‘Exchange’ in receipt transactions


I don’t owe you anything piece by Tatiana Stevens. Photo credit: Jessica Carvajal Castillo

Working in customer service allows a person to have endless experiences with other people each day. Some good, some bad. Conversations are bound to stick, which is what helped fuel Art major Tatiana Stevens to create “Exchange.”

Stevens created “Exchange” as a result of her customer service experience. She documented some past conversations noted in her piece that spell out “Smile.” The unique thing about “Smile” is that it’s made from orders that Stevens took at her place of work. These are meant to be a starting point of where she got the inspiration for her bigger pieces. The bigger pieces are of receipts that carry a conversation with a lot of emotions behind them.

One particular piece stood out called, “I don’t owe you anything.” When you look at what is printed, you see one splash of “pushy,” one dose of “ignorance” and half “fake response.”

Once you look at the part of the piece that is handwritten, you see a conversation happening. It starts off with, “Hi, how are you doing today?” Then leads to a paragraph about someone talking about why they came to California. To conclude, it says: “Yeah, yeah thank you of course,” and ends with, “so, will you be having your usual?”

This piece really stood out since the story seems very personal, but at the end, it almost sounds like whoever the story was being told to was not actually listening at all. It makes sense after you read it, and why the things printed, such as the one dose of ignorance, appear in the art.

Stevens said that by making these memories into prints, she can process her emotions towards them and express how these experiences made her feel. You can tell that there is a lot of emotion behind each piece, and Stevens said that she will continue to add to this project.

Stevens’ art is on display until Sept. 22 on the third floor of the BMU.

Jessica Castillo can be reached at [email protected] or @_itzjess on Twitter.