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Jeff Soto: Another Art Trip to LA

Written by Jeff Soto   
Thursday, 15 March 2007 15:54
Jeff explores Bergamot Station galleries and Mark Ryden’s Tree Show at Michael Kohn Gallery.
Another art trip to Los Angeles. Went to Bergamot Station which houses around 15 galleries, maybe more. There’s always something to be seen here, everything from “lowbrow” (I still hate that term) to the highly conceptual. I tend to gravitate towards the middle ground, work that is visually stimulating and at the same time gives you something to think about.

Bergamot has a wide variety of art, and an equally wide variety of staff attitude! It’s always nice to walk into a gallery and the receptionist says, “Hi, so and so is our artist for this show, if you have any questions, feel free to ask”. That is awesome and very powerful, it makes you feel welcome. I would spend my money there if I was buying art. But a couple galleries at Bergamot do the whole, ‘I’m not even going to acknowledge this person” when you walk in. They don’t even say hi, or look up from their computer. Is it because I don’t look like an art buyer? I’ve been to Bergamot for years now and know which galleries are the art snob ones, it kinda makes me laugh because I always think, okay, this time someone will say hi, and they always just look down when you come in. What's up with that??...

Robert Berman Gallery always has interesting work. And polite courteous staff. Here’s some of Erika Somogyi’s work. I’ve seen these somewhere, Fecalface maybe? Pretty vibrant in person and they gave me happy feelings...




I don’t recall the artist’s name but these were designs cut out of linoleum. Beautiful colors and shapes.



I don’t remember the artist or the gallery (I know, very informative), but the receptionist was cool. Art was pretty interesting too. I will find the names of these artists and post later; I took postcards from their shows but left them at home.




Track 16 Gallery has put on some good shows over the years, and their staff is always nice. This one is an exhibition of Polish circus posters. There was a lot to look at and I think they sorta frowned upon me taking pictures (I always ask and they said alright, just take them from a distance) so I only took a few shots...




Spotted a broken Space Invader above the bathrooms....


Bergamot is always fun but the real reason I braved the afternoon L.A. traffic was to attend the preshow for Mark Ryden’s Tree Show at Michael Kohn Gallery. After the 1 hour drive from Santa Monica to L.A. (not kidding, L.A. traffic around 5pm sucks!), I saw this in the window...



The show was wonderful, Ryden does not dissapoint. His work is so rich in person, the colors so vibrant. I didn’t get a lot of pictures because for one, it’s never the right time to whip out the camera, and two, I was planning on going back inside for more shots when the gallery closed it’s doors at 9. It was great seeing so many L.A. artists, and I got to finally meet Sam and Tury of Friends With You. The Clayton Brothers were there, Jamie O’Shea, P.Jay Fidler, Baseman, Brad Keech from Pressure Printing, Eric White, Camille Rose Garcia and husband Jeremy, Shag, The Pizz, of course KRK Ryden coming out to give support, Robert Jew, The Biskup, Attaboy and Annie, Mike Moon from Disney, Bob Kato, and tons I’m forgetting, it was crazy.

I don’t know if they wanted images circulated yet, but here’s some of my favorite pieces. They’re on wood rings, and I’ve seen alot of other painters use this idea (Ryan Jacob Smith comes to mind) , but Ryden’s are beautifully rendered and flow very well into the rich woods he used. Amazing as always. Go see the show. More coverage will be up on Jamie O'Shea's Supertouch... Opens Saturday...


Also, 3-9-07! Happy Birthday to my brother Jesse! Photo from 1979, Fullerton, CA. Two Soto boys on the right...



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.


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.

Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

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, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

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.

High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

I purchased one of the first digital cameras when Fecal Face went online in 2000. It was a massive Kodak with 2 mega pixels

"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

San Francisco based Schuyler Beecroft emailed over the great new series of paintings he's completed entitled "Touching Base", 16x20in on mounted wood panel. Like them.

Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.

Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

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.

"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".

"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"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.

Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.

Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

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.