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!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Serenity" Group Art Show

Arthead SF blog participants in “Serenity”, an alternative space group show at Satori Yoga Studio
March 28- April 26, 2008
Location: Satori Yoga Studio
40 First St. #2
San Francisco, CA 94105

Artist Reception: Friday, March 28th 6-9pm

Arthead SF and Satori Yoga Studio team up to present “Serenity”, an alternative space group show featuring 7 arthead blog participants. Arthead SF has stepped outside of the gallery norm and joined forces with a beautiful and serene space, Satori Yoga Studio.

Satori, a Zen-Buddhist concept, roughly translated means, “the experience of enlightenment.” “Serenity” delves into the deeper meaning of Satori interpreted by a diverse group of painters, sculptors and jeweler.

Participating artists include: Julianne Sterling, Martha Sue Harris, Sheau Wha Mou Keefe, Carrissa Bowman, Mad Elephant Designs, Crystal Morey and Deborah Fredrick.

Join us at the Artist Reception and enjoy live painting by Julianne Sterling, live ukulele music by Randy! And don’t miss, for one night only, Satori Yoga Studio’s own models showing wearable art jewelry by Mad Elephant Designs!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Brad K Alder

"Gold Forest Enemies"
Metal, glass, wood, acrylic and aerosol

This piece was created for the ‘January 20x20’ group show at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, 2008. What we have here is three of my signature ‘shapes’; the blue one is a good positive guy going through the forest (which is reflected in the glass), however there are two other negative guys coming towards him. Those are the enemies in the Gold Forest, and you can see the horizon line at the bottom of the piece. –Not quite sure what will happen to the good guy after they tangle… usually the good guy wins in popular culture but here the odds don’t look so good for him.

A bit about the creation of this piece: My friend Ray Buffalo owns a great woodworking studio in my neighborhood and I brought over my shapes for him to cut out, and he was able to cut the shapes as precisely as I had drawn them. Next I bought a glass cutter to fit the glass into the metal frame (which I found on the street). Then I took a cab down to 111 Minna and hung this sweet 30 pound beast of art.

Thanks to Ray Buffalo ( and to my favorite gallery in San Francisco, 111 Minna Gallery (

Brad K. Alder

Juliette Oken

19.25" x 20"
10 layer limited edition screenprint on paper

Alakazam dynamically draws you into a science-fiction inspired landscape set against an intergalactic storm. A cosmic deity watches over her magical realm and its ever-changing tiers marked by crimson mountains hovering over an unfolding infinity of electric patterns.

By Juliette Oken

Thanks Juliette for your contribution of this piece of art to the Silent Auction benefiting!!

Sheau Wha Mou Keefe

"Given Wings"
Photo intaglio with hard ground, spitbite, and sugarlift on BFK Rives paper

This piece was inspired by an ongoing series that I have been working on that examines the history of four generations of first born women in my family from my great grandmother during late imperial China, my grandmother during the revolution, my mother as a young immigrant student, and me as a ".5 generation" Chinese-American woman. Given Wings began as a dialog between me and the memory of my great grandmother—of her bound feet, of her oppression under the family of her husband, of her beauty and bondage, and ultimate freedom when my grandmother brought her to America in her last years. I see this cross-cultural story as a microcosmic example of a shared human identity.

I had difficulty finding the key image for this piece because most family photos and records were destroyed or lost during the tumultuous years of the Sino-Japanese War and Communist takeover. However, in my research I found this stunning image of a woman of the same era, an
actress, probably from Shanghai in the early 1900’s. I chose her for her tiny bound feet, her resolute expression, which impassive yet weighted, and for her cocoon-like clothing and bearing. Her wings are actually made of the x-rayed images of the shattered and deformed bones of a
bound foot—at once broken and suffering yet beautiful and ephemeral. I hoped to juxtapose the visible external against the secret internal life of a woman during this time of great change: of push and pull between East and West, bondage and liberation for women, and the fall of the last
dynasty and rise of more populist ideals.

I wanted to represent this image of woman as heroic and saintly, hence the Buddhist halo around the head, which references one of the basic tenets of Buddhism that all life is suffering yet there is hope for release. The butterflies at her tiny bound feet mirror this idea in the blood red of
pain, and in the symbolism that as cocoons they are constrained and bound only to break free through metamorphosis as creatures of beauty and flight.

Despite the personal and sometimes painful subject matter, I really had great fun making this piece!! It took me about 20 hours to produce this edition, and I enjoyed using so many processes in combination on three plates. I hope that this work gives others a sense of a shared historical memory or new view of an unfamiliar history in a way that unifies us in our humanity as creatures of this universe.

By Sheau Wha Mou Keefe

Thanks Sheau Wha for your contribution of this piece of art to the Silent Auction benefiting!!

Mary Anne Kluth

8" diameter
cut paper and collage on clock movement

My work investigates a relational intervention in the natural world through shape, color, and subtle movement. I am attempting to depict the way sometimes the human form dominates a landscape and sometimes the landscape dominates the human.

Debbie Horn

"wallet size party cards"
19" x 19"
pen and graphite on paper

I am interested in questioning the boundaries between performance and painting, as well as the relationships between costume and identity. I have begun to develop a visual language that emphasizes attitudes found in my
own experience as a singer and dancer in my band the Go-Going-Gone girls, and I am inspired to reference objects such as fake eyelashes, musical equipment, song lyrics, and fishnets that when grouped on stage are essential
in creating the mystique, but otherwise can be mundane and over looked accoutrements. In exploring these materials from the show, I am attentive to the experience of practicing their arrangements, such as in musical composition, and yet I realize and enjoy the fact that if a line is forgotten or a step is missed, the show must go on! I am searching for new ways to execute these mistakes or uncorrected overlaps. The relationship between rehearsal and painting is significant. The focus of my work lies in these behind the scene by-products, and the palate used is a reference to the atomic space age, psychedelic,botanical, super graphic textiles that I am so inspirited to wear on-stage during a performance.

My latest drawings consist of wallet size song cards that can be cut out and carried at all times. these songs are simple and enjoyable, most importantly:with few chords involved,meaning that anyone can carry these cards and pull them out at any social gathering andcontribute to a good time. The experience can be offered by anyone at anytime.

Instructions: Cut out cards, carry in wallet, entertain with party songs

By Debbie Horn

Thanks Debbie for your contribution of this piece of art to the Silent Auction benefiting!!