The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Author: Jessica Ross

This past weekend, Heron Arts debuted “Ass Kicking Contest" (previewed here), a father-son art show from acclaimed artist Wayne White and his son, Woodrow White. A complete spectacle of installation and fine art, the duo presented their respective bodies of work alongside a few massive puppets. The result was a varied display of kitsch and charm. Always finding ways to insert humor into his work, you can see Wayne’s excitement in the large-scale puppets that inhabit the space. They draw back to his time as set designer for Pee Wee’s Playhouse, where he received three Emmys for his innovative work. Bringing him back to his roots as a DIY craftsman and puppet-maker, Wayne’s figures range everywhere from a cubist bust resting along a mirror to an operational 15ft reclining cowboy trying to get his boot on.
San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum kicked off their “summer of contemporary” this June with their new showcase, "28 Chinese". The full sweeping exhibition is brought to us by Miami collectors and Museum founders, Mera and Don Rubell of the Rubell Family Collection. Comprised of painting, photography, video work, sculpture and large-scale installations, "28 Chinese" is an exploration into modern Chinese art. Working in contemporary methods, the selected artists often delve into their relationship with traditional Chinese culture by way of conceptual processes. See more photos from the exhibition after the jump.
San Francisco based artist Ryan De La Hoz (previously covered here) recently opened his new solo show, “Impassible Terrain” at FFDG. Consisting of new mixed media works and illustration, De La Hoz’s new body of work seeks to highlight our collective experiences through antiquity and traditional iconography. Using historical references to execute this personal ideology, De La Hoz’s new show rests on impactful yet simple motifs to convey broad concepts.
Returning for its fifth year, Art Market opened its doors at the historic Fort Mason Festival Pavilion this past weekend. An impressive display of contemporary art from all over the world, this year’s fair diversified its selection of galleries and improved its overall presentation. Teaming up with the some of the Bay Area’s most prominent museums such as the de Young and Legion of Honor, this year’s fair included a healthy mix of exciting international spaces as well as prominent local galleries.
Holoch_GIF_2 Sean Newport is a San Francisco-based artist and woodworker who creates geometric, wall-mounted sculptures. Newport’s work is meant to trick the mind into seeing flat, graphic imagery before comprehending its true, three-dimensional shape. Influenced by op-art and bold, abstract forms, his sculptures attempt to test our perceived notions of reality.
The Bay Area is in constant change and, as many people know, San Francisco's art scene is filled with stories of fleeing artists and depressingly high rents. It's not all bad news, though. This past weekend, a new gallery opened its doors in Oakland to a packed house full of young new artists and veteran gallery-goers alike. Good Mother Gallery debuted with a tremendously diverse group show titled "Tired Hands," proving once again that there's still room for new art spaces to open, even in a troubling economic climate.
A new kind of fair opened the weekend of September 26 at the historic Pier 70 in San Francisco. Art Beats, a three-day cultural event, ventured to join art and music with a fresh, DIY spin. Co-founders Kelsey Marie of Fountain Art Fair and Jeff Whitmore of San Francisco nightclub Public Works organized the weekend-long event with Lauren Napolitano, the former director of White Walls and Shooting Gallery. The fair's goal was to create an affordable cultural event, one that was both multifaceted in its selection of galleries as well as accessible to the not-so-average fair-goer.
The on-going conversation about San Francisco’s transforming social landscape is one full of shared bitterness and tension. In a city where any given conversation begins with the baseline grievances of high rents, gutted arts programs and the overall influx of wealth and monopolizing industries, it’s no wonder people are frustrated. With that said, one nonprofit is hoping to make a positive impact. Art City, founded by former techie Luke Groesbeck, is a cultural establishment bent on retooling the perspective of San Francisco's citizens by implementing a month-long public art program. Teaming up with local curators Tova Lobatz and Jenny Sharaf, Way Out West sets out to replace commercial advertising spaces with striking contemporary artworks.
This past weekend, Philadelphia-based artist Jim Houser opened his solo show at FFDG in San Francisco. Titled “Night Got Quiet, Not Quite Light.” The exhibition consists of Houser’s highly recognizable patchwork assemblages, as well as some minimalist mixed media works and site specific installations. Predominantly confined to his signature square format, this new show is a continuation of Houser’s exploration into the relationship between the visual and the aural. The interplay between text and imagery in Houser’s work makes way for an emotional narrative open to the interpretation of the viewer. Playfully rendered and meticulously composed, Houser acts as a visual storyteller, evoking an unencumbered youthful sentiment.
Last weekend Mike Giant opened his solo exhibition at FFDG in San Francisco titled "Modern Hieroglyphics." Plenty braved the rain to get a peek at some of Giant’s new work. Standing at the cross section of illustration and tattoo art, Giant’s drawings cover everything from pop and consumer culture to underground punk and hip-hop. Read more after the jump.
Time is a funny thing, we like to ignore it, lose it, pretend it doesn't exist so as to continue with our daily lives. But Ryan De La Hoz confronts time as to understand how our pasts affect our very immediate future. Imagery of destruction and fragmentation is seen in his minimal, hand-cut paper works to show how things can change in one instance, even in just in the material world. Showcasing a milieu of contemporary minimal abstract forms, Ryan's work borders on psychedelic and sometimes hallucinatory. Static patterns and sharp textures layered with graphics — from energetic slime to vivid palm trees — create a sensational effect akin to staring at the sun. It's hard not to stare; his color palette toddles between harsh contrasts of black and white to more calming, cooler hues. Some could describe his work as digital but you'd be surprised to learn that most of it (if not all of it) is created using analog processes. Read more after the jump.
Drawing from both nature and her fervent imagination, Tiffany Bozic's new solo show, "Sense of Wonder" at FFDG in San Francisco, combines true-to-life anatomical renderings of nature while remaining devotedly surreal. Her new body of work features a dynamic range of clustered specimens that bear a kind of storybook whimsy. Working with a complex process of layering watered-down acrylics, Bozic is able to collaborate with the natural maple panels on which she paints to achieve an organic yet controlled composition. Dreamy yet scientific, her work deals with her own autobiographical issues of life's struggles and triumphs portrayed through her metaphorical organisms. Tiffany Bozic lives and works out of her small cottage home in Marin county, among a blanket of California redwood trees. "Sense of Wonder" is on view at FFDG until November 16. See more photos after the jump!
The darkness of our inner demons has always fascinated Alicia Martin Lopez. Her work demonstrates the kind of freakish interior of our psychological state, made real by her even weirder figures. Working in both oil paint and digital media, Martin sets out to find the beauty within a sea of darkness. Her subjects hover in an alternate plane, in some gassy atmosphere that creatures from the black lagoon might inhabit. To her, however, these extraterrestrial individuals represent the tension we all face in every day life. The kind of common-place trials of emotional baggage. These foreign monsters are not monsters at all. She said, “They are like a seed planted in us wishing desperately to germinate. Watered correctly, it can thrive in beautiful ways.” Read more after the jump.
Oakland-based artist John Casey invited Hi-Fructose to come check out his studio while he prepares for his solo-show, "Little Exorcisms,” opening up next month at Breeze Block Gallery in Portland. His latest body of work continues to exhibit fictitious human deformities, ones only possible in an alternate world. A place where inner emotions are physically manifested in the human form and one’s psychological state of mind is channeled through morphed figures and evocative imagery. Read more after the jump.

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