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


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Photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto uses Polaroid film to explore the color spectrum


Hiroshi Sugimoto

At first glance, the images from the Polarized Color series hardly look like photographs at all. The colors seem impossibly vivid and crisp, and it’s hard to discern any particular tangible subject in front of the lens. But for New York-based, Japanese-born photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, the subject of the images is indeed the colors themselves, both on a visual and intellectual level. After delving into the history of color theory, Sugimoto found himself caught between two ways of understanding color. On the one hand was Newton‘s scientific, seven-color spectrum. On the other, Goethe, whose poetic genius led him to believe that color’s effects on the mind might be the kind of the thing that defies systematic, mechanistic explanation.

Sugimoto, like Goethe, set out to find what was lacking in Newton’s system–namely, to capture the vast, nuanced spectrum of color produced by light, to find everything that exists between those supposedly fixed points represented by red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Refracting beams of light off of mirrors, and into dimly lit black space, Sugimoto used Polaroid film to absorb those countless different hues, effectively taking something impermanent and immaterial and capturing it in a tangible, more permanent object. Pretty gorgeous stuff, and since I’m sure I’m not doing his thought process justice, below, accompanying these images, are some words from Sugimoto himself.

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Photographic selections from Bristol based photographer Tom Lowther


It seems as though capturing the environment around him is almost second nature to Bristol-based photographer Tom Lowther. Kids in their element, dreamy landscapes and peculiar objects typify the photographer’s work although it seems as though Tom is just getting started. Building an eclectic resume of images, Tom’s work reveals a unique set of life experiences, colored by simplicity and youth. With a distinct element of spontaneity and a touch of deliberateness, Tom’s photography reminds us how easy it is to take a picture, but also how difficult it is to capture a moment.

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A suspended act of affirmative persistence…an aesthetic meditation on the human desire to believe in the futile and to conceive the impossible. That’s the statement of purpose given by Diego Agullo and Dmitry Paranyushkin, the creative minds behind The Humping Pact. I’ll be real though. My first thoughts when I saw this video weren’t exactly concerned with aesthetic meditations. My first thought was to laugh. Hard. Because this is a fucking funny idea.

Aside from that though, with the project’s crew of humpers making their way across the European continent, stopping in various “dysfunctional spaces that still emanate creative potential”– think coal mines, Soviet military bases, abandoned architectural curiosities–and getting better acquainted with the space. In addition to the initial performances, these spectacles are then reenacted in a gallery setting or transformed into large scale video projections, prints and other media. In any case, I’m sure I’m not doing the Pact justice here, so visit their site for a better explanation of what all the faux-fornication is about. For now, feel free to meditate on this.

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A collection of photos from our first art show

Danielle Schnur

Saturday afternoon marked our inaugural art show for Wine & Bowties. Warm weather, good food and great art made for one particularly settled afternoon. Focused around the visuals of black and white imagery, each artist utilized their own interpretation of black and white to share their work with our audience. Congratulations and thanks to Rebekkah Castellanos, Danielle Schnur and Jesse Draxler who we collaborated with for this first show. And a special thank you to everyone who helped make the day happen. Louis XIII and dJ Hemisphere on the tables. Oscar on the tacos. Our greeters Teo and mother. And Hannah, Geoff and Ya for keeping the sangria flowing. Rest assured there will be more to come.



Wine & Bowties

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Berkeley-bred director Colin Tilley is already shooting hip-hop royalty, and he's only getting started


Colin Tilley Wine & Bowties

If you didn’t know any better, you might say that the last few years have been exceptionally kind to Colin Tilley. When Max and I meet Colin at his Silverlake pad, he pulls up in the benz, all-black everything with tints, and hops out, greeting us with a grin. Freshly inked, the “skate and destroy” tat across his forearm is still wrapped in plastic. When we take a seat in the living room, Colin takes to breaking down some trees on the coffee table in front of us. Across the room, on the mantelpiece sits Colin’s moon man, a glistening reminder of the VMA he helped win for Justin Bieber’s 2010 smash “U Smile”.

Aside from that, it’s a reminder of just how far he’s come. Over the past few years, Colin’s trajectory is one we’ve been able to watch pretty closely, from humble beginnings with hometown heroes like The Cataracs and Lil’ B to his place now, as one of the industry’s premier, in-demand directors in hip-hop and beyond. A brief glance at the names on his resume reads something like the guest list at an award show afterparty: Wayne, Chris Brown, Wiz, Rozay, even Diddy himself. It’s all the more impressive considering the fact that Colin was celebrating his twenty-fourth birthday just a few weeks ago. And yet in talking with him, he seems comfortable, but not satisfied. When he talks about his work, he talks about immersing himself, about being in the moment, and rarely finding the time to reflect. When he talks about the future, his eyes widen. He’s engaged, ambitious, ready to pursue new ideas, and yet still grounded– by home and family, but also by perspective and a relentless work ethic. A few minutes into our conversation, it becomes pretty clear that the past few years haven’t just been kind to Colin. More accurately, you might say he’s made the most of them.

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Read our full interview with Los Angeles-based director Colin Tilley here.

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Dreamy, blurred beauty from Barcelona-based photographer and visual artist Daniel Sesé


Daniel Sese

Heidegger once wrote about a Van Gogh painting, depicting a pair of shoes, and said something to the effect that Van Gogh, though his depiction wasn’t naturalistic, and didn’t directly resemble the material reality of those shoes, that it had revealed some truth beyond physical reality. It had brought to light something true even as it failed to faithfully, accurately represent exactly what it is we see when we look at those shoes.

Philosophical notions of “truth” aside, I think Daniel Sesé‘s out-of-focus, blurred photography does something similar. They are not, by the most technically conventional of standards, “good” pictures of the objects they capture. And yet, the shots are gorgeous in every way a crystal-clear image is not, and in most cases, they bring something out that couldn’t have been seen otherwise. Aside from the fact that Sese is from Barcelona, and that he’s multitalented, I have to admit I don’t know much about him. But as photographic aesthetics go, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite like his. Every edge is blurred, every color is vibrant, and every figure is smudged almost to the point of painted abstraction. Contained in these images is beautiful motion and color, whether he’s capturing the movement of women dancing or a single tree. As strange as it sounds, these images can make you feel like you’re seeing the subjects a little more clearly.

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A collection of illustrations capturing the joys of group sex

Surely I’m not the only one who has fantasized about what a true orgy would be like. Really, who knows if and when something like that would ever pop off, although I’m sure if you really look, there’s probably a good couple orgies going down right under your nose. Regardless, I remember my first observation of an orgy on film went down in Summer of Sam (great film by the way). But I can’t lie, those group sex scenes piqued my interest. Perhaps orgies were more acceptable in the ’60s, and ’70s, or perhaps they still go down now… I wouldn’t really know. Nonetheless, orgies also piqued the interest of Norwegian artist Steingrim Veum, enough so that he was compelled to illustrate 22 depictions of orgies in action. Makes you wonder if Steingrim himself has ever partaken, or if this is all just a fantasy…

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