City Art Gallery

City Art Storefront
828 Valencia Street San Francisco
(Photo: Trish Tunney)
City Art Journal

The post-Roger Ebert era likely will be less enjoyable and snappy, but we’ve got to try.

The April 2013 CityArt show is installed and open.  This month I am  experimenting with some heavy  artillery.  I would be honored if you stopped by this month to check it out in person.  Thanks to EB for hanging helping.

Clockwise from top:

  1. Crossroads on  Mount  Tamalpais w/ Traffic Cone (Marin County, CA) | Unique screenprint on handmade canvas | 48×24 inches | 2012

Permanently installed in a special rustic pine frame.

2. Seal Rocks | Ocean Beach, San Francisco CA | Unique screenprint and ink on paper | 30 x 24 inches | 2013

140 lb watercolor paper.  Archival mounted in a custom fir shadow box with double strength glass. Removable title plaque.

3. Something That Will Catch Their Eye | Unique screenprint and ink on oak tile | 16 x 16 inches | 2013

4. Michelle’s Print | Screenprint on Pine (2nd edition of 9) | 12 x 18 inches | 2013

The most violent show on TV, with 308 dead (or undead) bodies shown in the eight episodes.

“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

For what is likely my final offering in this record-smashing month of feather2pixelation, I am documenting some more stuff that I am finishing up for the CityArt April show.

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.

A victory for marriage equality.

City Art April 2013 teaser

City Art April 2013 teaser | 10×12" | Screenprint on plywood

Here’s the teaser for my third consecutive group show at CityArt Gallery.  Join me and two hundred of my new best friends for the April 5th opening at 828 Valencia!

And if not, don’t hesitate to stop in the gallery any other Wednesday through Sunday this month to check out wallspace number twenty-six.

One of the most glorious musical numbers in movie history.

I thought I would provide a little more detail on how I’ve been combining wet media with screenprinting. Basically I started by making a bunch of these two layer (yellow and black)  screenprints on very thick watercolor paper:

Then I applied the wash over the print.  And that’s the cool part: because the wet media is liquid and mostly transparent, I can work right on top of my image.  This is a lot more fun than the other way around, which  would  require inventing a way to figure out where the image will end up before it’s printed.

And here is my latest attempt, for the April 2013 “Pink” show at CityArt Gallery on 828 Valencia:

Cliff House | Screenprint and Ink on Paper | 18x 24 inches  | 2013

Normally I do this in the dark of the night, to avoid the prying eyes.

Now that I have somewhere to sell them, I finally got around to properly matting my dozens and dozens and dozens of paper prints depicting each intersection of 24th Street in the Mission District. Totally coincidentally, there are twenty-four intersections of 24th Street in the Mission and,  somewhat  less coincidentally, each of these prints was made on a different size paper.  That was a lot of needlessly complicated matting logistics to sort though.  Also, this is the type of gross inefficiency that illustrates  why  it’s good that I still have a day job.

But why dwell on the past? Life is about the present.  And you should buy one of these for a present, especially if you know anyone who likes the Mission District, art, or visual experiences of any kind. The great news is that these are available for crazily  patriotic  President’s Day prices at City Art Gallery till April (828 Valencia, SF, CA).

A dedication to the spirit of play.

Check out my little piece of the world in the form of the March 2013 City Art Gallery show.  Your will find multiple pieces of cardboard, paper, and wood that I have not changed or in some cases slightly increased the value of by applying my art to.  If you are rolling down Valencia Street in San Francisco this month, please stop by and check it out.  We are right next to Dave Eggers’ pirate store so just maybe hit us up while you are running your weekly treasure-related errands.

The horse meat in IKEA meatballs.

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.

(Remember this print with embedded flies?  Me neither.)

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!

The Case of the Shaven Head Case.

Some works in progress for my City Art debut on February 1st. These pieces are 16×16″ 3/4 inch thick oak panels.

Amidst this unexpected flow of materials.

A new artist information sheet printed on scrap cardboard! For my City Art debut on February 1st.