This Friday, we’re juiced to bring you a collaborative, 12-artist group show at Grid Gallery, in the heart of Oakland. Featuring pieces from Kool AD, Ian Flanigan, Aris Jerome, Danielle Schnur, OnTask Family, and more, “Feels” brings together great work from some incredible folks. Gallery opens at 7 PM.

Category Archives: Art


Exploring standards of beauty at home and abroad


Photography By Matt Blum

The other day, a girlfriend and I were walking the streets of Brooklyn when a young gentleman tapped me on the shoulder and told me I was a “thick ass white girl”. My girlfriend was immediately horrified and called his remarks rude, disgusting, and insulting. Her sticking up for me was lovely, but she was making me feel wrong for feeling flattered.



Meet Jacob Klein and Nathan Cowen, the creative duo behind Haw-lin


Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Haw-lin. Some would probably label it “your favorite blogger’s favorite blog,” or something lightweight pretentious like that. But at its core, Haw-lin is a great resource for creatives. The brainchild of Nathan Cowen and Jacob Klein, Haw-lin has emerged as one of the preeminent destinations of the Tumblsphere while continuing to serve as a source for ideas and inspiration. A visual mood board of sorts, Haw-lin brings together a wide range of cultural artifacts, juxtaposing them against each other to take on new meanings when viewed as a whole. A simple concept with rather complex execution, I suppose. Aside from the blog, the duo also collaborate on Haw-lin Services, a full-fledged design and art direction firm they started together. In this short feature above from international interview magazine Freunde von Freunden, the duo touch on their approach to research, curation, and their ever-evolving aesthetic.

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South African photographer Pieter Hugo captures a unique partnership forged on survival

Hugo Pieter PH 6900 4x5

“Get it how you live.” It’s a phrase Benny Basic and the Big Tymers made prevalent in my life since the early 2000′s. Broadly speaking, more or less, it means do what you gotta do to make ends meet. Do what you gotta do to survive. The phrase comes to mind when examining the work of South African photographer Pieter Hugo, whose documentary work has shed light on one of Nigeria’s most extraordinary yet controversial business practices.

Pieter happened upon the traveling circus of Hyena handlers, known simply as “The Hyena Men”, after a cell phone photo of the troupe was reproduced in a South African newspaper. Provoked by the photograph, Hugo ventured to the city of Abuja, Nigeria to meet the group, traveling with them for a number of days to document their practice. The images he collected while travelling with the group tell a captivating story–a tale of tradition, economic strife and ultimately, survival. Read on for a look inside the world of the Hyena Men.



Illustrator Andy Rementer lends his perspective on the unwavering marriage between man and machine


Look around you as you glare into your computer screen for the (insert large number)th consecutive day. If you’re anything like me, our somewhat troubling relationship with technology grows stronger by the day. It all happened so fast. Regardless, it seems as though, with each passing day, our dependency upon our phones and computers brings us farther from self-reliance, making our gizmos and gadgets more of a necessity than an accessory.

Luckily, there are those with skills that feel the same. Offering his clever perspective on this ever-evolving partnership, renaissance creative Andy Rementer has garnered global acclaim for his vibrant imagery. Penning colorful illustrations for global publications such as the New York Times and The New Yorker, while also collaborating with boutique mainstays like ONLY NY and Apartamento Magazine, it seems as though Rementer has managed to create his own distinguished aesthetic unto himself. While his personal site features much of his recent work, today we’d like to share with you Andy’s self made comic series, aptly titled Techo Tuesday. Combining Andy’s beloved illustrations with shrewd comic commentary on the role technology plays in our lives, Techno Tuesdays is a strip accessible to anyone living in the digital age.



A brief collection of images from our first exhibition at Oakland Art Murmur


This past Friday was a special one. A stepping stone for us in our journey and a moment to remember for a number of reasons. If you’ve stepped inside a Wine & Bowties party before, with the exception of two, the intention more times than not has been to throw bangers. Complete, utter, unadulterated bangers. But this one was different. It wasn’t “crackin,” and it wasn’t going ham, per se. It was just settled, and it felt right. Somehow we brought the grown ups out, and also the kids, making myself, Will and some other 20-somethings the middle children within this eclectic night. It was kinda beautiful.

Many a thank you to go around for this event. First and foremost to Barry’s family for allowing us to share Barry’s work with a new audience. And also much love to the Scrivani family for providing us the space to hold our first art exhibition in Oakland, and the wisdom to help us do it right. To our friends and family who attended the opening, thank you for being a part of such a unique night. In the years to come we’ll look back and understand the significance of it all, but for now, let’s enjoy the moments that Barry captured in his time. A Dangerously Curious Eye runs from now until March 30th, and you can join us for the artist talk this Saturday from 4pm to 6pm at Warehouse 416.



The story behind Barry Shapiro's iconic portrait of the edge of San Francisco


Barry Shapiro
Photography By Barry Shapiro

When I first cracked open the cover of Barry Shapiro’s A Dangerously Curious Eye, I was floored. I had been told, in brief, what to expect–essentially an extensive collection of black and whites, shot in Hunter’s Point and other San Francisco neighborhoods during the turbulent 1970′s and early ’80s. Had that been all I found, it still would have been entirely worth the read. But what I did in fact find, was something more than just photojournalism–something much more resonant, much more powerful. This was indeed a portrait of a community in all its complexity–sometimes Barry’s lens reflects heartbreaking poverty and sadness, other times, pride and exuberance. There were nudes and neighborhood scenes, kids playing and drunks boozing, and running through each shot, a sense that Barry had captured a moment unlike any other.

Here in this collection, alongside its value as historical document, we get a genuine sense of Barry’s personality, and his deep fascination with the edge. Before and after the decade he spent exploring one of San Francisco’s poorest and most marginalized neighborhoods, his work reflected a passion for telling stories that might not otherwise reach the surface. More than anything though, this collection captures his instinctive talent for identifying and preserving the moment. From the candor of those Hunter’s Point portraits to the momentary, drive-by glimpses afforded by his Through the Window series, there’s an almost preternatural sense of serendipity surrounding these images. Naturally, the story of how these images found their way to us, the audience, is a serendipitous one indeed. Read on to learn more about A Dangerously Curious Eye.



Heidi Voet lends her perspective on the perception of beauty

A comical glance into the construction of vanity, beauty and health, Fruits & Vegetables is among Heidi Voet‘s most engaging works. Positioning images of naked women cropped from Chinese magazines alongside vegetables, the resulting work takes on new meaning on closer inspection. Cropping out the top or lower half of the photographs, and replacing the missing body parts with vegetables, the juxtaposition helps to relate Heidi’s commentary. As the organic vegetables age and rot, the falsehoods of enduring beauty and eternal youth perpetrated by the photographs are revealed. In a sense, a duality of timelessness and ephemerality is related powerfully through the work as the fresh vegetables visually complete the young bodies–though both are inevitably destined to fade. I sometimes wonder if pretty girls ever feel trapped by their beauty, but let’s save that conversation for another day.

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Software engineer turned carpenter Joel Allen's treehouse in the middle of the Canadian wilderness


Building a tree house is already an arduous task within itself. But building a tree house in the middle of the woods solo, in Whistler, British Columbia on government property might sound damn near insane to anybody–aside from Joel Allen, that is. A software developer turned carpenter, Joel ventured into the Canadian wilderness to construct an egg shaped abode with no electrical power in the fall of 2008.

After going broke in the wake of a botched retirement campaign at the ripe age of 26, it was a by-chance encounter with a true wilderness man that compelled Joel to set out on his own, living out of his car while seeking out adventure at every turn. Turned on to the art of “sports sleeping”–the competition of seeing who could sleep in the most outrageous environment outside of a bed–by a friend, Joel was soon inspired to create the HemLoft.

Keeping it a complete secret for nearly three years after its construction, Joel only began to reveal the house’s existence recently. The house itself, a product of the painstaking process of walking each tool and material into the woods, and then walking all of the excess waste back out, is a true a labor of love, and one that Joel isn’t looking to part with any time soon.

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Rio-based photographer Tiago Sperotto on his photographic journey back home to Porto Alegre

Gaucho (that's how we call who is my state) riding a horse by Guaiba's lake

Photography by Tiago Sperotto

It was 2010 when I first connected with Tiago Sperotto. On the verge of being fired from my first post-college job as a barista, on my last day, Tiago approached me with a simple question. “Dude, do you know anyone that needs some photography work done?” It was a serendipitous question, as the Bowties, still in its infantile stages, was in dire need of a shooter to add to the team.

From there, the rest is history, although our journey is still only beginning. Lending his photographic skills to a number of shoots for us over the years, it was love that eventually brought Tiago back to his native country of Brazil in 2011, where he still lives today. Currently residing in Rio, but raised in Porto Alegre, Tiago’s most recent work showcases some of the gorgeous environs the city has to offer. Chatting about his upbringing in Porto, the city’s evolution, and the magic of Guaiba Lake, Tiago offered some insight into what makes Porto Alegre so special.

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Abstract perfomance artist Jared Clark creates colorful imagery through an unorthodox approach


Find your medium, and go for it. It’s a message we’ve been promoting on the Bowties since the beginning. Whether you’re creating coloring books for today’s hottest rappers, or building modernist sand castles out of well, sand, there are infinite possibilities when it comes to creativity. Most recently, the whimsical work of Jared Clark exemplifies this idea quite well. In his recent work, simply titled “Bleeder”, Jared manipulates paper and ink in a way unlike any other I (or maybe you) have come across.

When discussing his creative approach, Jared states, “The series came naturally from this idea of filming the bleed images of markers – and using physical limitations as a way of keeping the image pure. Once the physical limitation ideas took the forefront, I turned the camera from the paper to myself and a path into performance was born.” If it feels a bit like I’m leaving something out, you might want to hit the MORE for a better idea of how Jared goes about creating these abstract pieces.

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