Artist: Dalia Bañuelos and Daniel Bonilla-Vera
Media: Photography, graphics, installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Instagram: @daliaeffect & @dbvqp
This week, I had the pleasure to see “Infraction” created by Dalia Bañuelos and Daniel Bonilla-Vera. However, I only had the chance to speak to Mr. Bonilla-Vera. From our talk, I learned that he is from Central Valley and moved closer to Long Beach so that he can attend CSULB. He is an undergraduate senior who is majoring in studio art and wants to pursue a career in photography. Both him and Ms. Bañuelos were rejected from the BFA program. Unfortunately, Ms. Bañuelos was rejected both times she applied and Mr. Bonilla-Vera found out later on Wednesday if he made it. Hopefully, he did.
When I first stepped into the Merlino Gallery and looked at “Infraction” I immediately thought it had a creepy vibe and I actually got scared when I noticed the crouched up body connected to a bunch of yarn. I actually had left this exhibition and went to observe other artwork but then I had a change of heart and decided to go back and actually see what was displayed in this exhibition. When I went back, I noticed things that I definitely didn’t notice the first time, like how all the yarn was intertwined with different photos and that most of the photos were black and white. I also, noticed that there were two bodies, one lying down facing the corner of the wall and one in the center crouched up. There was also a trash can by the entrance of the gallery and all the images connected by the yarn lead to that trash can.
According to Mr. Bonilla-Vera, they took their rejection into the BFA program really hard and that motivated them to create “Infraction.” The trash can that I mentioned above actually had a deeper meaning. The reason they lead all their displayed images to the trash can is because they felt the art they produce “belongs” in the trash can. Their rejection made them feel that the art they make is not worthy. However, they made this exhibition so that they can express their feelings and to show that they are proud of their work despite being rejected into the BFA program.
Honestly, I said it before but I’m going to say it again, my initial reaction was being creeped out and scared but once I got over the shock I actually really liked it. I was actually impressed that all the photos were by one long and continuous strand of yarn. Their photography was actually impressive and at first, I thought it was fake because I’ve never seen something like that. But after speaking to him, I was baffled that they took all the pictures and was convinced that they had real talent. And that made me wonder why they got rejected and what it takes to get into the BFA program. I feel like they shouldn’t have gotten rejected if whatever they applied with was anything near their exhibition.