Art gallery is transformed by “mutations”

Alyson Poveda

The University Union Gallery presented MUYMALFAUNADAPTATION exhibit on Thursday, Oct. 1, which exhibits 40 different pieces of art of Northern Californian and Sac State alumnus John Stuart Berger. An exhibition that promises to take anyone to a world full of creatures non-genetically modified and mutated organism.

MUY-MAL-FAUN-ADAPTATION (VERY- BAD- FAUN-ADAPTATION), is an exhibition inspired on cantankerous animals such as snakes, lizards, carnivorous mammals, birds, and insects with large mandibles, that Artist Berger became obsessed with when he was a kid.

“My passion for these animals progressed into art—visions began to ooze out of the deep, dark recesses of my brain and that’s how my characters began to take form,” explains Berger in his artist statement.

The characters all seemed to have gone through a mutant process in a fantasy world where they were oppressed. There were birds with sharp and strong fangs that make could cause anyone a chill. Indeed, the most terrifying and chaotic ones are the characters in which there is a type of mutation between a human and a mouse.

Along with all the chaotic characters, there are some characters in this mutant world that are somewhat cute. Most of the characters have sad or funny expression on their faces; expression that might confuse anyone surrounded who see these paintings.

“It is a mix of a lot of emotions, little of scare, a little of nerves, mostly those but a little of excitement,” said Daniel Le, a fourth-year recreation therapy major, about the feelings that he encountered while looking at Berger’s art pieces and who is also thinking on pursuing an art major for the next semester.

In addition to the characters portrayed in the paintings, the colors used by the artist, which he describes as “primary colors but straight colors right out of the tubes of paints” is what stands out the most.

“There were some consistent characters that keep popping up between separate paintings,” said Buddy Hale, third-year business major, who was curious about the constant use of snake and mouse in Berger’s paintings.

“There is a snake character that you see in five or six of his paintings,” continued Hale. “You cannot see both eyes of [the snake], it is always the side of the snake. Sometimes they are acting as arms of the characters or you can also see them coming of something head, or ripping out of someone’s stomach or it is strangling a mouse and this is not just in one painting but in multiple of his paintings,’ expressed Hale.

“I feel that most that viewed the gallery may feel uneasy, uncomfortable from the very grotesque and gory [stuff] that is going on. But at the same time I kinda appreciate it because I like art that makes you feel uncomfortable; that makes you feel uneasy and think about it,” said Daniel Le.

Berger mentioned that he is aware that some people feel uncomfortable with his art pieces and consistently gets this type of reaction. He also mentioned that there is a certain level of scariness and curtness that people can experience when going back and forth in his painting art pieces.

Over all, Berger expressed that “there are far more scary things in the world.”

As did many in attendance, Le found the exhibition interesting and was excited to see different types of artworks, but he goes further on saying that these individual characters might be what John Stuart Berger’s life visually is. “It is a very honest or a very brutal view of how our world might be if our thoughts were visuals,” Le said.

There are some exclusive art pieces of Berger that have never be shown in the Sacramento Area and are open to the Sac State community at MUYMALFAUNADAPTATION exhibition.

The art exhibition will continue until Oct. 22.