Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
a $57 million, state-of-the art community designed for artists and creative businesses. Located in the cultural district of downtown Ventura, California, the WAV will offer affordable living and working space for over a hundred artists of every kind; painters, sculptors, dancers, poets, musicians, filmmakers and more.Truly, everything about WAV sounds like Heaven:
WAV represents the vanguard of innovative sustainable cultural facilities. The entire community will be designed and built to the highest standards of green building technology (LEED® certified), including recycled building materials, car sharing, water and energy conservation, and renewable power from the sun.In spite of the real deadline having passed in June, long before I heard of this Heaven on Earth, yesterday I was encouraged to apply. Not because I am the golden princess upon whom Fortune always smiles, but because most of the applicants have been individuals, which means there remains a need for artists with families to live in the units that have 3 and 4 bedrooms. (If any other
The application process is not overly complicated nor burdensome. You must complete a 3-page application that requests mostly financial information; include an artist's resumé; write a statement about why you want to live at WAV; and attach 3 reference letters from people who know about you and your background and your work as an artist. Then if you are lucky, you participate in two interviews, one concerning housekeeping matters of finances and credit and rental history, and one "to discuss the artist's interest in living in a mixed-income, mixed-use community."
Writing the statement about why I want to live at WAV has of course made me think about art and artists and our place in the world, and the importance of setting, and how perfectly perfectly right it is to that a community steps forward and reaches out its hands to welcome and nurture artists, saying, Here is a lovely place for you and your family to live more cheaply, because we value you and your contributions, we know that what you create both inspires and defines us, so come, live in these lovely surroundings, where you can work and create and rest and be at home.
P.S. It also seems fitting that I take a moment to thank NamastéNancy for writing one of the three required reference letters with inimitable grace and speed.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The article points out that collectors are finding it increasingly difficult to find bargains because of the growing Chinese interest in their own contemporary art. Would it be remiss of me to remark that this is an excellent reason to support your local artists, that a collector doesn't have to buy contemporary Chinese art. There are plenty of home-grown artists whose work sells for a fraction of these prices. Their work iis equally beautiful, controversial, interesting and/or provocative but I guess it lacks the je ne sais quoi of the uber-trendy.
Liu Ye: “Portrait of L” (2004): Estimate: US$ 205,000-256,000 (HK$ 1,600,000-2,000,000)
Feng Zhengjie: “Chinese Portrait Series” (2008): Estimate: US$ 70,500-90,000 (HK$ 550,000-700,000)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thirteen of Stanford University's art faculty are showing work from their own studios at the Cantor Arts Center in Palo Alto. I'm a fan of Enrique Chagoya's work, but I wasn't familiar with the other artists. Each artist was represented by a small selection of works, a photo of their studio and a short bio.
I'm embarrassed to say this was my introduction to the work of Matt Kahn. When I saw his pieces in this show it was obvious that the artist had spent a lot of time doing a lot of thinking and plenty of practice. The skill level and originality are off the charts. He's been an influential player in Bay Area art & design for 60 years (where have I been?) Kahn's paintings in this show were on canvas that was inconceivably stretched over curving forms and painted with immaculate precision. And the colors - each painting is a seminar in color theory.
"Cradle" (above) is two overlapping panels painted in shades of grey, the lower panel with an unseen, angled edge reflecting a red glow. Close-up, mid-range, and distant views are all rewarded by unique aspects of the work. A true masterpiece. Detail below:
I noticed that Matt Kahn is giving a free lecture on Sunday, Nov.. 8th, 2-3pm, at the Cantor Arts Center.
The faculty show, "From Their Studios", is up through the end of the year. CalTrain takes you right from SF to the Stanford campus and a shuttle bus will drop you off near the museum (it's an easy walk, too.) The museum is free and open to the public. They're open Wednesday through Sunday 11am - 5am.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
From the Artist's Statement:
You Are What You Eat is a series of portraits made by examining the interiors of refrigerators in homes across the Untied States.For three years I traveled around the country exploring the issue of hunger. The more time I spent speaking and listening to individual stories, the more I began to think about the foods we consume and the effects they have on us as individuals and communities. An intense curiosity and questions about stewardship led me to begin to make these unconventional portraits.A refrigerator is both a private and a shared space. One person likened the question, "May I photograph the interior of your fridge?" to asking someone to pose nude for the camera. Each fridge is photographed "as is." Nothing added, nothing taken away.
MARK MENJIVAR: You Are What You Eat
Friday, September 18, 2009
The Monumental Remembrance exhibit, at SOMArts Main Gallery through September 24, showcases recent and historic work by artists who participated in the San Francisco Arts Festival, which ran from 1946 to 1986.
Note: San Francisco International Airport also hosted a show, The Art of a City: The History of the San Francisco Arts Festival 1946-1986, which ended in April. I’ve enjoyed many art exhibits at SFO, and recommend using your miles just for the unique experience of seeing their shows. Anyone who has ever run out of steam plodding through an art museum can appreciate seeing art slowly pass by, with the wind in your hair, while riding the peoplemover conveyor.
Mill Valley artist Jim Chapin is one of those featured in the current SOMArts show, with an oil painting, "In the Key of Black," and a watercolor from 1973, "Acid Gears."
After struggling as a pre med major at UC Berkeley in the early 1960s, Chapin dropped out. The chemistry classes he took soon came in handy when he was hired as the manager of a soils lab. Then, six months after receiving a gift of painting supplies from his mother, Chapin found himself “lost in art.”
Returning to Berkeley, Chapin graduated with a degree in art. In addition to selling paintings out of galleries and his studio at 63 Bluxome, to support himself as an artist Chapin taught drawing classes and had a long stint as a limo driver for the St. Francis Hotel. He later “escaped” the Summer of Love drug culture in the City by moving to the Russian River, and eventually to Mill Valley.
Chapin and his art had many encouraging friends in the late 1960s, including an editor of the San Francisco Oracle free newspaper. The Oracle displayed his work, “The World is Coming,” in their gallery and business office in Larkspur in the late 1960s before it was purchased by a collector.
Chapin later bought the work back. It can be seen along with many of his other paintings, including those of his wife and muse, at the John Stayman Fine Arts virtual gallery at ArtPrice.com.
by Phil Gravitt
Today is the annual Park(ing) Day, brought to you by Rebar, in which companies and individuals transform local, metered parking spots into fun and creative green spaces for the day. Look for them on your way to work in the morning or on your lunch break, and the mobile PARKcycle will also be out and about.
The event includes dozens of vendors (with books, prints and other handmade items), community artists, music, and amidst it all they will be making prints from large-scale linoleum blocks - carved especially for the occasion--with a steamroller.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
This is David Havel's second solo gallery exhibition at Marx and Zavattero. According to the review in the San Francisco Chronicle, the title refers to a line from a Laga Gaga song, a perfect framework for his satire on consumerism and celebrity worship. Placed in an irregular fashion in the gallery, most of the works are fun and funky and create that "funky botique vibe" that the artist wanted. One of them, at the far end of the gallery, looks like a hipster retablo homage to Miss Piggy with layers of pink, mirrors and gold leaf. But the piece-de-resistance is the huge black rhino head with snot dripping from its nostrils. Its three-dimensional presence is so visceral and brutal that it almost doesn’t seem to belong in the same show. There is nothing kitschy about this savage piece. It resonates with our knowledge of what Madoff did, along with many others in looting our financial system and the wanton destruction of so many people’s lives.
through Oct. 17. Free. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. Marx & Zavattero, 77 Geary St., second floor, S.F. (415) 627-9111.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/09/10/NS1N19ILIA.DTL#ixzz0RPaRpirP
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Open Studios 2009 Weekend Dates
at these events:
Weekend 2: October 17 & 18, 11am-6pm
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
San Francisco based painter Gage Opdenbrouw will be showing his works at Art Zone from September 12th though October 18th. The illustration above (from his website) doesn't do justice to his painterly figuration or masterly treatment of color. His work is somewhat reminiscent of Bay Area figurative work but he brings to it a unique perspective and subtle finesse.
2009 Solo Show: "Recurring Dreams of Light through the Trees"
ArtZone 461 Gallery, San Francisco, Valencia between 15th and 16th.
September 12-October 18th, 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday September 12, 5-8 PM
Friday, September 11, 2009
Just a quick review of a few of my favorite gallery shows in SF right now:
Catherine Clark Gallery, Minna Street (near SFMOMA)
Sandow Birk's "American Qur'an" is a preview of an ambitious work in progress. He's the guy who reinterpreted Dante's "Divine Comedy." Now he's tackling the Qur'an. It's an ongoing project, about 2/3rds done, translated into contemporary American English, and illuminated with scenes from American life. The pages resemble parts of the Book of Kells and Persian miniatures. The calligraphy is graffiti style. Eventually it will be published in book form, but for now the gallery is exhibiting the framed pages.
There's also a life-sized ceramic ATM machine (a frequent image in the paintings) next to the gallery desk. (image at top)
through October 31st
- - - - - - -
Modernism, 685 Market (near 3rd), Suite 290
In the front room is Jerry Kearns' "Paleface" - big, fun paintings of a ghostly christ-like American hero in all the classic roles. My favorite: the pairing with a satanic Keith Richards.
In the back room is the gallery's 30th anniversary show, work by Le Courbsier, Malevich, Valmier, Masson, et al, and some early African wood pieces.
through Oct. 31st
right: George Valmier, "Main a la bouteille", 1931 gouache on paper, 14" x 11"
- - - - -
Haines Gallery, 49 Geary
"Samalada": Chinese photographer, Adou, shows large format silver gelatin prints of people and places in his native Sichuan Province. The series title is a direct translation of the local name for Da Liang Mountain, a barren area bordered by rivers and mountains. The images are moody, atmospheric (he used expired film) and mysterious.
through Oct. 17th
- - - - - --
Stephen Wolf Fine Arts, 49 Geary, SF
Local photographer Jo Babcock's "Past Life Picturesque" - pinhole cameras (handmade from found objects) and low-key, witty assemblage installations of same (installation shots above).
Nicholas Knight, "Taking Pictures"
Photos of people taking photos of pictures, in galleries and museums.
through Oct. 10
- - - - -
Toomey Tourell Fine Arts, 49 Geary
Brian Dettmer's, "New Mixed Medium" - incredible, layered sculptures carved and constructed from illustrated books. The best of this genre that I've ever seen. Most work made from books strikes me as book abuse, but Dettmer's work really elevates and transcends the materials.
Great Images on the artist's Flickr stream!
Through Sept 30th
Monday, September 7, 2009
If you are familiar with Ventura, you know of what I speak. If you are not--well, heaven awaits, in the form of the ocean, all those charming California bungalows, a mural of gigantic poppies and another of Monarch butterflies at an arts center, a lively farmers market in Ojai, with cheeses and chocolates that make you glad to be alive, the best thrift stores EVER on Main St., a wonderful coffee house called Palermo Cafe, where you can sit and write and write and write for hours on two cups of coffee (and everyone is very nice, and there is a WiFi password, besides), and and and. Not to mention the company. I am in love with Ventura.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I was walking downtown and came across a painted utility box. It was this one:
The city of Santa Cruz also has a similar wonderful program whereby artists are invited to use the ugly, putty-colored utility boxes as their canvases, and the utility boxes became these colorful, beautiful and/or funny and/or interesting landmarks throughout the city. The painted boxes changed my experience of waiting at traffic signals.
We are changing the world, all of us, every artist, every arts champion, we are changing the world, we are making it a better and more beautiful place, one step at a time, one utility box at a time.
P.S. I was also told San Diego has painted utility boxes.
A clever pun from the SF MOMA BLog: Reports are coming in that the Bay Bridge might stay closed due to a crack. Since this news is less than stellar we wanted to share something bridge related that is, shall we say, very STELLA. Come see the work in person by taking BART (Montgomery Station).
Between 1909 and 1912, Stella traveled in Italy and France and discovered the formal and thematic innovations of the European avant-garde. His new work glorified the industrial prowess of the U.S. Foremost among his subjects was the Brooklyn Bridge, rendered as a constellation of lines dramatically receding in space. Many of his pictures derive their compositions from Renaissance altarpieces, but substitute modern architecture for sacred figures. This choice reflects Stella's typically modernist belief that in the future technology would replace the old religions.
Read more about Joseph Stella at the SF MOMA web site.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Timothy Buckwalter: A Limited Time Offer, Free
Hey internet, I've made a limited edition chapbook of some of my text drawings. It is titled "Come Armageddon Come" and is the first in a series of 12 upcoming chapbooks. "Come Armageddon Come" (printed in a run of 25) features some bonus material.
If you want one (they are free), type your mailing address (and name) in the comment box below. Obviously the sooner the better
- Clem Crosby, Recent Paintings
- Tad Wiley, Water Log, Recent Work on Paper
- TRANSFOCUS, photographs by Tama Hochbaum, Keira Kotler, Susan Mikula, Jennah Ward, and Nina Zurier
|Clem Crosby: Garland Broken, 2009, oil on formica, 35.5 x 24.5 in.|
|Tad Wiley: Water Log 9, 2008, oil based enamel on vellum, 20 x 15 in.|
|from top: Tama Hochbaum, Keira Kotler, Susan Mikula, Jennah Ward, Nina Zurier|
Though the motifs in Ms. Morgenthau’s work vary—Americana and the wild West here, tropical paradise there, everywhere an ephemeral glimpse into a moment—the photographs illustrate life experienced in the natural world with abundant joy.
These are images that make you feel happy just to look at them: a child lying in the brilliant green grass with her dog, a lime hanging on a tree in front of a coral-pink wall, a man with a smile so beautifully bright that you feel welcomed. In the images, a personality emerges: of one who is lively and curious, of one who will introduce you to the world as a beautiful place.
Ms. Morgenthau says that grew up in a not beautiful place, in the suburbs of New Jersey, where there wasn’t much that was visually stimulating. Craving a chance to see the world, she went West to college—and found what she was seeking. “You seek out what you want,” she told me.
What Ms. Morgenthau had always wanted was to create beautiful things, even as a tiny child, and so she started making art early: painting, drawing, sculpting. Now in her photography, she still seeks that beauty, whether it be found in a smile or in a scene outdoors. Her favorites among her work show people who are happy, vibrant with good energy, framed by (or maybe somehow interacting with) a beautiful landscape.
Sometimes it takes patience:
I love that high desert landscape, and I go there and hang out and wait for the good light. . . .you can’t count on good light. . . Fishing is a good metaphor. You can wait and wait and wait, and think it’s going to be perfect, and then the sun goes down, and it turns to muck. It helps to be patient.In many of the pictures, there’s what I think of as a painterly effect in the use of intense, clean color, which gives a stronger voice to the image. Ms. Morgenthau says she tries to take a simple approach:
When things look cheesy. . . . it’s often because they are fake . . . . There’s enough beauty going on in the world without having to overdo it. I take advantage of beautiful vivid colors, like the lime tree and the red house in Mexico.
I used to shoot black and white in the days of film, but as clients demanded more color and we move to being more digital, you just have to be really careful about what you choose. If there is color, it has to be beautiful color.
I wondered whether Ms. Morgenthau sees the world differently than other people. Her response was that she doesn’t believe she does, but that she takes the time to look at what is there:
A lot of people don’t, and aren’t aware of their settings, they become aware only if it’s drop dead gorgeous and blasts them in the face.This view of the tiny beautiful details that make up the world seeps into every aspect of her life:
We’re only here for a short time, and we take advantage of what’s around us, we’re open to different opportunities, not just visually, but when you’re more aware of your surroundings, you can’t not care about what’s going on around you. Being an artist, you have an opportunity to make change because of what you’re aware of and it’s really hard to ignore, the good and the bad.And that truly is what art does for us, isn't it, that it wakes us up, it shows us different views of humanity and of the world, and it makes us think about what happens, and it makes us aware of ourselves, and it ignites all kinds of transformations, from the tiny ones that occur in our inner landscapes that become the great changes in our lives, and so that maybe we shift direction, and when enough of us shift in that way, the greater effect might be a change for the good in the world.
[photographs by Nicole Morgenthau.]
Thursday, September 3, 2009
(Photograph by Nicole Morgenthau, about whom there is much more to come.)
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
“Art museum” might not be the first term that comes to mind when thinking of the Exploratorium. However, the Exploratorium accurately describes itself as “a museum of science, art, and human perception.” Many of the exhibits are actually interactive, multimedia art exhibits. And since art intersects with science so well (think the science of color; the chemical properties of paint; the effects of perspective), it’s actually the perfect place for viewing art and for getting inspired for your own art projects.
It’s also a place of great opportunity for artists: they encourage applications for artist residencies of varying lengths. Here is just a bit of information from the “artist opportunities” page of their website:
“We are looking for artists to conduct research and create work in a variety of media - sculpture, film, video, performance, photography, sound, and installation - to potentially, but not necessarily, augment our large-scale thematically-based exhibitions. These projects take the form of both self-directed and project-based residencies.”
One of the special art exhibits currently at the Exploratorium is Reflections. Reflections is the work of New York-based interactive artist Daniel Rozin, who “creates installations and sculptures that have the unique ability to change and respond to the presence and point of view of the viewer. In many cases ‘you’ are the content of the piece and in others you are invited to take an active role in its creation.”
This fascinating, interactive exhibit demonstrates many ways of seeing ourselves and our surroundings. One of my favorite pieces in the exhibit is the “snow mirror.” As you stand in front of the transparent silk screen in a darkened room, “snowflakes” begin to fall and gather on your image, as if you were building a values study with white chalk on black paper, yet constantly moving… too hard to explain! You just have to experience it. But don’t wait too long; the last day to see Rozin’s Reflections is September 20.
Go for the inspiration, and who knows-- you may come away with enough ideas to apply for an Exploratorium residency yourself!