Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Killer Exhibit Announcement, Art by Ray Caesar

After blogging the Mark Ryden exhibit card, I decided this card had to be shared as well. The image is by one of my favorite newbrow artists out there - the maestro Ray Caesar. Don't you just love this swanky, tentacled lady? It is for the upcoming exhibit "Art From The New World", in Bristol, England.
This show is jam packed with greats. For more of Ray's other worldly art, click here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Art Date in Emeryville, 2nd Annual Science Fiction & Fantasy Art Exhibit

For all you locals out there, this is a quick stop worth making. J.B. Lowe threw together a dynamic, eclectic array of local art at the winery Periscope Cellars in Emeryville. Some are familiar from Eclectix shows and some are new discoveries.
When I first went to a show here, years ago, I was floored by the three paintings of JB's that he had done for Periscope promotions. (Above and below)
One of J.B.'s newer works (above), from a triptych of skeletons - just as engaging.

Nemo Gould also had quite a few of his killer kinetic works here. (above) These are so much better viewed in person, as much is lost in a static photo. (more on Nemo)

Kevin Evans anthropomorphic work was the next show stopper. (above)

A groovy series of steampunk skeleton sculptures by Blair Clark captured under bell jars. (above)
The ever prolific Nicolas Caesar had a few, this pink bunny-bot pair was my fave. (above)

Lastly, the carved paintings by Sharon Eisley were fantastic. They would have fit well in the "For The Birds" exhibit. All in all, beautiful works and a really nice slice of newbrow art to experience here in the East Bay. Go!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mark Ryden, "Old Tyme Art Show" Exhibit Invitation

When I got this invite in the mail, just had to share. How beautious! Only Ryden could afford this kind of exhibition announcement. At least someone can, right? It's wonderful to see an artist get the attention they deserve, while they are still alive... The invite is a little triptych altar, it folds out to stand up with three panels of art. It is gilded with an intricate gold frame around the edges and it just makes me want to pray to his meat goddess.

Here's a link to a great little time lapse video of Mark painting the piece "Incarnation" for the show.

"The Gay 90's Old Tyme Art Show" opens April 29th at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York. It will be there until June 5th, so go - if you are that lucky!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gettin' Real and HyperReal at the San Jose Museum of Art

Just can't say enough good stuff about the consistently solid shows this museum produces. They put all the other "contemporary" museums in the Bay Area to shame. Currently up is the "Real and HyperReal" show with illusionist artists - Sandow Birk, Llyn Foulkes, Tino Rodriguez, and Paul Wonner. These works were fantastical, grand and surreal. I especially liked the "Third Eye", an old red door with a peephole thru which you could view a wonderful diorama of a room. Then there was the sadly-beautiful, trashed huge landscape of discarded canvases which touched the artist in me.
Next, a wall sized, beautifully sexy nude black man sitting stiffly on a white horse. And a birds eye view of a retro LA scene (By James Doolin) that had me transfixed by the minute details and incredible perspective. 
Hyperreality exists where the distinction between real and imaginary implodes and neither subject can be quantified or defined as "real," because the anchor, or signifier, can no longer be identified.
There are also two non- painting, installations by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin, that were not exactly my cup of tea, but they may be yours. This show is definitely one to see and you can check out the always great, Wayne Thiebaud exhibit as well.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A JellyBelly Mona Lisa, A Step-By-Step With Artist, Kristen Cumings

Local artist Kristen shares some experience and a step-by-step photo history of her latest JellyBelly adventure. Making the Mona Lisa out of jellybeans! Almost edible if it wasn't for the spray mount... For a cool look at this masterpiece redux and the sticky process details, check out the Eclectix site blog here: eclectix etc.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dante Horoiwa's "Indoctrination" at Anno Domini Gallery, San Jose

Visited the fabulous Anno Domini gallery on Saturday, to see their current show of works by Dante Horoiwa. They were flown in from Brazil, a big thanks to AD for footing the bill, it is a very solid solo show.

Most of Dante's works are dark in hue and they were dimly lit in the gallery, almost as if one were in a monastery. Dante's art is truly international and eclectic. Staring at his works - so many influences seem to flood forward. From Spanish mural styles to today's newbrow street art, Japanese design aesthetics, early sacred Hispanic works and native costumes. In the end- "Native American surreal" comes to me. The images were subdued, ethereal and almost like a visit to mid evil times. My favorite was "Distracted We" a gorgeous, somewhat abstract woman in tribal op-art dress with a rooster on her head. She seems serene, all-knowing, stoned, spiritual and sensuous - all at the same time. Just couldn't get enough of her. A wondrous and haunting body of work.

“What I´m trying to express is some kind of ‘invisible insistence,’ invisible forces that are around us, things that lead us to a blindness and a lack of comprehension. It makes us drown all of our intuition and instinct into the things that makes us feel comfortable enough to forget our own imperfections, anesthetizing our existence, our individuality as a being...the invisible insistence that devours our means to grow.
~ Dante Horoiwa
The gallery itself is a great space, an old theater complete with stage. The marquis out front sports the gallery name, as well as the current exhibit. A great concept- how many visual artists get to see their name on an actual theater marquis? Brian, one of the gallery directors and a very nice guy, was rather proud to point this out. A warm and welcoming venue, with a well trained eye, for alternative arts here in the Bay Area.
"Indoctrination" has been extended to show thru April 24th, so get down to Anno Domini to see it, quick. Also, on view and well worth seeing is "Cloud Empire" by Dimitri Drjuchin, more to come on this artist.
Anno Domini, 366 South First Street
(btwn San Carlos & San Salvador) San Jose, CA 95113

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wanda Exhibit, New Works by Kurtis Rykovich at Kaleid Gallery, San Jose

Made it down to San Jose's Kaleid Gallery to see Kurtis Rykovich's new works, "Wanda". A heartfelt homage to his mother and the victims of breast cancer, this was a personal and emotional exhibit. I was very, very moved by the artworks and scrawled notations on the walls next to each painting. Kurtis's work had one dedicated wall in the gallery space which he painted it a loose pastel green, complete with roller paths and drips. It gave a nice contrasting edge to the primarily pink and white palette of his works. The works themselves were wonderful, sad but beautifully haunting with happy memories.
From Kurtis:
" I hope that when these paintings are viewed that they are not blunt about the disease but show a beauty and respect for those that might be going or have gone through this war."
His goal was achieved and then some; the care, tenderness and thought behind the art is obvious. These beautiful women and symbolic cures float graceful and strong in their netherworlds of hope.

The "Wanda" show is up thru April 30th, try to get down to see it. Take a gurlfriend or your mom. :)
Kaleid Gallery
Kurtis has shown in a number of Eclectix exhibits, as well a solo show "Delicate". For more of his works, visit the site here: Eclectix Available Art

Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Record Album Day! Today!

Yup, that's right folks, today is National Record Album Day. First I've heard of it but hey, a great excuse to re-visit some vintage rock and roll album covers and other related music art. It was SO HARD to pick just a few to feature, so much great art out there in vinyl land. Just Bowie's or the Dead's covers are enough to fill a quality art book by themselves!
Apparently, small record stores everywhere are having special events, so check out your area. There are links at the bottom of this post for more info and local stores. Take some time to support your local indie record store this week-end, buy that record you've always wanted! Or think ahead and get your mom a groovy disk for Mother's day.

David Bowie "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars"
The cover photograph was taken outside furriers, K. West, at 23 Heddon Street London, W1. The rear cover of the original vinyl album bore the instruction "TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME", however this was omitted from the EMI 1999 re-release. In interviews, Bowie has said that the real-life inspiration for Ziggy was chiefly Vince Taylor, though the lyrics hint at Jimi Hendrix ("played it left hand ... jiving us that we were voodoo") and the character was likely a composite. Bowie claimed that the name came from a tailor's shop in London called Ziggy's. "Stardust" comes from one of Bowie's labelmates, a country singer named Norman Carl Odam, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy.  - from Wikipedia
The title wording on the front cover is an ambigram; it can also be read as "American Reality". From NY Times: Artist of the 1960s Rock Counterculture

Patti Smith "Horses" by Robert Mapplethorpe
Some info on the cover photography and an interview with Patti, here: Robert Mapplethorpe

Nirvana "In Utero", Cover art by Robert Fisher
The title was taken from a poem written by Courtney Love. Most of the ideas for the artwork for the album and related singles came from Cobain. Fisher recalled that "[Cobain] would just give me some loose odds and ends and say 'Do something with it.'" In the US, retail chain stores Wal-Mart and Kmart refused to sell the album. According to The New York Times, Wal-Mart claimed it did not carry the album due to lack of consumer demand, while Kmart representatives explained that the album "didn't fit within our merchandise mix". In truth, both chains feared that customers would be offended by the artwork on the album's back cover. DGC issued a new version of the album with reworked packaging to the stores in March 1994. 

This version featured edited album artwork (took out the fetuses), and listed the name of "Rape Me" as "Waif Me". A spokesperson for Nirvana explained that the band decided to edit the packaging because as kids Cobain and Novoselic were only able to buy music from the two chain stores; as a result they "really want to make their music available to kids who don't have the opportunity to go to mom-and-pop stores".      - from Wikipedia
Los Lobos "La Pistola Y El Corazon" by George Yepes
Absolutely one of my favorite paintings of all time... Wouldn't you know it - this original is owned by Sean Penn and Madonna, great taste on this one! What other goodies do you two have on your walls?
More of Yepes art here:

And from Rolling Stone's great archives of portrait illustrations-
Bjork by Mark Ryden for Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan by Skip Liepke for Rolling Stone
Ray Charles by Philip Burke for Rolling Stone

And from Britain's Royal Mail, a series of postal stamps they issued with album cover art... pretty cool.

Wilco, MGMT, Hole Announce Record Store Day Exclusives : Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily
San Francisco:
Amoeba Music (Berkeley)
Rasputin Music (Berkeley)
Down Home Music (El Cerrito)
Mod Lang (El Cerrito)
1-2-3-4 Go! Records (Oakland)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jeff Gillette: "Dismayland" Awakes Our Apathyland

Jeff's art is the kind of home grown surreal imagery that touches the soul of this OC outcast. Along with other OC captives-turned-artists, Camille Rose Garcia, No Doubt and Social Distortion, he captures the wasteland that inspires rebellious commentary and attitude. I first became acquainted with his art thru his wife's wonderful assemblages. Won't bust their privacy here by mentioning names but they are an artist couple to be contended with, both are equally talented and fantastically creative originals in very different realms.

Part futuristic predictions of the Anaheim to come, part social commentary on the disparity between poverty and "having fun" behind the Orange Curtain, Jeff's work paints the panoramas only the real desperate housewives can relate to. He reminds us that our American  pursuits and commercialism are only enabled by the shanty town workforces in other countries. This juxtaposition of imagery drives home the results this consumerism may have in our future, a science fiction that's not too far from a non-fiction reality. With another twist, the fun and familiar cartoon images of our youth, sprinkled among the ruins, spark a warm note of nostalgia.

If I was in SoCal now I would be shaking my butt down to see this show before it's taken down. It will be up until May 1st, 2010 for all you folks in the vicinity.
Link To Gallery: