Video on London based David Shillinglaw who, besides blogging some London-ness for Fecal Face from time to time, is also an accomplished artist himself. Listen/ see what makes him tick.
Shillinglaw’s work moves between street and studio, from small hand made books, to paintings on canvas, and large scale wall murals. David has enjoyed applying his fine art practice to a number of other contexts, which range from theatre set designs, to album cover design. Past commissions include illustrations for The British Council Annual Report.
Wasn't going to write an intro for Ron English because if you're here at Fecal Face you should already be well aware of this iconic artist. If you need to know, read his bio below.
Thanks to Daniel Rolnik (danielrolnik[at]@gmail.com) for conducting this great interview for Fecal Face.
One of the most prolific and recognizable artists alive today, Ron English has bombed the global landscape with unforgettable images, on the street, in museums, in movies, books and television. English coined the term POPaganda to describe his signature mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones, from superhero mythology to totems of art history, populated with his vast and constantly growing arsenal of original characters, including MC Supersized, the obese fast-food mascot featured in the hit movie “Supersize Me,” and Abraham Obama, the fusion of America’s 16th and 44th Presidents, an image widely discussed in the media as directly impacting the 2008 election. Other characters carousing through English’s art, in paintings, billboards, and sculpture include three-eyed rabbits, udderly delicious cowgirls and grinning skulls, blending stunning visuals with the bitingly humorous undertones of America’s Premier Pop Iconoclast.
How do you teach yourself other artist’s techniques?
Trial and error. I had a gig painting landscapes a long time ago at one of those production houses where they taught me a lot of techniques. I also worked for a few different artists, so I had to learn how to mimic their styles.
What artists did you work for?
I did some paintings for Rohhny Decone, Larry Rivers, Marcus Darvy. When I first moved to New York in the 80’s I was a ghost painter. Yeah, it’s a good job to work and you get paid.
Was it frustrating to be a ghost painter because people wouldn’t actually know it was you who was the painter?
Oh yeah. It’s funny because I always get what I wish for, but it’s kind of like the old genie in a bottle thing – I wish that I could have people see all my paintings and the paintings I would make [for those artists] would end up in museums, it’s true. I always forgot to ask “could I sign them” but it’s not really your thing. It’s like if you go on tour with the Rolling Stones and you’re the bass player, you’re not really in the band and you don’t think you’re in the band –maybe after 30 years or so you think you’re in the band like Ron Wood [guitar]. It’s funny because it’s someone else’s art, they’ve built their own language, and if you went to art school there’s a certain amount of that stuff that you can just do. Their art was more about their concepts and I did it because I wanted to learn a lot of techniques.
Would you purposefully choose to work with certain painters whose style your wanted to learn?
Well Mark was probably the ultimate situation because initially there were only 3 other painters working with me, but later there were like 40. Guys were coming in from Russia and Poland, people who were trained as master painters and knew all the technique. And even from day one Clark Decarro was a classically trained painter from Canada, so he showed me how to make glazes, but it’s interesting to do something with someone sitting right next to you and where you can say “Why is this not working” and they’ll be respond by saying “here’s what you’re doing wrong”. They’re all there with you and I think that’s the best learning environment - when you can’t overcome something and there’s someone to show you how to do it right there. There are always bumps in the road, eventually you can figure it out on your own, you can read books, there are a lot of things you can do. If you want to get somewhere you’re going to get there, but it’s always nice to have a set of directions.
Do you have assistants help you with your paintings?
I have two assistants. One assistant comes in one day a week and stretches the canvasses and the other guy pretty much does everything - like all those weird houses with the comics all over them that are in the paintings. He puts together the houses and then puts the comic book collages on them and then he’ll set up the shot. When we were at Art Basil last week painting a big mural he took lined up and shook all the spray paint.
It’s kind of like being a surgeon and saying “Hooker Green ASAP” it really allows you to move like a motherfucker because you just reach your hand out and somebody’s putting whatever you’re asking for in your hand instead of you having to find it and shake it.
I mean all that time it takes to do that stuff slows us down and the fact that they are doing all that for us is just amazing.
Do you do anything to your spray paint cans to get them to behave in a certain way?
Sometimes they put too much pressure in the cans, so you turn them upside down and relieve some of the pressure. If you turn them upside down it just sprays, it doesn’t release the paint. And, as soon as you’re done spray painting you turn the can upside down so paint wont dry in the tip and ruin it. It’s also good if you want to do fine lines to make the pressure [in the can] super low. You never quit learning, you just don’t.
Do you read books on new painting techniques?
One of my friends learned a lot of his techniques from reading books, but I’m just not much of a reader.
We met a young skater named Charles Martin, an interesting guy studying at SFAI, through our friend Henry Gunderson. Charles would stop in the gallery from time to time, and the last time he came through he told us he was off to NYC to study at Cooper Union where his brother also studys. Getting into Cooper Union is no small feat. They're one of the most selective schools in the U.S. Well known for their art and science programs, C.U. admits students based on merit alone and provides each with a full-tuition scholarship. A FREE top rate highly demanding education.
Into his first year at Cooper Union we wanted to see what Charles was working on and know how he was handling the big city and the school's heavy demands.
Charles in his studio space.
How is Cooper Union going? Is it as tough as people have said?
We get a lot of homework; we have a lot of classes. Most of our time goes to school. The toughest part for me has been time management which is a large part of what it seems we’re supposed to learn in this first year. People who can’t keep up get the boot. There are a lot of distractions in Manhattan, that if you can fall victim to, it only makes it harder. I heard some things before coming here that proved to be complete lies in my situation. It gets really nerve wrecking at times, but no pain, no gain.
You're a Bay Area guy. How is the Big Apple treating you?
It’s a lot different than San Francisco. If I could change one thing it would be the winter. I grew up in Buffalo, NY so I’m pretty accustomed to snow, maybe even TOO accustomed to the snow; me and old man winter have a love hate relationship. New York has been really overwhelming, but I am definitely enjoying myself.
Besides schoolwork, what have you been up to?
This semester I have less foundation classes so I’ve been able to paint a lot more. From January fourth to 18th was winter break, so the school was open but NO ONE was here. It was AWESOME I just got to come to my studio everyday and make work, no assignments. I’ve been reading about black history and other radical organizations that make it their business to fight whatever injustices they face. I also have a book about Einstein and a couple of memoirs. When I can I work on my apartment. I just got some rolls of film, and I found out that my school has a color processor, so I'm going to check that out. There’s a yoga studio really close that I've been trying to take advantage of.
Ignacio Murua lives and works in Santiago de Chile and Brooklyn, NY...
He is inspired the Chilean yellow press newspapers that publish images of ideal female bodies as the "women of the week." What the popular culture esteems as perfection, Murua translates as uncomfortable and grotesque. By its denial of the familiar, flawed (normal) body, such perfection is encountered as a deformity. Murua uses a unique process of "painting without using paint" to contrast the disturbingly artificial perfection with smeared and dripping strokes. He works quickly to manipulate the wet pigment of a freshly printed photograph, causing the very substance of the image to be distorted, obscured, erased, or washed away. Remaining is a blurred silhouette, the suggestion of a posture that replaces individual identity. In a global society preoccupied with age and beauty, the work of Ignacio Murua disregards time, wiping out both perfection and its potential for decay.
Brooklyn based Matt Relkin emailed over some of his newest works.
A GATHERING- acrylic on panel- 12"X12"
THE HORSES- acrylic on panel- 12"x9"
He writes about the new work on his site: "I’ve really been trying to expand my Black Tower universe, to branch out into other realms & dimensions, to explore hidden corners of this slowly evolving world I’ve been attempting to create. I haven’t been dwelling on meanings with these new paintings, just allowing the images to take shape from simple sketches and ideas in my head. I’m coming to realize that these pieces are all connected whether I want them to be or not. I’ve been enjoying the actual act of painting, the physicality of it, allowing the planning and conceptualization to take a back-seat to the final image. There’s a new feeling of freedom in the whole process of these current works, where I’m almost subconsciously allowing the painting to materialize on it’s own, my hand & brush becoming nothing more than the vessel through which the paint applies itself to the panel."
UNEXPLAINED FORMATION 1- acrylic on panel- 11"x14"
An Unexpected Guest, oil on panel, 18" x 24", 2010
How would you describe your work to someone?
Detailed, slightly absurd, bizarre narratives.
I spent a lot of time at the Chicago Art Museum when I was younger. I found the works
of the 17th century Dutch masters particularly interesting; I would try to dissect the
paintings layer by layer in my mind. I figured that magicians must have made them. I
wanted to be a magician too.
Long time Fecal Pal and fellow Ohioan, Tiffany Bozic opens her first NYC solo show Confiding to Strangers November 11th @Joshua Liner Gallery. We stopped by her studio a couple weeks back to have first look at her paintings before they were crated and shipped off across the country. Enjoy the photos and video.
Tiffany is lucky enough to get to travel to parts of the natural world very few ever have. Her husband, Jack, is a scientist who studies small mammals and birds. Africa, Papa New Guinea, far off uninhabited islands in the South Pacific, Tiffany has experienced what few others have... The last couple years of travel are evident in her new works below.
Our 10 year anniversary show has just ended, and we have a few works still available like this patchwork painting by Jim Houser below featuring four 3 dimensional overlays. *click image for larger view
-- Jim Houser, In Decline, acrylic on wood panel, 24“x24”
Edinburgh, UK, 22, Edinburgh College of Art, BA (Hons) Drawing and Painting, graduated July of this year., www.matthewdanielswan.com
How would you describe your work to someone?
That’s a tough one; I’d say I make images, mainly through painting and drawings. My work is all character driven and I draw inspiration from a massive range of sources. For my Degree Show, I wrote this about my work... Recent works play on the frenetic visuals of heavily costumed live-action Japanese serials, pulp cartoons and the detritus of consumption as a manifestation of database culture and non-narrative. My work exists through an unapologetic embrace of the above and equally through the spontaneity of the mark making process as an embodiment of a fictitious and absurd arena.... I wrote that right after doing my dissertation (on designer toys and consumerism), It does the job but it’s quite heavy on the rhetoric.
Trenton Doyle Hancock is a massive influence. He had a show in Edinburgh a few years back (‘The Wayward Thinker’ at the Fruitmarket Gallery) and it was incredible. I’m really into the work of Todd Schorr, and Nigel Cooke too, and I’ve been watching a lot of power rangers recently, the really old stuff from the 70’s. I want to reference that in my work, it’s so good!
Cheese burgers or tofu burgers?
Cheese Burgers all the way, with bacon on top, and chocolate/raspberry milkshake on the side.
I would probably ramble on uncomfortably about how difficult it is to describe... until their eyes glaze over, and then add that it's maybe better if they take a look for themselves.
Everything around me, my dreams, people I meet, I listen to a lot of music too, which definitely influences the shapes of my thoughts and hi-5's my imagination.
In terms of other artist work... a few names that come to mind right now... Julie Mehretu, Kandinsky, Miro, Remed, Pete Fowler, Caravaggio, Will Sweeny, Patrick Heron, Zedz, Kuniyoshi, Doze Green, Delta, Michael Andrews, Kyffin Williams, Pablo Palazuelo, Thierry Martin...but there's many many more.
Nicks work has been shown publicly in the streets of London in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games. He was named in the Design Collectors Top Directors of 2011, and has spoken for the Australia Graphic Design Associations First Five Out conference. Commercially Nick has produced work for major international brands including MTV, Nike, Red Bull, BBC, Monster, Pioneer, L’Oreal & More.
SAN FRANCISCO --- Front man for Thee OhseesJohn Dwyer opens the solo show of pencil drawings in "Landlord Apocalypse" opening Saturday, 12/7 at Needles and Pens (7-10pm) -FULL DETAILS
Listen to our good times '07 interview w/ Dwyer where he speaks of music in Providence, Start of the Coachwhips, Touring, Fighting in Toronto, Drugs, Recording, Favorite Shows, New Ohsees Album, Meric Long, and much much more LISTEN & check his Musical Mix here.
SAN FRANCISCO --- At our home some of our most treasured original artworks were purchased at Creativity Explored where the work is not only loose great folk art styled but was also purchased for a steal with the proceeds going to support the fantastic SF art program which benefits artists with developmental disabilities. Creativity Explored provides a supportive studio environment for artists with developmental disabilities in which they receive individualized instruction from mentoring artists, quality art materials, and professional opportunities to exhibit their work.
Every year Creativity Explored hosts a weekend Holiday Sale where these inexpensive works are even less expensive. A great place to pick up original unique gifts for family and friends... Not only that but their opening receptions are worth getting to. Wine, food, music, etc on Friday. ~FULL DETAILS
We had no idea of all these tunnels throughout San Francisco
In the early '90s my friends and I used to tape flashlights to the handlebars of our bikes and go riding around in underground storm drain tunnels. There was a whole network of these tunnels under the city that sat empty for most of the year. We would go for miles snaking up and down the sides of the tubes, clapping and yelling to see how far our echoes would carry, eventually popping out in some other part of the city covered in cobwebs and bat guano. When the tubes got too small, we laid down on skateboards and kept going. If we found a flooded part, we taped garbage bags around our legs and crossed our fingers. -READ ON
Michael Coley who runs Belly Kids emailed to let us know of his latest... Hell Yeah! (a WWF colouring book!) <-- "The most electrifying book in sports entertainment. It's our dedication to the best baby faces and the most hated heels of WWF wrestling. Think Macho Man Randy Savage, DX, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Mankind, The Rock, Chyna and many others!" [PREVIEW]
Give the gift of coloring book. Kids young and old can get down with some quality time of staying inside the lines... or hell, be a Charlie and break out of the boundaries! 7 Euro dollars here.
SAN FRANCISCO --- SOEX will open their juried show This Will Never Work this Friday, Nov 22nd (7-10pm) featuring works by Northern California based artists w/ the theme this year: crazy experiments, doomed plans and quixotic dreams
This annual exhibition has become the premier showcase of contemporary artwork by promising local talent. Each year a different theme is selected to inspire and encourage a broad level of artistic expression. This year’s exhibition sought crazy experiments, doomed plans and quixotic dreams. All ideas and forms were considered. -complete show details
11/20 Update: After 2 trips to the Apple store with them installing 2 new batteries and restoring the phone, it was determined there was "something" wrong with the phone and I had to buy a "new"/ same 4s phone since I wasn't eligible for an upgrade. In any case, be warned about that 7.0.4 update if you have a 4s. I'm sticking with 7.0.2 on this "new" phone.
Everyone has had or knows of someone who's had a an IPhone explode on them through one of their wonderful IOS updates. Well, add us to the list, because after updating to their recent 7.0.4 our IPhone 4s stopped charging even though the icon on the phone indicated it was charging... and after being on the charger all night, the battery drained to zero, and now the wonderful device won't boot up at all and is now a very expensive waste of space.
If you're considering updating your phone, do so with caution, and if you have any solutions for us, we'd sure to be happy to hear them. Got a hot date with the Apple staff tonight which we're sure will end with them telling us to buy a new phone... Wonderful.
Here's the second part of my comprehensive photo coverage from Berlin and this time around you'll find shots of new window installations by Ron English, Know Hope, Erik Jones, Lucy McLauchlan, Strok and others (which is now on display in the same building as Rone painted).
As a part of "project M" (curated by Strychinin Gallery), Melbourne Artist and part of the Everfresh collective RONE has painted the largest wall he has ever attempted, three massive images on the top three stories of a five-story building at Nollendorfplatz in Berlin. It took Rone five days to paint this excellent work.
David Choong Lee, Mario Martinez, Damon Soule, Eric Otto and others were commissioned by the Hyatt (345 Stockton St) here in San Francisco to create some beautiful works to adorn their hotel bar, resturant and lobby. If you're down by Union Square stop in, hava drink at the bar and enjoy these great paintings.
NYC based (via Australia) spraypaint whiz kid Ian Strange (Kid Zoom) (interview) held his solo show SUBURBAN last July at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia (video). The wonderful show's setup and opening was photographed by Lloyd Stubber for this exclusive photo essay for Fecal Face.
Collage artist Lola Dupre opens a new show of work on Decemeber 5th at Portland's Breeze Block Gallery -- Opening on the same day in the adjoining gallery space, artists Ryan De La Hoz and Russell Leng.
With a thick, impasto finish, Meyer's paintings feel like treasures. As you get lost in the jagged confusion of thick swatches of color, figures emerge in the most subtle ways. The colors are enticing, but these figures are mesmerizing. I could get lost in these canvases for days. Simply, these are some really great paintings and I highly recommend you go see them before the show closes on December 7th.
TORONTO --- The finishing touches have been put on the large-scale, colorful and dynamic public art work by Canadian-born Patrick McNeil along with his art collaborator, Patrick Miller. Collectively known as FAILE, the Brooklyn-based duo designed the football-field-sized mural, located on Bathurst Street between Davenport and St. Clair in the city of Toronto.
Liking on these prints Hive & Nine Eyes by Melbourne based artist/ designer Nick Thomm... Limited Edition of 50 - Printed on 310gsm Hahnemuhle photo rag, mueseum grade archival paper. Each print is hand signed and numbered - available on his website.
I moved home to the Bay Area about 4 years ago and recently had the opportunity to visit New York City for the first time since. Having missed Barry McGee & Raymond Pettibon by a day, I felt lucky to have an old friend clue me into the ICY Signs show when I arrived.
Every have one of those mornings where you start following links and the next thing you know you're watching a news reel clip of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 that was held on the brand new man-made Treasure Island?
Tiffany Bozic's solo show Sense of Wonder is in its final week at San Francisco's FFDG. Before this wonderful show comes to a close, we wanted to ask Bozic about her methodology, lifestyle, influences and generally what makes her tick.
The John Berggruen gallery is beautiful. With floor-to-ceiling windows and a view to downtown, the Thursday night opening of NYC's Julian Lethbridge's new show Paintings was unmistakably a fancy affair. While these incredibly expensive paintings didn't do much for me, I was pleasantly surprised that I caught the Chuck Close show upstairs.
Cartagena takes photographs in Monterrey, Mexico, documenting parts of everyday life there that he sees as depicting "a global issue from a local perspective." In a town that has a relatively new, booming construction market, Cartagena decided to document a side of the day laborers' lives that might not often be seen: the commute to and from work at various construction sites.
Got an email from Emanuele Pizzolorusso, a Helsinki based industrial designer, yesterday to let us know about his latest project Lucetta: a smart set of two small magnetic bicycle lights. Never seen them in person. Have no idea if they're worth a hoot or not, but the concept is pretty interesting and simple. Looks like a great idea to us.
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