Wk 15 – Artist Conversation – Ariel Maldonado

Exhibition Information

Artist: Ariel  Maldonado


Media: Ceramic, Succulents

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East

Website: N/A

Instagram: ariel__maldonado (two underscores)

About the Artist

Ariel Maldonado is a fourth year student attending California State University, Long Beach. She is an undergraduate student pursuing her BFA in the School of Art’s Ceramics program. Ariel will most likely attend CSULB for one more year before she graduates. Ariel first fell in love with ceramics after taking a class in her high school. Instead of a high school sweetheart, she found clay. Ariel hopes to have a job where she has access to a studio and where she can work her way up. It would also be great if she can make a living by selling her art.

Formal Analysis

Upon entering the gallery, one’s visual senses are stimulated by a myriad of color and art pieces. Since it was the school of art’s holiday sale, all of the pieces did not belong to Ariel. In fact, her pieces could be found in the left corner of the northern wall. Her pieces are ceramic pots that all color the same color scheme. Some of the pots contain succulents while some don’t. One thing that all her pots have in common is that they all have a gold rim. There is also a vase that has a fat body and a skinny neck. It is white with patches of red that remind me of gold fishes. There are all placed on a tables that has a chocolate brown table cloth.


Content Analysis

In her work, Maldonado minimizes the amount of color that she uses for her pots. Despite the lack of color that is found within the pots, the pots are not dull. The gold on the rims and the succulents really bring the pots to life. It is logical that the pots do not look dull as they are literally holding something that is a living thing – plants. The succulents are all a green color which goes with the theme of minimizing color. The white vase also does not look dull as it has splashes of red. Overall, I feel that Maldonado was trying to explore the concept of simplicity. All of the pots and vases are essentially one color with a splash of an unexpected color.

Often times life can seem to be very boring and dull because we expect it to be something marvelous everyday. However, if one were to change one’s attitude towards the small, everyday things of life, life could become a wonderful and exciting thing. The pots and vases are life while the gold rim and succulents are the small everyday things in life. Separately they may not be too exciting, but together they create something wonderful.

Synthesis/ My Experience 

Personally, I really liked this exhibition as gold is a very pretty color to use as an accent and plants always remind me of my mother. As soon as I saw the exhibition, a nice memory of mom and I washed over me. The memory was of my mom and I working on her garden during a warm summer day. That memory immediately elevated my mood and I really enjoyed looking at her pieces.

I have to say I was surprised since I tend to gravitate towards more colorful pieces. Nonetheless, I was very impressed with how clean and well made her pieces were. My brother is currently taking a ceramics class at his high school and he constantly tells me how stressful and difficult it is to work with clay, so I definitely commend Ariel for her work. Overall, I really enjoyed looking at her work.


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