Stashed away for decades, John Roberts' street shots and punk portraits finally see the light of day
Stashed away for decades, a classic document of the city’s punk scene emerges
Stashed away for decades, a classic document of the city’s punk scene emerges
Hannah’s latest work comes in the form of Omens & Offerings, a solo exhibition up at RVCA’s SF flagship location. When the homie Bob Sagat made the hike out the Haight a few weeks ago, we were able to set up an opportunity to talk to Hannah a little about the show, the meaning behind it, and about what she does more generally. Naturally, I found a way to wedge in a question about Ludacris. Read on below.
Meeting Ryan Rocha makes you wonder how many budding artists are standing behind coffee counters around the world. It was a simple interaction at the coffee counter that led to our initial conversation. My $5 Yeezus Tour tee always a grand conversation starter. Our conversation about music, led to a conversation about art, and a conversation about art introduced me to his work.
Raised in Sactown, with relatives in the Bay, Ryan’s work serves as a road map into the mind of a critical thinker. Drawing much from his experiences and relationships for inspirations, Ryan cites his grandmother as one of his primary influences.
As one of the visual artists from last November’s FEELS II Festival, we thought it only appropriate to check in with the mixed media artist. After recently publishing a collection of drawings, writings, and paintings entitled “Four Piece,” Ryan spoke with us about life in Sac, the meanings behind his work, and his beloved Vava.
Magdalena describes her work as an effort to quench her curiosity around the complexity of human behavior. Whether friends, family or strangers she meets along her travels, Magdalena takes to her subjects with an honest lens, capturing individuals authentically, and as they are. Fortunately for us, Magdalena’s work found our inbox. Hence the words, and the accompanying photos below.
Lauren Crew sits across from me in the too-loud Oakland coffee-shop/hipster mecca where we both feel slightly out of place. Technically, we hella belong. We fall perfectly within the 23-35 age bracket that recently populates the ever-gentrifying neighborhood we’ve picked to meet in, though we’ve both known Oakland from our youth. Then there’s the fact that we met through a blog and have shared walls in local art shows. But Lauren’s not your average. Her handful-of-years head start out the womb on the rest of the coffee shop kids is transparent every time she opens her mouth to speak in witty, thoughtful prose. Lauren’s pigtail braids, gold name necklace and thick rimmed glasses might have you thinking she’s 10 years younger than she is, and her relatability flows effortlessly with every excited hand gesture and sarcastic remark. It’s that ease and humility that keeps reminding me of her experience on this earth and my adoration of her. And her work.
Lauren takes pictures, but not just any pictures. She takes pictures for large-scale installations, jewelry campaigns, fashion lookbooks and, just as importantly, for personal growth. Back in undergrad, when she picked up a film camera while abroad in Ecuador, she really didn’t think anything of it until folks started to take notice. Since, Lauren has developed her skill for capturing hard-hitting concepts and visual texture into a viable business and undeniable presence in the local arts scene. With nearly a decade of shooting, framing, hanging, installing and slanging under her belt, Lauren has become plenty well versed in creating work and the art of presenting it.
This Friday, February 6th, the creative coworking space Oakstop will be celebrating its first anniversary and opening its gallery doors to welcome Black Artists on Art: The Legacy Exhibit. Oakstop is the dream of founder Trevor Parham, a longtime friend of the ‘ties and art curator. You might remember him from last year’s Town Business group show, which aimed to celebrate Oakland’s timely artistic current. Since, he has transformed that very emphasis into a more permanent spatial presence. Sitting just above 19th St. BART, Oakstop functions as a shared work environment, event space, and art gallery, that, as their mission statement reads, “fosters collaboration, professional development, and economic sustainability for creative entrepreneurs and local businesses.”
The Black Artists on Art exhibition is based on a book series of the same title, created by Dr. Samella Lewis in 1969, that showcased actively producing black fine artists in light of the disregard they often experienced from mainstream art institutions. Lewis’ grandson, Unity Lewis, is working to continue the legacy of the series through a revival, and publishing new books for the series that include contemporary black artists. Friday’s exhibit will serve as a launch for the broader campaign to recruit over 500 new black artists for the series, by showcasing work from 36 original and contemporary contributors for a three-generations-deep display of black fine artists. For a sneak peak of some of the iconic art included in the show, peep the images below. The event will be held upstairs at Oakstop’s 1721 Broadway gallery space, and runs from 6pm till midnight. It’s about to be legendary. See you there.
If Haring’s language was something of a constant, it was a language that whose communicative power he was compulsively, constantly pushing into new territory. Taking in that volume of work firsthand, you get a chance to see just how much he was able to communicate in such a short time. To the extent it’s possible, The Political Line makes you feel like you’ve actually gotten to know someone.
In an era where many claim print to be dead, I came back from The 2015 L.A. Art Book Fair assured that print is as alive as ever. Now if we’re talking about “traditional” print magazines…it might be bad for you. XXL, US Weekly, and everything else you see right before you buy some shit at the supermarket, are in dire straits. Yes, for ya’ll I believe it’s bad.
Yet for a legion of artists, creatives and independent thinkers, print as a medium for expression is as vibrant, resonant and essential as ever.
The 2015 L.A. Art Book Fair was the proof. Amongst a wash of independent publishers and well-executed outfits, the fair featured an ungodly amount of dope, inspiring, inspirational work. Taking up nearly every wall of the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, the fair featured artists and creatives from around the world, united around their love for print.
There was energy that came across many of my interactions throughout the fair. A kinship of sorts when you find a book so on point, you have to hold back from fanning out. Adam Vilacin‘s work did just that, as his recent series, Dead Wrestlers and Dream Team are just plain amazing. The book fair is a little overwhelming to be honest. There’s just so much to see and dive into that sometimes you have to come up for air. Below you will find a sampling of visuals from the event, accompanied by a little commentary in reference to the work.
In a world that tells women to shove it up our twats and shut up, I’m just trying to take up space. It’s a simple mantra, really. One that reminds me, while in a hurricane of rage for all things socially and systemically oppressive, that I’m ready for war. A call to action, if you will: Women! Let us take up space! I wear this mantra daily–in the width of my hips and the volume of my voice and the texture of my hair. I wear it in refusing to apologize for my biology or censoring my talk of vibrators and diva cups. And I’m just out here, really. Living that simple truth one day at a time. Trying not to get felt up on public transportation, or belittled for every expressed emotion, or violently yelled at for politely denying a sexual advance from a car full of dudes on my walk home. But a real win is finding other women putting on in the fight, beside me. And my latest ally discovery is the multitalented warrior goddess, Marilyn Rondon.
Marilyn is a self-made Venezuelan queen with a tatted crown to match, a master of all things creative and of keeping it all the way 100. Since beginning her artistic journey at a design high school in Miami, Rondon has followed her heart and affinity for adventure and authenticity into a layered career involving 35mm photography, zine production, paint, installations, modeling, and writing.
The 22 year-old Bay Area native’s portfolio is diverse yet concise, a quick glance through the eyes of an artist from our own neck of the woods. Despite the range of her work, where she seems to excel most is with up-close portraits, personal shots wrought with emotion. A photo titled “Nisarah Lewis”, presumably named after the woman in the photo, Porter’s subject, wearing a straw cap looks directly at the sun, eyes closed, clearly prepared to soak it all in. It’s as if the sun had been hiding for weeks and just then, at that very moment, had it decided to shine. Another photo, from Alamere Falls at Point Reyes, depicts a waterfall along a mossy cliff. Immediate, but not quite rushing, you can almost hear the sound of a steady stream of fresh water falling along the rocky surface before finding its new home, a faithful brook down below. Other shots include San Francisco’s Embarcadero and the Bay Bridge at night, familiar landmarks that serve to remind us of the art found close to home…kinda like Porter’s work.
Scrolling through her website, I’m struck by just how much energy is embedded in the blistering blues, the sweltering reds. I find myself wanting to see more of the landscapes, to see what’s outside of the frame. I want to know the stories behind the pieces. I want to know the subjects of her work, so much so that I forget they are two dimensional, that they reside in Kilpelainen’s creative stockpile. The easy, rounded, curved lines so prevalent in her work are soothing and comforting, often despite the hectic scenes they create. A car hits an impossible turn along a cliff, a car nosedives into a sky blue swimming pool, Cleopatra holds a pistol in her manicured hands, scenes that feel like still shots from an art house film. All in all, Kilpelainen’s work houses an illustrator’s mastery of color and landscape and pairs that with the intimacy of a well-timed snapshot. Annu is certainly an artist to watch in the New Year.
Shouts out Nastia over at Hi-Fructose for the heads up on a very cool show. Next Saturday, White Walls SF will host Jon Fox and a collection of paintings heavy on maney, colorful conflict. Entitled “If You Don’t Object Then You Must Agree,” the show features a curated selection of the UK-based painter and illustrator’s work. Kings, monks, swordfights, skeletons, tree people, cosmic swirly stuff–Fox’s pieces are busy in the best way possible, little visual feasts that keep on giving.
In a super flowery, but still pretty cool artist statement, Fox expounds a little on what’s going on in his work: “Amid a wealth of swirling, coded imagery and layers of geometric forms, apparitions of characters emerge. Embodiments, or manifestations of my own meditative thoughts and feelings. They often appear entangled within cyclical games and conflict, losing their way, or engulfed a midst the swirling clouds of a larger restless energy.” Word. Some selects from his back catalog below, and slide through White Walls next weekend.