Artist: Yoni Keynan and Caitlyn Hunter (Honey)
Exhibition: Pabbie and Sultanatan
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery
Instagram: @yoni_keynan and @honeyaitch
About the Artists
Caitlyn and Yoni are a duo who created Pabbie and Sultanatan together. Caitlyn is an Anthropology major while Yoni is an undergraduate student earning his BFA in Illustration here at the CSULB School of Art. They created the characters for their show based off of each other. Yoni created Pabbie after Caitlyn and Caitlyn created Sultanatan after Yoni. Caitlyn stated that her interests involved sociocultural endeavors and she enjoys interviewing people from specific cultures and she loves learning about kitchen culture. She described an example of this as exploring men cooking in restaurant kitchens and also stated that she liked talking to people, reading about different cultures, traveling, and adventuring. Yoni described his interests as things like performance where you can express things that you can’t put into words. He likes body movements and how exciting it can be. He likes embracing life and doing things outside of social norms. We talked about picking your nose as an example because he explained how its not illegal but most people are uncomfortable doing it because were always taught not to do that as children.
Their work consisted of acrylic paint on paper and a few figurines. A few of the figurines were carved from graphite resin, red wax, and marble dust resin. The painted pieces were very bright and detailed. A lot of the painted pieces were completely painted to where the audience could not see the white canvas underneath. There was also acrylic painted onto small wood pieces that almost looked like miniature canvas pieces. Most of the pieces also had outdoor settings and none of them looked like they were “inside” or enclosed into a specific area.
They both mentioned that the surrounding environments of the characters Pabbie and Sultanatan were things that they liked, appreciated, or thought were funny. Yoni talked about old video games and how they inspired his work because of the alternate world they provided and how they offered an aesthetic that you can’t find in the real world sometimes. He found it fascinating how this world could exist even if it was through a screen which I think translated into his work. I think the environments in this show definitely had environments that existed in this world of Pabbie and Sultanatan. I also think Caitlyn’s appreciation of bright colors showed up in her pieces as well because they were some that were so bright and colorful that I almost wished I could be a part of them. There were a lot of jungly environments and monuments in their work that they created.
Synthesis/ My Experience
I think this Artist Conversation was the best one Ive had yet. Both Yoni and Caitlyn were easy to talk to and made the whole interview completely comfortable. Even though I spoke to two people, when I recall the conversation it feels like one fluid conversation between myself and one other person. I think they make a great duo and compliment each other very well and I think they bring the best out of each other and their art. I appreciated how confident they were in their work and how they spoke of each other. I agree with their ideas on culture and how they brought that into their work through the environments. I left thinking about how there all these “worlds” here in our world that people can escape to whether it be in a video game, our dreams, or different cultures that have completely different ideas and customs from the ones we know and are comfortable with.