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!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Lucien Shapiro

" Perched"
magic sculpt, sculpey, chicken wings, and painted with acrylics, wood stain, and inks

This was the start of a new series involving flight, reemergence, and growth. Now when asked to describe my work I usually come off as some sarcastic son of a bitch, this isn't to spite the questioner. It is simply because I feel all art is up to the viewer to decide what it is about, because the minute you start to know every reason why and how you designed that piece maybe you should check your insides and make suring they are pumping rather then ticking. But since some people don't always like that response here it goes.

This piece actually started a month after I put everything in storage, got a car and hit the road for 4 months. He started like all my pieces do, as a head, then a body, later positioned on all fours and finishing with the wings. He is perched looking out upon his next destination, a wandering nomad waiting to find the next quest. Like all people there comes a time when we must spread our wings and sometimes don't quite ever land, this is how I currently live. . In a way it was a self portrait of traveling city to city searching for a new resting point. Animals and humans combined play a huge role in my work, I am trying to build the ultimate fantasy/ reality of the biggest melting pot you ever saw. Most the pieces following this one were based on open arms, flight, and emptying the mind. And yes they are real bird wings and no I don't kill or hunt things to use in my work, I find them hiking, walking, and sometimes rarely I purchase them. thanks and look out for sock puppets they are coming.

By Lucien Shapiro

A little bit about Lucien:
age 28
live/work: currently in NY for work but reside in northern california and anywhere else i can call home
Something most people dont know about me: I paint but rarely show them, and i like musicing but wont tell you what I make, look for it
Next upcoming show.. a few group shows in LA dec. and sf,april and a big city installation/art show march in Montréal

Monday, September 17, 2007

Corey Arnold

"Reindeer People"

Last year, I lived with a Sami family in Norwegian Lapland for a week. It was the annual reindeer slaughter season and I promised to work if I could hang around and take some pictures. I didn't have any big expectations of the trip. Just that I knew there would be a lot of killing, fresh meat eating, and slow, broken conversations in a Northern Norwegian dialect. I lived in a tent in their backyard.

It took that entire week to know them. I put the camera down a lot. I didn't want to seem like a scientist taking advantage of them for my personal research project.

I suppose this is the struggle with most photographers that shoot documentary projects. How do you get close to your subject when you constantly have a camera strapped to your face? Well, I did feel closer to them around day 7 but by then it was too late, I had to go home. Still there are thousands of pictures from this unfinished project lying in my drawer unseen. This is one of my favorites.

I find it curious that people love to smile and pose next to animals they've killed. My old photo albums have hundreds of pictures of me proudly holding dead fish as a kid. What makes killing such a proud achievement?

The Samis were certainly proud people and after living with them, I dreamed of being a reindeer herder myself, hanging a big handmade knife from my giant belt and slaughtering reindeer as a means of survival and trade.

By Corey Arnold

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Brendan Monroe

"Eating Shit”
5.5 x 6 inches
Acrylic and collage (paint scrapings) on paper

This little guy is embodying the feeling I was feeling when I made it. It was one of those things that sort of twists in your stomach and you don’t know how exactly to get it out. I had some nervous anxiety. I had just said yes to a decision I wasn’t so sure was right. Not morally or anything, this was about my future career, something that might change things and I didn’t know if it was for the better or terribly worse. At least that was my worry, was this decision the right one, and if it was why was my stomach telling me anxiously that it didn’t like it. Maybe it was this little yellow guy in there that was saying, ‘hey don’t feed me this crap, do I really have to eat this’? Since making this, I had decided to go back and change that choice. I don’t know if that was the right thing either, but it made me feel better. Maybe it was just not exactly the right timing to be making these kinds of decisions so I can only hope that the opportunity will be there again when I’m ready for it.

By Brendan Monroe

A little about Brendan:
Age: 27
Live/Work: I live and work in Berkeley with my girlfriend Evah and cat Jalapeño.
One thing most people don't know about you: I like gardening when I have time. I tend to grow lot of tomatoes but don’treally like to eat them.
Upcoming show: A solo show coming up at Richard Heller Gallery in LA. Opening October13th.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tim Murphy

“Deer Bunnies”2006
36 x 36
oil on canvas

During most of 2006 I chose to focus on rabbit and bunny imagery in my paintings. I considered it an exploration to discover what role the rabbit image may hold for my work. This bunny painting is a still life as well as an open-ended narrative. I created this by setting up a collection of some of my own rabbit related objects.

Rabbits have shown up as subjects in my work over the years - not always as main characters - mostly as cameos. The rabbits/bunnies in my paintings are usually voyeuristic surrogate self-portraits. Because of this penchant for putting bunnies in my art people who know me give me stuffed rabbits and toys. This painting is homage to some of these items and the people they came from.

My paintings chronicle my life in a direct but not always an obvious way. My work is reflective of what is going on around me and internally at the time I create it. The rabbits in this painting are amalgams and representations of people I know. The rabbits are shown subtly performing the circumstances that the people they are based on were living.

I believe that a viewer’s ability to completely understand an artist’s intent is impossible. Just as it is impossible for me to completely understand what a painting I make may mean to someone else. For this painting the viewers are expected to define their own narrative or bring their own meaning to the painting. I don’t make my storyline readily available and allow the viewer to fill in their own meaning. I also believe that the interpretation of an artwork by a viewer is the variable that as an artist I have the least amount of control.

By Tim S. Murphy