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John Felix Arnold III @The Shooting Gallery
Written by Rachel Ralph   
Monday, 19 May 2014 07:57

John Felix Arnold III’s Pilgrimmage has taken over the Shooting Gallery. Opening last Friday, this glimpse into his world of Unstoppable Tomorrow has finally allowed us here in San Francisco to see our future past. Moving on from his recent show The Scourge in NYC, Arnold has let us see the work of the survivors of the apocalypse, generating creation and growth from immense destruction and chaos. I got a chance to sit down with Arnold, gallery owner Justin Giarla and Paxton Gate buyer Michael Levy (who graciously donated materials) before the show was hung, and will be posting the in-depth interview to the site in as soon as possible. In the mean time, get over to the Shooting Gallery as soon as you can to see this show. The panels glow in a way that I couldn’t have guessed and they warm the space and your viewing experience. You’ve got to experience the warthog, moped, panels and sound installation in person. If you don’t survive the apocalypse, this might be your only chance.

Helen Bayly (SF) also brought a little feminine touch to the gallery with the opening of Give Me What I Can’t Have in the project space. Balancing the raw materials of Arnold’s work, she has created paintings of beautiful young people and flowers covered in gold-leafed text, complete with walls that seem to be dripping in the luxurious and decadent setting in which these works are situated. Complete with foul language, these works speak to a sense of debauchery that may lead to the apocalypse to which Arnold is warning us of.

Stay tuned for the making of The Pilgrimmage, an interview examining a very unique local collaboration between artist, gallerist and buyer of all things curious. It’s an illuminating window onto the process of creating a show like this – a process which should be continued with others in the future.

Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com


John Felix Arnold III


John Felix Arnold III, from top center clockwise: BLAM, BZAK, BOOM, POUM, All acrylic on wood panel, 16”x16”


John Felix Arnold III, Exploding Innocence, Mixed media on fabricated wood panel, 48”x36”


John Felix Arnold III, Jungle Sky Study, Ink drawing, 18”x24”

Alex Ziv at The League Gallery (Berkeley)
Written by Rachel Ralph   
Friday, 09 May 2014 08:32

Our friend Alex Ziv has finally let us see what he’s been working on holed up in his SFAI studio for the last two years with his new solo show at the debut of The League Gallery in Berkeley. Tucked away in an industrial building, League Gallery provided the perfect space for Ziv’s larger works, displayed for the first time publicly. The show is incredibly clean and upholds the standard of his almost perfectly executed paintings (PHOTOS).

Propelling forward from his earlier smaller works using motorcycle motifs, Ziv has really expanded his repertoire with this new body of work. The symbols no longer read as flat signs floating in space but are instead inextricably connected with the rest of the figures and words within the work. The drop-shadows, detailed wood and folded curtains really put it over the top for me, and I highly suggest a trip out to the East Bay to see this work when you can. Congrats, Ziv, on the really great show, can’t wait to see what’s next.

Words and Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com






Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery
Written by Rachel Ralph   
Friday, 02 May 2014 11:11

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 (PHOTOS).

Gronquist's taxidermied and gilded sculptures, along with some really subtle paintings, filled the space in a uniquely balanced way. If I hadn't met the guy that night, I might not believe that one person made all of this work. I fought through my debilitating fear of butterflies to see that they were meticulously pinned to the sculptures in just the right way. It seems like if there was one more butterfly, it could throw the whole thing off - but it works. It's like a consumer frenzy, complete with luxurious materials, animals, and bugs and then a quiet meditation in Rothko-like stillness.

Slade's hand-altered photographs seem to also encapsulate this balance through more bikini-clad women also with subtle painting aspects. I want to hate these photos but I can't - the way they are painted and drawn on both removes the cheesy allure of the girls and highlights the quality of the photograph. And for goodness sake, it's Riff Raff! This is exactly how photographs of him should look, complete with logos because he "only fucks with hoes who rock Dolce & Gabbana." He's ridiculous and these photos emphasize that, highlighting him as the Neon Icon.

So yes, there are lots of guns and boobs to be had, but it's a lot more than that, go see for yourself.

Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com

Written by Rachel Ralph   
Monday, 28 April 2014 12:57

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. --PHOTOS--

There was a line of people running down the block, waiting to get in, and I can see why: you don't exactly move through this show quickly. There is so much detail in this work that you really have to take your time. Having been familiar with his large-scale murals, it was great to see his paintings on canvas, but I was really drawn to the pen and ink drawings. They are executed with the most minute details and it seems like this guy can think in both huge and tiny scales, and create dynamically grotesque bodies. And then the pencil drop shadows just did me in – the subtlety was brilliant.

If you can't tell already, I really like Nychos' work. If you've been enjoying his murals at your convenience, go check out the show, I can almost promise you won't be disappointed.

Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com

David Soukup & Sergio Garcia @White Walls
Written by Rachel Ralph   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 14:46

White Walls opened Infinite Chapters with work from Sergio Garcia last Saturday and I love this show. His sculptures are incredibly well-made, fun, whimsical, and humorous and I can’t find anything in them I don’t enjoy. From the bubble-headed figures to the tricycles that flow in and out of the pedestals on which they sit, and even to the titles of each, this work is great. It’s like a childhood dreamland complete with circular desks and bent out of shape toys that never verges on a creepy nightmare. Sitting in the front of the gallery just behind the glass windows, I have a feeling this show will bring a lot of visitors into the gallery in the coming weeks (PHOTOS).

The project space was filled with This Side Up a solo show by David Soukup, the winner of the 2013 Stencil Art Prize. Stemming from his own photographs of Chicago fire escapes, these paintings build up layers of paint to provide a harrowing portrayal of the city. Contrasting heavily to the fun sculptures in the main space, this show asks for a little more contemplation, so wipe the smile off your face before you go in, and check them out.

Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com

Sergio Garcia

David Soukup, Structural Renewal, Spray paint stencils on mixed media wood panel, 30”x45”

Sergio Garcia, Just the Thought of You, Fiberglass, cloth and blown glass, 60”x24”x20”

David Soukup, Convergence, Spray paint stencils on mixed media wood panel, 30”x45”

Written by Trippe   
Friday, 18 April 2014 13:56
MELBOURNE --- 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 (PHOTOS).

Ghostpatrol (Aus), Brendan Monroe (USA), Simon Hanselmann (Aus), kozyndan (USA), Sheryo (Singapore), The Yok (Aus), Jean Jullien (France), James Jirat Patradoon (Aus), Mr. Gauky (UK), Mel Stringer (Aus), Wishcandy (USA), Stevie Gee (UK), Kyle Hughes-Odgers (Aus), Will Laren (USA), HTML Flowers (Aus), Benjamin Sea (Aus), Sean Morris (Aus), Eveline Tarunadjaja (Aus), Bei Badgirl (Aus), Ambird (USA), The Seven Seas (Aus), Manuel Donada (Spain), Maddy Young (Aus), Emma Wiesenekker (Aus) & Bafcat (Aus)

James Jirat Patradoon's crazy painted racing jacket took centre stage, in front of a mural by Ghostpatrol and Sean Morris.

The Backwoods alleyway crowd – with some fresh paint in the background by The Seven Seas.

The Yok and Sheryo, Bei Badgirl (Sydney) Kyle Hughes-Odgers (Perth) Brendan Monroe (California)

Gold Blood Crew!

Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF
Written by Rachel Ralph   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:17

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.

Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com

Loving the "cock climbing wall"

Mario Wagner @Hashimoto
Written by Trippe   
Monday, 14 April 2014 10:48

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco (PHOTOS).

The crowd was mellow, which was very fitting for the simple, modest paintings and subtle collages (which were really hard to photograph). The simplicity of Wagner's paintings really shines as it allows for the forms to create intriguing images out of what seem like amorphous blobs of color. Within this small show he was able to create sculptures, paintings, collages and even a scarf and it allowed viewers to see the diversity of his media and the consistency of his style. Hopefully, the fluorescent tubes in the front really do glow with a transfer of creativity, and pass some of this beautiful ease to those who walk by.

Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com

Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art
Written by Rachel Ralph   
Friday, 11 April 2014 16:10

SAN FRANCISCO --- Last Saturday, Spoke Art opened a solo show by Serge Gay Jr. entitled Gold (PHOTOS).

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.

Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com

Serge Gay Jr., Video Pop, Acrylic on Prism Sticks paper

Serge Gay Jr., Mystery of Love, Acrylic on canvas

Serge Gay Jr., Diamond Rebel, Acrylic on paper

Less is More @111 Minna
Written by Rachel Ralph   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 10:06

SAN FRANCISCO --- 111 Minna opened their new group show, Less is More (PHOTOS) last Friday night. I got there a bit late, and I would assume after the crowd, but it was an advantage as I was actually able to see the detailed beauty in these small works.

Fitting the title, all of the works in the show examine intricate details on a very small scale. I was especially attracted to Isabel Samaras' works which let us in on her comic book heroes turned portraited royalty, Emily Burns' creepily fantastic patterned girls, and Kelly Nicolaisen's subtle photographs, which are simple and beautiful. The show is definitely worth a visit, and they provide a lighthearted entrance into the spring as temperatures seem to rise, so go have a cocktail and check them out.

Words & Photos: Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com

NoMe Edonna, Glitch of Venus, Oil on panel, 2014

NoMe Edonna

Isabel Samaras, Lady Cat Woman, Oil on wood, 2014

Kelly Nicolaisen, Tortuga, Print on archival matte with UV finish, 2014

Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery
Written by Trippe   
Monday, 07 April 2014 09:42

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 (PHOTOS).

Kirk Maxson creates hundreds of small hand cut metal leaves arranged in clusters that form large-scale installations, and Alexis Mackenzie - collages, composed of multiple images sliced and spliced back together in an overlay that marries the outline of forms from both images, can be understood like a film editor's work, weaving disparate scenes into a story.

Eleanor Harwood Gallery Saturday afternoon in the Mission

Kirk Maxson... as well as a series of butterflies made from pages of Natural History books, some dating back to the 19th century.

Collage by Alexis Mackenzie

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