The face of American culture continues to change through the use of firearms. Weapons appear in our movies, music, nightly news and politics making them synonymous with contemporary culture. This could not be more relevant in light of growing concerns in recent months about aggressive police tactics. Mesa Contemporary’s current group exhibition “ARTillery” looks at the art of the weapon as object and a major influence. The textbook definition of a weapon is “a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage”. Roughly 50 artists present their own definitions, including Charles Krafft, Shepard Fairey, Brian M. Viveros, Kevin Grass, Angel Cabrales, David Amoroso, Eve Plumb, Abel Alejandre, and more.
Australian artist Bec Winnel captures the essence of femininity in her emotive portraits of young women. She celebrates them as symbols of beauty and creation. Winnel was pregnant while she worked on her second solo show with Thinkspace gallery, which opened this weekend. Her experience can be felt in blossoming motifs throughout. “Beautanica” is filled with natural elements, such as the blooming florals that crown her subjects.
San Francisco based artist Joel Daniel Phillips examines the characters living in his neighborhood in larger than life-sized drawings. His subjects include street vendors and the homeless, each with a unique personality that Phillips captures in hyper-realistic detail. His ongoing series explores themes like how these individuals use objects to retain a sense of home, and promotes social justice.
In her studio in Cardedeu, a small town near Barcelona, Spain, Cinta Vidal Agulló is busy creating complex acrylic paintings on wood panels that reflect how our external realities often do not reflect our internal natures. Vidal Agulló sees her work as a metaphor for the ways in which we shape our world – the impossibility of completely understanding those around us, yet the personal ability to navigate the maze of life that we all inhabit.
With her solo show “Dual Natures,” Mary Porterfield draws from her work as an occupational therapist to ask herself what makes an act heroic and what is the limit of our ability to help others. Over realistic landscapes, Porterfield creates complex narratives filled with mythical creatures, mortals, and saints. The artist uses these dual images to explore the contradictory impulses to be selfless and still prioritize self-care, using nature as a metaphor for the things she cannot control. “Dual Natures” opens at Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago on May 8.
Together known is KeFe, Kelly Tunstall and Ferris Plock are getting ready to debut their third solo show at Fecal Face in San Francisco tonight. Titled “Inside Voices,” the exhibition features playful, colorful collaborative paintings. The artists culled inspiration for these works from their experiences with parenting two young boys. The term “inside voice” is often used to quiet children, which can, in effect, stifle their self-expression when it’s inconvenient to adults. KeFe reclaimed this term and made it a more liberating one, describing their conception of an “inside voice” as the inner voice that guides one’s creativity. By following this internal teacher, they created work that brims with a childlike sense of curiosity.