Young Artists at Work is a paid, multidisciplinary arts, activism, and job training after-school program for San Francisco public high school teens.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Visiting Chukes in San Jose!

On Thursday, I got to go to San Jose City College to see the Chukes' exhibition. It was really wonderful to meet him. That day, I found out that he had a wife and a daughter. He met us at the student center, and then walked us across campus to where his exhibition was at. 

Along the way, I told him about the Endurance of Humanity exhibition theme: art exploring the different types of endurance. This includes mental, physical, and political endurance. Then he said he was really excited and glad our group chose him to be in our exhibition. 

When we got to the building, the first thing I saw was "The Journey" and it was just so cool to actually see the sculpture live in front of you instead of looking at it in the picture that I was used to looking at

I asked him what the Journey was about and how I thought it was a woman figure. He told me that it was actually a self portrait of himself and the journey he got to where he is right now. Each hand represented someone who affected his life. 

Then I saw "Almost Heaven" which he explained was his symbol for how he felt about music. He explained that the woman in the sculpture looks very comfortable and relaxed. She represents the musical instrument, and the hands around her represent the person playing the song. 

I wondered why he used a much lighter color on this sculpture than on the other ones, and he just said it fit. He also explained that he didn't have limbs in his sculptures because he felt they weren't important.

One of the sculptures we wanted to use was "Talking to myself" but unfortunately, he said it was already sold. But Chukes said he really wanted to show another sculpture he did in graduate school called "Life"

"Life" is a self sculpture about Chukes and the endurance he went through in his life. How he had friends who went a certain path and ended up in bad places. Chukes went down another path, and because of that he is who he is today. The bars around his face reminded me of Martin Luther King when he said that jails were nothing but walls and bars. MLK would say this to people who were weary of protesting. To me, this portrait shows a brave, not scared person.

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