Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram


Home FEATURES Mel Kadel Preview

Mel Kadel Preview

Written by Trippe   
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 07:47
A preview of Echo Test opening Thurs Sept 10th @Fecal Face. Mel Kadel answers a few submitted viewer questions as well.
We're obviously excited about Mel Kadel's show Echo Test which opens at Fecal Face Dot Gallery September 10th (7-10pm). Below are a few preview images of her show which is going to feature over 40 new works ranging in size from 6" x 9" up to 44" x 44". Below is a small taste. For the full effect, we'll see you Thursday September 10th.

Echo Test - Mel Kadel
Opening: Thurs Sept 10, 2009 (7-10pm)
Sept 10 - Oct 10, 2009

A few questions sent in from FF viewers for Mel are included.

Hey, Mel. Fan of your work, good luck with the show!... I'd like to know about when you first started pursuing art as a career, as a way to make a living. Was it a hard decision to make? If so, why? Was there anything that comforted you in your decision or reinforced it?... Or is it just all you ever saw yourself doing? -submitted by Aaron Berger

Hey, thanks Aaron. I never worried about making a living off of art, for many reasons, but I did work really hard at pursuing it. Early on in high school, making drawings became a huge part of how I spent my time.

It's a strange path to be on, and it seems like every artist has to invent their own career in a unique way. I have friends that make a living off of it, and each one has a completely different way of approaching it. It's a good question. I ask people the same thing. Over the years, I gravitated towards jobs that gave me enough freedom to work on my own stuff on the side. It was always really important to have that balance.

I tried approaching magazines and papers for illustration work really early on, with no luck there...i just started showing my drawings in neighborhood galleries and cafes without huge expectations. I collaborated with a lot friends and bands on their album covers. Just small things that kept me busy and working on new stuff. It's been a very fulfilling slow roll, that i'm still figuring out.

Describe your studio space? -submitted by theyok.com

from editor: Yok, check some photos from a studio visit we did of Mel and Travis's last January.

It's a desk, by some windows, attached to the kitchen, in my house. I keep my desk clean and there's a pile of inks and pens near by. I move outside to the porch sometimes to change it up and get better light. Travis Millard works in the room next to me, and he's messy.

Does the recurrent female figure in your artwork represent a particular person? You? A specific idea? -submitted by Araceli Gomez

I think the female(s) in my drawings are a lot of different people. I'm in there somewhere too, but it's not a story completely based around me. I use to draw more than just women, and i'm sure i will again, but over time she just became this reoccurring character that I gravitate towards these days. To me, It's like the scenes and struggles that she gets involved in, are more of what the drawing is about than she is. Her age and ethnicity is meant to be vague, to help not corner her into a stereotype. I really want people to relate to her and what she's conquering, more than her gender.

Dear Mel, I am obsessed with your handmade art books (Rough Cookie, Honey Pool, and the recent Spring Lounge). They are unlike anything else out here. I was hoping you could talk a little bit about the step-by-step process of making these editions and how you are able to sell them so inexpensively. Are there any plans for more books or even or retrospective publication? Thanks. -submitted by Pete, Rowan Morrison

Hey Pete, I know you. I love working on those books, because putting drawings side by side in a collection ties the ideas behind them together. It takes around 3 months to make 100 books. I'll explain why...

I stain around 1,100 sheets of regular typing paper with coffee, out on my porch. I have a small porch, so I can only do about 20 sheets at a time. The sun bakes them and dries them out, making them wrinkly. So, once they are dry I stick them under a bunch of books and try to flatten them out. They never go back to flat, so I have to manually feed each sheet through my printer. My printer eats them up, spits them out, breaks down a lot.... hates it. That's the part of the process that makes me think it's a terrible idea to begin with, and I swear I'll never do it again. But then i do.

For the cover, I tear down sheets of printing paper and use the great Gocco machine to print the image on the front. I fold and staple all the sheets here and that's that. No part of the process requires me to leave the house, except for the many trips to Staples to get more inks for the printer. I don't even try to make money from these, but only break even if I can, because in the end it is a zine. So far I've made 5 zines like this, and a couple of them I've done 2nd editions. I would love to keep making them, and eventually put them all together. The process mimics how I make an actual drawing, so printing these images onto white glossy pages wouldn't work. If I did do a retrospective publication, there would still need to be coffee and sun involved somehow.

Echo Test - Mel Kadel
Opening: Thurs Sept 10, 2009 (7-10pm)
Sept 10 - Oct 10, 2009
@FFDG {moscomment}

Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

Los Angeles based Alison Blickle who showed here in San Francisco at Eleanor Harwood last year (PHOTOS) recently showed new paintings in New York at Kravets Wehby Gallery. Lovely works.

Interview w/ Kevin Earl Taylor

We haven't been featuring many interviews as of late. Let's change that up as we check in with a few local San Francisco artists like Kevin Earl Taylor here whom we studio visited back in 2009 (PHOTOS & VIDEO). It's been awhile, Kevin...

Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.

Jay Bo at Hamburg's Circle Culture

Berlin based Jay Bo recently held a solo show at Hamburg's Circle Culture featuring some of his most recent paintings. We lvoe his work.


Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.

Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?

Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net

ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.


In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.

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.