In the simplest terms, San Francisco-based painter Emilio Villalba creates portraits. Yet, these works are crafted at a crossroads of two influences, as cited by the artist: master works and the human condition. As a traditional portrait can captivate with the subject’s eyes, your own gaze must adjust first to the distorted points of entry in works like “Disorder,” above. In a past artistic statement, Villalba says his work is what happens when “the familiar is fractured and distorted by outside influence.”
The colors of autumn are beautiful, but the season represents the cycle of life which must come to an end each year. This moment between summer and autumn is one where life and death are in harmony, a moment that inspired Modern Eden Galery’s current exhibition, “Verdant”. Co-curated by artist Redd Walitzki, featured here on our blog, the exhibit portrays this clash of seasonal abundance with decay. Although Redd Walitzki is not a participant herself, the show does have a taste of her lush and darkly romantic style in works by: Kari-Lise Alexander, Lauren Marx, Lori Nelson, JeanPaul Mallozzi, Lioba Brückner, Jana Brike, Leilani Bustamante, Nicomi Nix Turner, Steve Ferrera, Helen Bayly, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Hannah Yata, Syd Bee, Michael Ramstead, Jillian Dickson, and Stephanie Jucker, to name a few.
“Exquisite Corpse” is a term for a collaborative art game created by the Surrealists of the early 20th century. Seattle-based artist Redd Walitzki, known for her sensual laser-cut wood portraits, frequently plays the game with her sister and sometimes model. The game provided Walitzki with the basis for her latest series debuting Saturday at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco. “While beginning the series, I discovered a Greek-Roman myth about Chloris, the Goddess of Flowers and Spring. Wandering through the forest, Chloris stumbles upon the lifeless body of a woodland nymph. Saddened by the innocent creature’s fate, Chloris breathes new life into her, transforming the nymph’s body into a flower,” Walitzki says. “This tale was the perfect genesis for the beautiful, yet slightly macabre, pieces I wanted to create, and became the jumping off point for this group of paintings.”
The enchanting yet eerie ceramic sculptures of San Francisco based artist Erika Sanada were first featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 31. In that feature, we included works from her previous showing at Hi-Fructose Vol. 31, “Odd Things”, where the artist touched upon themes of newborn innocence and death. She returns to the gallery on August 15th with an uplifting new series, “Fighting Spirit”. In our recent studio visit with Sanada, she shared with us the personal inspiration behind the series where she seeks to defeat her own anxiety.
Erika Sanada’s ceramic sculptures of puppies and other animals, featured in HF Vol. 31, are sweet yet a little chilling. Her surrealistic pieces give animals a dreamlike quality that draws the viewer in. Their disquieting nature is a reflection of Sanada’s own fears and anxieties in her daily life, which she expresses through her artwork. In her artist statement, she calls this her “dark side”. Sanada is looking to finally conquer these feelings in her new series, which she is now preparing for her next exhibition at Modern Eden Gallery. Take a look at our photos from Erika Sanada’s studio after the jump.
There is a world of hidden meaning in classic children’s literature that dates back centuries. Tales like Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland explore dark and sometimes violent themes, in counterpart to the friendlier The Cat in the Hat and Winnie-the-Pooh. These stories provide the inspiration of Modern Eden Gallery’s upcoming group show “Storybook: An Art Journey Through Childhood” opening on April 25th. Curated by the Warholian’s Michael Cuffe, the exhibition features over 65 artists including Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Ciou, Jana Brike, Leilani Bustamante, Steve Chmilar, Aunia Kahn, Edith Lebeau, Calvin Ma, David Natale, Lori Nelson, Richard James Oliver, Peca, Michael Ramstead, Isabel Samaras, Erika Sanada, Hannah Yata, just to name a few.