Exhibition Feature: FIND YOUR FOOTING a series of cityscapes

With a series of movement-oriented cityscapes, artist Neda Kerendian ponders staying grounded in a fast-paced world.

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Photo by Kenji Bennett

Upon entering Neda Kerendian’s exhibit, “FIND YOUR FOOTING a series of cityscapes,” one is struck by ethereal images of blurred city scenes that express the feeling of movement. The exhibition culminates in a mixed-media work, with paper skyscrapers covering subtle, glittery lights — allowing viewers to sit back and ground themselves, to “find their footing.” Kerendian’s work is a testament to the quality of the little appreciated and relatively unknown UCSD Visual Arts Department. As a studio arts major and media minor, Kerendian is part of the honors studio art class, which puts on exhibits every week.

Seeking to express the “blur of color and light” that occurs in the busy, modern day world, Kerendian uses acrylic paint to achieve her dreamy, layered works of art. Using a single perspective that makes the viewer feel central in observing the scene, Kerendian works with different ways of applying paint in a freeform, dynamic way. Kerendian explained her technique to the UCSD Guardian, highlighting her personal approach to creating art.

“I embrace imperfection,” Kerendian said. “I allow mistakes to happen. It’s this constant push and pull, this back and forth between being in control and letting whatever happens happen.”

This process echoes the goals of her work: balancing a fast-paced life with slowing down and having control.

Photo by Kenji Bennett
Photo by Kenji Bennett

The works highlight this goal. The exhibit begins with eight single paintings arranged simply on one wall, including pieces entitled “Unclear Momentum,” “Numb” and “You’re Just Breathing,” among others. Though all the pieces consist of blurred city buildings from a single perspective, they all have a unique feel, color scheme and distinct appearance that distinguishes them from the rest. Kerendian seeks to “explore the motion of a city in a way that wouldn’t be possible with just one painting” and achieves this by expressing different feelings in each cityscape. As the viewer progresses through the exhibit, the perspectives alter, with larger, oddly shaped canvases and artistically arranged small works. The exhibit culminates in “Caving in, Caving Out,” in which the exhibit slows down, displaying more stationary mixed media skyscrapers superimposed on twinkling lights. In this final work, Kerendian contrasts the fast-paced movement of the city with a more static and reflective final piece that seeks to slow viewers down, getting them to appreciate the scene around them and “find their footing.”

Photo by Kenji Bennett
Photo by Kenji Bennett

Kerendian’s exhibit ran Jan 26-29, 2016 at the Andrew D. Kamil Gallery.