Curator talks about new ‘Self Portait’ exhibit at CSUN Art Gallery

Students filled the CSUN Art Gallery to hear artists talk about their self-portraits
Students filled the CSUN Art Gallery to hear artists talk about their self-portraits
Students filled the CSUN Art Gallery to hear artists talk about their self-portraits

Story by: Denice Castellon

The CSUN Art Gallery held a Curator Talk on Monday for their new exhibition entitled This is Not a Self Portrait: Reflections of Erasure, Solidarity and Belonging.

Mario Ontiveros, assistant art history professor, spoke about the exhibition. He said the artists in the exhibition go further than a self-portrait. They look at all the factors on how they got to where they are.

“(The artists) use collaborative processes and the intimately personal to muddle conceptions of a self-portrait and to hold open a space for understanding subjectivity as multi-constructed,” Ontiveros said.

The exhibition includes various pieces of art, each one different from each other, some had more than eight pieces for one work of art.

Yreina D. Cervantez, Chicana/o studies professor, had an art piece of eight frames with each one including a portrait of herself.

Each portrait showed what she endured while attending public school with drawings in each frame.

Following the Brown v. Board of Education court case, a widely publicized supreme court case centered in Topeka, Kansas dealing with the racial segregation in schools, Chief Justice Earl Warren banned racial separation schools.

Cervantez said her work described the marginalized, intolerance in the education system.  “This is a children’s book for adults,” she said. It not only did it affect her, but her community as well.

Each piece of art had a variety of insight of the artists because it was not just a self-portrait, many of them had different images in the portraits themselves.

“The artists actively contributed to the selection of their work… making visible a vast terrain of identities that are at once bitingly humorous, melancholy, assertive, empowering, and absurd,” Ontiveros said.

The exhibition will allow people to see the artist in their work as well as what their experiences were and how they got to where they are now.

This is Not a Self Portrait: Reflections of Erasure, Solidarity and Belonging exhibit is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.