Gary Baseman's retrospective "The Door is Always Open" at the Skirball in LA opened recently to massive crowds in a huge celebratory opening party. The exhibition is so complex and personal, delving into Baseman's background, family history, and all the layers of prolific work that he has done over the years. After the opening festivities winded down, I caught up with Baseman for an interview. We discussed the underlying meaning to some of the components of the show and how it felt for him, coming from such an honest personal perspective in putting this massive show together.
Kristin: First of all, congrats on such a phenomenal retrospective with "The Door is Always Open" at the Skirball. The whole show was such an in depth exploration of your work and really a celebration of the work you've done over the last several decades. It was such an involved event, too, with so many different things going on. How did that feel for you- the experience of the opening and winding down afterwards? It was pretty epic.
Gary: Well even when I give a tour of the exhibition or look at just the exhibition itself, it has so many layers to it. So because I was determined when I put together the exhibition to not have a traditional retrospective, but that I was trying to create this kind of art installation- this kind of environment to engage the viewer and in a way disarm them. I wanted to bring them in to the space, to make them part of it and for them to be able to interact with the art differently than just a viewer looking at a painting behind glass. That became such an overwhelming process, so in some ways when I first give a tour of the exhibition itself, you get caught up in the concept. And then because each room represents a theme in my work, you almost end up removing the actual exhibitions themselves.
Each piece of art represents a specific exhibition or an event and then has a story in its own right.
So again, there are so many layers of not just the work as art, it's the work also as history, as memory and heritage and so you're dealing with a sense of family. For me it was a way to honor my family my parents for one by having their furniture, their original furniture, in there.
K: Wow, I didn't realize that was their original furniture you used. I was wondering about it.
G: Yeah, this is a very deep emotional exhibition. The furniture in the Living Room, the Dining Room and the Bedroom was my parents furniture. My mom passed away in October and at first I was going to mainly use relatives' furniture to capture that era, cause its not only my family but its also the Fairfax District that I grew up in. But when my mom passed away in October I made the decision to use family furniture. My brothers and sisters said it was cool and so I moved my parents' furniture that they had left in their home of 48 years and used it in the exhibition.
K: That's incredible. I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I imagine you were already well into working on this show when she passed, so was this process kind of therapeutic?
G: Well the process already started when my father passed away three years ago.... ~continue reading
Fertile Menace, a new show of Mark Mulroney's (NY) work opened at Ever Gold on May 4th and it's not one to be missed. It is intelligently hilarious, with jokes riffing off sex, Foucault, and the body, and while it makes you laugh it's also going to make you think.
The DIY shelving and sculptures balance the highly-skilled execution of his drawings and paintings and the show really has something for everyone. There was a small crowd when I stopped by early in the evening, but it was a great opportunity to actually see the detailed work and read the text on some of them. I have a feeling it got busier after the sun went down completely, and I hope that people will continue to stop by before the show closes on June 8th.
Words and photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com
Our buddies Jay Howell, Andreas Trolf, and Jim Dirschberger are hyped as their show, which they've been working on for like 2 years, premieres on Nickelodeon Saturday. From the trailers we've seen so far and from what Jay has told us about, the show is going to be pretty epic. Congrats to those radical fellas.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 11:00 Written by Kristin Bauer
Following his solo exhibition "The Collected" at Gallery Wendi Norris, painter Amir H. Fallah is in the throes of developing more new works for upcoming international exhibits. We spent some time in his studio in Highland Park, Los Angeles recently, discussing his process and inspiration.
Amir H. Fallah admits that he's in the studio seven days a week, which is part of the reason he's chosen to build his studio into his home in Los Angeles. Fallah is an incredibly prolific visual artist showing nationally and internationally, and is also the founder and owner of Beautiful Decay, juggling both with incredible dexterity. On the tail end of his very successful and highly reviewed solo exhibition "The Collected" at Gallery Wendi Norris in San Francisco, immediately followed by the opening of "Desaturated Rainbow," a group exhibition he co-curated which opened in NYC at Field Projects, Fallah is back to work without missing a beat. I visited him at his studio on a beautiful sunny day recently to get a behind the scenes view of his process and inspiration.
Fallah is currently working on a number of pieces for a group exhibition at The Third Line in Dubai and several works on paper for another group exhibit in Rotterdam. The exhibition in Dubai is called Arrangement, and he is developing painted and collaged works on paper-mounted-canvas for it that deconstruct and reconfigure flower arrangement. Fallah found himself making these pieces after creating a painting he titled "The Ultimate Mom Painting" in 2009.
He says, "my mom called me up one day and said, 'Can't you just paint me something pretty? Like some flowers or a pond?' She wanted mom art... I made the 7'x5' painting as a joke and halfway through the painting I realized I liked it."
Seeing his work during its developing stages, the dance between abstraction and realism and the spatial tension that Fallah is playing with become clearer. Balancing references to abstract painting, Persian Miniature paintings, Dutch and Flemish still life and graphic design, the works are multidimensional and increasingly textural the closer one looks. --continuing reading
We were first introduced to the photography of Spanish born NYC based Bubi Canal when he emailed us his great video Trust in Me a couple years ago. His solo show Special Moment recently ran at NYC's Munch Gallery in February, and he recently released his newest video Chrystelle below.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 13:33 Written by Rachel Ralph
Although I missed the opening of Northern-California photographer Michael Garlington's newest show, Constructed Realities, I was fortunate enough to see the work still up during the Metaphysical fundraiser a couple weeks back at 111 Minna. Metaphysical fundraiser, an auction to benefit Wayne Ernzer.
The ghoulish photographs in their heavy, hand-made frames are reminiscent of photos from the old west, and the glass crucifixes, complete with fetuses and guns, emphasize the accumulated time within the works themselves. Whether you're looking at the frames, the photos, or both, this show deserves a visit, and a walk through the golden archway Garlington constructed around the front door.
Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com
Work by Northern-California photographer Michael Garlington
Work by Alex Kopps as part of the Metaphysical fundraiser.
Work for the Metaphysical fundraiser which went down at 111 Minna a couple weeks back.
Fecal Face contributor Rachel Ralph (rachel(at)fecalface.com) has been profiling this Oakland based painter as he travels about Japan. In this segment, we feature some photos as he prepared for this show and residency at Spes-LaB in Tokyo which opened last weekend. Arnold will be featured in SFMoMA's Minna Street windows on June 8th.
Last Saturday, here in SF's Mission district, Guerrero Gallery opened two new shows with Philly based Alex Lukas and SF based Richard Colman respectively. Colman's work occupied the project space while Lukas' work and foliage was presented in the main space. Worth getting to if you haven't already.
Just got back to SF after a little trip south to Sayulita, Mexico. After 10 years without a vacation, me and the Mrs. headed south for some mental time off sitting in the sun, swimming and enjoying the watery Mexican beer. Here are some photos as we get back into the swing of things again.
Huge Clare Rojas in the international terminal at SFO.
Highly recommend spending a little more for your own private pool.
San Francisco based Tristan Arcelona emailed over this ode to a SF classic. Whether male or female you gotta give respect to the first (and as of 2009 only) successfully unionized sex business in the U.S. We haven't been in years but do remember the place smelling like a healthy mixture of semen and cleaning supplies.
I like the comment left on their Yelp page by Samu S., "If you ever wanted to masturbate nonchalantly while talking to nude strange women this is the spot."
I'm originally from nicaragua. I grew up and operated in San Jose, CA. Last August I moved up 2 sf to study photography and film at SFAI. One day it'll all make sense (2008-2012) - expired color film - thespacetraveler.com
Henrik Haven keeps us up to date on the art happenings from his native Copenhagen and sent us a three part series on some of his city's street art and graffiti. This part 3 concludes (for now) his city wide graffiti tour - Part 1 - Part 2.
This morning we take a closer look at this beautiful painting by San Francisco based Michelle Fleck now showing at FFDG.
Arrangement measures 24"x30", acrylic and aerosol on panel - inquires: info(at)ffdg.net
Michelle Fleck is a painter living in San Francisco. Her work focuses on the relationship between man and the landscape, and the marks we leave on it. Influenced by everyday life in the city, her paintings serve as snapshots of an ongoing intersection of the natural and man-made world. She strives to make work that has a sense of relevancy in a culture driven by a need for change and newness.
Met up with Jeremy Fish last night to catch up and discuss his upcoming solo show opening this August at San Francisco's FFDG. Don't want to give too much away, but the guy is very busy these days. You know the giant pink bronze statue will be built and installed at the corner of Haight and Laguna welcoming those to the Haight (check) in 2015? Going to be incredible.
Check photos from his last San Francisco solo show in 2012, and mark your calendar for August as his next solo show opens at FFDG.
Beering with Fish at his favorite watering hole, Zeitgeist
Sculpture of Jesus as homeless and sleeping on a park bench is "freaking out" the neighbors of this wealthy NC suburb. The sculptor, who has an affinity for street art, created it to remind us that "We believe that that's the kind of life Jesus had," Buck says. "He was, in essence, a homeless person." ~READ ON
I attached a cradle with a spray paint can and other hardware to the drone. I created a series of paintings that are larger, about maybe 3 feet by 3 feet all the way up to 25 feet by 15 feet … And basically, I achieved the perfect air pressure, the perfect weight of the paint and the perfect materials so that the drone didn’t freak out when I attached these mechanisms to it, Katsu said. --continue reading
Speaking of Ocean Beach, if you know, you know, but if you don't... it's not what the average american thinks of when thinking of a California Beach (missing 14 yr. old yesterday). Can't believe we used to drunk naked swim at 3am in the dead if winter... being surfers probably helped us not dying.
Located in the beautiful ocean-side Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Headlands artists programs support artists of all disciplines—from visual artists to performers, musicians, writers, and videographers—and provide opportunities for independent and collaborative creative work.
We all know that San Francisco is going through aches and (growing?)/ shrinking artist pains these days as San Francisco property values sky rocket due to the tech infestation going on around the entire Bay Area. Maybe you work in tech and love it, but since this is an art website, we're interested to how this is affecting artists trying to make ends meet.
Some galleries have been forced to close due to 300% rent hikes. Many artists have fled to Oakland, LA and NYC in search of affordable housing and a more vibrant art scene... But we wanna know what you think of how it's going here in San Francisco. How are you making it work? What's your take on the art scene or lack there of? Do you think things are on the up and up or down and out here in San Francisco? Are artists a bunch of complainers and every thing looks great or is it curtains for San Francisco's artistic community? Thoughts
The Rena Bransten Gallery is packing up their 77 Geary space to make way for tech company MuleSoft
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.
Our buddy Flavio Samelo down there in Brazil does all kinds of great work including this recent mural project in downtown Sao Paulo in front of one of the most important modern buildings of Oscar Niemeyer from the 60's, THE COPAN.
John Trippe, founder, owner and curator of FecalFace.com and the Mission District art gallery FFDG, announced today that he will stepping down from daily operations of the two ventures to seek new career opportunities.
Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.
"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.
BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.
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