of the chair, a little table with pictures scattered and two frames, as well as a canvas stand. There was also a mattress on the floor with what looks like a blanket that is filled with letters.

Content Analysis

The body of work that was displayed in the gallery showcases the universal desire for intimacy, while still acknowledging we are always alone. The work shows how people are always striving and looking for intimacy but end up on a pathway of finding ourselves. In the art pieces, The Windows, you see six different people who are lonely by sitting alone or just by looking out the window. There is one of the windows that sees like there is another person being hugged from behind by seeing an extra set of arms. Even though there is another person in here, it still seems as this person is alone, and ultimately being lonely even though they have found that intimacy that many people seek for. May stated that her favorite piece was the one called, Him and His, where you see a man opening a door and is in his own shadow. She stated how everyone has insecurities and they carry it with them everywhere they go, having a sense of loneliness.

Synthesis/My Experience

When I first walked into the gallery, I looked around at the art pieces without reading any descriptions or titles. I had seen many pieces that there was usually one person in it, or sadness. I also felt the presence of heartbreak or the loss of someone by seeing the mattress with all the love notes as a blanket as a bed is place where a couple spend lots of time together on. When reading the description of the gallery, it all made sense and I felt that the artists did a great job on showcasing their vision through their art pieces. I have had moments in my life where I have felt loneliness even though I had that intimacy people strive for in my life. The art pieces took me to that part of my life. The art pieces in the gallery were really great and the artist did great job putting everything together.


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