Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Richmond Arts Center Holdiay Festival

The Richmond Arts Center has everthing for your special holiday shopping - from art to textiles to custom made chocolate - and be sure to check out the silent auction. They have a custom made Vampire box for sale. Get that winning bid in!

Alexander James. Custom made vampire box. Wooden stake crosses - everything you need to deal with any inopportune fangers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

3 Fish by the Beach

Eric Rewitzer of 3 Fish Studios

3 Fish Studios recently moved from Dogpatch to my 'hood, the Outer Sunset - 4541 Irving Street (at 47th Ave). They took over an old grocery store space and have really made it work for them - it's so perfect as an art studio/gallery that you can't imagine it as anything else. After walking by several times and not finding them open, I lucked out today. Both Eric (the primary printmaker) and Annie (the primary painter) were there. They welcomed me and my nephew, Dylan, showed us around the place and made me an espresso. My first thought was "what a gorgeous, inspiring place for a couple of artists to work."

My next thought, was, "are these (Eric's prints) woodcuts or linocuts?" They have some characteristics of both, and they reminded me of Tom Killion's woodcut images of local landscapes. Eric talked about his admiration for Killion's work and his experimentation with color throughout the run, as well as second editions with recut color blocks.

Eric's imagery is pure, concentrated San Francisco: the bridges, the industrial waterfront, the skyline, the icons. Even the landscapes have an edgier feel. That's Eric at top, with a bridge print on the press and a couple of Godzilla in SF prints on the back wall. Annie's paintings cover the same territory, but with a painterly esthetic. Their prices are really affordable, for paintings, prints and classes.

They teach classes in the evening and have a flexible schedule in the studio. Drop by if you're in the neighborhood, or call for an appointment if you're coming just to see them.

3 Fish Studios
4541 Irving Street (at 47th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94122

Friday, November 2, 2012

Making Synchronicity out of Random Noise

Yesterday afternoon I visited the members' preview of the new 4th floor shows at SFMOMA: Jasper Johns, Jay DeFeo, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. In that order. The Jasper Johns show was nice. Colorful, tactile, fun - the etchings were great - I definitely want to get back to see those again. Body silhouettes with lots of numbers, letters, & patterns. The perfect visual appetizer. On my way through the "tunnel" to the DeFeo exhibit, I noticed a wild "sculpture" on the western deck - it looked like an antennae. (I forgot about it, but it came back to me later.)

The DeFeo show unfolds like Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. The first room is discordant, unfocused. Then structure appears, in her monumental canvas & paint period, and you know this is a unique, true force. In the third "movement" she stretches out, exploring photography, collage, form, and line; building on distant themes. Then emotion is unleashed in the fourth and final section. Some of them reminded me of Betty Theodore's work. "Spark of the Gods" shines from the final, small-in-size, paintings; completed right before she died. (The image here is her portrait of a wounded, dying pigeon, that she cared for in her own final days.) I reentered the world, still stunned, on the fourth floor landing.

The entrance to Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's installation, "Frequency and Volume" was in front of me, so I wandered in, to see a glass cubicle full of what appeared to be sound editing equipment and 18 transistor radios. OK, moving on . . . the next room was dark (black) except for a single white (projected light) wall. On moving into the room, I saw my own silhouette on the white wall. Thinking of Kara Walker, I started posing and creating shifting tableaux with the other occupants of the room. The seemingly random noises and words/numbers on our silhouettes suddenly snapped into alignment and I realized that I was a dial on a radio receiver - moving side to side changed the frequency and moving forward & back changed the volume. Each person occupied a different frequency band. Then I remembered the antenna I'd seen earlier. I kept going back to the "Space to Earth" frequency, rocking back and forth in an audible volume and thinking about the connections between these three shows.