When my friend, photographer Klea McKenna, invited me to help her out for a day on her latest project, I quickly said yes. I knew she was bringing together a bit of local history, a lens-less camera, a wild landscape, and 12 hours of changing light. But I didn’t think too much about what exactly the day would entail, I just thought it’d be fun and out of the ordinary. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Klea was working on the second project in her Paper Airplanes series, a photographic installation that would be comprised of 57 paper airplanes folded out of color photographic paper installed in a giant triangle. The project is based on and inspired by a bit of local history— during WWII, soldiers were deployed to man several anti-aircraft lookout posts along the Marin and Sonoma coast. All day and all night these soldiers looked west, watching the sky and horizon over the Pacific Ocean for signs of enemy planes. But they saw no enemy planes, instead they only witnessed the light change and watched hundreds of sunsets.
The project is a kind of performative photographic act that places Klea in the position of the soldiers who guarded the coastline and interprets their prolonged observation of the sky into an abstract visual art form. So, the plan for the day was that Klea would expose the paper airplanes on site at the anti-aircraft lookout post at Tennessee Cove in Marin Headlands. Beginning at dawn and ending at dusk, she would expose one plane every 10 minutes using camera made from a large biscuit tin. My job would be to help her fold the photographic paper into airplane shapes in portable dark bags, while she loaded them into the camera, and then exposed and unloaded them.
Our friend Vic Blue, who just got his masters in photojournalism from Ohio University, sent us a note about his most recent project Almost Out which he worked on for four months, shot a photo essay, made a short documentary, and wrote a 4,500 word piece for Soul of Athens.
After 10 years insided the walls, Doug Starcher prepares for life outside of prison --> Interesting and wonderful images from Vic.
My first night in New Zealand I walked down to the beach. While sitting in the sand taking arty, self-indulgent photos of crashing waves, I realized how long it had been since I'd seen stars, and that there were so goddamned many. Nine years earlier I had the same realization, also in New Zealand, laying in a field amazed at the infinite nature of the universe. I studied abroad there in 2002, my first trip out of America. Then last March, Huck Magazine sent me back to photograph surfers at New Zealand's first pro contest. I did that but those photos are for another day. These pictures are the result of the week after the contest. A week that I spent trying to relive my first visit to New Zealand. Alone, with little more than my nostalgia, independence, and a $10 sleeping bag, I set off in a rental car looking for swimming holes, skateparks, and that feeling of the unknown, fraught with possibility, that New Zealand will always represent to me. -Bryan Derballa
Mr. Seelie, center with camera, shooting Lightning Bolt, a punk band, in April.
In the windy darkness of a recent spring morning, 30 people of an arty, mostly Brooklynite persuasion gathered after midnight for an illicit get-together in a maintenance shed, high atop the Williamsburg Bridge. Billed as the “Third-Annual NYC Undercover, You-Might-Be-Arrested, Clandestine Errantry Trespassing Adventure Party,” the event attracted members of a distinct, risk-taking subset of the New York art world — heights-loving writers, courageous painters, a devil-may-care guitarist, a guy lugging bongos and the Williamsburg photographer, Tod Seelie — all of whom had been quietly invited to the late-night affair by its pseudonymous organizers, Agent Verde and Agent Rojo. ~continue reading
Currently studying at Santa Cruz, photographer Raphael Villet stopped in FFDG a couple weeks back and mentioned his show at Adobe Books opening on May 28th. We've published Raphael's great photos in the past and dig his new work as well. Below is a taste of what you're going to see at the Adobe show. ~Oh, and the band Meat Market will be playing at the opening as well.
A ROYAL MESS Monday, 16 May 2011 /// Written by Bryan Derballa
I ended up in East London on the day Kate and Wills got married. I never cared much about the Royal Family but being among the British made it pretty infectious. Street parties, sunshine, celebration and stripper poles. All my best to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. -Bryan Derballa
CRICKET PITCH Tuesday, 12 April 2011 /// Written by Bryan Derballa
I've always wanted to go to India. Then I did...for three days. Can't quite cross it off the bucket list, but it was a good glimpse into the country from the cricket pitch. To put together a lookbook for NIke, I traveled to Dheli and Mumbai to shoot two players from India's National Cricket Team -- a young batter named Virat Kholi and a veteran bowler named Zaheer Khan. Both rad guys, which made it all the better that they won the Cricket World Cup two weeks ago. Couldn't be more stoked for the team and look forward to getting back for a more extensive visit.
Long time FF contributor & jazzy photographer, Isaac Randozzi, has 2 Stereo boards coming out and 2 shirts which feature his photography. In addition, the Quiet Life also releases 2 shirts featuring his photos as well.
To celebrate the releases, DLX on Market St will host a lil' party for the man this Saturday (7-9:30pm), and if you purchase one of the boards, you'll receive a gift bag chock full of goodies.
Jerroen Blok emailed over some photos he took around harbors in his native Holland... We posted some photos recently from his show at GO Gallery in Amsterdamn featuring his paintings and installations.
JR exhibits his photographs in the biggest art gallery on the planet. His work is presented freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not museum visitors. His work mixes Art and Action; it talks about commitment, freedom, identity and limit.
I'm not sure how many people are lucky enough to have The San Francisco Giants 3 World Series trophies put on display at their work for the company's employees to enjoy during their lunch break, but that's what happened the other day at Deluxe. So great.
SF skateboarding icons Jake Phelps, Mickey Reyes, and Tommy Guerrero with the 3 SF Giants World Series Trophies
When works of art become commodities and nothing else, when every endeavor becomes “creative” and everybody “a creative,” then art sinks back to craft and artists back to artisans—a word that, in its adjectival form, at least, is newly popular again. Artisanal pickles, artisanal poems: what’s the difference, after all? So “art” itself may disappear: art as Art, that old high thing. Which—unless, like me, you think we need a vessel for our inner life—is nothing much to mourn.
Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? --continue reading
"Six Degrees" opens tonight, Friday Jan 16th (7-10pm) at FFDG in San Francisco. ~Group show featuring: Brett Amory, John Felix Arnold III, Mario Ayala, Mariel Bayona, Ryan Beavers, Jud Bergeron, Chris Burch, Ryan De La Hoz, Martin Machado, Jess Mudgett, Meryl Pataky, Lucien Shapiro, Mike Shine, Minka Sicklinger, Nicomi Nix Turner, and Alex Ziv.
"[Satire] is important because it brings out the flaws we all have and throws them up on the screen of another person," said Turner. “How they react sort of shows how important that really is.” Later, he added, "Charlie took a hit for everybody." -read on
Jacob Magraw will be showing embroidery pieces on cloth along with painted, gouache works on paper --- Rachell Sumpter paints scenes of colored splendor dropped into scenes of desolate wilderness. ~show details
NYC --- A new graffiti abatement program put forth by the police commissioner has beat cops carrying cans of spray paint to fill in and cover graffiti artists work in an effort to clean up the city --> Many cops are thinking it's a waste of resources, but we're waiting to see someone make a project of it. Maybe instructions for the cops on where to fill-in?
The NYPD is arming its cops with cans of spray paint and giving them art-class-style lessons to tackle the scourge of urban graffiti, The Post has learned.
Shootings are on the rise across the city, but the directive from Police Headquarters is to hunt down street art and cover it with black, red and white spray paint, sources said... READ ON
SAN FRANCISCO --- The Headlands Center for the Arts is preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year set to go down on June 4th at SOMArts here in the city. Art auction, food, drinks, live music, etc and all for helping to support a great institution up in the Marin Headlands. ~details
ABOUT HEADLANDS Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.
We haven't been featuring many interviews as of late. Let's change that up as we check in with a few local San Francisco artists like Kevin Earl Taylor here whom we studio visited back in 2009 (PHOTOS & VIDEO). It's been awhile, Kevin...
If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.
Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.
Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.
Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.
Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.
San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.
Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.
Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.
The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.
With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding
I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle
Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.
Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.
For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.
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