Week Four-Artist Interview-Tida Whitney

On Thursday of this week, my Art 110 class visited the art galleries on campus once again. I walked through each gallery and viewed the unique, creative pieces. One that specifically stood out to me was the show, “Disposable Thoughts” by Tida Whitney and Daniel A. Rivera.

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These are pictures I took of the display, “Disposable Thoughts”. Each square filled with drawings or thoughts is actually a napkin. After drawing and writing out thoughts for 6-8 hours, Tida sewed each napkin together to create this display.

Since Daniel wasn’t present we weren’t able to talk to him, but luckily Tida was there to discuss their work. At first, Tida wasn’t sure what she wanted to create for her display. Tida is a painting/drawing major, but she knew that she didn’t want to do that. She wanted to do something different. Since she knew she’d be working with Daniel on this project, she took from what she knew of his art and figured that she wanted to work on a big scale and create something 3D. Tida said she knew what Daniel is “capable of” and their outcome was “Disposable Thoughts”. At first, Tida had an idea to create a sculpture out of dumpster junk but after finding it was too time consuming, they scratched that idea out. They wanted to create something inexpensive since they were broke. Out of nowhere, Tida said that Daniel just threw out the word “napkins”. “What do we use napkins for?,” they asked themselves. Then the verb dispose popped up. Dispose/expose thoughts. They wanted to put intellectual thoughts on these napkins. Tida stated that “the best part about it was that people didn’t expect it to be napkins.”

Tida felt that this display allowed her “get all these damn thoughts out of my head”. Once she confessed what was in her head onto the napkin the thought was immediately disposed of. The napkins were almost like a diary in a way. She said that we live life “in a world that’s so literal that it’s never about how you feel”. Thoughts typically aren’t tangible but this display allowed Tida to “see my thoughts all in one place.”

So after a lot of talk about Tida’s work and thoughts, I asked Tida about what got her into art in the first place. When she was little, she was always good at drawing. After entering high school, she took an oil painting class where she completely found her medium. She loves everything about oil painting. When she came to Cal State Long Beach as a freshman, she entered as an undeclared major. Then, she asked herself, “Would I like my life without ever being able to do art again?” At that point, she changed her major to drawing/painting.

In college, she felt as though she caught on throughout the years and began to improve her skills. At one point, her professor asked her to do her own painting, without any instruction. She wanted to do something “fucking cool” rather than just a portrait of her “grandma” . Tida said this is where it all became real.

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Tida Whitney, 22, Senior at Cal State Long Beach

Contact Tida:

Instagram: Tidawhitney

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