Friday, May 27, 2011

American Iconomics at Shooting Gallery, WeekEnd Pick

The works of Akira Beard and James Charles are up at the Shooting Gallery in San Francisco thru June 4th. This is a sold show with two interesting and talented artists, well worth  a visit this holiday weekend. The show is aptly titled "American Iconomics" and features faces of America, some famous and some not.

Akira's works have been featured here before on Eclectix - they are deftly painted and drawn portraits, many with writing, on journal paper, complete with wrinkles and tears. The frames have been wonderfully splashed with dripping paint adding to the grunge feel of  his works. A gritty and moving ambiance saturates Akira's works with a very human compassion and appreciation. I have seen many, many portraits of Keith Richards over the years and Akira's is by far the best of the lot. He really captures the weathered skin and character with a masterful result. These pieces really need to be viewed in person, the rubbed and smudged skin tones and the bleeding watercolors are just fantastic.

James Charles - overview of just a few...
James Charles works are witty, satirical and sometimes irreverent portraits drawn and painted on actual US currency. The title of the subject/image is hand lettered at the bottom of each bill, meticulously crafted in the same font style as the original lettering. For instance - the lettering on one of Bush read "War Criminal". He has many images in this show, do to their smaller size, a lot can be packed onto one wall without being over crowded. They are fun and interesting works within a really creative platform.

My favorites were the Jimi Hendrix, Iggy Pop and the Tin Man as "Heavy Metal". There was even one there of the curator himself,  Justin Giarla. Most of the portraits are monochrome matching the dollar color scheme but a few have added touches of brilliant color. Nice collection and exhibit. For all the images at the gallery's website click here.

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