Fecaface.com has posted a new interview with Matthew Palladino following his solo show with Park Life last month. Expect big things from this kid.
Image: Stay Out of the Rose Garden (Body pile), 2008
Jul 25, 2008
Jul 5, 2008
SF Chron, Saturday, July 5, 2008I can't remember getting so much entertainment out of an art review. The Bay Area's one and only big-time art critic takes on the masses. Personally, I think Kenneth Baker is a dinosaur, offering no insight or relevance for at least the last decade. But when he takes the tact that Chihuly's work "isn't art...but,...decoration..." and calls for the ousting of the De Young Director he really commits himself, which is rare for art writers. It's a given that Chihuly is to glass what Thomas Kincade is to paint, but I can't believe what a friggin snob Baker comes off as. Do yourself a favor and read the comments at the end of the article.
Jun 7, 2008
The SF Weekly gave us Best No Brow Art Gallery and Bookstore
Park Life is a quirky independent bookstore and gallery (and publisher, and gift store, andandand) in the Inner Richmond. All merchandise in this funky little store is carefully and lovingly chosen. From books on outsider artist Henry Darger, recent offerings from the likes of Barry McGee, Marcel Dzama, and Kota Ezawa, to Holga and fish-eye cameras and goofy David Shrigley postcard sets, Park Life covers the wide array of your arts-lovin' needs. And with the ever-humble goal of bringing affordable art to the community, owners Jamie Alexander and Derek Song at the very least make contemporary art accessible and fun.
May 31, 2008
Gary Panter will be @ Park Life to sign his new book on June 28th.
ABout the book:
An intimate look at the work and life of a legendary artist. Gary Panter has been one of the most influential figures in visual culture since the mid-1970s. From his era-defining punk graphics to his cartoon icon Jimbo to his visionary design for Pee-wee's Playhouse, he has left his mark on every medium he's touched. Working in close collaboration with the artist, PictureBox has assembled the definitive volume on Panter's work from the early 1970s to the present. This monumental, slipcased set is split into two 350-page volumes. The first is a comprehensive monograph featuring over 700 images of paintings, drawings, sculptures, posters and comics, alongside essays by Robert Storr, Mike Kelley, Richard Klein, Richard Gehr, Karrie Jacobs and Byron Coley, as well a substantial commentary by the artist himself. The second volume features a selection from Panter's sketchbooks--the site of some of his most audacious work--most of which has never been published in any form.
Details to follow.
May 30, 2008
Everyone knows there is a dearth of relevant arts coverage in the Bay Area (especially in print..I still can't believe that Kenneth Baker is the apex of art reviewing in SF.)
Well here are a few art sites that fill some holes:
plus a great new art calendar that is pretty comprehensive...it looks like they may be adding more content at some point as well.
May 15, 2008
There are some real nice works up for the release of the newest Hot and Cold Zine at the Luggage Store Gallery here in SF. The zine is solid per usual. Stand outs for the show are works by Tucker Nichols, Jason Jagel and Paul Wackers. Especially the Wackers piece (pictured). (All three of these works are still available, inexplicably)
the luggage store
1007 market street
san francisco, ca 94103
tel. 1. 415. 255-5971
gallery hours: wednesday-saturday, 12-5pm
I recently saw the new Ryan McGinley show at Ratio 3 in SF. Pretty amazing work. He has to be on the short list for best photographers of his generation. The bigger pieces really stand out ( isn't that always the case) Though I'm not sure I would want to live with one of these pieces on my home...one of his friends, naked, on a field trip, jumping around. Almost sold out show too, but don't ask for any pricing info...gallery is snobby.
May 13, 2008
Tucker is also in Residence at the De Young;
Tucker Nichols: Into The Museum
de Young Museum, San Francisco
January – May, 2008
Closing reception: Friday, May 30, 6:30–8:30PM
Artist talk in conversation with Griff Williams: 7:15PM
Apr 29, 2008
Dan Colen and Nate Lowman’s collaboration at Maccarone has the look of now. Which is to say their show is a self-conscious pastiche of Warhol, Cady Noland’s junked-up approach, Richard Prince, quasi-slacker neo-punk, scuzz, stock ideas about mass culture, appropriation, assemblage and a sort of car-wreck esthetic. It’s a new hip academy.
That’s a good thing and a bad thing. Colen, who in January 2007 appeared on the cover of New York magazine, in bed in his underpants with two other male artists, is known for his superrealist renderings of bird droppings (there’s a great one at Deitch Projects right now) and graffiti. Lowman is noted for his impressive handmade paintings of bullet holes and advertising. Along with Dash Snow and Terence Koh, they’re hotshots on the scene. Each on his own is good at this mannered nonstyle. But their show, while roguish, is merely occupying a well-defined position. A heat-seeking art world, mindlessly drawn to the familiar, has deemed that current art should look this way, so more art does. That’s part of the bad thing.
Like so many recent exhibitions (numbing swaths of the Whitney Biennial, portions of the New Museum’s "Unmonumental") the Colen-Lowman outing resembles a disheveled rec room. The palette du jour in these shows is black-and-white, black-and-silver, monochrome, Day-Glo, or printer’s colors like magenta and cyan applied mechanically or in intentionally messy ways. Posters, gaffer’s tape, magazine pages and found objects are placed about. Images are usually derived from newspapers, ads or porn. Text and jokes often appear (à la Richard Prince); holes are often bashed in walls; Sheetrock and plywood are broken up and spray painted. Noland’s ideas about sculpture and Prince’s about appropriation are so prevalent that those artists ought to be drawing royalties.
Much of this work takes visual cues from the photographs that appeared in art magazines of the ‘60s and ‘70s, translating that smudgy halftone quality to three dimensions. These artists seem to want to crawl into the skins of Gordon Matta-Clark and Robert Smithson, whose work did intrusive things to the large and familiar, and a preapproved roster from the so-called "greatest generation." It’s a cool school based on an older cool school, and it gains attention the way a child of a celebrity does. Many artists of this stripe went to art school and have apparently internalized the beliefs of their teachers, using strategies common when those instructors were young. They’re making art in ways that their teachers thought art should be made. This is an Oedipal-esthetic feedback loop, a death wish. Some of this art is good. Most of it already looks very dated, or will soon.
Colen and Lowman’s effort is titled "Wet Pain," perhaps referencing "wet paint" or Brice Marden’s remark that "painting says pain in it." The first things you see are a car engine on a wheeled platform and a smashed-up 1971 Jaguar filled with electronic gear that continually plays the instrumental "Tequila." Once you size up their wreck, it emits almost no content and isn’t even visually riveting. The rest of the show comes on fast, sexy and cheeky, but then fades fast into flippancy.
There is (or was; the piece has gone back to the collector) a grungy towel with the words "Life’s a Beach" by a painting that says "And then you die." So we get a spoof or a sight gag made out of a found object and a painted one. But the materials, abjectness and jokiness feel indebted to Martin Kippenberger and Mike Kelley, and end up being pointless. Similarly, a photo of a smiling Josh Hartnett in his shorts seems more like Karen Kilimnik’s early work than anything else. A set of shiny mag wheels brings to mind Prince’s use of the same objects; a picture of some Disney books with crack pipes is an inane mix of goodness and badness. A rendition of a red Kabbalah bracelet skewers boomers’ searching for their inner mystics, and a graffitilike painting, titled Sarah Morris (Brice Marden) or Bill Clinton, has the caption "dude it’s about your mama." At least that one can make you chuckle.
The problem is, "Wet Pain" just looks too much like too many other shows -- many of them excellent, some at Maccarone -- to be taken as anything other than bad-boy shtick and hammy caricature. It radiates hipness and camaraderie, and is a warning that artists need to be wary of the point where influence turns into derivativeness. The Noland-Prince esthetic stem-cell line isn’t the only one available for use. (Nor, by the way, is the Smithson–Matta-Clark one.) As for Warhol, we all love him, or we don’t. Regardless, artists needn’t continually deploy his play-the-system anti-gambit. It was once brave; now it’s just a conformist pose, and a lazy and self-limiting one.
Dan Colen & Nate Lowman, "Wet Pain," Mar. 28-Apr. 26, 2008, at Maccarone, 630 Greenwich Street, New York, N.Y. 10014.
JERRY SALTZ is senior art critic for New York Magazine, where this article first appeared. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Apr 25, 2008
Apr 14, 2008
April 19th, 2008 - May 17th, 2008
Opening Reception: 5-7 pm
Richard Heller Gallery
2525 MICHIGAN AVE, B-5A
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA 90404
Apr 12, 2008
Will Yackulic: A Prompt & Perfect Cure
April 1 – May 17, 2008I've been following Will's work for several years, always been a fan.
I've also been curious to see where he would take his trademark blue and white cube renderings.
He's made leaps. Real, real good. Pretty much sold out too.
Gregory Lind Gallery | 49 Geary Street, Fifth Floor | San Francisco CA 94108 | 415 296 9661 | email@example.com
Mar 22, 2008
Mar 13, 2008
Mar 8, 2008
Brendan stopped in yesterday and we went over the first comp of his soon to be published book. For a first draft it was pretty awesome and I'm not just saying that cause we are publishing it. The finished book should be in our hands in mid to late summer!
In more Brendan news, here is a recent interview he did with DGV publishing in Germany.
Mar 7, 2008
One of our favorites, Chris Johanson, has a new show (untitled) opening this weekend @ Jack Hanley. March 8.
Also, the SFMOMA recently acquired one of his larger works..it's up right now in their new acquisitions room on the 4th floor. It's a big, colorful piece (6' x 6') from from like 2004.
Simon Evans also has a nice piece showing that the MOMA just bought.
Just got an advance copy of Keegan McHargue's new Monograph Deep Mauve and man is it nice. It's big, it's got an embossed satin hardcover, and it's very limited. Published by his Japanese gallery, the book features works on paper from about 2002-2006. Email us to get on the preorder list. These will go fast.
Feb 24, 2008
Feb 18, 2008
Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
opens Feb. 16th 7-10pm
I was anxious to see Paul's new work..his last show being one of the highlights of 2007 for me.
He does not dissapoint. Paul is really stepping it up. I can't believe how affordable the work is too. Get one before they go through the roof.
Eleanor Harwood Gallery is located at:
1295 Alabama Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
cross street is 25th
415. 867. 7770
Thursday, Friday & Saturday 1-5
and by appointment
Feb 6, 2008
Young art star Ian Johnson's new show opens this weekend.
Here's a preview of the work.
Joint show featuring the work of Ian Johnson and Albert Reyes.
Opening party Sat Feb. 9th.
Our good friend Chris Ballantyne is having a a show at Hosfelt Gallery here in SF that opens this weekend.
When the World Was Flat
9 February – 22 March 2008
Reception: Saturday, 9 February, 4-6 pm
You don't want to miss this one.
Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco is located at 430 Clementina Street, between Howard and Folsom and 5th and 6th streets. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11–5:30.
Jan 16, 2008
We're painting the Sign! This is you last chance to see the old 50's era(I think) Busvan for Bargains sign that graces our facade. In a couple weeks it will be the Park Life sign. New paint, new lettering and original work by two of SF's best artists - Jason Jagel and Andrew Schoultz. I can't tell you how exciting this is for us (or how many hoops we had to jump through with the City).
Jan 4, 2008
The Luggage Store is having it's 20th Ann. show right now showcasing all the great artists that have passed through over the last two decades. A virtual who's who of the SF art community.
Some works are for sale.
Stand-out pieces for me were works by Mark Bradford, Margaret Kilgallen (duh), Os Gemeos, Cheryl Dunn, Barry MCgee, Tauba Auerbach, Shaun O'dell.
Keegan Mchargue's piece????????????????????
Dec 18, 2007
Nov 15, 2007
I really didn't expect much going in to this show. Mostly because Barry has like 50 other shows going on right now and it's a clothes store on Haight, right?. But wow. They went all out. This show is better than Barry's last show@ Paule Anglim. Some real nice collabo pieces too. Good job RVCA. (free show zines in the store's newspaper box.)
Nov 12, 2007
The Kids Aren’t All Right
Is over-education killing young artists?
by AARON ROSE
In the summer of 2004, I got a call from Arty Nelson, who often writes about art for this publication. He had just attended the much-lauded “Supersonic” show. For those who aren’t familiar, “Supersonic” is a large exhibition, now in its second year, that features the work of MFA students from esteemed area programs like CalArts, Art Center, UCLA, etc. When I asked the writer how the show was, he simply said: “The kids aren’t all right.”
Having not yet seen the exhibition, I was more inclined to give the young artists the benefit of the doubt. Considering they were just finishing years of school, I wouldn’t have expected to see the most developed work in the world, but I would still have hoped for something to blow my socks off. After seeing the show, though, I had the same sinking feeling. While the overall installation was impressive and the space at Art Center in Pasadena was amazing, the work left me mostly empty and with a few exceptions seemed like nothing more than a rehash of conceptual ideas that were mined years ago. I was out of town for the 2005 show at the newly renovated L.A. Design Center, but I heard similarly dismal accounts. It made me wonder why, when we live in such a socially and politically volatile time, are these students producing stuff with little or no social relevance when they should be delivering edgy, urgent, thought-provoking work?
For the last 15 years — first as a painter, then as a gallery owner and now as an independent curator, publisher and filmmaker — I have had the good fortune of dealing almost exclusively with young, aspiring artists — artists with chips on their shoulders and fire in their hearts. I have worked with university-trained and self-taught artists. For the last two years an exhibition I co-curated, “Beautiful Losers,” has been on the American museum circuit. The show focuses on a loose-knit group of artists (Chris Johanson, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Ryan McGinness, Thomas Campbell, etc.) who came up from the streets and, for the most part, entered the art world through the back door.
Many of the artists in “Losers” have gone from relative obscurity to international renown, and along the way I’ve witnessed all the positive and negative trappings that come with that success. I’ve seen the underground go overground and, in some cases, lose much of its original power and charm. Still though, I have a never-ending hunger for new art created by young artists. In fact, it is the energy of youth that has kept me in the art game so long. In my opinion, it has always been the job of the young artists to shake things up, to throw out old ideas and usher in a new way of thinking. I want to be a part of that.
So why was the “Supersonic” exhibition filled with such uninspired work? I’ll take a stab at trying to answer that here. I should interject that this is not meant to be a rant against any particular artist, educational institution or exhibition. I mention “Supersonic” simply because it represents a larger trend that I have noticed around the country and the world for some time now.
It has always been the function of artists to tell the narrative of our times in a way that isn’t filtered through big-media spin or the historical revisionism of academic pundits. Recent and historical precedence tell us that it should be young people, and particularly the artists among them, who are most passionately voicing this narrative. But they’re not. In fact, there is a critical lack of voice among young artists, and I believe that art schools are to blame for this crisis.
There are quite possibly more quality art schools in and around Los Angeles than anywhere else in the country. These institutions are staffed with amazing talents (Mike Kelley and John Baldessari among them). Legions of creative young people flock to our city every year to work alongside their heroes and develop their talents with hopes of making it as an artist. That’s great; an education, particularly in art history and technique, can be valuable to a young artist, and studying with your heroes can be inspiring. What happens too often in these situations, though, is that we find young artists simply emulating their instructors, rather than finding and honing their own aesthetics and points of view about the world, society, themselves.
In the beginnings of an artist’s career, the power in his or her work should lie not in their technique or knowledge of art history or theory or business acumen, but in what one has to say. Artists might as well hang up their paintbrushes before they even begin if that voice isn’t in place. Ideas and a point of view are the backbones of the artistic process. In fact, L.A. art school gurus such as Kelley and Baldessari were wild cards when they began. Their works were constantly infused with socioeconomic and political agendas that went against the art world’s status quo. In can be argued that it was the rebellious attitudes and iconoclastic positions of those artists’ first works that built their current international success. But now they are part of an art establishment that seems distant to many young people who should be getting inspired by art.
While some may argue to the contrary, contemporary art is not a luxury. I believe it is a necessity. It satisfies not only a visual need, but also an educational and, most importantly, a spiritual need for us. Art should teach us about how we relate to the world. It seems ironic, then, that the curriculum taught in most MFA programs addresses almost everything but fulfilling these needs. Art institutions today work more like business schools than any kind of creative laboratory. As is often the case with such professional schools, the credential has come to mean more than any individual biography or personal point of view. From the creative side, art theory has begun to play such a dominant role in art school that I feel it has lobotomized many young creative minds. Young MFAs are required to read endless texts, many written more than 20 years ago by stuffy Frenchmen with navel-gazing theories holding little or no relevance to life in Bush’s America. They are then asked to somehow relate their work to these deconstructionist theories and then be judged by how successfully they do this.
The primary problem with this kind of education is that by diving deeper and deeper into the theoretical and self-referential, artists lose touch with their public. As a result, the public, particularly the young public, often feels alienated from art. Intentionally or not, people have been made to feel inferior to the art intelligentsia. What inevitably follows is that art becomes simply something to be bought, sold and understood by a very small sector of the population and it loses its urgent role as a means of communication or as a catalyst for social or cultural change.
On more than one occasion I have felt the urge to spray-paint “Mike Kelley is the Enemy” on walls around the city. Nothing against Kelley; his early work in particular was a big inspiration and holds great meaning for me. Rather, I want to do this as a statement to young artists that they need to kill their heroes to discover themselves.
Of course, I’m generalizing. There are many young, emerging artists working today who truly believe in the relevance of what they are doing and have the chops and points of view to back it up. And this isn’t to suggest that all artwork should be political. I believe that a personal statement that is drawn from the heart can be more powerful and effective than propaganda. Works that have inspired me recently include those by Ashley Macomber, a Los Angeles artist who creates intricately painted human/animal hybrids that could be said to resemble those campy American Indian paintings found on truck-stop T-shirts. Upon deeper consultation, however, they provide a strong commentary on our relationships to each other, nature and ourselves. Also of note is the East Coast collective Paperrad, whose multimedia installations include everything from sculpture to animation to printed fanzines. The collective’s innocent yet sophisticated approach to art consistently leaves me feeling hungry for more. Other artists of interest include Masaki Kawai, Matt Leines, Tauba Auerbach, Jim Drain and Jo Jackson. Needless to say there is much good work out there.
Some of these artists are MFAs and some are not. The point of all this is that if young artists had the courage and the encouragement to focus more on their art than the “art business,” there would be even more inspiring work to see and less distance between art and the public. Maybe all it takes is a little less thinking and a lot more feeling. If we could open our hearts amazing things could happen.
Nov 11, 2007
November 6, 2007
The most underrated art writer?
Dave Hickey is probably the most admired writer on art of the moment. (Y'all certainly click on any link that mentions him!) Which is fine and he's certainly fun to read. But I'm surprised at how little I hear art people talking about Lawrence Weschler.
True, Weschler doesn't write regularly about art anywhere in particular, but some of his most important books and essays read as fresh as if they'd been written yesterday. With MCASD's Robert Irwin extravaganza underway, I've noticed several writers (and also several artists) talking more about Weschler's superb Irwin book, Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the of the Thing One Sees. And I think that several of the write-ups in the Weschler compilation Vermeer in Bosnia are classics. The title piece might be my favorite essay, period. Finally, one of my favorite Weschler books, Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences, is recently out in paperback -- and is just $15.
From Modern Art Notes..
Nov 7, 2007
Today in the Chronicle..... we were part of a piece on retail/gallery spaces.
Buying an original painting is now just as easy as picking up a lamp or getting replacement dish towels. And sometimes it doesn't even have to cost much more.
That's because a growing number of housewares shops are also doubling as art galleries, complete with elaborate show openings.
When Berkeley's Relish at Home reopened in September after a remodel, it had a gallery added by owner Kelly Sperbeck. A reception was held to celebrate the store's second anniversary, as well as artist Jill Bliss' new exhibition.
And last month, San Francisco became home to two more retail-gallery businesses: the Curiosity Shoppe and Rare Device.
The Curiosity Shoppe has existed as an e-commerce site since last year. Owners Lauren Smith and Derek Fagerstrom have curated art shows since their college days at UC Santa Cruz, so when they opened a brick-and-mortar shop in the Mission District, including a gallery was a given.
"With CCA (California College of the Arts) and all these other great schools, there's so much creative energy in San Francisco," said Fagerstrom.
Rare Device opened on Market Street in late October, but its Brooklyn, N.Y., location has been around for about two years. "We always carried art objects," said owner Rena Tom, "and I always wanted to have more art, but there was no space."
While the original Rare Device is just 180 square feet, the San Francisco location starts off with 400 square feet and will expand to 1,000 next year. The extra room means that Tom and business partner Lisa Congdon can create a division between the product and gallery areas.
"Often times, stores and cafes will feature artwork mixed in with other stuff, so it's harder to engage with the art," said Congdon. An artist herself, she recently had a show at the Mission District's Candy Store, which carries clothing, home accessories and artwork.
"I owe so much to stores like Rare Device, Candy Store and Reform School (in Los Angeles)," she said. "They did an amazing job of promoting my work. And I want to do the same for others. I know how hard it is for new artists to get into galleries."
Congdon and Tom are approaching the gallery much as they do the retail operations.
"A store like ours is trying to showcase small designers to begin with," said Tom of the store's clothing and housewares selection.
"The art really grows out of that. Larger stores and galleries might buy from a rep, but we actually get to meet the artist and have them present at the openings."
Prices for artwork at Rare Device will probably range from $100 to $5,000, with shows changing almost monthly.
For artists, exhibiting in a retail space instead of a traditional gallery exposes them to a different audience, and has its monetary advantages. According to Congdon, a gallery and an artist will typically split sales 50/50. With a store - which relies more on merchandise for its revenue - an artist can receive 60 to 80 percent of the sale price.
At the Richmond District's Park Life, co-owner Jamie Alexander believes that "it's only fair that the artist get more than 50 percent," he said. "We're not a full-service gallery, so we can't promote or represent the artist the same way a gallery would."
Exhibitions at Park Life usually run about five weeks, with prices ranging from $20 to $7,500. Alexander and co-owner Derek Song often visit artist studios and art schools, as well as keep track of people they hear about through word of mouth. "We try to give everyone a fair shake," said Alexander. "Our aesthetic isn't fine art or lowbrow art. It's creative, emerging art."
Alexander, an art patron for years, has had his share of unpleasant gallery experiences. "No one wants to go to a stuffy gallery where the receptionist doesn't even give you the time of day," he said. "We're trying to introduce art to people who might not normally collect."
For Kati Kim, who opened Doe in 2004, incorporating a gallery "was always part of the plan," she said, "especially since we're in the Lower Haight. There's a big artist community here. Even the hair salons have artwork."
As someone who didn't collect art until she opened her store, Kim can perhaps sympathize with her clientele. "Most of my customers are artists, students and young professionals just starting out," she said. "They don't have hundreds to spend, but can appreciate the experience of going to a gallery."
Doe changes its exhibitions four times a year, in conjunction with the seasons. "We definitely get people who come to all of the openings and shop here regularly, too," said store manager Sarah Gion. "It's nice to see all of the people coming out to support the San Francisco artist community. And the openings offer a different way to interact with our customers - less formal, more relaxed."
Artwork at Doe has been marked as low as $20 and as high as $900. "One of the really big things for me is for people to take home part of the experience, even if you can't afford a $50 painting," said Kim. "With each show, I try to have the artist create some kind of merchandise tie-in, like a pin or card set - something in a price range that almost anyone can afford. So they can come in, see the show and take a piece of it with them."
Hayes Valley's Rose and Radish has taken the concept of retail-gallery the furthest - completely merging the two ideas. Every item in the shop is part of the exhibition, and every item is for sale.
"The idea was to highlight a few designers and group their work under one theme, and then change that out," explained owner Cate Kellison.
Although it opened as a flower shop in August 2001, Kellison reinvented the business as a design gallery last year. The floral service remains, but it handles mostly deliveries and special events now.
When a new theme is introduced at Rose and Radish, the shop shuts down for a week. The entire space is transformed - including the walls, floor and ceiling decor - and new merchandise is brought in to fit the theme. The biggest challenge, said Kellison, is balancing the desire to sell out every show with the need to maintain inventory for customers to view.
Owners of these combination businesses often use the word "community" - and that extends beyond just the artist community. At Rose and Radish, for example, employee and artist Jill Pilotte devised the Sixty Forty Print Club. With each new exhibition, a limited-edition art print is offered - the money from which is split between the artist and a charity, 60 percent and 40 percent.
"We're just offering our store and gallery space as a venue," said Kellison. "The idea is to build community and be able to do something good."
At Park Life, the owners have donated their space for various benefits and fundraisers. Earlier this month, the store's proceeds from its first-anniversary celebration went toward the Coalition on Homelessness.
For these hybrids, the true measure of success may not be simply the bottom line - especially for those who treat their businesses as a labor of love.
"It might be stupid from a business standpoint," said Fagerstrom - referring to the fact that the Curiosity Shoppe owners had to carve out retail, gallery, office and storage areas in a small space. The gallery is expected to bring in revenue, but it also takes up precious square footage.
"We curate from our hearts, from our guts," he said. "We choose our merchandise not because a rep has told us that this is going to be a best-seller. We choose things we love and artists we want to support. If other people love it, then that's really great."
Nov 1, 2007
UNTITLED (FLOATING APARTMENT) (DETAIL), BY CHRIS BALLANTYNE
PREVIEW Since it opened a year ago on a street where many businesses come and go, Park Life has established itself as a spot to visit, between a good bowl of pho and a trip to Green Apple Books, by being one of the few independent art galleries in the Inner Richmond. When I'm waiting 45 minutes for a table at Burma Superstar, I can't help but glance across the street at the store's bright lights and vivid colors, a glowing beacon amid the early-closing businesses surrounding it, and I wander inside to pass the time.
If you've noticed Park Life but haven't yet satisfied your curiosity, you might want to do so Nov. 2, when it's having its First Anniversary/Benefit Group Show, which will include artists such as David Benzler, whose previous work has appeared at Needles and Pens and on the sides of assorted buildings; Kelly Tunstall, who develops intricate characters in her paintings and illustrations; Sean McFarland, who in 2005 received the James D.
PARK LIFE FIRST ANNIVERSARY/BENEFIT GROUP SHOW Opens Fri/2, 6–10 p.m. Through Dec. 5. Mon.–Thurs. and Sun., noon–8 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., noon–9 p.m. Park Life, 220 Clement, SF. (415) 386-7275, parklifestore.com
Oct 22, 2007
Some of my favorite artists. I would not miss this one. Jules de Balincourt, Jason Jagel, Ben Peterson, Todd Hido, Kota Ezawa, David Huffman, not to mention the greats from the previous generation...Diebenkorn, Becthle, Oliveira, the list is long.
A CENTURY OF CCA at the
OAKLAND MUSEUM of CALIFORNIA
The exhibition features more than 120 works—paintings, ceramics, photography, video, sculpture, mixed media, installations, textiles, wood, and works on paper—and includes a large contemporary section from the past 20 years.
ARTISTS OF INVENTION: A CENTURY OF CCA was organized by Oakland Museum of California Chief Curator of Art Philip Linhares, exhibition designer Ted Cohen, and consultant Lee Plested, all CCA alumni. The contemporary section was organized by CCA alumni Liz Mulholland, Abner Nolan, Chris Perez, Jessica Silverman, and Bay Area curator Tara McDowell.
“A balance of technical skill and independent vision has always marked the art associated with CCA,” Lee Plested said. “The result has been some of the most idiosyncratic and expressive art in
The exhibition, arranged by era, includes:
The Society of Six, a band of renegade plein-air painters from the 1920s; California production ceramists, such as Edith Heath and Jacomena Maybeck, who taught at the college in the 1950s and 1970s, respectively; Weaver Trude Guermonprez, who chaired the crafts department in the 1960s and 1970s, and textile artists Kay Sekimachi and Lia Cook;Richard Diebenkorn, whose mode was further developed in the work of alumni Nathan Oliveira and Manuel Neri; The modern studio ceramics movement, pioneered by Peter Voulkos and continued by Robert Arneson and Viola Frey; John McCracken, who began his explorations in Minimalism while a CCA student; West Coast Conceptualism, which broke ground with the work of David Ireland and Dennis Oppenheim; Photorealism pioneer Robert Bechtle and his peers Richard McLean, Ralph Goings, and Jack Mendenhall, a current faculty member; Painters Squeak Carnwath and Raymond Saunders; and A new generation: videographers Kota Ezawa, Désirée Holman, and Sergio de la Torre; photographers Larry Sultan, Todd Hido, and Liz Cohen; painter David Huffman; and mixed-media artists Lynn Marie Kirby and Amy Franceschini, among many others. Bay Area Figurative painter and CCA instructor
CCA was founded in 1907 by Frederick Meyer, a German cabinetmaker, as the School of the California Guild of Arts and Crafts. It was known for decades as CCAC (
Oct 7, 2007
On the Town
With Jason Jagel
Aidin Vaziri, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, October 7, 2007
|On The Town|
Jason Jagel is a San Francisco visual artist whose work has appeared on releases by underground musicians such as Our Lady of the Highway and MF Doom, as well as in galleries nationwide. He didn't have to look far for inspiration: His father, John, was a celebrated artist who, in the in the '60s, designed a handful of iconic covers for jazz greats John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. Jagel holds degrees from Stanford University and California College of the Arts, where he teaches painting and narrative drawing. He will be one of the featured artists at Park Life's November anniversary group benefit show. In the meantime, we asked him for a list of his favorite spots around his Mission neighborhood. "My studio is in my backyard, so sometimes I need to invent reasons to get out of the house," he said.
24th and York Street Mini Park. "I've two young daughters, 1 and 4 years old, so my outings often tend toward family-centric destinations like the park and the grocery store. Right around the corner from my house is a newly redone kid's park. There are some of my favorite idiosyncratic Mission murals on its three walls, all pre-existing. As for the new parts, a giant, beautiful mosaic serpent spirals out, halfway submerged in the ground, around a fountain with orchestrated water spouts that can be activated by two color-coded 'panic' buttons."
La Taqueria, 2889 Mission St. "It's some of the best-tasting steak I've had in the city. Eight or 9 dollars for two tacos? Worth every penny, if you've got it."
Mission Pie, 2901 Mission St. "Full as can be, it's still hard for me to resist Mission Pie, whose yummy seasonal pies let my belly experience apricot, peach or strawberry season firsthand. The rich, spicy and not-too-sweet sweet potato and caramelized peach pies have been my tops. The shop is a wing of Pie Ranch, a 14-acre farm on the San Mateo coast that grows the ingredients for the pies and has an educational program that invites urban youth to experience our relationship to food production.
Queens Nails Annex, 3189 Mission St. "One place I enjoy visiting into the late night is Queens Nails Annex, an art gallery started in 2004 by Bob Linder and Julio Cesar Morales. Whether championing international art projects and performances or hosting music and audio projects, they throw mighty friendly parties. The events, where I can count on running into first-class genuine people, often migrate next door into the cozy, neighborhood bar the Argus, whose super bartenders, old-wood bar top and low-key space make it humble magnificent. Some good DJs there too, including Brolin Winning, Urban Yetti, Juan Luna-Alvin and, on the rare occasion, myself."
Mission Pool, 19th and Linda Streets. "A beautiful, outdoor municipal pool that feels not too chlorinated. Thanks to the local lobbying of district supervisors, it's open until January instead of just the summertime. And there's nothing like how hungry I get after swimming and nothing better for it than the shwarma experience of Truly Mediterranean on 16th at Valencia. Yum."
Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia St. "One of the oldest and stalwart nonprofit arts spaces in the city. Seeing vibraphonist Stefon Harris in that intimate, formal and, most importantly, unamplified space won me over completely. Besides which, their theater programming, including the Hybrid Project and resident artists, is always enticing."
Electric Works, 130 Eighth St. "A print shop, art gallery, publisher and book/sundry store. The brick building was built for the Buzell Electric Works in 1925 and now features a 'general store' of select items, including books and prints by a host of fine artists published there and elsewhere. Together, we're publishing a book called "73 Funshine" comprised of my paintings and a 12-inch record with songs by Monk Hughes and the Outer Realm, Young Jazz Rebels and the Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble."
Park Life, 220 Clement St. "Situated in one of my favorite, and often below-the-radar, San Francisco neighborhoods, and besides their great selection of things for sale, they formed Paper Museum Press and published 'Ulysses: Departures, Journeys & Returns: The Artwork of Andrew Schoultz,' a beautiful tome from a beautiful artist. When I opened the book, having not seen his work in a while, I was blown away by his horse and ship paintings and his 2-D/3-D installations. Boom."
E-mail Aidin Vaziri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared on page G - 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Oct 6, 2007
Our friend Brendan is having a huge show in LA. Below are the details.
If you are in the area, you should check it out.
Brendan Monroe INSIDES
Opening reception on Saturday October 13th, 2007, 5-7pm
Exhibition Dates: October 13 – November 10, 2007
Richard Heller Gallery
phone : 310.453.9191
Richard Heller Gallery,
Oct 5, 2007
This one is not likely to be widely seen, but is well worth the trip.
California Watercolor Refracted September 22 to October 20, 2007
Department of Art
Fine Arts Gallery
SF State University
The show title is not a real good indication of the great work you'll see in the show..and their website is pretty worthless.
SOme of the artists
Robert Bechtle, Martin Ramirez, Alicia McCarthy, Barry Mcgee, Ruth Asawa, Chang Dai-chien, David Hockney, Julio Cesar Morales, Leslie Price, Wayne Thiebaud, Tucker Nichols, many more..
I tried to take pics but got reprimended.
Sep 15, 2007
Andrew Schoultz and Peter Rogiers at Roberts & Tilton
Los Angeles Times
If last weekend's pageant of 80-plus openings -- the kickoff to the fall season -- had been a contest, the prize for most thrill per square foot would almost surely have gone to Andrew Schoultz's Power Structures and Chaos at Roberts & Tilton, a giddy maelstrom of an exhibition packed in the closet-sized vault of the gallery's project space.
Horses charge, flags wave, clouds of arrows darken the sky -- it's hard to say just who's fighting whom, but the momentum is exhilarating. The show's five paintings -- on canvas and panel, ranging from 18 inches to 6 feet tall -- suggest medieval battle scenes awash in swirling currents of pictorial shrapnel: arrows, leaves, ribbons, raindrops and waves, all rendered with pinpoint precision.
Interspersed with the paintings are murals. Waves churn along the floor on one wall, a red brick pyramid in the corner erupts like a volcano and, high above, a band of arrows whirls round the perimeter of the space.
The floor is painted to look like red brick and scattered with several pyramid-shaped sculptures, also faux brick, with additional battle scenes on certain panels. The largest pyramid, in the center of the room, supports a scale that balances the weight of two small calla lilies -- the show's only point of peace and stillness.
Schoultz hails from a loose school of San Francisco artists -- Barry McGee, the late Margaret Kilgallen, Clare Rojas and Aaron Noble (now an Angeleno) are others -- whose work integrates fine art, mural, graffiti and street art traditions with unselfconscious ease.
One result of this fusion has been a refreshingly dynamic approach to exhibition design. This is installation driven less by rarefied concepts of space, light or the presumed experience of the viewer than by the sheer joy of covering a wall.
Schoultz's imagery, however, is distinctive and increasingly so: more mystical than folkish, characterized by frenetic, often fractured compositions and overlapping currents of intricate linear patterns. He's been impressively prolific in recent years, with solo (or two-person) shows at several L.A. venues -- Taylor de Cordoba, the BLK/MRKT Gallery, Giant Robot and Track 16 -- as well as quite a few on the East Coast, and the imagery appears to be constantly shifting, developing and adapting. Certain motifs pop up again and again -- the horses, pyramids, volcanoes, ships -- but an underlying restlessness keeps it all in constant motion, which makes Schoultz one to watch: He's clearly hitting his stride.
Sep 13, 2007
Wow, its been a month since our last post. Honestly I still haven't gotten into this whole blogging thing. I guess it more laziness than anything. Things have been hectic, we have a lot of projects going and it's a struggle to keep them all going at the same time. I also had to move last month which is in my opinion on the single most stressful thing ever. I've stopped keeping count but this might have been the 50th time I've had to move.
Anyways, last night i saw the promo for the new season of "Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia". It was a parody of the mac and pc ads but initially i thought it was real. The punchline floored me. Thank god I wasn't drinking anything cause it would have came out of my nose. That show is brilliant.
Aug 12, 2007
Ala Ebtekar at Paule Anglim. This guy is going to be around for a while. Reasonably priced too, considering it's a "fine" art gallery.
I recently saw a really good painting show by young SF artist Matthew Pallidino.
It's at a great new Gallery/store called Brown Bear in SF on Divisidero. Best show I've seen a while. Prices were not cheap. I think it's up for another week or two.
Here are some pics..scroll down the page:
Jul 25, 2007
I had recently read about artist Martin Ramirez and his work in a book about outsider art. Of all the artists featured in that book, Ramirez's work really stood out for me.
A couple a days later, in the style section of the Chronicle there was a feature story about Ramirez. Here is the link. Fate I tell you. Read the story its pretty crazy, plus its topical with all the immigration issues in the news.
There is a exhibition of his work currently on view at the San Jose Museum of Art through early September. Jamie recently went and said it was amazing. I cant wait to go.
Our website has been up for a bit but we are constantly trying to make it better. The design is for lack of a better word basic but thats how we like it. No flash for us, that shit is annoying. Recently we made a couple of changes to the "Store" section of the site. The changes should make navigation a bit better. Plus we added a "New Items" category. For those that have short attention spans like myself.
In the next couple of days we will be launching our new Gallery page. Gone is the flash interface, now its all lovely html. Please send us any feedback. I want to make our site as headache free as possible.
More changes to come.
and Henry Fool rules. still no sign of our sign. (lament)
Jul 24, 2007
Jul 15, 2007
Do you have a top 10 or top 5 list of favorite movies? Mine has changed over the years but one constant has been "Henry Fool". In my early twenties I went through my Parker Posey stage. I thought she was hot shit, and the good thing was my local video place had everything she was in. (i guess they thought she was hot shit too)
Henry Fool was directed by Hal Hartley, which almost made me not want to watch it. I've seen a couple of his other films and they were pretty mehhhh. Henry Fool was totally different, there was an actual plot and despite the intentional stage style over acting I loved it. It was funny, weird, quirky, peppered with snappy dialogue and the ending was great. In my opinion it was a great example of 90's independent cinema.
A week ago a friend mentioned there was a sequel to Henry Fool titled Faye Grim. Faye Grim was the name of the character Ms. Posey played. My friend also mentioned that the film has an espionage/spy angle. What? I was hoping she was misinformed but alas she wasn't.
The film is indeed a spy flick, but it does a good job of keeping the same strange mood set in Henry Fool. Im wont play spoiler so I'll leave the plot out. But here are some thoughts.
They cast the same actor that played Faye & Henry's child in the first movie. I thought this was a nice touch. In fact many of the same characters were in the sequel.
Parker Posey has aged but it still pretty hot. Elizabeth Huppert plays her signature, sex crazed bohemian chick role.
Im not a fan of Jeff Goldblum. Im not sure why.
They spent a ton more money on this film than the first. I noticed in the credits that Mark Cuban was an executive producer. That dude is a douche.
There is a noir-ish thing going on. I also realized this was in the first movie as well.
If you haven't seen the first movie, you will have no idea what it going on.
All in all it was nice to go back into that very strange world of Henry Fool. For the sequel the plot is pretty much a complete farce but maybe that was the point. If you watch this let me know what you think.
Jun 20, 2007
issue 11 in the "continuing story of life on earth" aka hamburger eyes photo magazine has hit the shop. this issue took a bit longer to publish but it was worth the wait. issue 11 is the music issue. i think this is the first time they have done a theme issue. i could be wrong as ive only been reading since issue 4.
a little plug for the park life. the first "ad dollars" we have spent went into a full page add. thanks hamburgers eyes for the great placement. rad
if you havent already, pick up a copy.
Jun 3, 2007
May 24, 2007
I was in NC for a few days recently and stumbled on this really good group show called Street Level at the Nasher Museum of Art. It includes Mark Bradford, William Cordova, and Robin Rhode. It kinda reminded me of the infamous Street Market show from back when..in it's relevance. They published a catalog that is pretty nice too...I'm trying to get it for the shop..
Their website is a little wonky...
May 17, 2007
I wanted to take a second and thank the many people that have gone out of there way to help spread the word about Park Life and PMP. Someone asked me who we hired to get the press we have been getting and I said, "hired, huhh"??? I wouldn't even know who to contact regarding press. Anyways, it means a lot to us when we hear people saying nice things about what we are trying to do here on Clement St.
Here is a short list of our supporters. Please forgive us if we omit anyone and thanks again.
Matt, Sarah, Adian, and Reyhan at the Chronicle
Darryl & Laurie
Kim of Paper Mag
Shooting Gallery and White Walls
Gregory Lind Gallery
Deth and Marci
Kelly Lynn Jones
Art Blog SF
Yong Ki Chang of 3131 Clement and Equal Dist
San Francisco Magazine