A week ago Friday night, Ever Gold Gallery opened New York-based Adam Parker Smith's newest show Forever 21. The small space was packed with people, and I could very quickly see why; the work is really extraordinary. The only thing I wish was that there was more space to see more of his work, because it is impressive. But this is San Francisco, so space isn't exactly readily available, and Ever Gold balanced the available space perfectly by not overwhelming it with too many pieces. Furthermore, the intimacy of the space really added to the experience.
The gallery door opens to a small entrance space with a sculpture of a VW Bug inside a glass bottle as well as a fabric/painted piece reminiscent of Blinky Palermo's compositions. The VW Bug inside the bottle is painted to every detail, including a hole in the windshield with painted cracks extending from it. The car itself is a detailed sculpture, but placed within the bottle (somehow) it became an outrageously intriguing item. The draped fabric piece with its peachy hue was a great transition into the main gallery, where Smith shows his other sculptures. Unlike the Bug, these sculptures are direct references to gynecological genitalia, but become abject body parts rather than sexual references. These forms are made of foam, bound by rope and remove the fragment of the vagina from the rest of the body, creating a non-sexualized form. Instead of insinuating a sexual viewing of the work, these sculptures allowed pure formal interpretation. Then, placed on marble-like columns, which were bound by bungee cords and emphasized as not being actually marble, these genital forms were raised to classical standards of fine art. This was further connected to the draped front piece, which can either relate to classical dress or another sexual body part, without overt reference.
The rest of the show consists of other sculptures including the whimsical (Untitled) Kanye Shades which is a set of white window blinds cut into the shape of sunglasses. Shown on a white wall, the contrast between the piece and the wall is subtle, and the humor is muted, but insistently present. Also, the monochrome wall helped to balance its opposite wall which was hung with a "marriage proposal" made of sewn-together friendship bracelets. The texture and color of this piece are significant alone, but there is a complex meaning implicit in the fact that they are friendship bracelets and instead of symbolizing one relationship, it includes the connection of thousands.
Finally, the back room of the gallery is tiny, but provides the perfect space for what is displayed. The bodily innuendo of the show is continued with a floor sculpture of a watermelon with an inviting, glowing pink hole. The last corner holds what looks like an altar, with some really complex pieces inside of it. These works look like a poster hung on the outside of your bathroom window, to which you see through the steam after your shower by wiping away the condensation the glass. I am completely clueless as to how he achieved this look, but my god is it effective. Some works have writing and some are just cleared spaces to the poster, but no one could miss out on it; we've all wiped away steam from our mirrors, but more often, we do it to see ourselves, not celebrities who are usually displayed transparently.
Smith's work is so complex that much more could be said about it, but truthfully words don't do it justice – these pieces must be seen in person. I can't wait for the opportunity to see Smith's work in the large space of a museum, which I'm sure is just around the corner for him. For now, Ever Gold has done a great job in showing as much work as possible, and it must have been very difficult to narrow what works would be included in the show, because like me, I'm sure they just want to keep seeing more.
If you can only get to one art show in the next couple of weeks, get to AJ Fosik'sLamplighter to the Promised Land at Guerrero Gallery. This is seriously not one to be missed. Guerrero opened their huge space to Portland-based Fosik and his wooden totemic animal figures this last Friday, and many took the opportunity to find themselves some awe and amazement.
The wood sculptures are either free-standing or wall mounted, looking like either a taxidermy standing bear or a mounted elk's head, but the color really separates them from any natural characteristics. For the wall-mounted pieces, spray painted patterns can be seen on their bases before layer upon layer of the figure extends from them. I was especially drawn to Strange Regions in Search of Beauty, Awe or Terror from this year which compounds a human face, a human skull, and a bull's head, revealing the animalistic nature in us all. Each of us has days when we feel there is a bull inside struggling to break free, and this piece reminds us of our own power to do so. For me, this one was all about internal drives and desires, and the power in embracing and releasing them unto the world.
The small Project Gallery in the back also held works by Daniel Albrigo with smiley face paintings and a sculpture made of smiley beach balls. The paintings are light and fun and have titles like Don't Forget to Smile with hues of pink and light blue. I kind of feel bad for Albrigo because his work does deserve attention, but I just had to get back to Fosik's pieces. They are endlessly exciting and each detail is superb.
One of my favorite details of the work was the shingle-like scales he employed on his free-standing figures such as Exploder Installation. These scales are sharp-edged and painted colorfully, so why do I believe them to be realistic? It seems like that head is going to start snarling and it is going to leap off the pedestal at any minute. And the hands! The animalistic figure has human hands, and unlike the other figures which have them in distinct gestures, these are positioned more as if in prayer-pose. Maybe its meditation is what is keeping the beast back, so it is necessary to be left in peace.
Words cannot do these pieces justice, and neither do the pictures that follow. Please, go see this show. You will not be disappointed. No matter what age, gender or culture you are coming from, you will find something in this work that speaks to you. With about twenty large pieces, Fosik's work will stick in your brain, and I have absolutely no doubt that you will be seeing a lot more of him in the future.
Exploder Installation by AJ Fosik, 2012
Everything is Fine on Mars by Daniel Albrigo, 2012
Consisting of hundreds of individually cut pieces of wood, vividly varnished and strategically placed, each of Fosik's pieces undergoes full woodshop gestation, a trade he taught himself. Evocative of American Folk Art, drawing inspiration from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and religious iconography, his sculptures are "existential fetishes."
Tony Marsh shared twelve new works with a very sophisticated financial district crowd last Thursday night @Hedge Gallery. Guests were immediately greeted with wine and hors d'oeuvres (which were very good, by the way) into the brightly lit space that seemed to be glowing from the street. The space is large, so there was room for guests, and there were quite a few who seemed to be enjoying themselves, including a little ballerina.
As the group show The Diamond Sea approaches the opening this Saturday, Oct 13th (6-9pm) @FFDG in San Francisco, we wanted to introduce, or in most cases "reintroduce" you to the artists who will be participating.
Meredith Dittmar lives and works in Portland, OR. Her last solo show was in Mexico City @Fifty24MX featuring some of her recent clay sculptures. Besides working on her intricately beautiful clay sculptures, Meredith also works in animation and design.
I know Im supposed to be good at this question but it never seems to go well. I usually say something along the lines of "relief-like sculpture in polymer clay mounted in shadowboxes"
Visualizations of maths and science, Integral theory, Non-dual teachers, everywhere I have been and everything I have seen
Favorite place traveled?
It’s a boring answer but I like it all - same Now, different scenery!
Working routine? Music? Time of day?
Mornings are my best time and music changes with my mood and the kind of work Im doing. If theres a lot of repetition Ill listen to nerdy talks
Describe your process for creating new work.
I research, collect images and words, then let it marinate a bit. Next I mix the clay palate and begin making small parts inspired by my research until I have a decent library of assets to pull from. From there I settle in and start making larger pieces. I like to do all the sculpting first for all the pieces I'm going to make, then move on to painting the backgrounds and prepping the pieces to be mounted. My husband makes all my shadow boxes. The final step is to glue them and clean them and seal them up.
Eric van Straaten emailed some of his 3D modeling artworks to us, and they're pretty interesting in their subject matter but also in the process of how they're created.
Through 3D printing, with services like i.materialise.com, you can turn your computer generated 3D model into a physical sculpture. You don't need any sophisticated applications either. They have browser apps that can create 3D models. Pretty sweet.
Oh, and we're back from our little time off. Hope your enjoying your labor day off. Maybe a little interneting between BBQs w/ friends.
Fabric 8 here in SF is selling their Eric Otto parklet for $12,000. The parklet is made from recycled materials found at the San Francisco Dump AKA Recology, where Otto completed the artist-in-residence program in 2010. The piece was constructed in five parts at Otto's Mission art studio, then transported to Fabric8 and affixed on top of the steel frame. -more info - VIDEO
As Jud wrote, I am in the process of creating a few more pieces for him, a bronze water wall that has a similar feel to the fire pit and then a large bronze and carved wood dining table that will be opposite the fire pit and the water wall and will incorporate many of the elements used in the other two pieces. The inspiration for all of this work comes from a Bukowski poem titled 'Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame' and we also wanted to give it (fire pit) the feel of Saurons castle from Lord of the Rings with a decidedly modern feel.
Grew up in New Jersey but currently living in Baltimore. Just turned
23. Graduated from MICA last May. www.laurajudkis.com.
How would you describe your work to someone?
Lately my work has taken a sculptural turn, but I come from a painting
background. I make aggressive, psychologically charged abstractions.
I'm interested in the tactile and sensual qualities of my materials,
and I'm hoping for visceral reactions.
Lots of super fleshy figurative painting and sculpture, Abstract
Expressionism (especially Clyfford Still), Gordon Matta Clark, Lee
Bontecou, Louise Nevelson, Louise Bourgeois, Martin Puryear, Robert
Rauschenberg, Lucas Samaras, Paul Thek. I'm also into the
provisional/experimental formalism thing that's going on in painting
right now. Ingmar Bergman's "Persona." David Foster Wallace,
Dostoevsky, and D.H. Lawrence, for books. Samurai armor is cool as
hell. I try to steal from everything everywhere.
Cheese burgers or tofu burgers?
Black bean burgers with cheese and avocado and spicy mayo, duh.
Favorite place traveled?
I haven't gone anywhere new in awhile, but San Francisco was nice.
Nature is not evil, it's ugly. That's why we have gardens. It's like ok, but we can do it a little bit better by arranging everything. We are obsessed by Tetris, order and man-made systems.
Before nature was scary, then romantic. But now we feel sorry for it. But does it matter? It create shapes and we create shapes or are we it? Surely, we don't want to. I create shapes and so should you. -Axel Brechensbauer (Barcelona)
Japanese based Haroshi makes sculptures out of recycled skate decks, and they're pretty darn snazzy.
HUF x Haroshi x DLX Collaboration - HUF partners up with Tokyo-based artist Haroshi and Bay Area skateboard distributor DLX on a limited edition collaboration. Shot at artist Haroshi's studio in Tokyo by Shinto God, cut by Martin Reigel. Available January 2012.
Montreal based Ian Langohr creates masks out of ethafoam, fabric, paint, plastic, and rubber - Ian's masks tell stories that contrast themes of melancholy and anxiety with that of absurdity and humour.
A few images from NYC based (via Bay Area) based artist Don Porcella whose woven pipe cleaner sculptures are showing at the non-profit space Art Connects New York through Oct 28th.
Don Porcella is an artist living and working in New York City who utilizes humble materials in innovative ways to craft a unique and humorous commentary on the human condition.
Born and raised in Modesto, California, Don Porcella’s artwork has been exhibited at galleries in New York City, Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen, East Hampton, Washington D.C., Miami and San Francisco. Porcella’s art has been reviewed in the New York Times, NY ARTS, Fiber Arts Magazine, Chelsea Now, San Francisco Magazine and the Village Voice to name a few. He has a BA in Psychology from the University of California at San Diego, a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts and an MFA from Hunter College in New York. His art is included in some of the world’s best art collections.
Drawing from his own imagery of the suburban and his interest in folk art, cartoons, and science fiction, Porcella's work allows the subjective and strange to penetrate humorous representations of a wildly imaginative reality.
Our friend in Sao Paulo, Flavio Samelo, brings us a sampling of artists/ shows/ music/ etc he's feeling in his native Brazil. This time he introduces us to the work of Rio De Janeiro artist Marcelo Macedo (MACK) whose artistic life began through skateboarding and graffiti. A lot of his sculptural work is created from skateboard pieces, wood found on Rio's many beaches or from late night trash runs... Say hello to Marcelo. -Trippe
Words from Flavio Samelo -- Most of the artists known abroad from the Brazilian street scene come from São Paulo, a massive city with almost 20 million inhabitants. In other large cities around Brazil, far from the watchful eyes abroad, there are a lot of unknown artists that have amazing work, of shocking quality, like Marcelo Macedo a.k.a. MACK from Rio de Janeiro.
Rio is a world famous tourist city, Copacabana, Ipanema, The Christ, etc etc etc. The city is fantastic, with all of its nature, history, and colonial and modern Brazilian architecture mixed together. Their is a large socio-economic gap in Rio, a gap between the rich and the poor, making a lot of young people express themselves via street art.
MACK began painting on the street after his first visit to the skatepark Arpoador Bowl; “We went there to skate one day, and there was a guy called Binho painting inside of the bowl, so we couldn’t skate, but we sat on the curb and watch the guy work. That amused me a lot, and made me start to think about making graffiti!”
His background connects with the nature elements, some religious influence, skateboarding, and street art, making his work really unique. The graffiti pieces depict fish, and other ocean dwelling, along side the names of saints, and phrases that support being calm, and conscious with nature and in everything else.
Got an email from the German anonymous artistic group Luzinterruptus whose projects involve a lot of light work in urban spaces. Their latest below Radioactive Control was created for the Dockville music festival in Hamburg. They tried to demonstrate, in a humorous tone, the paranoia that we are suffering from since the escape of radioactive material in Japan, has brought into question the safety systems at the nuclear power plants.
With our mysterious army of 100 illuminated radioactive figures, which advanced threateningly on the natural environment of the festival, we wanted to invite reflection regarding the use and abuse of nuclear energy, cheap in economic terms, but which can cause grave secondary effects for the environment and health, forever irreversible.
We did a studio visit with San Francisco artist Martin Machado yesterday which we'll be getting up shortly, but while we're thinking of Martin, have you checked out the blog he did with us last year where he sailed 1000 miles into the Pacific from Mexico to the remote tiny wild Clipperton Atoll? It is for sure one of the most interesting journeys on the site and worthy a read.
Marty in his studio standing next to a piece which will be shown at FFDG this January
Sea turtle 800 miles out into the Pacific from The Clipperton Project journey
PHILLY --- Tod Seelie has been living in and photographing NYC since 1997. He recently published a book of photographs, BRIGHT NIGHTS: Photographs of Another New York. To celebrate, Tod is taking it on the road around the US. He will be presenting his work, talking about his process, and telling stories of what he's been up to over the last decade and half. It will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.
Nicks work has been shown publicly in the streets of London in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games. He was named in the Design Collectors Top Directors of 2011, and has spoken for the Australia Graphic Design Associations First Five Out conference. Commercially Nick has produced work for major international brands including MTV, Nike, Red Bull, BBC, Monster, Pioneer, L’Oreal & More.
SAN FRANCISCO --- Front man for Thee OhseesJohn Dwyer opens the solo show of pencil drawings in "Landlord Apocalypse" opening Saturday, 12/7 at Needles and Pens (7-10pm) -FULL DETAILS
Listen to our good times '07 interview w/ Dwyer where he speaks of music in Providence, Start of the Coachwhips, Touring, Fighting in Toronto, Drugs, Recording, Favorite Shows, New Ohsees Album, Meric Long, and much much more LISTEN & check his Musical Mix here.
SAN FRANCISCO --- At our home some of our most treasured original artworks were purchased at Creativity Explored where the work is not only loose great folk art styled but was also purchased for a steal with the proceeds going to support the fantastic SF art program which benefits artists with developmental disabilities. Creativity Explored provides a supportive studio environment for artists with developmental disabilities in which they receive individualized instruction from mentoring artists, quality art materials, and professional opportunities to exhibit their work.
Every year Creativity Explored hosts a weekend Holiday Sale where these inexpensive works are even less expensive. A great place to pick up original unique gifts for family and friends... Not only that but their opening receptions are worth getting to. Wine, food, music, etc on Friday. ~FULL DETAILS
We had no idea of all these tunnels throughout San Francisco
In the early '90s my friends and I used to tape flashlights to the handlebars of our bikes and go riding around in underground storm drain tunnels. There was a whole network of these tunnels under the city that sat empty for most of the year. We would go for miles snaking up and down the sides of the tubes, clapping and yelling to see how far our echoes would carry, eventually popping out in some other part of the city covered in cobwebs and bat guano. When the tubes got too small, we laid down on skateboards and kept going. If we found a flooded part, we taped garbage bags around our legs and crossed our fingers. -READ ON
Michael Coley who runs Belly Kids emailed to let us know of his latest... Hell Yeah! (a WWF colouring book!) <-- "The most electrifying book in sports entertainment. It's our dedication to the best baby faces and the most hated heels of WWF wrestling. Think Macho Man Randy Savage, DX, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Mankind, The Rock, Chyna and many others!" [PREVIEW]
Give the gift of coloring book. Kids young and old can get down with some quality time of staying inside the lines... or hell, be a Charlie and break out of the boundaries! 7 Euro dollars here.
SAN FRANCISCO --- SOEX will open their juried show This Will Never Work this Friday, Nov 22nd (7-10pm) featuring works by Northern California based artists w/ the theme this year: crazy experiments, doomed plans and quixotic dreams
This annual exhibition has become the premier showcase of contemporary artwork by promising local talent. Each year a different theme is selected to inspire and encourage a broad level of artistic expression. This year’s exhibition sought crazy experiments, doomed plans and quixotic dreams. All ideas and forms were considered. -complete show details
Here's the second part of my comprehensive photo coverage from Berlin and this time around you'll find shots of new window installations by Ron English, Know Hope, Erik Jones, Lucy McLauchlan, Strok and others (which is now on display in the same building as Rone painted).
As a part of "project M" (curated by Strychinin Gallery), Melbourne Artist and part of the Everfresh collective RONE has painted the largest wall he has ever attempted, three massive images on the top three stories of a five-story building at Nollendorfplatz in Berlin. It took Rone five days to paint this excellent work.
David Choong Lee, Mario Martinez, Damon Soule, Eric Otto and others were commissioned by the Hyatt (345 Stockton St) here in San Francisco to create some beautiful works to adorn their hotel bar, resturant and lobby. If you're down by Union Square stop in, hava drink at the bar and enjoy these great paintings.
NYC based (via Australia) spraypaint whiz kid Ian Strange (Kid Zoom) (interview) held his solo show SUBURBAN last July at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia (video). The wonderful show's setup and opening was photographed by Lloyd Stubber for this exclusive photo essay for Fecal Face.
Collage artist Lola Dupre opens a new show of work on Decemeber 5th at Portland's Breeze Block Gallery -- Opening on the same day in the adjoining gallery space, artists Ryan De La Hoz and Russell Leng.
With a thick, impasto finish, Meyer's paintings feel like treasures. As you get lost in the jagged confusion of thick swatches of color, figures emerge in the most subtle ways. The colors are enticing, but these figures are mesmerizing. I could get lost in these canvases for days. Simply, these are some really great paintings and I highly recommend you go see them before the show closes on December 7th.
TORONTO --- The finishing touches have been put on the large-scale, colorful and dynamic public art work by Canadian-born Patrick McNeil along with his art collaborator, Patrick Miller. Collectively known as FAILE, the Brooklyn-based duo designed the football-field-sized mural, located on Bathurst Street between Davenport and St. Clair in the city of Toronto.
Liking on these prints Hive & Nine Eyes by Melbourne based artist/ designer Nick Thomm... Limited Edition of 50 - Printed on 310gsm Hahnemuhle photo rag, mueseum grade archival paper. Each print is hand signed and numbered - available on his website.
I moved home to the Bay Area about 4 years ago and recently had the opportunity to visit New York City for the first time since. Having missed Barry McGee & Raymond Pettibon by a day, I felt lucky to have an old friend clue me into the ICY Signs show when I arrived.
Every have one of those mornings where you start following links and the next thing you know you're watching a news reel clip of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 that was held on the brand new man-made Treasure Island?
Tiffany Bozic's solo show Sense of Wonder is in its final week at San Francisco's FFDG. Before this wonderful show comes to a close, we wanted to ask Bozic about her methodology, lifestyle, influences and generally what makes her tick.
The John Berggruen gallery is beautiful. With floor-to-ceiling windows and a view to downtown, the Thursday night opening of NYC's Julian Lethbridge's new show Paintings was unmistakably a fancy affair. While these incredibly expensive paintings didn't do much for me, I was pleasantly surprised that I caught the Chuck Close show upstairs.
Cartagena takes photographs in Monterrey, Mexico, documenting parts of everyday life there that he sees as depicting "a global issue from a local perspective." In a town that has a relatively new, booming construction market, Cartagena decided to document a side of the day laborers' lives that might not often be seen: the commute to and from work at various construction sites.
Got an email from Emanuele Pizzolorusso, a Helsinki based industrial designer, yesterday to let us know about his latest project Lucetta: a smart set of two small magnetic bicycle lights. Never seen them in person. Have no idea if they're worth a hoot or not, but the concept is pretty interesting and simple. Looks like a great idea to us.
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