Artist: Luis Arias
Exhibition: The Weaving Machine
Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery
Luis Arias is a resident of Los Angeles but he is originally from El Salvador. He’s a student at the CSULB School of Art and he plans on graduating this May. He will also be receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Wood. On his free time, Luis tries to exercise as much as he can and his favorite way of doing so is playing soccer. We asked if he coached and he replied by saying he would never coach because coaches “don’t do anything but stand there and yell.” Luis much prefers to get in the game and be active.
From studying his work you can tell that Luis’ attention to detail is astonishing. There was symmetry down to the last detail in every piece in the gallery. Of course, there’s no touching in the gallery, but you could tell that the wood was smooth if you were so inclined to feel it. In his lounging chair, one could observe the intricacies in his work to be able to make the chair collapsible.
As I mentioned before, the intricacies in Luis’ work is what stood out to me. From walking through the gallery, it is apparent just how much patience it takes to turn lumber into art. Luis mentioned it in our conversation as well when he talked about his approach on patience. “Patience”, he preached, “figure out ‘how’, not ‘how long’.” In what seemed to be the hallmark of the gallery, The Loom, his virtuous patience was most apparent. There were so many moving parts and intricacies that it took Luis 6 months to complete it. The story behind why he made it was simple and beautiful. He told us that he took a fiber class on campus and each student was assigned a loom and at the end of the semester all the students were to lose access to the loom. Luis wanted to continue weaving. So being handy Luis, he decided to make his own loom!
When I look at how intricate his loom is, I just think about how long that must have taken to make. Then I think about how the amount of time it took meant nothing to Luis–as long as he made his loom perfect. The fact that he built something that complex on his own and for his own use without worrying about the time he would spend on it shook me to my core. I hear people my age complaining about how long it would take them to do a paper and how they would spend little time on it to get it off their hands. If only every student (or even myself) would apply a “how, not how long” mindset, we could achieve success parallel to Luis’ artistic talent.