arthead sf

arthead sf blog was created to bring readers the meaning behind the art. These are not critiques or interviews with artists. Each feature is written entirely by the artist, revealing only what they feel and want readers to know about the featured piece. If you see a piece of art you'd like to know the meaning me. And subscribe to my blog below to get updates when new features are posted!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bradley Platz

"Charon and the Shades"
Give me a gold and I'll give you paradise
24 x 48
Oil on Canvas

"This is a recently finished painting I created for an upcoming exhibition entitled "Modern Myths". The premise of the show is that thirteen artists have randomly chosen a mythological figure and a modern pop-culture icon; the task is to create a painting that combines the two. I pulled Nicole Ritchie and Charon, the ferryman on the river Styx. He was the mythological old man who took the souls of the dead across the river into Hades, provided that they had a gold coin to pay for passage. Historically, among the wealthier classes a gold coin was nearly always placed under the tongue of the departed for this reason.

The painting depicts Nicole Ritchie, (as a general symbol for the modern celebrity and wealth) on the boat with Charon. She is represented dry and emaciated, having little physical beauty left but a wealth of gold which, ironically, is pouring out of her mouth in a familiar cathartic expulsion. The "shades" or souls trapped in purgatory are swarming the boat, these are souls with no money for Charon, eternally stranded on the shores of the Styx. The painting represents celebrity privilege as the continuation of the aristocratic privileges that have extended back to the time of myths and gods (plural).

Give me a gold and I'll give you paradise.
The Modern Myths exhibition is being held in April at MJ Higgins gallery in Los Angeles (opening on April 7th) and also in May at the Gray Area Gallery in San Francisco (opening May 4th). For more information about this event please check out:

For more of my work please visit my website at:

By Bradley Platz

A little about Bradley:
Bradley Platz studied painting at The San Francisco Art Institute and San Francisco State University. He has shown his work in New York City, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose. He is 25 years old and currently living and exhibiting in San Francisco and beyond.

Monday, March 12, 2007


ARTHEAD Group Show
March 31- April 27, 2007
Group Exhibition with members of

Thursday, April 12, 2007 6-9PM
Swarm Gallery is open to the public Tuesday — Sunday 12 — 6PM and by appointment

Swarm Gallery presents a curated group exhibition featuring Beth Bojarski, John Casey, Paul Chatem, Gregory Euclide, Matt Furie, Micah Lebrun, Minchi/Shimizu, Scott Radke, Reuben Rude, Jessica Serran, Martha Sue Harris, Micke Tong, and Derek Weisberg.

Each piece in Swarm Gallery’s ARTHEAD exhibition will be accompanied by a short description written by the artist.

March 31- May 6, 2007
Tao Urban
In Swarm Gallery's Project Space, the artist will install a central seating unit amidst modular shelving systems. The shelves will hold literature relevant and conceptually related to the installation. Viewers are encouraged to interact in this installation by sitting and reading the artists selected ideologies behind the atmosphere that surrounds them.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 6-9PM – SWARM’S ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY!
SWARM STUDIOS + GALLERY is celebrating its ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! On April 12, 2007, we’ll celebrate Swarm’s fabulous first year, including 10 exhibitions and Project Space installations, a successful lecture series, fully occupied studios, workshops and a ton of great parties. Oakland has been full of artists for decades but for the first time has a burgeoning arts scene. Please tell a friend and come join the fun!

Swarm Gallery560 Second Street, Oakland CA 94607

Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rex Nickles

Acrylic, charcoal, graphite, spit (for blending n' shading), India ink

I call it "Untitled" only because i think it looks better if it can't be identified. adds to the curiosity..
The inspiration behind the piece was the thought that i could make something look horrifically loud, yet hauntingly quiet at the same time. I try to bring Purgatory into all my pieces. I don't believe in spirits or ghosts or souls or nothing lame like that. but if they did exist, i think this is what one of those things might look like. I'm trying to do something different in the art world. blending spectrums of heaven/hell, right/wrong, love/hate, bliss/torture, so on/so forth. if you went to purgatory, don't you think shit would be in Black n' White?

There's writing in all my paintings. i make it so you can't really read it. maybe spot out a few legible words but thats it. it's not there to be read. trust me, it all says something, but i make it indistinct because it represents the constant murmuring that goes on in my head. it's a hearty blend of confusion and euphoria. and the "mood" reflects the feeling.

This particular piece took a couple hours to make, cause i had to keep redoing stuff. i never plan a painting out. i usually just wing it. I use unrefined techniques when painting. cause i got kicked out of my high school art class for sleeping and creative differences between me and my teacher , and never took a formal class. so, mostly my own. lots of filling my mouth with India ink and spitting. lots of fingertip shading. some scraping with a knife. i think raw technique is best, cause it forces you to use your own natural creativity, not just someone else's.

By Rex Nickles

A little about Rex:
Age: 20
Live/work: Living in Daytona Beach, Florida for the last 4 years. Was born n' raised in East Detroit.
One thing that most people don't know about you:
I got's Borderline Personality Disorder. Which roughly means I'm on the border between neurosis and psychosis. and it makes it really difficult to function like a "normal" person while in public. I dunno, Wikipedia it.
Next upcoming show or event:
how's this for an event: imma live in my car for awhile so i can have more time to develop as an artist, cause as of right now, ideas are flooding my head, and i simply need more free time to work on them all. i've only done one show. it was that Christmas group show Anno Domini I did about a year ago. so I'm available. will work for food.