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Home BLOGS So Hot Right Now San Diego, The Grand Canyon, and A Junk Roadrunner

San Diego, The Grand Canyon, and A Junk Roadrunner
Written by Noah Hanson   
Wednesday, 26 July 2006 05:57
Noah's blogging his trip across the USA. Here he's checking out art, monster trucks, and pool parties in San Diego.

When I last made a blog, Michelle and I were pushing our way through the desert, away from the fiberglass dinosaurs and towards where I first came into this world, just 20 years ago. That place being San Diego, a city which never seemed to stop showing us a good time. Some how we missed our exit though, and ended up at the border of Mexico, 3 miles away from Tijuan .. After we got things figured out and a quick stare across the border we turned around, passed a ton of border patrol cops, and made it back on coarse. Upon arrival, we were greeted by my Aunty and Unky in there home town of Lemon Grove. To kick things off, we joined them in a trip to the bowling alley, where they and a large section of my extended family were members of a competitive league. My cousins, their new huz's, and a bunch of other folks were all their to knock over some pins and to show off their new inscribed, 8 to 16 pound balls. The place was huge. With over 70 lanes, an entire plexi-glass room to accommodate the smokers, and a huge arcade attached tothe side, this place was bigger than an amusment park. You could even win prizes ranging from inflatable hammers to holographic Tupac Shakur dog tags. My family's league, paired with the special olyimpics league next to them, was still only the beginning of the amazing people watching we would encounter during our stay in Southern California. Coincidentally, we were also in town during the San Diego county fair, where we met up with my cousin Becky, her new huz TJ, and her step kid Ashton. Ofcourse, the fair held a ceaseless bounty of entertainment with every kind of fried food to boot. Yeah, there were ferris wheels and a bunch of other rides for the kiddies, but believe it or not, the gems & minerals exhibit was what really pulled me in.

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In one room they had nothing but black lights on to give plain white rocks a neon glow.

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In other rooms they had cases and cases of precious jewels from all over the world. A friend of our's back home, Julie, is a total rock nerd and told us how to look for little water bubbles trapped within some crystals. While we were browsing through some of the rocks for sale, we found one with two bubbles! The owner was charging like $200, so instead we ended up buying a rock nicknamed the "TV stone" for $3. It's real name is Ulexite. Look it up at your nearest nerd rock shop. You won't be disappointed, I swear.

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Some of the cases had a bunch of stuff like bugs trapped in amber, pertrified wood, ancient shrimp looking things stuck in stone, and even a bunch of corpolite [fossilized dinosaur shit] there.

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There were lots of old man doing demonstrations as they put together miniture ships,

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as well as a bunch of really amazing furniture pieces to be judged.

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Back outside, we wheeled baby Ashton around and got a kick out of some of the outdoor entertainment. This pic up above was one of my favorite looking attractions, with a close second being a ride covered in a bunch of Burt Reynolds portraits!

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These people were diving from 80 feet up...

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But again, the real amusment was brought inside. Like many fairs, there were tons and tons of 4-H kids showing off all the smelly animals they'd been raising since the last fair, including turkeys, cows, hogs, and any other poultry or bovine you can think of. In one warehouse there was a huge pile of dirt and mud centered within the space to create some sort of natural habitat/cage for a bunch of goats...

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Some were wearing brightly colored spandex.

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Whoa!

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We saw a "swifty swine" pig race.

There were also tons of booths where salesmen try to sell you anything from a hot tub, to super toilets, to shiny wind mobile crap like these.

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But most importantly, We. Saw. MONSTER TRUCKS!

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The monster truck rally was particularly entertaining, very white trash, loud enough to make children cry, packs of pickle-flavored sunflower seeds were thrown at the audiance, we were peer pressured to stand for that one ghey American pledge song or whatever, and they even had a monster truck from Bremerton, WA!

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The one with horns took the cake every time. The announcer was also pretty stoked about some state of the art technology where "your friends at home can control a live video camera for 50 seconds to watch the show from their personal computer!"

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There were also a few guys from past X-games doing a bunch of X-treme freestyle Moto bike tricks blah de blah blah blah.

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The fair was so good though. I marked pretty much everything off my "fried foods to eat atleast once" list, including funnel cakes, freedom fries, cinnamon rolls, deep-fried Snickers, and the greasiest [most delicious] garlic bread I've ever eaten. First thing I do when I get back from this road trip: buy a deep fryer and experiment with deep fried avacados.

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After crashing with the family for a couple nights, it was time to go hang out with good buddy, Mike Maxwell. Him and his lady friend, Crystal, were so good to us while we were there. I owe you guys one. Mike works as a curator over at the Voice 1156 gallery in downtown SD. If you're in the area, do check it out.

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Mike recently was in a show with Brian Dombrowsky (who I met and is super friendly) called "Preposterous Parade" and had a huge series of stuff relating to the American Civil War. The paintings from that are soooo good. He's mostly got stuff hanging in his home made by other artists, but this was one of his own.

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Each year he makes Crystal a new bird for her birthday.

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Here, a portrait of Tammy Fay.

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And lastly, Mike's first paintings ever. He made 'em with his gramps as a little kid. Anyway, we started crashing with Mike on the 4th of July, in his town of El Cajon. When we drove up there from San Diego, we were just in time to catch a horse shoe tournament, with real live professional players, over at the neighborhood park. We ate a bunch of barbecue, met a lot of Mike's great friends, and loaded up on alcohol before we headed out to a nearby Indian Reservation where Chandu, another one of Mike's friends, lives.

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Chandu's house was amazing! They had a fancy pool with a spa connected to it, a big shipping container for painting graffiti, a bunch of ATVs and mini-motorcycles, a silkscreening shop, horseshoe pits, a bunch of DJ equipment ... basically just an awesome house for entertaining on a couple acres of beautiful land.

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Before,

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and After.

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Mike chowing down on some chips.

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The real highlight of the evening was when someone accidentally crashed a mini-motorcycle into a running barbecue filled with cooking meat! Everyone scrambled to pick up the barbecue, and the dogs went crazy trying to pick up any meat scraps they could. Most of the meat was salvaged, and the barbecue was undamaged, but it really made for a great photo-op. One woman there actually scored a photo right as the dood colided into the grill, but I'm not sure how to get in touch with her to show ya'll. Hopefully this photo will do the accident some justice ... Notice the tiny dog paw print made of meat grease next to spatula!

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Being the 4th, we also watched a good, very close fireworks show put on by the reservation from their backyard.

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A bunch of DJ Shadow played during the show, and it really set a nice vibe to everything. This was also when I was able to hang out with Brian Dombrowsky a bunch. The guy was super rad, way into burning man, and taught Michelle how to open a beer with a lighter, a skill we've always considered to be of utmost value. Thanks dood. You were fun to chill with.

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Once the main fireworks were over the kids started lighting there own stuff on fire. I think Mike took that as a cue to call it a night so we all headed out to avoid the traffic and to change out of all our wet swimming suits. Thanks Chandu (+ your family) for opening up your home to us! You've got a really great place, you served some dank nachos, and we really enjoyed our visit!

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The next day Michelle and I went to the gallery Mike works at, Voice 1156 gallery, and helped him hang some pieces for their next show. The show's called "Below Sea Level" and features a lot of really great stuff by painter/drawer, Ben Horton. Here's some photos I took of the stuff we hung up that afternoon.

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The one above and the one below were huge! Notice the ladder standing next to one.

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The series down below was so killer.

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The show should still be going on by the time this is posted, but July 28th is it's last day, so hurry.

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After all of the stuff was hung, we headed out to Balboa Park, a park in San Diego that has a lot of neat architecture, gardens, a huge koi pond, and a bunch of museums. We went to a couple free museums that were really amazing ... The best of them was called The Timken Museum of Art, and had a bunch of old Russian paintings of Jesus, the Resurrection, etc. etc. circa 15th - 18th century. It was really great hanging out with Mike there. We seemed to have the same taste and attention to detail, and before we knew it, it was time to go. Sadly, no pictures allowed, so you'll have to go yourself.

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The atrium there was pretty rad lookin', and we also went to some place that showed a bunch of student's work. Entry fee was $3, but Mike haggled 'em down to a buck. Most of the stuff was pretty bogus, but there were a couple neat things.

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We thought this piece was kinda funny.

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$900?! Anyhow, Mike took us to some rad little places to eat some grub, him and Crystal let us into their home for a couple nights, Mike drove us around all California style, they "smoked us out," barbequed hella, and they let us watch their cable TV really late at night (Big Love is my new favorite show.) He even left me this rad zine of his before I took off.

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He drew this picture in there, inspired by a 4th of July discusion about the true definition of Caucasian.

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About a year ago I sent him this drawing I had made of him. Had no idea it made it into the zine though ... Cool.

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Mike, Crystal, ya'll were super good to us, so yeah, thanks guys. Come visit Seattle some time. We'll find some room for ya for sure. In the morning (Thursday, the 6th) we took off from San Diego early to embark on a reeeeeally long drive through the desert to the Grand Canyon ... To get there we drove back north and over into Arizona, passing through the Mojave Desert. It was gonna be super hot, so we figured we'd try to miss the heat by leaving so early. It was still way hot though, so I don't know that it made too much of a difference. There isn't exactly a whole lot to look at either. Some rad rock formations dot the land every once in a while, but mostly it's just sand and shrubs. To get through the dry spell we finished listening to our books on CD of "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" by David Sedaris, and once that was over, we moved on to "The Vagina Monologues" by Eve Ensler. The road is fucking hard, and the road is fucking tough, so once we finished that we started "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson. We needed to get to the Grand Canyon that day, so we stuck to only making stops for either food or a gas fill up.

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Saw this in a gas station restroom along the way.

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We also passed this place. I think it was along the 40 I think, on some road named after the Alamo. I thought it might be a museum or a tourist trap of some kind, but really it was just someone's home.

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We saw that it was private property though, and so we continued on.

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And then we made it. The Grand Fucking Canyon. Seriously, it is large. Now I know why everyone all over the world gets super-psyched about the place. It's huuuuuuuuuuge, and colorful, and there are lots of funny foreign tourists who are very polite and talk in quiet voices. You gotta check it sometime if you haven't before. The park is nice, and even though there are about 405973459887 people there it doesn't really feel like it. It's not overly crowded or anything.

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We walked around the rim for awhile, saw another campground presentation about plants and animals, participated in some sing along, camped, then walked the rim some more the next day. Apparently it was monsoon season while we were there ... something about how the ocean warms up, causing more water evaporation over the Gulf and off the west coast, which causes more clouds to dump over the area... anyway, we saw some amazing thunderstorms with some rad lightning.

Here's a video I took, scrolling over some of the canyon. It's so huge it's hard to fit enough of it in a photograph to give you the right idea of how massive it actually is.

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We were able to catch the sunset our first night there. Pretty tight ...

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On our way out we stopped at the park's general store for some postcards and saw the beast below in the parking lot.

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Sadly, we did not catch the owner on our way out.

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Oh, and this was in a bathroom I used there too. The leaf looked better then your common desk carving. I have a feeling it was well practiced. Anyhow, affer a few days we bid a final farewell to the coolest ditch in the world, and took off for New Mexico. Another drive through the desert ...

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Stopped at Taco Bell where we saw these.

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Pretty funny, huh? Moving on, we went and checked out the Painted Desert before we finally made it into New Mexico.

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The badlands... The other tourists where pretty amusing too. I specifically recall one white trash family with a father yelling at his two kids for eating an entire bag of candy in one sitting. They were wearing a pretty comical set t-shirts too. One with a "System of a Down" shirt, and the other one was pink with some text saying "It's not pink. It's lightish red." Oi the kids!

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We saw this super creepy looking power plant some where along the 40.

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Eventually we pulled into Albuquerque, where everything really is colored all tacky southwestern styleee.

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Not sure if the rainbow begins or ends at the Albuquerque K-mart, but I do know they suck for not selling me ice, and for having terrible customer service ... We stopped at a co-op across the street instead to stock up on supplies though, and asked for some wifi suggestions from a grocery clerk there. With his help we were able to pirate internet from behind some restaurant, found that everything fun to do was closed, and then drove kind of late to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where we slept or first night in the car at a Wal-Mart parking lot ... This is something I think is kind of interesting. Wal-Mart encourages people traveling the U.S. to camp in their parking lots. No one bothered us and they even had 24-hour security patrolling the lot. I guess Wal-Mart feels like they need to make up for the fact that, despite what their commercials say, they are a pretty terrible company for more reasons than I care to discuss here, so here is their pay-back to the American populous. It was cool to have a free place to crash, at least. The next morning, on the way out of Las Cruces (which is ghetto as fuck by the way,) we went out of our way a bit to find a giant roadrunner sculpture made of garbage at a rest stop.

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For whatever reason, there was a disproportionate number of used golf shoes, but other than that the selection of junk was pretty random.

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It had a big round brush looking thing for a butthole.

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The chest made of shoes... After that we continued on and eventually passed into "The Proud Home of President George W. Bush," Texas. Ugh... Actually, this state ended up treating us pretty well, but I'll tell you all about that in my next post, once I get around to it. Right now I'm staying with a friend, Peter, in Syracuse, NY. Tomorrow we're off to Niagara Falls, and by Friday I should be in Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival. If anyone has a place big enough for Michelle and I to crash on the floor during that time, that would rule. Otherwise, I'm not totally sure what we're gonna do 'bout that ... But yeah, until then, send me some luck coded within your comments. Thanks doods!

{moscomment}

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Alexis Anne Mackenzie - 2/28
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:21

SAN FRANCISCO --- Alexis Anne Mackenzie opens Multiverse at Eleanor Harwood in the Mission on Saturday, Feb 28th. -details

a_m


 

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur
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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.

lead

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

 

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17_ms

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charlie

 

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tiburonbridge

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What many people don't know is that these lands were almost lost to large-scale development. link

 

1/5/14 - Going Back
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As we work on our changes, we're leaving Squarespace and coming back to the old server. Updates are en route.

The content that was on the site between May '14 and today is history... Whatever, wasn't interesting anyway. All the good stuff from the last 10 years is here anyway.

###########
 

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Opening tonight, Friday May 23rd (7-10pm) at Park Life in the Inner Richmond (220 Clement St) is Again Home Again featuring works from the duo Jacob Mcgraw-Mikelson & Rachell Sumpter who split time living in Sacramento and a tiny island at the top of Pudget Sound with their children.

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park_life

 

NYPD told to carry spray paint to cover graffiti
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nyc_graffitiNYC --- 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

 

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


Headlands Center Fundraiser -6/4/14
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 07:54

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.

headlands

 

Congrats, Dudes(ette)
Monday, 19 May 2014 09:29

Just want to say congrats to Fecal Face's Rachel Ralph for graduating from SFAI with her masters in curatorial studies. Also want to congratulate Alex Ziv who also just got his MFA in painting. Also a high five to the talented Mario Ayala who also just graduated from SFAI as well! --- All super talented artists (thinkers), and we're excited to see what the future holds for them!

 

 

 


 

 

 

Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

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Interview w/ Kevin Earl Taylor

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Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

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Jay Bo at Hamburg's Circle Culture

Berlin based Jay Bo recently held a solo show at Hamburg's Circle Culture featuring some of his most recent paintings. We lvoe his work.


NYCHOS @Fifty24SF

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.


Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?


Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net


ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

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.


BANDES DE PUB / STRIP BOX

In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.


AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

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.


Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

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.


Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

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.


John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

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.


FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners


Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

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.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

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.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

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


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

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


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

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.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

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.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

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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