Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Best Eclectic Shopping in the San Francisco Bay Area

Eclectix is all about eclectic - with something for just about everyone on your list. One stop shopping with artful, one-of-a-kind, unique and different gifts. Specializing in recycled, green and locally handmade. New & vintage: clothes, jewelry, kid’s stuff, Mid-Century, furniture, Elvis items, lamps, Day of the Dead, housewares, Isabel Samaras, Tiki items. Fun and strange, Tim Burton, lava lights, rock and roll, Emily the Strange, cards, Mark Ryden, lunchboxes, Hi-Fructose, folk art and masks. Art-related items galore...
And the two galleries exhibit creative, exciting, alternative fine art; really worth the trip! They are chock full of great original art and prints, starting at just $35.00 and up.

Here is just a tiny bit of the specific gifts EclectiXmas has to offer:
Warm, vintage wool coats with satin linings, perfect condition for that fashionable woman. Guitar pick earrings. "Accordian Babe" locally made calendars for that musician dude. A Robert Crumb "Devil Girl" lunchbox for the comic lover. Beautiful 1950's table top lamps. Tattoo design onesies for the hip little baby in your life. A Michael Jackson candle to light on New Year's Eve. Soaps sculpted into little hands for the dirty. A set of vintage crystal martini glasses for the couple that needs a housewarming gift. Miriam Wosk, Camille Rose Garcia, Rolling Stone, Todd Schorr, Annie Leibowitz and Eric Joyner art books for that artist friend. Hand made, artisan fine jewelry. A Fender jazz bass scale model for your desk. Hand painted skeleton plates & figures from Mexico for folk art collectors. Pirate and Cupcake bandages stocking stuffers for little ragamuffins. A 1940's rhinestone and jet Art Deco style necklace for New Year's Eve. Or a "Boss Lady" re-cycled shopper. A set of Caran d'Ache pencils for the doodler. A pair of 1950's china pink cows for the collector. Hand painted Frida tables for the Frida Kahlo fan. Silk scarves of every color for anyone. A "Tweet" artist tee for the Twitter fan. Pool ball ornaments. An emerald green silk dress from the 1960's for that holiday party... or a striped skinny tie from the 1950's, all cleaned & pressed, ready to wear. And there is so much more!
By shopping Eclectix you help support local the local art & business community. Skip the mall, keep the X in your Xmas and make it an EclectiXmas!

Eclectix Store & Gallery
10082 San Pablo Ave. El Cerrito, CA
(just north of Berkeley, at Central Ave.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bay Area Townie: Miz Jennybird Alcantara's Art

I've been following Jennybird's art for at least 6 years (it just keeps getting better) and over the last few it has matured, really coming into it's own. Her work is quite arresting, full of vivid, deep colors, exploding symbolic imagery and expertly rendered. Why she hasn't gotten more recognition, is beyond me, she certainly deserves to be "up there" with the bigger Newbrow names. Maybe it's because she doesn't cater to the "half-naked-adolescent-girl-with-big-breasts" stereotype (yawn) or maybe because the old boy network is too busy patting itself on the back, to notice other artists anymore. Regardless, her art cranks. Varnish Gallery recently had a nice big solo of her works and it was breathtaking.
Her images are often part animal, part human - anthropomorphic compositions of union and conflict. Her creatures are often characterized with a side profile, just one eye is revealed, much like a whale's gaze. It has reminded me of illustrator Janet Woolley's early collage work.
Jennybird's compositions call to mind a spiritual side, arranged mandala-like and symmetrical, somehow reminiscent of Tibetan Buddhist art. They have an other-worldly feel, almost underwater in the way the images are suspended, floating ethereal, submerged and dis-connected. Mix this with the influence of vintage, anatomical science text illustrations, her wonderfully saturated hues, juxtapositions of animal & human life, symbols of life & death and end result is that of an apocalyptic, yet painfully beautiful panoramic narrative.
Jennybird also creates outlandish dolls with masterful aplomb. Some are mutant hybrids with insect limbs or wings spouting forth where arms might have been. With beautiful textiles, soft cottons, fun & furry hair-dos and shiny notions; the artist lures us past the darker side of a severed limb to experience beauty. So what if she has three breasts or eyes? So what if her intestines are on the outside looking in? Sure, her veins may be erupting outside of her skin but they are intricate, lacy veins waterfalling down a broken arm with painterly grace and abandon. And maybe her feet are on backwards but they're groovy in lace-up Victorian boots. Literally wearing her heart on her sleeve, it is surrounded by "satin n' tat" and who could do better than that?

Jennybird currently has two large dolls for sale, in the "All Dolled Up" exhibit at Eclectix Gallery. Try to see them in person, they are well worth the trip. Showing thru November 29th, 2009.