Two twin brothers from Brooklyn, Skewville brought the fun to their opening at White Walls last Saturday night with their new show, Amusement. After all, you can't take a show that starts with a sign reading "Sucks either Way" too seriously. Besides the simplistic yet detailed paintings, visitors got to ride on a bike-powered merry-go-round and throw bean bags at bottles like a carnival game. Even the works made of found materials, like the Battleship boombox and the suitcase made of tin lunch pails, brought a sense of humor to the night. After seeing the work in the back of the gallery, which was much more crowded, Skewville provided a light-hearted atmosphere in which viewers could drink beer, play games, and see some really great artworks.
Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com
Skewville is an art collective consisting of two twin brothers born and raised in Queens, NY known for their public art, the most popular example being their hand made wooden sneakers that they have been tossing over telephones lines and documenting since 1999. Since then thousands have been silkscreened, hand cut, drilled, laced, and then tossed all around the globe.
The subtle word play between the written letters and the cut letters on which they sit is complex and inviting, and the wastebasket with paper shreds was a great touch. This room was a nice little sanctuary during the chaos of the opening and would probably be an even better experience any time between now and when the show closes on April 6th.
Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com
White Walls and the Shooting Gallery opened their new space with a bang this last Saturday night. After going through a boarded-up doorway with the names of the galleries and their new address of 868 Geary St tagged on it, you can no longer believe you are in the Tenderloin. 5,000 square feet of pristine gallery space, complete with cathedral ceilings made of reclaimed wood, open up to a truly amazing exhibition space, and it just keeps going. You're now going through White Walls, into the Shooting Gallery, and then into several separate project galleries and the multi-million dollar renovation was definitely spent wisely.
For this show, White Walls opened with the grizzly paintings of Chad Hasegawa. I've been a fan of this local artist since I saw his bear in Clarion alley, and he used this opportunity to bring his bears to the space of fine art, titling them appropriately for the role. Several paintings are titled with the names of modernist masters and their styles are replicated in the bears themselves. While Motherwell has thick, black brushstrokes, Rothko has a washed background and a fluid texture.
Moving further back brought visitors into Charmaine Olivia's Muses. This girl can paint with incredible detail and the works are undeniably beautiful, but this display was repetitive, they all kind of look the same. Her Muses are girly and pretty, which was seen in the audience attending, but they don't leave much room for anything but sexual femininity. But, that's ok. Sold individually, I can see any one of these works hanging in a girl's apartment anywhere in the city and it was great to see so much space devoted to a local artist.
Moving further back brought visitors into two project galleries, one by Sickboy and one by Word to Mother. Sickboy's installation, complete with a working coffin toy train, was my personal favorite of the night. The paintings are colorful and detailed, and I only wish that I would have been able to see them better. Moving around the train, it was really difficult to get to the paintings themselves, and I kind of wish they would have switched his gallery with Word to Mother, because that one is a little bigger. Word to Mother opened Fuck You Pay Me, a Giants-themed installation complete with baseball bats, foam fingers, and astro turf. Since there was only one painting, I popped in and out, but managed to score some cracker jacks and bazooka bubble gum before I left.
Saturday night really was more of an event than an exhibition, this is a new upscale version of the galleries, and I should but an emphasis on the plural, this place just keeps going and going. It was a suit and dress kind of night, fancy for any Tenderloin event, but frankly, the space is fancy and deserves if not your Sunday best, then at least Thursday's finest. These galleries have really transformed themselves in this move and I cannot wait to see what they do next.
Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com
Chad Hasegawa, Motherwell, House-paint on canvas, 108x72"
Charmaine Olivia, Anya/Queen B, Oil on panel, 30x40"
I am totally over artwork depicting guns. It has been played out as a way to shock viewers and draw inaudiences, and recently, it seems like we just can't escape. Much to my chagrin, D Young V's newestshow at White Walls here in San Francisco is different. There are guns everywhere, but they aren't ploys for attention. Instead, The New Race employs the weapons as commonplace tools necessary for survival in the post-apocalyptic world D Young V has created in the gallery. The entire space is covered in works of ink on paper, reading as militaristic propaganda, complete with ammo and helmets to protect yourself. Arrowsextend from the bottom of several works ending at a pair of footprints, directing the viewer's distance from the piece, suggesting more intimate or more encompassing perceptions of the images.
More importantly, the show starts in the street, tying the space of the gallery to that of the Tenderloinon Larkin Street. Because of this introduction, it is easy to read the work within the gallery as what San Francisco might look like 300 years after civilization has ended. The script extending across the gallery and the pieces themselves intermingle English characters with numbers and symbols, an allusion to the disintegration of language through time. Will we really be speaking English in 300 years? Are we even really speaking English now?
With recent violent events including school shootings, this dystopian future may not be that far off. We may need to arm ourselves and embrace community over individualism, much like D Young V has done within his work. Instead of using the guns as symbols of power, he has introduced them as necessary tools for survival for the entire new race. Through incredibly detailed work, this show emphasizes the need to protect ya neck.
Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com
Jonathan Darby has completely transformed White Walls gallery into an African setting with his newest show, Congo which runs through December 8th. You can no longer even see the White Walls from which the gallery gets its name. The entire space has been covered with wood panels, pieces of garbage bags, windows, signs, wires, and all kinds of other authentic materials. These have been installed to completely change the interior flow of the space of the gallery, with hidden corners and windows looking like a shop keeper just went to the back to get something for a customer. The space is further emphasized by the quiet rhythm of African drumming and music heard in the background.
All of this would be well and good, but it is the mixed-media pieces hung on these new walls that are really special. Each piece shows the face of a child, presumably one of the children Darby worked with while in Goma, where he taught art lessons. The faces are pasted over a collage of money, newspapers, and patterned papers with things like guns and diamonds on them. The works seem to flow with the walls on which they are displayed and look like they were just panels removed from a building in Goma. However, the careful treatment of the children's faces separates them from any street poster. They are enlarged so that you have to look at them, and they look right back at you. Endearing, powerful, and heartbreaking, these works evoke the spirit of the children themselves, even across the globe.
After winding through the gallery, visitors will find themselves in a very small back room in which a video of Darby's trip to Goma is displayed. The music is much louder here, and you see the children in the pictures, but this time they are actively taking part in their own creative expression. The video shows the children both playing instruments and taking part in art-making practices giving them an active presence of which the medium of the mixed-media panels denies them. The bright colors and movement of the video starkly contrast to the rest of the gallery, overshadowed in brown hues, and provides what seems like a window into another world. This is strategically emphasized by the environment Darby created in which to situate his viewers as conscious and understanding of the people and things around them. The British artist also further emphasized this understanding by contributing a portion of the proceeds of all sales to the children in these school programs you see in the video. So, go take a look at this work. If you decide to buy, it all goes to a good cause, and if you can't buy, you can at least educate yourself in an environment that will take you far away, and some works that will make you both look and think.
Words and photos: Rachel Ralph ~ rachel(at)fecalface.com
White Walls here in SF opens their winter group show on Saturday (7-11pm) featuring works by EINE, Casey Gray, Blek le Rat, Apex, Know Hope, ABOVE, D*Face, Kofie One, D Young V, Greg Gossel, Chad Hasegawa, Ernesto Yerena, Robert Burden, Peter Gronquist & Georgi Tchkhaidze. 835 Larkin Street ~details
We've been so busy getting our new space together, we haven't made it to many shows this last month. We're lucky enough to have a few images of Portland, Oregon based Mark Warren Jacques show at White Walls running through Saturday here in San Francisco to share.
Besides the show, Mark has a new print Still Dreaming of You available here for $35.
Pedro Matos just swung through FFDG and introduced himself. About to move to London from his native Portugal, Pedro is here in San Francisco to open his solo show at White Walls (or Shooting Gallery as he's on The Shooting Gallery's calendar) entitled Ephemera featuring oil-on-canvas works this Saturday, Sept 3rd (7-11pm).
Check our interview w/ him from last year. We'd imagine the work is going to be great. I mean, check the prewview below. Crazy talented painter.
Yeah, like the title of show suggests, David Young V has made an effort as every wall of the large gallery was covered in works featuring millitant, Mad Max, B/W, machine guns, tanks, punk-rock and a post-apocalyptic San Francisco. To hear what the show is about and to get some insight into what makes David Young tick, check our interview with him.
David Young V is on a mission. Shuttling between two studio spaces in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco— frequently in the dead of night—he engages in the business of recovering fragments from a future world. To hear him speak about the tomorrow he foresees; a world of zealots, martyrs, psychotic orphans and armed bike couriers, one is reminded of Mad-Max… if it had more military training and dabbled in cryptography and linguistics. The hard edged, high contrast, near religious iconography of David’s new work is an encrypted enigma, gnashing it’s teeth at you, challenging you to decipher it. It wants you to look hard. Maybe it will tell you…if you make an effort. — Shaun Roberts
D Young V, Are you actually the fifth David in your family?
Yeah, my father is David and it goes back five generations, but it got restarted, so it really goes back about
eight people. The original David Young III got killed so his brother named his son after this guy. So the son became the first in my line.
Were there a lot of creative people in the Young family line?
No, there wasn’t a lot of artistic people in my family.
Then how did you get involved in art?
It’s all I really know, I’ve been doing art for so long...I’ve always wanted to do it. I’ve been doing it my whole life and I never want to stop. I was always drawing on the backs of my papers and on tests during class. I loved free drawing sessions, I always had fun in art class. I never really liked art projects, I always just liked drawing whatever I wanted to draw. Honestly I don’t think I was ever that good at it, but I just enjoyed it.
I didn’t decide to take it seriously until I was in college, I didn’t even know what a fine artist was but if it let me do anything I wanted to do, then I’ll try to be a fucking fine artist.
What was your work like back then?
Well when I was 18 I was doing these Micron pen drawings but they were totally different in nature, they were much more intricate than the work I do now, and they were more fantasy based. After that, I really got into abstract art using charcoals as well as murals. I was really into de Kooning, Pollock, Basquiat, Picasso, Braque, Kandinsky and other 20th Century Abstract art. I was obsessed with that for a number of years and I was just continually making abstract work.
White Walls Gallery - San Francisco || April 9- May 7, 2011 || Street artist ROA got his start by painting intriguing murals of animals in hidden places – underneath bridges and on walls that strayed from the beaten path. A darling of the underground street art scene, photos of his work regularly appear on Vandalog, Brooklyn Street Art, Wooster Collective, Unurth, and a fury of London newspapers and blogs running to his defense when a street piece he did in Hackney faced removal late last year. ROA is earnestly repopulating the cityscape with animals, as a way to have them re-enter the contemporary landscape that was once theirs. With a style all his own.
There are A LOT of great shows opening up this weekend and here's another. London based EINE opens up Greatest this Saturday at White Walls. He's been around San Francisco painting roll-ups like the one below filling the entire alphabet. Can you find them all around town?
San Francisco, CA-White Walls gallery is pleased to present, 'GREATEST' a solo
exhibition by London-based artist, Ben Flynn a.k.a. EINE. The opening reception
for 'GREATEST' will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2011 from 7-11 PM. The exhibition
will be on view from March 12, to April 2, 2011 and is free and open to the public.
'GREATEST' is an art exhibition by the artist, Ben EINE, that will utilize both gallery
and public space as a two-tiered platform for the artist’s visual expression. EINE'S work
is a large-scale study of the shape and structure of the 26 letters found in the modern
English alphabet in varied typefaces, color configurations and word arrangements. In
the public spaces of San Francisco, EINE will be painting each letter of the alphabet
on various walls around the city. A further ten canvases of his work using spray paint,
acrylic, and glitter will be on display at White Walls gallery.
Yumiko Kayukawa Saturday at The Shooting Gallery --> 7-11pm
Street artist and Brooklyn based Dan Witz opens his show What The %$#@? Saturday at White Walls. Be on the look out around San Francisco as Dan's been going to town leaving his work round the streets of our grand city --> PHOTOS.
White Walls is pleased to present What The %$#@? (WTF), an exhibition by prolific Brooklyn-based artist, Dan Witz. The WTF exhibition will be showcasing the artist’s Dark Doings series, both inside the gallery as well as on the streets of San Francisco. Witz is known for using his mastery of the visual deception of trompe-l'oeil and photorealistic painting techniques to create conceptual visual pranks, producing a definitive and unparalleled street art practice. The artist’s debut San Francisco solo show will be comprised of approximately 30 mixed and digital media works in custom framing hand-created by the artist. The opening reception for What The %$#@? (WTF) will be held at White Walls on January 08, 2010 from 7-11 PM. The exhibit will be on display through February 05, 2011 and is free and open to the public.
Some recent San Francisco activity. Click the image or here to view more.
Group Show "Broken Meter Zine Release & Art Reception"
December 9th was the premiere release party and art reception for “Broken Meter”, a new zine celebrating texture and decay in the urban environment. I was honored to be invited to show some of my pigeon works alongside the works of Hugh Leeman, Dave Warnke, Skinner, Brett Amory, Chris Brennan, Dan Plasma, NART, Eddie Colla, D Young V, Jessica Hess, and Aaron Bo Heimlich. Of course, I also brought back a few photos from the event! -Megan Wolfe
A new HBO documentary looks at the work of street artist JR, whose giant portraits force people in troubled areas to confront the humanity that's all around them... On the day JR found out he'd won the $100,000 TED Prize, the French pasteup artist found himself in China being questioned by police for doing his thing on the streets of Shanghai. ~continue reading
Street artist JR HBO documentary premiered yesterday, May 20th
Art lovers, collectors and gallerists will gather on Thursday for Hong Kong's inaugural edition of Art Basel, sealing the city's status as an international art hub and Asia's leading art destination... Hong Kong has surged to third place in the global art auction market behind New York and London and Western galleries are falling over each other to open franchises in the former British colony. ~continue reading
Wowzas, there's a lot of art happenings this weekend, and while you're making the rounds, be sure to stop at SFAI's MFA show Currency opening Friday, May 17th at the beautiful old SF Mint Building (88 5th Street).
SFAI's 2013 MFA graduates—working in painting, photography, printmaking, film, sculpture, installation, digital media, performance, and across media—will present work that embraces the Institute's signature spirit of experimentation and conceptual risk-taking.
Opening reception: Friday, May 17, 7–9 pm & running through Sunday 11-6pm daily. -- complete details
London based Pedro Matos opens the solo show Building Castles Made of Sand this Friday in Los Angeles at the Martha Otero Gallery featuring a new series of oil paintings on canvas and azulejo panels - a traditional Portuguese medium of hand-painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tile work.
San Francisco -- CCA opens their 2013 MFA Thesis Exhibition this Thursday, May 16th at their SF campus. Every year another graduating class produces steller work. One of the best SF art events worth getting to, but be sure to get there early as there's always a long line. ~details
FFDG opened up the group show featuring original works by the artists of the world famous Skull & Sword tattoo last Friday here in San Francisco. Thanks to the huge crowd who turned out to support these four incredibly talented artists. Here is a taste of the show, and be sure to swing in to view in person. The show runs through June 8th.
Gary Baseman's retrospective "The Door is Always Open" at the Skirball in LA opened recently to massive crowds in a huge celebratory opening party. The exhibition is so complex and personal, delving into Baseman's background, family history, and all the layers of prolific work that he has done over the years. After the opening festivities winded down, I caught up with Baseman for an interview. We discussed the underlying meaning to some of the components of the show and how it felt for him, coming from such an honest personal perspective in putting this massive show together.
Fertile Menace, a new show of Mark Mulroney's (NY) work opened at Ever Gold on May 4th and it's not one to be missed. It is intelligently hilarious, with jokes riffing off sex, Foucault, and the body, and while it makes you laugh it's also going to make you think.
Our buddies Jay Howell, Andreas Trolf, and Jim Dirschberger are hyped as their show, which they've been working on for like 2 years, premieres on Nickelodeon Saturday. From the trailers we've seen so far and from what Jay has told us about, the show is going to be pretty epic. Congrats to those radical fellas.
Following his solo exhibition "The Collected" at Gallery Wendi Norris, painter Amir H. Fallah is in the throes of developing more new works for upcoming international exhibits. We spent some time in his studio in Highland Park, Los Angeles recently, discussing his process and inspiration.
We were first introduced to the photography of Spanish born NYC based Bubi Canal when he emailed us his great video Trust in Me a couple years ago. His solo show Special Moment recently ran at NYC's Munch Gallery in February, and he recently released his newest video Chrystelle below.
Although I missed the opening of Northern-California photographer Michael Garlington's newest show, Constructed Realities, I was fortunate enough to see the work still up during the Metaphysical fundraiser a couple weeks back at 111 Minna. Metaphysical fundraiser, an auction to benefit Wayne Ernzer. --- The ghoulish photographs in their heavy, hand-made frames are reminiscent of photos from the old west, and the glass crucifixes, complete with fetuses and guns, emphasize the accumulated time within the works themselves. Whether you're looking at the frames, the photos, or both, this show deserves a visit, and a walk through the golden archway Garlington constructed around the front door.
Fecal Face contributor Rachel Ralph (rachel(at)fecalface.com) has been profiling this Oakland based painter as he travels about Japan. In this segment, we feature some photos as he prepared for this show and residency at Spes-LaB in Tokyo which opened last weekend. Arnold will be featured in SFMoMA's Minna Street windows on June 8th.
Last Saturday, here in SF's Mission district, Guerrero Gallery opened two new shows with Philly based Alex Lukas and SF based Richard Colman respectively. Colman's work occupied the project space while Lukas' work and foliage was presented in the main space. Worth getting to if you haven't already.
Just got back to SF after a little trip south to Sayulita, Mexico. After 10 years without a vacation, me and the Mrs. headed south for some mental time off sitting in the sun, swimming and enjoying the watery Mexican beer. Here are some photos as we get back into the swing of things again.
Athens, Greece based designer, architect and artist Dimitris Polychroniadis emailed over more of his work which consists of mixed media, pop-humorous diorama sculptures that make a comment on the harsh realities my country and much of the world is facing at the moment.
FFDG will open a group show with the artists from the famed Skull & Sword Tattoo on Friday, May 17th (6-9pm). Artists: Grime, Henry Lewis, Yutaro, and Lango. Below are a series of videos on Grime for Vice's Tattoo Age produced in 2011. Fascinating look at one of the greatest tattoo artists alive today.
ARYZ (Spain) opened his newest gallery show at Fifty24SF last Friday and, if you live in the Bay Area, you need to go. This dude can obviously paint, and he doesn't need an entire building to show his impecable skill. The show has lots of small works on paper which contrast his highly-defined line work to his hard-edged painted objects. The contrast between the hard and soft was the most striking thing to me about his work, since I had never seen it in person before, and the washes blend with the thick paint seamlessly. The show also contains a larger work on canvas, a huge head suspended in the back of the room, and a big wood sculpture of a wolf figure. This diversity in such a small space was impressive, and those of us that went to the opening even got to meet the man in person. If you didn't make it out this weekend, check it out before May 31st when it closes and these works will be off to some very happy new homes.
Water McBeer is please to announce its latest exhibition "Precious" a solo exhibition by David Bayus (April 6 - May 4, 2013) -- David Bayus born 1982 holds his BFA from the Savannah College of Art and his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. David lives and works in San Francisco and is a founding member of the basement collective. This will be his first exhibition with the world renown Water McBeer Gallery highlighting his most recent achievements with paint and digital media. David Bayus will be exhibiting 5 relatively large-scale mixed media works along with a collaborative object featuring Hungarian sculptor H.R KOONS.
The Shooting Gallery handed over the reins to the Red Truck Gallery (a New Orleans based gallery) which curated their new show, Hard Time Mini Mall and opened the it on Saturday night. This is my favorite show (so far) in the Shooting Gallery's new space and was packed full of art, a mini bar, and cowhide rugs. The Red Truck Gallery chose works with clear craftsmanship and it was easy to see in Ian Berry's denim assemblages and Chris Roberts-Antieau's awesome quilts. The space was completely packed, making it hard to see each piece individually, but this show deserves a second trip anyway. I look forward to spending more time with the chandeliers, automatons, and paintings before the show comes down on May 4th.
Toronto based photographer Nathan Cyprys emailed to let us know about his newest series "Neighbour State", and we were about to post it when we spotted this series on his site entitled "Ayre (of Distances)" and had to post this one instead. After you view this one, view "Neighbour State" on his site. Both are visually enjoyable.
Working from found photographs, Lyle's paintings are created through a reductive painting process where each piece is rendered using only black paint and turpentine. Lyle begins this process by priming a panel with white gesso. He then paints a thin, rich, oily black veneer over the primed panel, slowly and systematically developing his images by removing some of the black paint with a cloth. In doing so, Lyle renders layer upon layer of various values of black paint resulting in his signature-style of luminescent works.
Our buddy Henrik Haven, who brings us some goodies from his native Copenhagen, has been shooting some of his city's graffiti and street art. Last week we brought you part one of his camera's explorations.
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