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 05, 2008

Arthead SF moves to So Cal

in case anyone is wondering, "what happened to arthead sf?"....well, i've moved. To Southern California.... well we're not in our new home yet....

anyway, what does that mean for the future of arthead, you may be wondering? well....i cannot say. time will tell. i haven't had time to explore the art scene down here, although i have been to Laguna Beach and they have an amazing art culture!

my plan is to first and foremost get into a home....get my family up and running....and hopefully find some time to explore the local culture and art scene here.

thank you for all your support and kindness and here's to the unknown...cheers.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"Balance" Group Art Show at Satori Yoga Studio

Event: Arthead SF presents “Balance”, an alternative space group show at Satori Yoga StudioDate: May 16th - June 13th, 2008
Location: Satori Yoga Studio, 40 1st St. #2 San Francisco, CA 94105
Artist Reception: Friday, May 16th 6-9pm

Arthead SF and Satori Yoga Studio present “Balance”, a group show featuring 3 Arthead blog participants: Nathan Stapley, Rachelle Cohen & Philippe Jestin.

We've installed more lighting at the studio so you won't miss a detail!

Please join us Friday May 16th for a chance to hang out with these talented artists and some other fun people.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Donation to Kiva

Just an update to let everyone know we raised $1255 for Kiva at the Silent Art Auction in February!

I am so thankful to the artists who participated in the show. It couldn't have happened without you. And a big thanks to 111 Minna Gallery as well for hosting it!

If you don't know what Kiva is, check it out!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pics of Satori "Serentiy" Show posted these pics from the "Serenity" show at Satori Yoga Studio:

My pics were dark as well, but here's the link:

We're working on lighting for the next show....

live and learn folks. live and learn.

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!!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Pictures from Kiva Fundraiser

kiva fundraiser

sorry, i didn't do a very good job taking pictures...

thanks everyone for your participation and support!

i'm going to be posting a few pieces to auction off on the site, so keep your eyes open....

Friday, February 01, 2008

Noah Beil

“Rochester, New York, 2007”
16” x 20”
Archival Inkjet Print

This photograph is part of a series that explores the concepts of home, family, adulthood, mortality, and memory. It was made during a visit to Rochester, New York, where I was raised. I was fascinated by the shape of the snow mound and the way its profile resembled a distant mountain range and contrasted sharply with its location in the parking lot of a shopping plaza.

This project involves revisiting my childhood home, examining my memories, and making images that recreate or are inspired by these memories. This is an attempt to reconcile recollections and imagination, and to document and recreate past events. This process necessitates the creation of a new reality while recording the present. The ubiquitous dirty snow pile, while seemingly innocuous, connotes several winters spent as part of the cross country ski team and the associated ostracizing I received for my participation in such an unpopular high school sport.
By Noah Beil

A Little About Noah:
Noah Beil grew up in Rochester, NY and lives in Oakland, CA.
Upcoming show: California as Paradox: Imagined Communities, Fort Gallery, 83B Wiese St, San Francisco. Opening February 8, 2008.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rachelle Cohen

Title: new topographic
mixed media on paper, 2007
My practice is invested in how maps can portray issues that effect the environment, particularly a changing landscape. In this piece, the United States is a dense and lush environment, a landscape that refers more to its past than present or future. I am interested in how one's landscape effects their life and the pending consequences of climate change. I create new scenarios that are not based on scientific data of the future of the earth’s formation, but they raise questions as to what is plausible.
By Rochelle Cohen

Friday, January 18, 2008

philippe jestin

"Stream pose"2006
38”x 32"
Resin , wood , paint

“This work is the third piece in a serie started in 2004 where the drawing is extended out of the panel . In this process, I carve a shallow drawing in the wood surface which is then painted with multiples layers of white paint , sanded and polished . For this particular type of work , I use silicone molds to extend the drawing out of the surface. The pigmented resin is then poured into the shalow drawing to the point of overflowing on the surface creating a translucent relief. Hopefully the object is completed with the least traces of my intervention. This particular type of work is driven by a desire to bring forth a sculptural nature to a two dimensional surface.

Stream pose , is an allusion to two opposite states and also the color , rose. A human form isolated in the white surface and extending out of the frame in a frozen flow,within the idea of fluidity and the potential for transformation. Working with silhouettes of human bodies seems to generate a need to identify to define. In this particular serie the dripping resin can heighten the uncertainty. Moving out of a frame of thinking or being requires flexibility . I like to think of a visual fluidity as seeing and moving through . These are thoughts I carry in my life and my creative process. Beyond that it is up to the viewer and the many states of minds. One person once told me looking at this particular work that because of the resin extending down , it really felt like the body was missing the legs. I found this remark very interesting because of all the portraits that have been painted over centuries and all those heads missing their bodies. Later on that comment got me thinking and inspired me to start a new serie of works. "

By Philippe Jestin

A little about Philippe:
"A secret dear to me is as follow, I think therefore I am …not so sure…. "
Live and work in San Francisco.
Currently showing with Hang Gallery, San Francisco and looking for more representation out in the world…

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kevin Taylor

6 x 9
Materials: gouache, whiteout, graphite
Created in 30 minutes

"Once, when I was visiting a friend in Atlanta, Georgia, we were walking through his neighborhood which is called Cabbagetown. We came upon a nice pile of thrown out goods on the sidewalk. Amongst some other random items, was a really classy, tattered, and ancient notebook. The cover of the book was blank except for a yellow post-it note that read "Poetry from my early teens". Most of the book was empty, but on a few pages there were newspaper cutouts of published poems by whom I believe was the owner of the book. The cutouts were all published between 1925 - 1927. The paper had a great quality and naturally caught my eye. I took the book with the mind to fill it up with some drawings of my own. The image below, "Allegiance", is one of the drawings from that effort. Like a lot of my drawings, I begin not with an idea, but rather a stain. I spill or spit some fluid onto the paper, creating a random puddle of some sort. After the paper dries, I then get to looking "into" the stain for appealing imagery. Once the foundation of the image is established I begin excavating the image from the stain. The drawing is finished when a fully realized rendering arises from the once ambiguous blob. I enjoy this "looking glass" process quite a bit since it always produces some visual that would not have been created through a conscious mind."

By Kevin Taylor

A little about Kevin:
Live/Work: San Francisco
Next upcoming show: The conference room, Feb. 16th, los angeles,

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Arthead Fundraiser at 111 Minna!

Arthead is hosting a fundraiser benefiting Kiva at 111 Minna Gallery on Tues. February 5th from 6-9pm!

I'm still looking for more artists to donate art to be auctioned off (silent auction style), so if you're interested please email me at And please pass this info on to anyone you think might be interested.

"Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back. " And with the money you get back, you can sponsor again. And again and again!

And, hey, if anyone knows a DJ who might want to donate his time...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Dan May

"Creative Block"
12" X 16"
Acrylic on Masonite

This particular piece is a recently completed commission where the phrase "Creative Block" was given to three artists' to interpret. I really enjoy projects like this, as they allow for my work to truly shine. I chose to paint one of my more melancholy monsters as the "keeper of creativity." He sits on a solid block of stone, coveting a light bulb containing a butterfly. The trapped butterfly represents potential creative energy. He could set the butterfly free and share it's beauty with the common folk below, but instead he taunts them with it. The commoners are depicted in black and white... they are reaching out, searching for some sort of spark that might fall from above and lift them from their dreary existence. Makes you think how boring our world would be without creativity... certainly not a world i'd like to be apart of!

By Dan May

A little about Dan:
Age: 28
Dan May was born and raised in the suburbs of Rochester, NY. He attended Syracuse University, where he received a BFA in illustration. He spends his days (and nights) painting dreamlike environments that transcend space and time. These delightful yet haunting images are often based in personal observations of both human’s and nature’s relationships with each other, blended with a healthy dose of whimsy, fantasy and cautious relevance. His artwork has graced the pages of numerous publications, and has been shown in galleries throughout the US and abroad. He has received honors from Communication Arts Illustration Annual and American Illustration. Dan lives and works in Atlanta, GA with his beautiful and inspiring wife Kendal and their feisty bird Jax.

Current shows:
"Big Money Art Auction" at Copro Nason Gallery
"Midnight Garden" at Foundation One Gallery

Friday, November 09, 2007

Jen Lobo

"The Devil Whale"
10" x 17"
Oil on Wood

The relationship of animals and humans is the recurrent theme of my work. I read about the story of the Devil Whale in a book about early Folklore and Mythical Creatures. According to legend, sailors would anchor on the shore of small island only to have their ship overturned violently when they learn that the island is actually a large whale. In my work, I really like to take the violence out of the situation and show the action of a volatile situation in a very peaceful way. Although the sky is stormy, the ocean is somewhat still and the waves have a sort of ribbonlike aspect to them. I like the idea of retelling these antiquated stories and putting some sort of new spin on them. I also only like the essential elements to be in the composition. I want the paintings to be as simple as possible with only the neccesary details. I am inspired a lot by old natural history texts and illustrations. I really love scientific theories that have long ago been discarded and early accounts of exploration. I want my work to have an element of antiquity presented in modern light.

By Jen Lobo

A Little about Jen:
Age: 28
Live/Work: I was born in 1980 in Southbay, California, which is a beach community in Los Angeles. I currently live and work in Pasadena, California (LA's neighbor to the east).
Current Shows: I have a show up right now at Project Gallery ( and I also have some pieces in a show at Gallery 1988 SF ( More of my work can be found at and I keep a blog at

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Crystal Morey

"One Once Loved"
12"x 5"x 4"
Stoneware and under glaze

I want to better understand how we experience emotion, our environment, and how those experiences relate to each other.

I have two interests in making: The first is finding a way to better understand myself and others. The second is in using clay as a vehicle to communicate those understandings. I am most fascinated by nuances that can not be explained though words and find more meaning in objects.

My most recent works explore our separation from nature -- the increasingly common feelings of modern life. They're about where our resources come from and how the ideas of survival and purpose have changed. In particular, this piece is about the sadness and anxiety of no longer feeling comfortable in a natural habitat, and the sense of loss that folllows.

By Crystal Morey

A Little about Crystal:
Age: 24
live/work: Oakland
Upcoming Shows:
Esteban Sabar
480 23rd Street, Oakland
The opening reception is Nov. 30th
The show will run Nov.20 through Dec.16th

Guerilla Cafe
1620 Shack ave, in Berkeley
The opening reception is Sunday Dec 9 from 4-8pm.
The show will run through Jan 28.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Alexis Mackenzie

"Ox Eye Moon"
30" x 22"
handmade collage on stonehenge paper

I've been working lately on building my own environments; I'm using larger paper, which gives me room to grow, and have eliminated the directly violent aspects of my older works (hara-kiris and decapitations). This piece was the first large composition which felt successful to me.
To me this is a meditative portrait. The landscape consists of decaying matter and lustrous new growth; this represents balance to me, since nothing can grow without something to feed upon - no beauty emerges from deathless worlds. So in a way this is a macrocosm of natural cycles, and a rejection of the way humans in general are constantly attempting to retain their youth and prolong their lives. Immortality is a quality generally reserved for divinity, so it makes sense to me that the more inroads we make into these things, the less regard we seem to have for the world we actually inhabit, as though we are above it.

The elements involved are from a variety of natural systems - arctic and desert, oceanic, and from within the body. More specifically, the moon is an ox eye, the large boulder is a lung, with the bronchial tree revealed. The flowers are from both the desert and the arctic, and the branching elements consist of coral, finger bones, and arteries. The lady's fangs were originally the horns of a gazelle.

I generally view the seashells on the heads as a rather dichotomous representation; mainly as being lost in thought, engaged in an internal dialogue, but also as a representation of consciousness - how they are responding to and perceiving their environment.
I also find it striking how well seashells often do resemble fashionable hats. Aesthetically, humans are rather bland (considering how elaborate nature can be), certainly we are not wild. I see fashion (or even body modification) a little bit as a way to make up for our own lack of natural embellishment, to feel closer to nature.

On upcoming works, I'm planning to focus less on narrative aspects within my collages, and continue developing these landscapes and abstract compositions.

By Alexis Mackenzie

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My latest project

For those of you interested, here's what i've been up to the last few months....

preparing for:
Morgan Samuel
7lbs 2oz
arthead will resume posting regularly in the next month or so. thanks for the continued support.
until then....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sirron Norris

"Victorion defender of San Francisco"
12 x 16
created 6/07
Latex and spay paint

"This painting is of a character from my book that i have been working on for over a year now. It's actually formed by six Victorian house's-. Out of the context of my written book, I kind of see the character as this hero for the under represented in city and a symbol of San francisco's fighting stance for some kind of regional or national injustice. Istopped painting about my life and started to make paintings to just sell-so they end up having less characters and more buildings with way more clearer of a message. I'm now more interested in telling imaginative narratives not personal ones anymore."

By Sirron Norris

Friday, April 13, 2007

Arthead Show at Swarm Gallery- Pics!

Arthead Show

Check out some pics from The Arthead Show!
Thanks everyone for your support!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Daryll Peirce

"G ‘n S"
24" x 60"
Acrylic on the undersides of diner tables

The inspiration for this piece and its series stems from my roots and my hometown of Reno, Nevada.

I grew up on the southern outskirts of Reno where tumbleweeds migrate and the coyotes ate all my cats. Living in the sticks, I elated in the rare excursions my folks would take me on into the "big city" and have since been fascinated by the electric gaudiness radiating from Reno's center. Throughout my teen years I carried on an appreciation and curiosity of life viewed from the cracks in the sidewalk which skateboarding only enhanced. Avoiding the hot summer days and rolling around until sunrise, skateboarding, combined with art, had brought me closer to street life and these otherwise reclusive misfits. Rolling and jumping around on a piece of wood has always seemed to attract the attention and either applause, or attacks from Reno's (or any other city's) nightly inhabitants. Because of this, many short term and some longer term relationships with such folks was inevitable. I remember a period when many of the "bums" around Reno were rocking a brand new pair of skate shoes. Only by moving away from what was natural to me, did I learn to appreciate and act upon these fascinations in my work.
Reno just seems to have a bit more angst uneasiness, and desperation than your average small city. It's extreme contrast of hot summer desert to snowy winter forest mountains seem fitting for the stark differences in the lifestyles of its inhabitants. The city is many things including a decaying gambling economy, all night clubs, bars with one lone salty patron, the National Bowling Stadium, the cheapest buffets, $1 hot dog an a Heine, the largest trailer parks in the nation, the highest of percentages of bad shit (teenage pregnancy, suicide, stds, etc), shunned Native reservations, and beautiful Lake Tahoe. I wanted to spotlight the uniqueness of some in heroic poses of otherwise non-heroic moments and places. I also wanted to accentuate the town's beautifully garish light, satire, lost-in-time kitsch, and grotesqueness of some of its dwellers from both an observational and living view like Toulouse-Latrec or Schiele in their own day. Sometimes my scenes are directly inspired by a person, memory, or place, but like the dude in this piece, most are a "Frankenstein" of fleeting memories. For instance, some of my hometown homies have this same RENO tattoo and its easy to imagine that this will be reality for someone in a decade or two.
The Gold and Silver Inn, or G 'n S as we called it growing up, was an all night hang out for us bored kids living in an over 21 town. We spent many hours here planning our nights over cheap greasy food while other regulars and drifters chain smoked and worked the slots. Sometimes we'd spend all night, get kicked out, or return for a new plan when various parties or spots busted. Fittingly, these pieces are painted on the undersides of old, gum friendly diner tables.
With "G 'n S" and the rest of the series, I'm not intending to make a statement on casino culture, homelessness, addiction, or any of the myriad of political problems inherent within my beloved hometown. Its just what fascinates me and what I've always enjoyed as a subject matter. Its a celebration and my own fantastical take of the characters and social outcasts that my hometown seems to woo or create.
Reeeeennnnnooooo, we love and miss you Beau Shaver. Live 4 Die 4.
By Daryll Peirce
A little about Daryll:
Age: 28
Live/work: Oakland, CA
One thing most people don’t know about Daryll: I’ve dislocated/broke my elbow three times within the last year.
Upcoming show: Group show "Picks of the Harvest" coming up at Thinkspace ( in LA opening on 4/13

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.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Derek Albeck

"A Nurturing Hand?"
22" x 15"
Acrylic on Paper

"A Nurturing Hand?" is one of the more recent paintings i've finished for my upcoming show entitled "Born into this...". The new series of paintings takes its inspiration from a mixture of storytelling and contemporary life that are then thrown around in my brain and spit out as a story based on the fusion of both.

Being that I hold a very pessimistic outlook on society, I wanted to create a story that allowed me to free myself from all the angst i was feeling. With the focus on representing a tribe I call the Glums, I decided the story would start out with an escape from society in order to reestablish themselves in an environment that in a way would reflect my own personal utopia (in other words, a happier place).

In "A Nurturing hand?", the individual or Glum is caring for another unborn Glum still contained in its cocoon. The Glums are reproduced in the breeding grounds where caretakers watch over them. The breeding of the Glums in the ground reflects upon the age old issue of nature vs. nurture. With this piece, I began to think about how the nurturing aspect of our existence sets up a lot of the morals and values people consider significant in our society. I began to question whether this is seen as a good or bad thing in todays society and where the concept of free will falls into play. If we are raised to consider certain ideas and beliefs as indisputable, then does free will really have any significance in todays society? Therefore, the title of the piece calls attention to weather this nurturing hand has a positive or negative effect on the individual.

One specific symbol found throughout my work is the teardrop . The eyes of the Glums are represented in a teardrop shape which references the negative emotion associated with the symbol. Although the Glums are attempting to reestablish themselves in a happier place they are coming from one which has left them disheartened. The teardrop symbol is also found in the pattern circling the Glum in its cocoon. The teardrop pattern represents the various aspects of life flowing through each narrative. In certain cases the Glums are able to control these forces, which in turn references the idea that they have once again taken control of their lives.

The piece took me a couple days to finish. I hope this little blurb offers a bit more insight to the ideas working along side the image.

By Derek Albeck

A little about Derek:
Age: 23
live/work: Los Angeles
One thing that people don’t know about you: I once coached a Varsity High School baseball team

Next upcoming show or event:
Born into this...
Opening Reception: Friday Feb 23 @ Blu82 and BM.LA 7-10
2023 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90025

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Michael Cutlip

"Spilling Green"
48"x 48"
Mixed media on wood panel

"I picked up a paint brush for the first time a little over ten years ago. I have continued to pick one up just about every day since. While those exciting, first-time discoveries are not as commonplace as they were in the early days, I still search for those fresh moments. And when encountered they are every bit as thrilling, if not more.

The process is essential. I work in the moment. In my experience, a planned painting is a failed painting. The painting must be free to wander. The best works are those that seem to simply happen."

By Michael Cutlip

A little about Michael:
Age: 32
Live/work: Oakland CA

Upcoming show:
Melanee Cooper Gallery, Chicago IL.
Two Person Show with Tracy Adams
March 16/April 13, 2006
Reception date: March 16, 2007 / 5-8 pm

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Shawn Marie Hardy

Shadow Box
Mixed Media on Glass with glow-in-the-dark-paint
14 x 18"

"When I was a child I made an insect cemetery. Over time it grew and it also became the final resting place for the occasional frog or bird. Sometime during those years I sent away for a pair of x-ray glasses after seeing an ad in a comic book. I couldn't wait to see through walls and into places the eyes can't penetrate, and of course I knew I would also be able to see through people's clothes. Much to my dismay, the glasses didn't work, but perhaps this is what I would have seen had they been real.

This mixed-media piece was done using a frame that I turned into a light box. I simply turned it upside down and placed the glass at the back instead of the front. I put fairy lights behind it for the glowing affect. Tissue paper is attached to the front and wrapped around the sides of the glass using Golden Soft Gel Medium. Circles were cut out of the paper so the bugs could be seen through the glass. The bugs are photo images that are glued down to tissue paper, then attached to the back of the glass - they are underneath the earth and are viewed through the glass. I used a highly textured pumice medium to give the paint a more earthy look and spread it around the "burrows" so they would resemble nests. I used Golden acrylics and photo images of coneflowers, as well as silk leaves along the borders. The glass in this piece represents a window where one can peek into places unknown.

The most fun part of all is the glow-in-the-dark paint that I spread on the underside of each burrow. In darkness they glow a lovely phosphorescent green!

By Shawn Marie Hardy

A little about Shawn:
age: 45
Something people don't know about me: I struggle with agoraphobia and OCD
I am a mixed-media artist, currently living in Lansing, Michigan.
I create images that are emotive and tantalizing - impressions representing the core of my imagination, from transient thoughts and deep-rooted memories to endured tribulations. I am fascinated by dreams and the haunting images the mind conjures up while we're asleep. Most of my work is as spontaneous as these unconsious images and I tend to work directly on the canvas, rather than drawing a preliminary study or mixing paints separately on a palette.

I am also interested in spiritualism - not necessarily in the sense that the living communicate with the dead, but more in the sense that I question where our energy goes after we die. In the wonderment of these questions I create dreamy landscapes that represent the state of passing from present life into the next state of being. They are both light and dark, depicting both joy and melancholy, often with the focal point being a window of light or an ethereal, winged being on a path into the unknown. I sometimes incorporate copies of vintage photos into these landscapes - visages of unknown people who have passed on, in order to give them a purpose and to honor those lives that are long forgotten.

Besides my online gallery, I am not currently exhibiting. Most of my time lately is spent working on a project that will benefit missing and exploited children (see the honorwithart site). I'm gathering art from artists all over the world and using that work to create an "altered book." Once finished, the piece will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to charities that advocate for the cause.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Paul Chatem

"Sink or Swim"
Acrylic on Wood Panel

"Sink or Swim" is the first painting I did for a new series I’m working on for a show at The Shooting Gallery, called "33 Knots" which opens Feb. 10, 2007.

This is the fourth series of paintings I have produced and it developed much like the others. I start with a single image or idea. When that is finished I ask myself, "What came before this and what should come next?" Then I paint those paintings, ask myself the same question; ideas build on themselves and grow and develop into a narrative.

Storytellers have always had a huge influence on me, way more than any individual artist. A good story, one that expresses a person’s views and experiences, sparks my imagination and drives my creativity. I get inspiration from all types of storytelling: children’s books, television, movies, comic books, novels, music, they all give me different ideas and they feed off each other and inspire me in different ways.

The most recurring theme in all my paintings is "Man vs. Nature", more specifically, man’s abuse of nature and nature’s ways of fighting back. In my first series, "It Tastes like Whiskey", I used a tornado as a character in my paintings that takes its revenge on man for his wrong doings. In "The Collector’s Conscience" I used germs for the same reason. In "Fire Season" I used fire, and in this new series, water.

I use a lot of symbolism in my paintings that tie together the individual pieces within the series. In "Sink or Swim", the sailboat is a way of harnessing the power of nature without harming it. The pirates and the bottles represent debauchery and abuse of nature. The kid in the water represents innocence or the loss thereof. The banjo represents a simpler time that has come and gone.

My hope is when people view my work, they will be able to enjoy the individual pieces as well as get a greater understanding of what I’m trying to say with the entire series.

By Paul Chatem

See "Sink or Swim" and more at:
"33 Knots" New paintings by Paul Chatem and Mike Maxwell
Opening reception: Feb. 10, 2007
@ The Shooting Gallery
839 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Brett Superstar

25" x 28"
Acrylic on Wood

"This is a painting about Divorce. My wife and I just split up and it was pretty frigg'n sad. I did a drawing for this painting about 4 days after we had decided to break up. Almost everything in the painting stands for something.

Hands over ears= denial.
Worms in back talking to person= past and present/reflecting on life
Book of life in pocket= what will be the next chapter, read on.
Red= blood. good and bad.
Ring coming off of the finger= being single
Waves in the back ground= The sea of life and how we might not beprepared for what it turns into.

By Brett Superstar

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Jessica Serran

Project Truth Collection and Reflection
Swarm Gallery: Project Space
560 Second Street, Oakland CA 94607

January 6 - February 11, 2007
RECEPTION: Friday, January 12, 2007, 6-9pm

Project Truth Collection and Reflection is a community-based, interactive project, exploring Oakland as a Place. I set up a 'truth table' in downtown Oakland and let people know I was doing a project about Oakland and was interested in knowing 'what was true for them.' Once the truths were gathered, I reflected and responded to them in the second phase of this project: an installation comprised of a room-sized painting and a file folder containing the collected truths.

This project was designed to examine the internal and the personal as a means of gaining insight into the collective energy of Oakland. It explores the question: how do the people of a city contribute to and interpret the multiple aspects of the city? The completed painting functions as a map of internal terrain, mapping both the subjective truths of others and the subjective interpretations of one artist.

By Jessica Serran

Friday, January 12, 2007

Santos Shelton

"Open Communication"
11 inches by 21 inches
Mixed media acrylic/spray paint

I just finished this painting recently. This painting was inspired by my own social obliviousness and insecurities. Lately I have just been avoiding a lot of contact with the outside world. Diving deeper and deeper into myself, I finally realized I do need others around me. The community of friends, family, and occasional strangers and acquaintances, is necessary in order for me to be able to create and grow as a person. How funny how the more we advance as humans, the more we seem to alienate ourselves.

The letters at the bottom spell out oppression of self and open eyes. For some reason I couldn't see what I was doing to myself. The pink clouds represent hope for the future. The fish symbolizes growth and movement. You can also see a sun by the fish's head, which is just another sign of hope. Inside you can see a small robot that represents myself caught inside away from the outside world. On top of the telephone pole, which stands for communication, sits an owl that stands for wisdom and change. Stripes are coming out of his head to show that he is thinking and watching the world. The fish is headed towards the owl, symbolizing my change from that frame of mind. The small symbol on the top right is an African symbol called Bese Saka that means abundance, togetherness and unity. The number three is for the three stages of life: birth, life, and death.

My art used to have the same kind of earthy colors like green and brown. Lately I have started to like pinks and bright colors. They bring a lot more of what I'm feeling into the work. I love using Aztec and African symbols from my heritage to not only convey a Message but to also embrace my history.

By Santos Shelton

A little about Santos:
He's 26 yrs old. Lives in San Jose and likes to dance late at night in front of the mirror.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pedro Matos


50 X 75 cm

mixed media on 2 framed canvas

"I was inspired to make this painting, right after watching "The Inconnvenient Truth", which made me become even more aware of our planet's situation. The global warming, and all the environmental disaters, are destroying a lot of cities and killing a lot of people, and all of this is Man's fault. That's what I represented, a crying african child, which tend to be the most harmed on most of the planet's problems inluding envorinemtal ones, since they are more vunerable, surrounded with some nature elements and textures [made on the canvas], using the right colours to represent this situation.

It's acrylic, ecoline, spray, pen, and sand paint.

By Pedro Ventura Matos. aka Drone

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year!

Just a quick note to say hello and happy new year! And thanks to everyone who has supported me on this project. I love what I'm doing and I hope you do as well. Cheers!

Rene Fressola

48" x 48"
Oil acrylic enamel on board

"Generally i work spontanious, i just start with a mark & continue to build on it, sort of like when a dancer makes up new moves, i dance with the canvas an just let it lead me! if it weren't for painting i'd hate to think where i would be,............ pieces can take any where from 3 hours to 3weeks,......colors sort of set the mood for the viewers,..........some serene,some dark & chaotic,....i am fully influenced by the abstract painters of the 40's-50's from new york & california,.... my mood the music i listen too sets the tone for my sessions in the studio."

By Rene Fressola

Rene currently has work on view at CALIFORNIA MODERN GALLERY 1035 MARKET ST bet6/7th streets SAN FRAN till February 3rd.

A little about Rene
"I'm 40 years old from new york, thing people don't know about me would be that i've been painting abstract paintings for almost 20 years. most of my paintings contain, oil,acrylic ,enamel marker, pencil, oil stix, pastels,...........i basically mix it all in an then seal it with a clear satin coat of paint. i will be moving home to new york in april 07 an i might just open my own gallery,.........."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Maya Hayuk

"Our Wall Could Be Your Life"
40 feet - infinity
salvaged latex wall paint, big fat cheap brushes, some rollers

With collaborations from oliver halsman rosenberg, Elisita Punto, kyle ranson and momo...

"A blank, legal space to free flow on is lucky to come by. in the case of this wall, it's my friend's building which houses a bunch of artist and music studios, with lots of good vibes. whether i am making public work like this, or work in my studio, i think the through line is love and the notion of gift-giving/ letting go.

"Our band could be your life" are the opening lyrics of a really sentimental Minutemen song (History Lesson II) that's stuck with me since the first time i heard it. It makes me think about our shared personal histories and what we create that's our very own. a few weeks ago some hip hop musician was seen being photographed against this wall, thus making it as much his as anyone's.

Initially the colors were left over from other mural projects i had done and then everyone living in the big white building on N3rd/ Kent got evicted, so me and my friends scavanged all the paint left behind. i like the idea that the color palette was dictated by an experience, luck and happenstance rather than something too heavily thought out.

On a really base level, pyramids have plenty of symbolism. inverted they are the symbol for a vessel or woman and as the top of a "Y", they symbolize the tree of life. right side up they are male. by stacking them up and making them get smaller and larger, they remind me of volume controls or what sound potentially looks like going louder and softer. obviously, though, it's all open to interpretation.

It's an ongoing piece i started last summer (2005) and will continue working on as long as i can. it keeps growing, new people come and paint. it's heaven."

By Maya Hayuk

A little about Maya:
Where you live/work?
Brooklyn, NY and wherever i can go to paint a wall.

One thing that people don’t know about you?
I didn't speak english until kindergarten. my parents immigrated from ukraine and we only spoke ukrainian in the house. every saturday til high school i went to ukrainian school and every summer i spent at a ukrainian para-military scout camp where we learned guerilla war tactics and learned about ukrainian history and culture. the idea was to reclaim ukraine from the russians with the spirit of song and nationalism, not guns.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rene Gagnon

" The Bomber #2"
10 feet X 8 feet
Spray paint, enamel, latex and photocopies on canvas.

"I really don't have a fancy explanation of my work, I've always said that I'll leave that to the critics after I'm dead. But here goes... My work is ALL about the creative energy that flows inside of me. When I walk into my studio the outside world ceases to exist. I transform and give myself fully tothe creative process. I have a motto I live by, Every time I walk through the threshold of the studio I promise myself that today I will do something different. For me, each piece of art I create is part of a life long experiment of media, technique, and concept. Leaving yourself open to experimentation and making it a fundamental part of your work ensures your work will develop over time. I believe that in the same way our audible voice changes throughout life our artistic voice should also sing many different tunes.

My recent series of "Bombers" overlap two concepts, that of a graffiti bomber and a suicide bomber. It is my way of saying to the world that I submit entirely to the creative energy that flows within me and out of me, a martyr to my own cause. When I'm in the studio a war takes place between me and the canvas. There are no rules in my war. Smashing the shit out of the surface with anything I can get my hands on, swinging from the ceiling paint in hand, and detonating spray paint cans are all weapons in my war. When my attack is complete on the surface whatever is left, is my art. I rarely ever rework images. I love to work large, as large as I can afford that week or as large as my studio will accommodate.

I'm just one more confused soul losing their mind on canvas."

By Rene Gagnon

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Godfrey Lim

16 x 12 x 1.5 inches
Acrylic and collage on panel
2005 dedication to Kate, whose sewn paintings inspired this piece.

"The aspect of things that are important for us are hidden by their simplicity and familiarity.” — Wittgenstein

This is a simple creation, yet what a “Eureka” moment—to peg a stone to the stars! The image’s simplicity is apt, yet poetic and profound in its distillation of the mystery and essence of the Sublime. This piece is simple because it consists of nothing more than an image torn from a book about the Universe, a Rope, and a Rock. They are familiar objects which I consolidated to create an image of something hidden, mixing poetry and philosophy in equal measure. For how does one define a Spirit? And of what? Here, the rock or stone is an open symbol and metaphor for that mysterious “Geist”—of Justice (Divine or Human), of Morality, of Truth, of Knowledge, of Being, of Gravity (Nietzsche), of Mysticism, and of the Human Heart, etc.

(Done in 2 hours, but the Idea had been brewing for years… and continues to. I pasted the background images, using an acrylic medium, placed the rock on its location, drilled holes into the stars, working around the rock, and then finally, weaved the rock into place, using one piece of hemp rope. The transparent beads are actually rubber skid protectors which I glued to represent the dew of human life.)"

By Godfrey Lim

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tommy Kane

"Homeland Security"
21 X 24 inches
Acrylic on cardboard

"I painted this in response to the way Mr. George W. Bush was handling our war on terror. I always felt old Saddam was a scapegoat for 9/11, but what a perfect guy to be cast as the villain. Following 9/11, the current Bush administration pumped us up with fear and loathing. Now, everyone concedes Saddam was an empty suit without any weapons. Maybe the casting director should be the one to get fired. The republicans had cast George, Rummy and Cheney as the tough guys who never made mistakes and were easily winning at every turn. So in response I cast Phil Silvers, aka "Sargent Bilko" from the old 60's television show as being in charge of homeland security. A conniving sargent whose only skills were 3 card monte and black jack. The writing around the painting is the Transportation Security Administration's helpful summer travel tips to deal with anti-terrorism."

By Tommy Kane

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nathan Stapley

"The Night Gallery"
11ft x 6ft
black and white acrylic gesso

"Here is a painting I did that was recently in a show at a gallery here in San Francisco called ARSPACE, run by a cool guy named Trevor. The show was based on an old TV show from the seventy's called Night Gallery. Rod Searling made that show, Rod Searling also made a show called The Twilight Zone, which is probably the best show in history next to Sesame Street, Pee Wee's Playhouse, and Kids Incorporated. Just kidding about that last one, Ha!

Each episode of The Night Gallery revolved around a painting somehow. Sometimes it seemed like Rod had to throw a painting in there somewhere just so the episode would make the cut, but in others the painting was almost the main character. It made for a great way to start an episode, Rod would stand there with his awesome 70's hair cut, hands crossed in front of his waist, talk about "grey hues of death" or some shit like that, and then pull the red blanket away from the painting and let the camera man zoom into it and than the episode would start, radical.

So as you can see I got pretty literal. I painted a gallery with paintings on the walls of some scenes from my favorite episodes. In that middle one; some mean, rich, blind lady paid Tom Bosley 9,000 dollars for his eyes, just so she could see for 11 hours, what a bitch! She got her come uppin's though, don't worry. The one on the right is about a rich dude who dies and his bratty half nephew or something tries to get his inheritance. It would have worked too if it wasn't for that crazy painting that kept on telling the future and making everyone have a heart attack, including Ozzie Davis(RIP). Roddy McDowell was in that one, and he is awesome. He also looks like my friend Paul Allen. The episode on the left was my favorite because Rod wrote it, and it's about a bunch of astronauts who think they are on the moon and talking to Huston and stuff, but it turns out they are actually on a huge piece of swiss cheese and they all get eaten by a big ass mouse in the end. Bummer!

The little people that are looking at the paintings are self portraits, you can tell because they are wearing the same shoes that I own."

By Nathan Stapley

Nathan's work can be seen at the December 2007 small painting show @ Linc art. 100 or more small paintings

A few things about Nathan:
Your age? 33
Where you live/work? ocean beach san francisco
One thing that people don't know about you? my parents are mormon

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Heiko Mueller

"Never Wake Up"
7,8" square
oil on wood

"I'm fascinated by classical Christian motifs and always like to be inspired by the old Flemish masters. One particular topic that continues to show up in Christian painting is "The Four Last Things": Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. In this context Death is usually depicted as an ill person lying in bed with a skeletal, scythe-brandishing Grim Reaper beside him. A scary predicament – one that always reminded me of a child's fear that a monster might be lurking under the bed.

I painted this picture for an exhibition called "Don't Wake Daddy" – a title that inspired me to finally try my hand at this motif. And it occurred to me that I particularly like the idea to escape the clutches of death by only sleeping long enough."

By Heiko Mueller

The exhibition "Don't Wake Daddy" opens on Dec. 2nd, 8 pm, at Feinkunst Krüger, Ditmar-Koel-Str. 22, 20459 Hamburg, Germany.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ellen Jantzen

23"H x 50"W
digitally manipulated photo assemblage

"I have a varied background; originally my emphasis was on graphic arts and I obtained my first college degree in this field. I became disillusioned with the basic nature of art for advertising sake and dropped out to become an organic gardener and cheese-maker. I raised goats also. But this became unfulfilling as I really longed for creative outlets and interactions. I then went back to college and got my second degree in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. I became quite fascinated with using fabrics in innovative ways which led me to work for several major corporations designing clothing concepts and products. I also briefly taught product design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena California. Alas, I again became disillusioned with the corporate/academic climate and longed for something more creative. I have been making my current body of work with digitally manipulated photography for over three years now and find great satisfaction and excitement each day as I work. This is the perfect marriage of two dimensional graphic sensibilities and my need to create “things”. Because I create ephemeral assemblages to use in my photography, my desire to work three dimensionally is fulfilled also.

I recently had two pieces in Swarm Gallery's Digital Print Show; and at iDEAs 2006 (at the IDMAA convention in San Diego November 9-11, 2006 at National University, San Diego CA. IDMAA is the International Digital Media and Arts Association.
The Title of one of my pieces in the Swarm Gallery show (see image) is HeteRogamy (23"H x 50"W). It is a digitally manipulated photo assemblage. What does it mean? Well, it is part of my series Anomalies - things that deviate from what is standard, normal, or expected….In this series I strive to create images that evoke animated beings; completely made up life forms with personality.

I am also dealing with symmetry and all its symbolic references.

In general I am intrigued with parallel universes, space/time warps and other manifestations of altered, alternative realities. I am intrigued with the exterior/visible aspects of reality and how it manifests the interior, the hidden/unknown realm.

I begin by staging “landscapes” of a variety of objects, either man-made or of a natural nature; the set-ups are essentially ephemeral “sculptures”. I take digital photographs of these assemblages then alter the images using various drawing and photography software programs. I layer, re-color then re-manipulate even more until I’ve achieved my particular goal with the piece under development.

Working with my computer allows me to see in new ways; it allows me to be surprised by the outcome and the possibilities."

By Ellen Jantzen

Some background info on Ellen:
Born and raised in St. Louis Missouri, USA • Currently lives in Valencia California1992 Graduated Summa Cum Laude from FIDM(Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising), Los Angeles California

Monday, November 20, 2006

Scott Radke

Octopus #3
mixed media

"This piece is one in a series that came about through a recent commission i did for Dele Costa- a new restaurant in chicago. it was a big commission including 11 marionettes and other sculpture. the restaurant has a costal theme to it so i thought i'd make some fish and octopuses. i took an old doll carriage and turned it into a fish cart to hold them. i don't really like to do commissions but sometimes when i do do them, they spin me off into another direction i might not had originally pursued. i've since put my marionettes down to work on more animal/hybrid type sculptures."

Fowler's Modern English Usage states that "the only acceptable plural in English is octopuses"

By Scott Radke

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Miranda Lloyd

The Three Phases of Love, 2004
Digital C-Print, Edition of 3

"The Three Phases of Love was inspired by the catharsis necessary for uniting one’s self with another and the visceral process of attraction and apprehension transforming into “Love”. Using physical mutation to display both an exterior as well as an emotional evolution, I hope to covey the vulnerability inherent to the origins of the new and unknown. This is represented by three phases:

Phase 1-The kiss, a taste of the beginning.
Phase 2-Turning away. The gesture of fear of the unknown.
Phase 3- Symbiosis. The creatures again engaged in a kiss emblazing the symbol of infinity.

In fabricating this very simple portraiture of my personal experience on love and the continuum of loving, I wish address my own intent in relationships with others.

This photographic series originated as a sculpture, “ Ecosystem #2, 2001”. I purchased “food” at the market (octopus and chicken) and dissected the flesh to rejoin them into a single creature. It turned out to be a very unsettling experience. After I cut and sewed the chicken-octopus creature to completion and set him in formaldehyde I actually had to leave the room because a guilty stir in my stomach had overtaken me, almost as if I were a kid who had done something wrong. I couldn’t go into my studio for several hours. Of course I came to terms with my initial revulsion and ultimately have been inspired by people’s reactions to the installation. It seems to have a universal accessibility. Children respond to it the same way adults do; the physicality of the work begs for inspection. My decision to make the Three Phases of Love a photographic series was a purely practical decision. I had recently moved to New York and had limited space to produce larger installations. It was the beginning of a photographic phase of my work. I have discovered that sometimes the confines of a situation can push you further than you might push yourself."

Ecosystem #2, 2001
8'x4'x2' deep
installation size varies
Plastics, wax, resin, glass, metal, flesh

By Miranda Lloyd

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ryan Malley

Oil on Canvas

"This painting is called "gazebo" it's the first piece in a series i'm working on for a show next year. Most of the work i've been doing lately is photo based and centers around the tenderloin/tendernob neighborhood that i've been living in for the past two years.

All of the work for this show will be based around the idea of group interactions and how the individual contributes to the larger picture. Another thing i want to concentrate on with this series is action outside of what the viewer can see.

With most of my work i try to bring attention to things that people tend to overlook. On a day to day basis we just do our thing, pretty wrapped up in our own little worlds, too busy to take the time and see what's really going on around us. So i figure i should maybe show people what they're missing. . The corner depicted is jones@o'farrell in front of the Gazebo smoke shop. On a seperate occasion i went back to shoot some reference and almost got into a fight with a crack dealer whose pic i snapped. fun stuff."

By Ryan Malley

Friday, November 10, 2006

Micke Tong

"Fate Be the Hand Spike"
Digital Illugraphy - giclee print/wood/resin

"The name "Fate Be the Hand Spike" was taken from a quote from Captain Ahab in Melville's novel, Moby Dick. I believe he lets fate be the destiny of his existence. In this piece I'm trying to tell several stories at once. Two lovers are the only ones to escape a sinking cruise liner only to be possibly smashed by a massive Sperm whale (symbolic for Procreation). Inscribed on the side of the boat in Arabic is "Love of God" which adds to the age old controversy of politics and religion. If you look closely the two lovers kissing are a Muslim woman and a Jewish man. With the Love of God who can stop us? mmmmm, maybe fate?

Much of my work is painstaking hand drawn with a computer mouse, why I haven't moved on to a Wacom tablet is beyond me. At times preparations come from photographs that I have taken or templates from hand drawings. Although a lot of the times I just end up freestyling the illustrations. Those digital stars have become a style trademark for me the past few years and have complimented my work; functioning as sky, clouds and motion. Digital art has come a long way and its in my interest to develop new techniques in this contemporary movement to tell my stories."

By Micke Tong

Micke Tong's work will be on display at Lab 101 and Project galleries in LA in December and is currently on display at Swarm Gallery in Oakland.