With a fierce commitment to words and play, the curation of my upcoming group show Character Profile is going to focus on separating Root Division in to discrete wings by topic, complete with screenprinted signage. Want to know what sort of art’s in each of these wings? Then join us for the July 13th 2013 opening. Do it!
And here’s the screenprinted signage:
After almost a year of waiting, hordes of Bernal residents finally got to see Hillside Supperclub‘s principle signage installed. Chained to the corner of Folsom and Precita and pointing dead Northwest for the 18 month shelf life of Matsui screenprinting ink the end of time, it is a beauty. I really like the way that one turned out. (Thanks again, Jonathan Bregman)
I have already pridefully sighted passersby noticing the sign, perhaps then giving the restaurant a new found and previously absent consideration? That’s right you guys, Hillside’s in the house now.
Thanks to Tony and Jonathan (Not Bregman) for the opportunity.
This might be the best thing I’ve ever printed. Details about this project are on this pdf.
In case it isn’t obvious, this is a site specific children’s toy/word art installation. The tiles are interchangeable by row. I made eighteen tiles for each column (not shown).
The tiles were cut out with a computer controlled router–a true gift of modernity:[iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/k0HjaESKE2A” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]
Thanks to zMom for the world’s fastest drying acrylic paints.
I am most excited about a shadowbox prototype I slapped together for these Ocean Beach paper prints. Increasingly influenced by the impeccable eye of zMom as well as the practical concerns of selling scrap cardboard in a commercial art gallery, I am very slowly warming up to the concept of picture frames.
The primary concern is empirical. To me, the danger of presenting art behind a bunch of glass and mat board is that emphasizes the image over the physical. I don’t want people to approach this piece as a colorful picture of the California coastline. Much more preferable is an innate sense that comes from experiencing in person a luxuriously thick slab of paper with a surface textured in layers of saturated inks. Otherwise why not just print the shit out on my Epson and save $255 a month on studio rent?
That might not sound like a big deal, but in a world where there is no shortage of images–if anything, we live in a state of image overload–the more emphasis on the material properties of the art object the better. If I can’t smell, taste, or touch the art object, I hope to at least see it for what it is.
There is a need for visual artists working today to think of their work less as an image and more as an experience. This is partly for ego reasons and partly for the reason that not doing so would mean that there is no compelling reason for new visual art to exist.
Thought experiment: wouldn’t we be disappointed if we went to see the original Declaration of Independence in Washington and they had framed it in mat board? Anyone can Google the text or even an image of the Declaration of Independence, so why do we still go to the National Archives and wait in line for an hour? To see the physical ink on the original piece of parchment. It is a thrilling piece of paper to look at.
Cue the shadowbox! I feel like this is a very ideal solution, especially for paper work. That it is in essence a display case for a mere sheet piece of paper in a way serves to elevate the object in borderline absurd fashion (an exaggeration that has been thoroughly deconstructed in Twentieth century art). This particular shadow box might actually backfire, as it is made out of 3.5 inch-wide fir slats, casting a ridiculously long and possibly distracting shadow.
And I am still at a loss to make perfect miter joints.
Also: some new signage and an alternate take on yesterday’s teaser.
I’m getting ready for the March show at City Art:
…By printing some labels on wood, complete with Linnaean taxonomy, for my series of Invasive Species screenprints.
Anyway, some see them all Friday March 01, 2013 at City Art. 828 Valencia from 7-10PM.
PS: If you buy the art at the show, you get the wood label for free!
Labor Day 2012 was spent in the studio with Michelle, printing Hillside Supper Club’s 25-pound exterior sign. I spent a bunch of time this summer fabricating the steel frame and prepping the junkyard wood, so it was fun to finally complete the project. On Tuesday, the sign was unveiled for a crowd of Hillside supporters at a special duck dinner in the restaurant (duck appetizers, mains, and dessert). I felt a special sense of neighborly happiness when we got a round of applause.
Here’s photos from the printing session. It was a tricky job because it was double sided and the graphic was large.
First dance, first fistfight, first girlfriend: having logged many seminal moments of my life at summer camp, it was with a commitment to the memorable that I recently executed my duties as art director for one week of San Francisco Boys Chorus away camp.
It’s never really possible to know what kind of impact you are making on eleven year olds, but my basic plan was to win them over slowly by focusing on a precise five day project. Something that would keep kids busy with their hands and look really cool when it was done. Since the goal was to construct set pieces and props for EB’s parallel kid operas, we ended up painting a 50×50 inch Resistance-style portrait of Camp Director Claire. In her creation class, EB helped the boys work the painting into their story.
We began with a photoshoot.
I digitally processed one of the better images into seven discrete layers:
Over the course of five camp days, I projected each layer independently for kids to outline and paint on canvas hung from the wall. Registration marks were used to line everything up.
So it was pretty cool. And I got the kids to call me Jono. The painting looked very fine from a distance and I think the boys were into the program. Of course we did a bunch of other stuff. We made signs and banners. One day I chopped up a bit of branch from an apple tree and we made medallions. Located in Sonoma County at a Seventh Day Adventist boarding school on the banks of the Russian River, the setting was a nicer than summer camps I remember but the food a lot worse. A huge thanks to EB, Camp Director Claire, and Jess the counselor.
Check it out:
Our first retail license at Coyote!
And I have been finding our screen printed signs popping up all around the Temescal environs of Oak-land.
All of this activity coincided with our grand opening party last night. To mark the occasion, EB and I printed some shirts re-appropriated by Rachel H.
Thank you to the devoted lot who stopped by to mark the occasion.
Our newest neighbor is this pop-up restaurant taking residence in the Italian place downstairs on Monday and Tuesday nights. In the last month or two, I have been doing a bunch of graphics and signage work for the enthusiastic chef-owners Tony and Jonathan because I want to stuff my face with their delicious food for free in a neighborly spirit of collaboration and mutual benefit.
The logo stuff is hard for me. I suck at Adobe Illustrator and my sole success in this arena is soon to be obsolete. But I enjoy the challenge so I gave it the old grad school try. Jonathan and Tony wanted something typewritery with a snail–eerily reminiscent of the tried and true feather2pixel regalia. The final ingredient was some Bernal imagery. I was a little concerned about churning out a cliche but in the end I got to use not one but two of my beloved typing machines along with a silhouette of San Francisco’s most overlooked radio tower.
My first official physical creation was this screenprinted sandwich board, to be replaced this Fall when the HSC pop-up locks-up its stock-up by taking over all nights with a suitably permanent sign to talk-up.
I found an exciting new place to display my work. Coyote Counter Collective is what we in the industry call a re-tail space and those who have ever seen a coyote know that motherfucker has one serious tail. Upon reflection I guess it’s a little hard to imagine a coyote ever needing to re-tail so I am not exactly sure if we quite have that right yet. Or perhaps that’s the Counter part.
Anyway it’s a co-op storefront in Oak-land, where the trees are green but the Occupiers are not, and my first official duty as a member was to screenprint a fistful of signs for some to-be-determined guerrilla advertising. They came out well I think–a rehash of my go-to sign in one afternoon design–featuring glyphs from my beloved Remington 333 (eternal thanks for that, Kristin Roeder):
And here’s what my inaugural hanging looks like in situ.
Well, after battling with old expired emulsion, runny ink and a shitty design problems (all mercifully not chronicled here), I finished Stephen’s Print. It looks like this:
Careful observers will note that I needed to enlarge the size of the dots on his jacket from the previous design. Details like this consumed me for the most part, but every once in a while the project made me sad.
I took the liberty of spreading a few of these around the neighborhood, particularly in the West end of Precita Park, where Stephen lived. I found a few strategically placed trees to discretely nail into. Also I placed a limited edition of prints for public distribution at Charlie’s and Precita Park Cafe. I think they will either be gone very soon or sitting around forever.
I documented the project in detail for my objects section.
And finally here is a good Times article on the incident.
To make up for full speed ramming me on skis in 2010 Because he admires my work, ex-sailor Tommy Stillwachs allowed me the honor of printing the open/closed sign for Arbor, a new taphouse cafe in Oakland he is involved with. Owned and operated by Chris Marquez and Suzanne Stillwachs, Arbor opened last Saturday. And that night it closed. The next morning it opened and after precisely nine hours it closed yet again.
I would like to think my sign made all of this activity possible.
The sign was screen printed on some beautiful and seriously warped scrap wood. Precision screen printing requires a very uniform separation between screen and substrate, so I was happy this wasn’t a precision job. The final prints turned out appropriately sloppy.
I have a few new artists joining my CELLspace screen printing studio this month. Consequently , I thought it would be nice to set shop up with a proper sign, so I unpacked a piece of very special driftwood I have been saving and set to work ruining it with my art. I found this wood at Mile Rock Beach in San Francisco five years ago and really, nothing I could print on it could ever improve it in an aesthetic sense. But that has never stopped me before and I have been saving this for a special occasion so tonight I fired up the old t-shirt press and threw down a simple three layer print. Then I screwed in on the door. Took me less than an hour. (Click to enlarge)