When an artist works with patterns- repositioning, repurposing and giving new context to his or her subjects- it is often in the interest of creating more from less, big from small. It’s a way of demonstrating a well-worn flavor of creative vision, one that lets the world know that you not only can see the unseen, but you can create the bridge between that which exists, and that which, as of yet, does not. It’s a way of asserting how smart you are (after all you’re a step ahead of everyone else). This is a good way to be. But it doesn’t take that much effort to be smart, to see the bigger picture. For many of us, it’s really just a matter of opening our eyes. What’s really special -what separates the thinkers from the human computers- is the ability to really understand your subject. And that’s something that takes time and effort, not some abstract, bullshit self-assertion of ‘creative vision’. What’s really special is to use pattern to go inward instead of outward. To demonstrate not how one thing is actually a part of something else, but how certain elements make something not like something else. To highlight how some things are just inherently the way they are.
Take Ron Ulicny’s recent work on view at Spoke Art in San Francisco: clever sculpture and belligerently patterned works that force you to really absorb the materials from which they’re made. Ulicny’s technique finds a way of getting inside the things that we usually use to make other things. A way of finding the small structures within the already small. Forced to confront his subjects in such a direct way, we begin to feel strangely acquainted with the work.
Tonight, FFDG in San Francisco opens Sylvia Ji‘s first solo show with the gallery, “Interwoven” (reception 7-10). Some of these new acrylic paintings on wood seem to expand on the more pattern-based elements of her previous work, inspired by Mexican textiles. The artist’s haunting female figures are present as well and look great as Ji continues to push her brushwork to new levels. These paintings deserve to be seen in person, so get over to Mission St. if you can tonight, where Ji will also be releasing a new print.
The work of Mexican artist Curiot is still on display at FFDG in San Francisco. If you find yourself around those parts and have not yet seen the exhibition, then fear not- you still have three days to roll through. Age of Omuktlans closes this Saturday. I would get there before then if I were you. Curiot’s technique is looking pretty solid with this new batch of paintings that allude to Mexican traditions (geometric designs, Day of the Dead styles, myths and legends, and tribal tinges). His characters seem to exist outside of time, and possess so much magnetism that the artist’s compositions maintain a certain vibrancy even in the absence of any background elements. Spring is here, and these works express a lot of the churning, dynamic forces coming into play outdoors right now. Rain or shine, Curiot seems to have a handle on the natural dynamics constantly at play around us. And if you can’t make it to the SF institution’s IRL location, click past the jump to see more images from the show.
Both artist’s work share an obtuse unearthly charm as a common language, and their work promises to have an energetic and productive conversation in their upcoming exhibition.
Great show up at FFDG in San Francisco right now. Eric Shaw and Henry Gunderson spent a couple weeks on the beast coast cooking up some vibey abstractions for us and now they’re ready to be seen! Both artist’s works definitely play off each other really nicely, and if you’re out in SF, this one is not to be missed. See more from the show below.
SF dude Jesse Balmer makes drawings and other illustrative works with a comics/animation sensibility and fantasied/mythologically scaled subject matter. Balmer’s characters and good sense of motion make these works really awesome, but it’s his linework that really steals the show. The fluid curves and solid hatching on these are drool-worthy. He’s also been known to use a red and blue “3D” effect in his drawings which pops off really nicely. Put on a bib and take in more of Balmer’s vibed-out work after the jump.
Where to start with Jay Howell? The legendary laidbacksman and zinester, recently relocated to Los Angeles by way of San Francisco, seems to have taken good vibes to every corner of every creative cul de sac. Howell, who participated in the group show “Supply and Demand” at Brooklyn’s House of Vans early this fall, works his quirky, character-driven vision onto all available formats. His trademark dudes, rockers, and big-breasted babes have graced gallery walls, skate decks, apparel, original cartoons, original “nickelodeon cartoons”, album covers (he has serious ties to the musical community), and public spaces. Sometimes it feels like he has a message, but then you kind of wonder whether it’s really reflected in his work or not. And then you’re just like, dude, who cares?
Tomorrow night Guerrero Gallery opens their 7th show with a solo presentation of long time BD favorite Aaron Noble, and a project space offering from tinkerer of texts, Greg Lamarche. More images and proper info below.