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Home BLOGS Guest Blog Guest Blog: Hey, Aren't You Guys From the Internet?

Guest Blog: Hey, Aren't You Guys From the Internet?
Written by Andreas Trolf   
Monday, 11 September 2006 09:41
Andreas Trolf guest blogs up his trip to Maine for RobStock- skating, beers, and trees.
By Andreas Trolf (with additional photos by Dave Franklin)

You know how when you live in a city sometimes all you can think about is getting the fuck out of the city? Life gets a bit too complicated and you just want to run screaming into the woods and forget about things for a while. Or possibly you just feel the overwhelming desire to binge drink, see some bands play in the forest, and set fires. Either way, I imagine that it's pretty common for city dwellers the world over to want to get back to nature on occasion. Every August for the past four years a group of us has been convening in rural Maine on a parcel of land owned by Lowcard founder Rob Collinson. A bunch of folks fly out from San Francisco, more people drive up from New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, and the Maine locals dust off their skateboards and head down the road to meet us as well. It's really quite wonderful and each year I make a little zine to give to all the people that made the trip. No one who wasn't there gets a copy, but this year a bunch of first timers trudged up there (9 hours due north from New York), and I don't have everyone's address to send out the zines. And also Trippe asked me to blog it up, and since I'm a self-important narcissist I couldn't turn down an opportunity for exposure and self-promotion. And besides, according to post-modern conceit nothing truly takes place unless you're able to document it and share it, no matter how small and insignificant something is. Everything that will ever happen will live forever on the internet! Hail technology! Hail exhibitionism!

Here's a little preview of what's to follow, just to pique your interest in yet another blog.

Anyhow, as the second weekend in August was approaching we all made our respective plans for getting up to Maine. Some of us gathered in New York first in order to luxuriate in the 100-degree temperature for a few days. I spent most of that time at my brother's house on the beach, where I scarcely left the water. I had planned on renting a 15 passenger van for the drive up since so many people had expressed an interest in attending Rob-stock, as it's affectionately known. But lo and behold, as it turns out some unpaid parking tickets from 7 years ago had finally caught up with me, and the great state of New York saw fit to strip me of my driving privileges. But rather than go to court to have my license reinstated, I just borrowed my brother's truck and hoped I wouldn't get pulled over. It seemed at first that there were more people going on the trip than there were cars, so we had to do some creative rearranging of rides. When our day of departure came, I was in a truck filled with camping gear and my friend Sally Vitello. We decided to break the torturous drive up into two days, so our first stop on the way up was going to be Boston-a city I normally can't fucking stand. We planned on staying with my ex-wife Nicole, so that was at least something to look forward to even though I hate that fucking city. I don't know if I can quite articulate what it is exactly about Boston that drives me nuts, but maybe it has something to do with a classic East Coast rivalry, or the fact that they call roundabouts "rotaries" up there. I don't know. Anyhow, we got there in the evening and while Sally crashed out at the house and watched America's Next Top Model or some shit with Nicole's roommate, Nicole and I headed off into the night in search of booze. Luckily, despite my distaste for Boston, it is a drinkin' city. So they at least have that going for them, right?

We headed over to this one bar that I've already forgotten the name of so as to meet up with some of Nicole's friends. They actually turned out to be a pretty okay bunch…for a bunch of Bostonians. Oddly enough, as it turned out Nicole's friend Scott was a coworker of this girl Jen Novak that I went to high school with and hadn't seen in many years. I'm not quite sure how we stumbled upon this bit of information, but I was totally jazzed when Scott invited us to their work the next day to surprise Jen. I asked him what they did for a living and he said, "Oh, that's the best part. We train monkeys!" Needless to say, I almost crapped my pants.

The next morning, bright and early, Sally, Nicole, and I headed over to Helping Hands, the only facility in the world that trains helper monkeys for the disabled. We entered what looked like a fancy southern mansion on a totally nondescript street in suburban Boston, but once inside my head nearly exploded from joy. There were monkeys everywhere! Little Capuchin monkeys! Wearing diapers!

When Scott brought us in we walked right up to Jen and she didn't even recognize me. In my own brain, I haven't changed one bit since high school. Apparently, though, I look like shit. Why didn't someone tell me? After I reintroduced myself to her and we hugged, Jen asked us if we wanted to hang out with the monkeys. As if that was even open to debate. Bring on the primates, I told her.

There's me with my new best friend. I forgot his name, so I'm going to call him Gary.

Here you can see some of our new buddies climbing all over Sally. These little dudes are highly trained and can do all sorts of amazing things to assist disabled folks, such as using household appliances, scratching itches, and cooking soufflés, but at the end of the day they still prefer life's simple pleasures like grooming you and picking lice and mites from your hair. Apparently they have a special affinity for blond hair, so Sally was overwhelmed immediately.

Nicole, on the other hand, got felt up. I mean, granted, it was a tiny monkey that touched her boob, but I still felt a bit territorial since she used to be my old lady. It took a lot of self-control for me not to pull a knife on that motherfucker.

After hanging out with the monkeys for most of the day, we hugged them all goodbye and got back on the road to Maine. We drove most of the day and caravanned for a while with Clemoff, Jen, and Denise who had since caught up to us, having driven straight up past Boston from New York while we were busy playing with monkeys. When we finally got to Maine it was pouring rain. And this wasn't any pussy-ass San Francisco rain. This was tropical Maine monsoon rain. We made it to the campsite and couldn't even get out of the cars. Rather than sleep uncomfortably in a truck, common sense prevailed and we got motel rooms in town. The next morning, the sun was shining and I was filled with a buoyant optimism. When we got back to the campsite we found Busenitz already drinking beers and shooting things with his newly acquired bb gun.

After pitching out tents unloading our crap, the first order of business-as it is every year-is to go swimming at Six Mile Lake. It's truly glorious. Nothing but hills and trees and cliffs and a rope swing and one giant lake (completely free of lake monsters and eels and bog-men). This year was the first time that anyone thought far enough ahead to acquire some inflatable rafts for lounging in the water. In years past, we'd just jumped off the cliffs and swum around for a bit. This year, though, the rafts made all the difference. Also, since there's no running water Six Mile served as our only means of bathing.

Here you can see Dave Franklin getting radical on the rope swing. There are also various levels of cliffs from which to jump, starting off with "Pussy Rock," a mere five feet above the lake, going all the way up to "Fucking Shit Rock." Janelle even brought her little dog, which I personally thought was a mistake. I mean, seriously, look at that little bitch.

Would you not think that it would get eaten by a fucking bear on the very first night there? In the end, though, no bears showed up and the little dog was a constant source of hilarity once we all ate our stash of mushrooms (more on that later).

Here's my roommate Mariah. You can never have enough photos of chicks and guns. You might recognize her from fecal face. And since I'm mentioning the internet, I might as well go ahead and articulate what turned out to be a huge theme for us this year: websites! It seems like everyone on this trip has their own website and had brought at least one digital camera with them. The catch phrase of the week was, "Hey, aren't you (blank) from…the internet???" followed by uproarious laughter. But it's true. No fewer than five separate websites are covering this camping trip. It's like some sort of cosmic blog convergence! And since I'm probably the last one to write about it, I guess this blog officially counts as OVERKILL (seriously, go ahead and look at www.endlessbummer.com, www.epiclytrife.com, www.slapmagazine.com, www.lowcardmag.com, or www.hightowereverything.com. No really, go ahead. I'll wait…). While we're waiting, here's a really lovely photo that Dave Franklin took of a rope swing and some lake mist. Ahhh, the serenity…

After swimming, it was time to head back to camp in order to relayer the miniramp we'd built on our very first summer in Maine. The ramp is excellent, and every year we seem to add another ridiculous obstacle. One year Rob decided that it needed a deathbox, so in the middle of someone's run he took a chainsaw and cut a hole in the transition. The next year we added quarterpipes to the platform. This year we made a janky extension only a couple inches wide at the top. It's truly a miracle that there haven't been any broken bones yet, considering all the alcohol consumed over the course of the trip.

This is Ashley, one of the locals and an all around excellent dude. Two years ago during the campout he got a tattoo of a lobster from Rocco that covers up most of his forearm (you know, lobsters=Maine), only Rocco made the claws a bit too small so technically Ashley's got a crawdad covering his fucking forearm. This year he brought the entire family.

Here he is with his little dude, Cecil. For some reason junior had a busted wing, although it didn't stop him from goddamned tear-assing around camp, playing with power tools and stealing skateboards at every opportunity. When I have kids, I can only hope they're 1/10th as cool as this little rugrat.

Speaking of cool, here's Ashley's other kid, whom he's trained to hold his beer for him. That alone is reason enough to make babies, don't you think? A-dorable!

As in years past, catching snakes was a highly anticipated pastime for our group of derelicts. Here's Rob with the first catch of the week. Rob sucks.

And here we have Jake Japanese of Hightower fame, holding up the newly minted Hightower bro-model from Coda Skateboards (shameless plug-order yours today at www.codaskateboards.com, God I'm pathetic).

One of the crew of newcomers, Jilleen had a pretty sweet tent set-up. She handed me a marker and asked me to draw on it for her. The "insert wiener here" part is what I came up with. Some might consider that sexist or misogynist, but to those people I say, Could you have come up with a better idea?

And here we have the undisputed King of Lowcard, Chris Lewis. Lewis owns one of only two Lowcard tattoos. He got his while in Maine last year. He also gets the most coverage in Lowcard as well as Maine-iacs of any single individual. Lewis is a wonderful dude, but is also the embodiment of Lowcard. Last year when we picked him up in Connecticut on our way to Maine, he'd just polished off an entire bottle of Sloe Gin and his last words to his Grandfather as he left the house were, "You know what, Grandpa? You're not so fucking tough…" He also forgot to bring a change of clothes or a sleeping bag. On the plus side, he brought a bunch of Thrasher back issues and some sandwiches. I love this guy.

Look closely at the above photo. Can you tell why he thought that skateboarding was especially difficult for two entire days? The truck-reversal was courtesy of the fine folks at Water Brothers in Newport, Rhode Island (I love those dudes).

Speaking of Newport, it was right around this time that Demassek arrived! For those of you unfamiliar with this spectacular musical group, there are quite possibly no words that will do them any justice. Suffice it to say that at their last appearance in New York a week prior to our camping trip, there was so much epicness that I ended the night by taking Angela Boatwright to get stitches, while Jake and Lewis both gushed blood everywhere as well.

Here we see Logan and Dods of Demassek arriving with our beverage of choice: Gnarlo Rossi table wine. These dudes, along with Ricky, form the Scottish Triumvirate of Newport. They are possibly the best dudes of all time. If you don't believe me, just go have a look at their daily hijinx on endless bummer.

It wasn't until this point that we really got down to proper rugged woodsman-like activities. This is Logan and Bringer-of-Death (I don't even know dude's real name but with a moniker like that, do you even need a real name?) getting down to it and chopping some wood. Well done. Each year Demassek sets up a shantytown of graffittied tents behind the ramp, and each year the shantytown gets a bit more haggard in both appearance and temperament. This year, for instance, a drunken Chris Lewis crawled into Dods's tent and refused to get back out. So rather than get too worked up about it, Dods simply collapsed his own tent and pummeled Lewis while he was trapped inside. I wish to God I had photos of this going down, because they ended up having a pseudo-fist fight, which Jake tried to break up and for his efforts got thrown in the mud. But like I said, this is already well-covered territory, so go find the photos elsewhere on the interweb.

He we have Dods and Ricky with two invaluable camping accoutrements: the headlamp and the jug of wine. Ricky was especially stoked because rather than the de rigeur Gnarlo Rossi, he'd found some a jug of wine from Livingston, his Scottish home.

This is the kind of thinking that complicates life. I'm sure that before you get up to the woods getting all camouflaged seems like a great idea, and camo beer coozies just complement the whole kit. But what happens if you drop your beer, Dods? How will you find it again? Once we'd gotten all settled and well drunk, the appointed hour for fire pit skating arrived. This ritual dates back dozens of generations, back when Clemoff first hauled a bunch of plywood over to the fire and built a runway.

It always entertaining and I never participate, mainly because it's too damned hilarious when someone doesn't quite clear the fire.

If you were wondering how we got such an incredible fire going after it had rained so much the previous night, this is your answer. We actually started cannibalizing Rob's shack, where he spent five years of his life living with his Dad. At one point when I was completely mushroom-addled and Rob and I were pulling shingles off the shack to feed the fire, I got really introspective and philosophical and asked Rob how he felt about destroying his past (the shack) to fuel the present (the fire; the camping trip). It seemed really deep to me at the time. Something about how nothing truly exists aside from the moment that you're in-how the past disappears with each passing moment and all we're left with is relics of something that's gone forever, just as with each passing moment we lose a part of ourselves that lived in the past and how we're all on this unavoidable, ineluctable collision course with our own mortality. Fuck man, I was getting deep there for a minute. Anyhow, the next morning we were all quite haggard and hanged over, so we jumped in several cars and drove a ways down the road to our Maine restaurant of choice: Helen's! August in Maine is blueberry season, so everything (everything) is packed with freshly picked blueberries. Pancakes, pies, hamburgers, and especially fresh blueberry juice. You truly haven't lived until you've had a sip of freshly squozen blueberry juice; it's like life is exploding inside of you. It's wonderful.

After breakfast, Six Mile was once again calling us.

On the way back from the lake, you have to walk past this little trailer in the middle of the woods. We've always just walked right past it, but this time Ricky decided that his curiosity was too great not to have a quick peek inside. He even left two cold beers in the trailer's fridge for whoever might come along to discover them (although we all placed odds that it would be either Lewis or Dan Pensyl).

After swimming we found some yard sales.

Here's Bringer with his giant gauntlet.

Logan bought himself a sheepskin rug and a mailbox incase anyone wanted to send him a postcard. The next morning he checked the mailbox outside of his tent and he had two postcards. I'm not kidding. I bought a leather vest covered with patches from the Bangor, Maine chapter of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.), which I gave to my brother, Alexis, because he owns a Harley and is tougher than I am (even though we both have sissy names).

When we got back from the yard sale, it had started to rain again. Not everyone planned ahead with tarps, and even some of the tents ended up getting quite soaked (city slickers…). Most of us just crowded underneath the ramp's platforms and waited out the rain.

Of course, some people didn't mind shattering the illusion that we were actually in the wilds of nature. Davey and Pat hung out inside the shack, which I guess is actually more of a proper cabin than it is a shack. It's got three rooms and the main room still contains Rob's Dad's collection of books, magazines, and VHS tapes upon which he recorded quite a collection of episodes of National Geographic Explorer as well as episodes of Manimal and Simon and Simon.

When the rain finally subsided, people were stoked. Everyone came out of hiding and just sort of rejoiced and thanked the gods of the forest for blessing us with a lovely day on which to drink beer and cook sausages.

Stupidly enough, no one remembered to bring a grill for the fire. Someone was dispatched posthaste to the nearest supermarket to steal us a shopping cart. It worked perfectly.

People were once again in high spirits and we knew the rain would never stop us! Pat Smith started shooting things again and Hightower and Demassek started setting up their gear in preparation for the evening's show.

Jilleen, however, discovered the summer's first sign of the impending vernal equinox. I asked to take a photo of her, and she obliged but only after covering her face out of fear that she'd be featured on "some dumb website." I hate to tell you this, Jilleen, but there's already a photo of you with your tongue hanging out of your mouth next to a drawing of a wiener on this website.

These two dogs were running around camp all day trying to hump. Well, to be fair, one of them wanted to hump and the other wanted to not get humped. The one that wanted to do the humping had his little rocket out and was gyrating his hips for ages in anticipation of some hot coitus. The other dog kept growling at him, but in the end (with a little help from Logan and his giant beer) relented. The funny thing though was that everyone thought it was the single greatest thing that had ever happened in the history of the world. Everyone had their cameras out and was documenting for all posterity the image of two dogs getting it on. The truly funny thing wasn't that two dogs were humping, but rather that when they separated Logan happened to get a bit too close.

I had no idea that dogs pulled out early. Sure beats doggie rubbers, though. It was about this time that everyone started dipping into their satchels of mushrooms. Man, I'll tell you, nothing beats hanging out in the woods and eating psychotropic drugs. Last year I ate too much and tore my shirt off and ran through the woods screaming, "Valhalla!!!" It was awesome.

Here's Brian, who happens to be a bit on the sensitive side sometimes. This was his first time up in Maine, although it was hardly his first experience with mushrooms. Only a few months ago Brian, Pensyl, Tim Vander, and I ate a bunch of mushrooms and went skating around Brooklyn on a Saturday night. I ended the night curled up in a fetal position on the floor of Pensyl's bathroom. Nude. Brian ate his mushrooms and felt like picking a lovely bouquet of flowers. Awwww. His judgment must have been seriously impaired, though, because he didn't think anyone would make fun of him for carrying around a bunch of wildflowers-for 18 hours. His new nickname is Wildflower, so please address him accordingly from now on, okay?

I'd love to say that Lewis was in rare form this day, but this behavior is way too common for him for it to be considered "rare form." Dave applied a temporary tattoo to Lewis's forehead, which Lewis proceeded to forget about for a while and when he took it off finally he had the letters sunburned into his flesh.

We had not one, but two sets of twins with us! What are the odds?

Pensyl ate mushrooms, too. Only he accidentally ate waaay too many and proceeded to inhabit a magical land of hilarity for approximately 48 hours. I'm not kidding. In fact, I'm still not sure if he's ever fully recovered. Everything was hilarious to this dude.

Speaking of hilarious: here are Dan's Lowcard toes.

Then it was time for Hightower to go on. And by "on" I mean "set up their gear on some plywood and do their best to not fall over. Lewis got the best seat in the house. Actually, it was much more than that. This was a dream made into reality: an easy chair with a beer holder in the arm, set up only six feet from where Hightower was playing. He was in Dude Heaven.

Things got even better for him when he got an impromptu Hightower lap dance courtesy of Dave Fallis.

The plywood stage was not working to Shane's advantage. People kept running up mid-song and setting his cymbals back up for him. That's what's so awesome about life, though-people working together for the betterment of all mankind!

Let's check back in with Pensyl:

Yep. Still hilarious.

Some local hippies even showed up and hung a giant tapestry from some trees. It was kind of an odd moment realizing that Rob-stock had taken on a life of its own. Rob kept on saying, "The more, the merrier!" but then also offered $10 to the first person who'd pull the tapestry down. Lewis jumped at the chance to earn $10 and ran over to where the hippies were congregated and proclaimed his intentions of laying the tapestry to waste. I thought they were going to start crying or something, but their leader calmly asked Lewis to not destroy it because they'd worked very hard on it all year.

For some reason, the hippie's gentle plea for mercy really struck a chord with Lewis and he proceeded to get sucked into a 20 minute lecture about how the tapestry was a pictorial allegory for the U.S.-led war on drugs. And granted, everyone there was probably on drugs, but no one wants to get lectured while actually on drugs, especially so in the woods, and even more especially so when Hightower is playing. Dods turned everyone's attention back to the issues at hand by attempting to skate down the fire pit runway.

...which did not work out the way he'd hoped.

The set ended somewhat abruptly when Jake realized that he was entirely too wasted to continue. You should have seen the look in his eyes when he came to this conclusion. It was the 1,000 yard stare. The lights were on, but nobody was home. Mid-song, he simply took off his guitar and dropped it on the ground and with a jug of wine he wandered into the woods like some sort of enchanted forest creature that was being called home by some sort of siren song.

Then something magical happened that none of us will ever, ever forget. This one dude, Louis (who is this 40 year-old local that Rob and his friends have known for years and had picked a bunch of fights with people last year, prompting Rob to kick him out, but who came back this year but only under Rob's strict admonition that he remain calm and courteous under threat of an ass-kicking of biblical proportion), got incredibly wasted and fell into a pile of lumber. Head first. When he stood back up, he had a rusty nail entering his cheek and exiting inside his mouth! I wish, I wish I had a photo of the nail actually sticking out. The truly funny thing is that he didn't even quite realize what had happened. Apparently (I didn't see it) he stood up and tried to get his balance, and things dawned on him as he put a hand to his wobbly head.

Immediately, everyone there pulled out their cameras and started documenting the bloodbath. I was standing with Rob when Susie House ran up to us (Rob's a paramedic) and told us in a very calm voice, "Excuse me, Rob, but could you come with me for a moment? There's a man with a nail in his face." Rob calmly replied, "Well how did that happen?" It was priceless.

We ran over and found this media circus. Clemoff was videotaping it and even asked the dude if he could turn his head a bit to one side because the light was better. Again, priceless. Rob started yelling at him, "It's always something with you, Louis. Every fucking year you do some dumb fucking shit…" To which Louis, much to his credit, replied, "Look Rob, I don't need to tell you that I have A NAIL IN MY FACE, so I would appreciate it if you didn't criticize me right now."

Rob simply walked up to him and snatched the nail right out and told the hapless drunk to go and get a tetanus shot in the morning. Here's what it looked like:

And here's Susie's reaction to the whole thing:

Hilarity! We're a bunch of heartless monsters. And just then, the hippies decided to pack it in and take back off to their secret underground lair. As their leader was getting on his motorbike, Ricky asked him in his thick Scottish accent if he could get the thing up to a hundred miles an hour. The guy said, "probably," and Ricky said, "Well then, hoo aboot given m'eh a ride then?"

And away they sped into the night!

Then it was time for Demassek to go on. They've got a reputation as consummate showmen, all of them, and on this occasion we were not let down. not one goddamned bit.

They'd planned giant torches and Scottish flags well in advance. Here's Tooth holding up one of the torches. Bringer and Lewis held up the others and Lewis even managed to set himself on fire very briefly. No one seemed at all concerned about a bunch of drunks holding up giant flaming tree branches. Ricky got so stoked that he held a giant Scottish flag aloft for well over an hour. What a dude! It was glorious!

Here's Pete and Dods, making life happen.

Logan is an animal behind the drums. You could actually see the steam coming off him.

And on lead guitar is Antone! What he does on a guitar can only be described as miraculous. His fingers fly over the frets, the strings sing, sending praise to ancient Norse gods!

And in the middle of it all, Rob fell asleep while standing up.

Shane had the best Uncle Creepy hair going. But even so, he was raging. Maybe more so because of the hair. Demassek made people spontaneously combust.

The night came to a close with our annual ritual of having a friendly wrestling match on the ramp's flatbottom. It happens every year. People get covered in beer and mud and generally cannot stop laughing. This year, though, there was some unpleasantness involving a first time camper from Michigan, who's name I won't mention but who is generally considered to be one of the biggest dipshits in all of existence (Jerry Mraz), who managed to pick not one, but two separate fights. The night ended on an up note, though, when I swung Mariah around by her ankles and used her to knock people over! Maybe I'm a dipshit, too. Who can tell?

The next morning everyone was in complete disarray. People were passed out all haphazard everywhere. It looked as if a booze bomb had gone off. Body parts strewn about, empty beer bottles, discarded clothing left to soak in mud puddles like eagerly discarded prom dresses or Christmas trees in January. And then there was Lewis. Passed out warm and comfortable inside, reclining in an easy chair. He's got this terrible affliction when he sleeps that I'm termed "the suffering."

He doesn't so much snore as moan. I've slept in the same room as Lewis before and it's really quite terrifying. First he'll stop breathing, which is terrifying because you're first thought is, "Holy shit! He's dead!" Then, slowly, he'll start to take in air again, but it's all gurgling and bubbling, like he's breathing through a layer of mucous. Then he'll start to shiver and convulse, slightly at first, but with growing violence. Then the crying and moaning starts. It's horrible; enough to give you nightmares. All of this would be enough on its own, but the whole mess in concert is truly horrible to behold. God bless you, Lewis. I just don't want you to die, ok?

When he finally woke up, Lewis found the decapitated head of this giant teddy bear we'd bought for a dollar the day before at a yard sale. He emptied it of its stuffing and wore it around like a mask for a while, completely scaring the living shit out of each of the little kids in attendance (yeah, I know. Not the best environment for the kids, but don't judge anyone. I plan on bringing my kids when I get some). The kids would catch sight of him and start screaming at top volume and take off running. Finally, I had to tell Lewis that he was mentally scarring the children. That every time they see a drunken bear in the future, they'll have horrible memories of their childhood. Finally he took off the mask.

Then we all went home.

All in all, it was a lovely time yet again. Friendships were forged that will last for a lifetime. Brain cells have disappeared that we'll never get back. I have a pretty nice scar from a human bite. And we're already planning for next year. Just please don't ask to come with us, okay? This part of rural Maine has no more vacancy in August.

I'm not sure if I've got any deep parting words or anything. I could probably get away with just spouting some platitudes, so here goes:

This too shall pass...

so I'm going to live it up while I've got the time.

There, is that good enough for you people? {moscomment}

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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.



contact FF

SF Giants' World Series Trophy & DLX
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 17:21

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.

IMG_9585_sm

SF skateboarding icons Jake Phelps, Mickey Reyes, and Tommy Guerrero with the 3 SF Giants World Series Trophies


 

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
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 10:34

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

 

"Six Degrees" @FFDG
Friday, 16 January 2015 09:30

"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.

17_ms

Work by Meryl Pataky

 

In Wake of Attack, Comix Legend Says Satire Must Stay Offensive
Friday, 09 January 2015 09:59

Ron-Turner

Ron Turner of Last Gasp

"[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

 

Solidarity
Thursday, 08 January 2015 09:36

charlie

 

SF Bay Area: What Might Have Been
Tuesday, 06 January 2015 09:36

tiburonbridge

The San Francisco Bay Area is renowned for its tens of thousands of acres of beautiful parks and public open spaces.

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

 

1/5/14 - Going Back
Monday, 05 January 2015 10:49

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.

###########
 

Jacob Mcgraw-Mikelson & Rachell Sumpter @Park Life (5/23)
Friday, 23 May 2014 09:22

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.

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

park_life

 

NYPD told to carry spray paint to cover graffiti
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 10:37

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

 

//////////
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

 

 

 


 

 

 

Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

Los Angeles based Alison Blickle who showed here in San Francisco at Eleanor Harwood last year (PHOTOS) recently showed new paintings in New York at Kravets Wehby Gallery. Lovely works.


Interview w/ Kevin Earl Taylor

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...


Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

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.


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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