Artist: Sean Joy Cabanig
Exhibition: All work all play
Media: Metal, copper, silver
Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery
Instagram: Private/ personal
Sean Joy Cabanig is a 5th year undergrad student in the School of Arts’ Metals Program at CSULB. She is originally from Los Angeles, but currently lives in Long Beach, and enjoys spending her free time reading, playing with her cats, playing video games, hanging out with her friends or boyfriend, and going out to eat. When she applied for CSU Long Beach, she started as a creative writing major, but switched after her first semester. Her work is a way for her to journal her emotions and daily life, while still being humorous and experimental. After school, she still doesn’t know what she’s going to do, either grad school or straight to work. The work she does is typically created for projects, but she personalizes each piece to resemble her feelings or what she finds visually appealing.
All of her work consists of metal “sculptures” (for lack of a better word) that have a ceramic look. She starts off with a concept sketch, proceeds to making a wax model, or will occasionally skip the wax model and go straight into creating her work with copper or silver. A few pieces incorporate other media to the metal in order to give it a better finish and smoother feel. Most of the work is bronze colored without paint, and all the work has a smooth finishing and is slick to the touch. There are sharp corners and angles on the majority of the pieces, but the edges are sanded down to prevent injury. Her work is a variety of creations ranging from sculptures to jewelry, but all are inspired by her personal life experiences and the rubric for the project she’s working on in school. The pieces are given a living feel by her use of organic lines and figures, and certain sculptures are painted with gray scale colors to put an emphasis on the image. All of her pieces are small, under one foot squared, but differ in size and environment ranging from sculptures hung on the ceiling or wall to simply jewelry.
Sean Cabanig stated herself that the majority of her work is created for projects, but she finds a way to make it her own by making it funny or cool. Her exhibit name All work All play is a way of saying that she creates work for school but adds her own pizzazz in the process. From my conversation with her, I could tell she was a free-spirit unconcerned with the future, and I think her work is a reflection of that. It doesn’t necessarily have a meaning, because she doesn’t necessarily create it for a purpose that makes sense to viewers. She creates her work in order to explore her artistic ability and experiment with different shapes and medium. Although she enjoys seeing her true capabilities upon viewing her finished work, she enjoys the process of creating her work, from the brainstorming and sketches onward. Metal sculpting is a way for her to experiment and create humor through her life experiences.
Throughout my life I have taken an interest in music and art, and I can relate to the way that Sean creates her work. When I took art classes in high school, all of my work was done for class assignments, but I added my own twist to each assignment so that the final product was still something of my own. Adding a personal color scheme, or trademark styles and characters allows students to have fun with an assignment. Even when I was learning to play piano, the first six or seven years were dedicated to classical songs assigned to me by a teacher. I had to find a way to make the songs entertaining to me, so I would add a swing rhythm or a few chords or notes that I thought sounded good. This style of creativity indicates that the artist is having fun with the work, and enjoys the process just as much as, if not more than, the final result. She wants to enjoy her work, and hopes that viewers do too, whether it’s for the content or her added humor.