Monday, April 25, 2011

Pulp Fashion Exhibit at the Legion of Honor

The current exhibit "Pulp Fashion" at S.F.'s Legion of Honor is beautifully executed and laid out. All the costumes are created out of paper by the artist Isabelle de Borchgrave and her minions. For info and more photos of the garments, as well as some of Isabelle working, click here.
Isabelle hand-makes the paper, manipulates the pulp, stretching, crinkling and puckering. And then she tears, sews, wrinkles, folds and pleats. If you look closely you can even find the inner structures of cardboard boxes - as in one of the intricate lace collars. Spotted some shredded packing materials in there as well. Multitudes of textures abound- delicate rice papers for gauze veils and petticoats, shiny satin-like papers and matte hued thicker papers. She paints detailed patterns and backgrounds, paying historical homage to the likes of the Medici family, Coco Chanel and Marie-Antoinette. From buttons to bows, beads to lace, corsets to belts (even the coolest little Aladdin-like slippers) no detail was left out. Many of the mannequins were also layered in paper bringing a tactile uniformity to the displays. Every outfit is an incredible assemblage, really makes one wonder just how many hours it took to complete this huge collection.

Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave, 
February 5, 2011 - June 5, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In The Name Of God - Art, Censorship and Hypocrisy

Alma Lopez
In honor of the the Pagan rituals of Spring, (that were adopted by the Christians and re-named Easter), I thought a little commentary on the recent attacks on artistic freedom (and freedom in general) would be in order. Right here in our own back yard, a turmoil about art and god is a brewing... yes, even here in the wonderfully liberal Bay Area - the zealots find ways to fill their empty lives by attacking artists. This beautiful piece (above) Our Lady” by Alma Lopez, of a modern Mary is under attack. Personally, I think Mary would have been honored by the strong attitude of this woman, her body decorated in celebratory flowers and gracefully adorned within the altar. And didn't "God create" women with breasts? Oh... I could go on and on here... 

The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property  (or the Un-American Society for the Suppression of Arts, Freedom, Women and Their Breasts) has begun a campaign against Alma Lopez’s “Our Lady,” part of the Contemporary Coda exhibition that is being presented with the Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California. The group has pegged “Our Lady” as blasphemous for portraying Our Lady of Guadalupe in a bikini, held aloft by a topless woman angel, and has urged the museum to remove it. The Oakland Museum of California has stated that it will remain in the show. The group will hold a protest in front of the museum on Saturday, May 21. Let's get out there and show our support, we can be proud of our art and our bodies.

On Saturday, April 30, the Oakland Museum of California will hold a panel discussion on Art, Religion, and Censorship. Alma Lopez is slated to participate.

"Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest and Contemporary Coda" will be on view until May 29th.

Andres Serrano

On another front; recently on Saturday April 16th, 2011, in Avignon, France, the warm, glowing photograph by Andres Serrano, titled "Piss Christ" (above) was attacked yet again.

"... on Palm Sunday morning, four people in sunglasses aged between 18 and 25 entered the exhibition just after it opened at 11am. One took a hammer out of his sock and threatened the guards with it. A guard grabbed another man around the waist but within seconds the group managed to take a hammer to the plexiglass screen and slash the photograph with another sharp object, thought to be a screwdriver or ice-pick. They also smashed another work, which showed the hands of a meditating nun.
The gallery director, Eric M├ęzil, said it would reopen with the destroyed works on show "so people can see what barbarians can do". He said there had been a kind of "inquisition" against the art work.
Serrano defended his photograph as a criticism of the "billion-dollar Christ-for-profit industry" and a "condemnation of those who abuse the teachings of Christ for their own ignoble ends". It was vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a Serrano show in Sweden in 2007."  - from The GuardianUK
From "Shooting the Klan", an interview with the artist - 
" I am not a heretic. I like to believe that rather than destroy icons, I make new ones."
Attacks on art (and humans) have occurred through-out history in the name of religion and God. The hypocrisy of these acts never ceases to amaze me and further my rejection of any organized religion. At the basis of these acts is fear, fear of the unknown, fear of different beliefs and fear of things they don't understand- basically ignorance. Is the religious right so insecure in their own beliefs that they can be so threatened by a piece of art? The answer is yes. It is so sad that fear can rule people's lives and instigate them to attack or abuse others, limit perspectives and freedoms and imprison themselves in their own narrow world.
Tolerance and education are the keys to peace in a civilized society. You don't have to "like" or agree with every piece of art, there is room for all in this world. Sometimes, educating oneself on the artist's intent will open up a whole new world of understanding and clear up rash misunderstandings. There is so much beauty, fun and food for thought in iconic and religious art, modern and traditional, why not enjoy it all?

Shawn Barber

Paul Fryer

Skot Olsen

Paul Fryer

Lady Gaga

Max Ernst

Clovis Trouille

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New James Jean Works, in Los Angeles Thru April 30th

We peeked into the Martha Otero Gallery in LA for James Jean's new exhibit, titled "Rebus". 
From the web - "rebus (Latin: "by things") is a kind of word puzzle that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words. The term rebus also refers to the use of a pictogram to represent a syllabic sound."

Hadn't been to this gallery before, it is a nice space kinda tucked away on Fairfax, right above Melrose. James had painted most of the walls, before installing his works, with a wonderful light whimsy of free flowing organic narratives. The images made me feel like I was in Tolkien's hobbit land. Most of the large paintings are more abstract and symbolic; less representational than his prior works. They crossed over into a wonderful, dreamlike surrealism with a more ambiguous nature; a daring and ballsy exhibit, straying far from his more commercial earlier works.

Of the paintings, the mainly black and white -"Recumbent" (below) was my favorite by far, a masterpiece of sensuous smears of paint and emotions.

The drawings (below) were our overall favorites from the show, we stood in front of them for a good long time and enjoyed every errant graphite stroke. They had a warmer, fun freedom the paintings didn't convey. The show is up thru the end of April, 2011, so check it out if you can. 

For all the pictures from the gallery click here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Eclectix Volume 7 On "Paper & Art"

Paper & Art
Eclectix, Volume 7
This issue is all about paper and art. Torn, sliced and/or diced. Books, sheets, cardboard, scrolls and objects. Glued, molded,  drawn on, folded, collaged and sculpted.

For the ongoing exhibition and gallery click here. 
For new homepage related posts, updated weekly, click here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our Top Picks From "Light/Dark" at the Berkeley Art Center

Eclectix visited the packed opening of "Light/Dark" at the Berkeley Art Center. There are a large number of really nice pieces in this show, we selected only our favorites here. ( Of course, favorites are once again edited by the ability to get a good photo.) From the Center's info for the show - "Chosen from a submission pool of nearly 100 members of the California Society of Printmakers and selected by renowned Bay Area printmaker Enrique Chagoya, this exhibition features 53 works from 53 artists encompassing a range of styles and approaches based in the print medium." There were images representing almost all printmaking techniques - etchings, woodblocks, mono prints, lithographs, silkscreens and so much more. This eclectic and worth-seeing show is up thru May 29th, check the website for hours.

Artists Exhibiting: David Avery, Peter Baczek, Priscilla Birge, Karen Brussat Butler, Gary Comoglio, Noriko Constant, Jessica Dunne, Beth Fein, Peter Foley, Barbara Foster, Linda Fribley, Dan Harrison, Art Hazelwood, Maj Britt Hilstrom, Nif Hodgson, Jack Jacobson, Elizabeth Jameson, Debra Jewel, Mike Kimball, K. Kuster, Dixie Laws, Anthony Lazorko, Peter Leone McCormick, Roberta Loach, Leslie Lowinger, Janet Mackaig, Valerie Magee, Maggie Malloy, Luz Marina Ruiz, Barbara Milman, Julia Nelson-Gal, Russell Pachman, Adam Pitt, Carrie Ann Plank, Pat Prosek, Jenny Robinson, Deborah Sibony, Robynn Smith, Maryly Snow, Sylvia Solochek Walters, Herlinde Spahr, Barbara Strikker, Toru Sugita, Elizabeth Tana, Susana Terrell, Jerry Theobald, Susan Trubow, Fran Valesco, Katherine Venturelli, Peter Villasenor, Mark Welschmeyer, George Woodward, Mark Zaffron.