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Archive for the ‘Exhibitions’ Category

For the past several-to-many years I’ve dreamed of displaying my art in a booth at Comic Con. Imagine! Over 100,000 people bustling past, taking in my photos and seeing my videos. Each year I dutifully submit my application and wait for the inevitable notification that the convention floor is full, but I’m in the queue for next year — and the next, and the next, and the next. If there is one thing Comic Con vets can relate to it is lines. Really, really long lines. Lines to enter the building, lines to get autographs, lines to buy overpriced concessions (the line at Starbucks inside the convention center is legendary), and seemingly endless lines of people hoping against their better judgement to ever set foot in Hall H. So to be on a waiting list for booth space is more or less to be expected. And that’s exactly where I’ve been for the past four or five years.

Well, guess what?

ArtExpo Map

Where is ArtExpoSD? Here!

Nooooo… I don’t have a booth at this year’s Comic Con, but I do have the next best thing: I’ll have a space at ArtExpo SD — a first-of-its-kind event coinciding with the first three days of Comic Con and taking place just a few short strides from the convention center at the historic Wonder Bread Factory:

Wonder Bread Factory
121 14th Street
San Diego, California

Yep, right over the footbridge and across the big parking lot next to Petco Park. In fact, you may actually find your car closer to the wonders of ArtExpo than to the actual convention center!

Oh yeah, and did I mention that admission to ArtExpo SD is… free? Oh yes! I just did!

And what will you find at ArtExpo?

ArtExpo SD — The Art Show

The first floor of ArtExpo SD will feature a curated exhibition of work from emerging artists around the world, including an impressive lineup of names you know, and names you are soon to know. The exhibition continues a long tradition of world class art events that have popped up in San Diego to coincide with Comic Con — each an extension of this annual celebration of the creative arts. Past events have included an impressive collection of amazing art, and — if sneak peek are to be believed (and they usually are!) — the launch of ArtExpo SD should prove to be no different!

ArtExpo SD — The Exhibition Hall

On the second floor of the Wonder Bread Factory, Art Expo SD will play host to dozens of artists and DIY denizens showing off their creative spark. Expect an art fair-ish atmosphere of exhibitors and booths — minus the greasy food and guys trying to sell you terry cloth rags. Think of it was a intimate collection of all your favorite stuff: painting, photography, handmade marvels galore, all in one convenient place.

Tell me more!

Where can you get more information? Social media, of course! Drop by the ArtExpoSD Facebook page for more information, including the scoop on how to get into the opening night VIP party!

Shameless Self-promoting Sneak Peek

Yep, I’m going to taking place in the event, with a brand spanking new photo on exhibit in the first floor gallery, and a booth of creative wonders located on the second. Expect videos, vinyl records, and a few entertaining surprises, so come on by and say hello!

And while I have your attention, here’s my own quick sneak peek at what I’ll have on display.

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I’m very happy to announce that my short film, Lola and Lexi Ditch Biology, and Never Return to the Eleanor Roosevelt School for Wayward Girls, has been selected for exhibition in Surreal Salon Six at the Baton Rouge Center for Contemporary Art!

Surreal Salon six will feature 75 works of surrealism madness to challenge the mind and test the senses from artists all across the country. The exhibition opens January 2 and runs through January 31, including a costumed soiree on Saturday, January 25th for an evening of live music and what will surely be a bizarre program of surreal party games. Fun galore! And stick around the following day for a presentation on pop surrealism and lowbrow art from exhibition juror Greg Escalante — co-founder of Juxtapoz, owner of Copro Gallery, and art collector extraordinaire.

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During the run of Tales from the Vinyl Dimension this past summer at the Pannikin, La Jolla, a VERY terrible thing happened…

One of my toys went missing!

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Wolfman taking a swipe at a kewpie car

And not just any toy, my vintage Wolfman flashlight figure purchased a few years ago from a dealer at Comic-Con. Wolfman has appeared in a handful of my photos, most notably terrorizing a kewpie car as it exited a funhouse tunnel in Financial Freewheeling and the futile pursuit of the American Dream (right).

As part of the gallery installation I’d placed toys in front of each of the 12 x 12″ portraits that rimmed the highest walls of the space. With the actual toy present, visitors to the gallery could better sense the true size of the faces that were looking down from the walls. Where these portraits were printed “life size”, the subjects were little tiny toys shot with the digital macro setting of my Canon Elf (using a tripod fabricated from Legos).

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Each toy standing below their portrait was pretty much on its own without much in the way of safety or security. The Wolfman was one exception, as his clawed feet did not balance will on the wooden ledge, so he was held in place by a small mountain of modeling putty.

One afternoon after strolling down the hill with my laptop I entered the Pannikin to discover that the Wolfman was gone — vanished into thin air! I searched the ledge where he had been standing; no luck. I inquired with the staff; nope, he had not been found and turned in. Not cool. Nope, not cool at all. This would require drastic measures. I headed home and created this:

Missing Poster

The Pannikin sees a LOT of traffic — regulars buying their morning coffee, students studying in the afternoons, plenty of moms and dads pushing strollers. Had Wolfman fallen from his perch I thought there was a good chance that he’d been picked up by one of the stroller kids, whose parents might find it odd that there precious toddler was shaking a hairy beast instead of his or her rattle.

I tacked up the poster next to Frankenstein, hoping that my stab at humor might motivate someone (like a stroller mom or dad) to recognize and return my beloved missing Wolfman.

A few days passed and, sure enough, the Wolfman was returned! If I am to believe the story that was related to me, one morning a homeless man stumbled through the door and without saying a word placed the Wolfman on the counter, then left. Wolfman was back! I pulled down my MISSING poster and in its place pinned up an replacement: FOUND!

Anyway, in the wake of this trauma I began to imagine a whole series of “missing” posters for each of the portraits I’d shot for the exhibit. Take a look!

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Horror ShirtSo, what do I plan on doing with all of these crazy posters? All kinds of things! The first is to make them available on shirts through my Zazzle store. I currently have 30 or so designs available featuring most of the toys and figures I had on display during my show. More still to come and I’m hoping to extend the line to include other products.

Stay tuned!

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Update — Sep 25, 2013

More products! Tons of super cool buttons!

Update — Sep 5, 2013

And now… portrait mousepads! Scroll down to the bottom of the post for pictures!

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It’s been far, far too long since my last blog post, and rather than make up a bunch of lame excuses (blah, blah, blah, blah, exhibit, blah, blah) let’s get to some really cool news, shall we?

Robby (1024 x 1024)

Robby — macro photo on 12 x 12 panel

I recently closed a solo show at Pannikin Coffee & Tea in La Jolla, with over 70 pieces of art on display including large photos, small “landscapes”, videos, and 55 “portraits” of many of the characters that have been appearing in my art over the past 8 or 9 years. Originally, these portraits were intended to be nothing more than decoration: 12 x 12″ panels printed with a metallic finish on double thick mat board and mounted near the ceiling to look down upon gallery visitors while they took in the “real” art.

Surprise, surprise…

The portrait panels were a big hit! There were robots, animals, kewpies, bathing beauties, devils and monks; pretty much something for everyone! Where normally these characters — even in my largest photos — are printed to a scale not much larger than their original tiny toy-size, here were seen at 25 times normal! Features you’d never make out with the naked eye were blown up to life-size proportions giving each character real personality in a way that connected with visitors to the gallery.

This all got me thinking…

Why not create a line of cool Portrait products featuring many of the characters that appeared in the exhibit? Think of possibilities!

And so, I’ve very pleased to announce the first line of products featuring my portrait images! Beginning today you’ll find a wide selection of cool Portrait Watches and Portrait Mugs in my online Wind-up Dreams & Vinyl Nightmares shop.

Watches come in a variety of different styles, allowing you to pick your favorite character and experiment with different styles and bands. The mugs (we have over 100!) come with three large images, or tiled with 24 repeating images all the way around.

Swing on over to the shop, or checkout the update to the store page on my web site.

Thanks!!

Purple Buddha Watch Franken Stein Tiled

Mouse Mousepad

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What makes for an exciting day in the world of Wind-up Dreams & Vinyl Nightmares?

Easy! Sneak peek images from some of my favorite artists arriving in my email like a tidy bundle of visual satisfaction. And when I really, really like the art (and the artists in question happen to be friends of mine), it is with great excitement that I hurry to my keyboard to write up a quick hey-you’ve-gotta-see-this blog post.

Hey! You’ve gotta see this!

This coming weekend will see the opening of two exhibits, on opposite sides of the country, featuring Latvian artist Jana Brike; one of which includes some amazing new collaborative work with Austin-based artist Dan Barry.

Jana Brike at Distinction

The pool of the moment at the edge of the world — Jana Brike

First up, opening this Saturday night at Distinction Gallery in Escondido, is Songs of Purity, a solo show featuring a broad collection of fantastic new paintings and drawings, including the amazing oil on the right, which I saw live and in person a couple of weekends back at Art Walk.

The show opened to the public yesterday afternoon and will be further celebrated this coming Saturday night, May 11th, with an opening reception from 6 to 10 PM. Count me in on the attendees!

Jana Brike and Dan Barry at Pulse Contemporary Art Fair

And if one Jana Brike exhibition isn’t enough (or, if you are east coast, rather than west coast, biased) you have a second opportunity to check out her work, this time at the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair in New York.  Over the past couple of years Jana has been collaborating with my good friend Dan Barry on a series of intimate mixed media pieces, created with graphite and colored pencil on found notebook paper. With Dan living in Texas, and Jana operating from Latvia, this has been a true long distance effort, with creative exchanges spanning the globe, and work emerging from lengthy drawing sessions as the two artists have crossed paths at art events here and overseas.

And what happens when two artists, whose work — on the surface — would not seem to share similar styles and techniques — get together to produce singular works of creativity?

Really cool stuff!!

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The work Dan and Jana have created is emblematic of their individual styles, yet works seamlessly as a cohesive narrative. It’s really strong work and definitely worth checking out!

Jana and Dan’s work will be on display in Stephen Romano’s booth at Pulse, which opens today (yes, today!) and runs through Sunday May 12th at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th street in New York.

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Yes, there was far too much art during my quick trip to LA to squeeze into a single blog post. So here we are at Part Two, with lots of pics and commentary to cover a single completely and totally incredible collection of work.

Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me at CoproGallery

What happens when you mix two of my very favorite things? You get a really great art exhibit about the best TV show in history! Okay, technically, the exhibit on display at Santa Monica’s CoproGallery pays homage to the 20th anniversary of the 1992 filmFire Walk With Me, released following the cancellation of Twin Peaks after its weird and wonderful two year run. The TV show was honored with a very successful exhibit of its own at Clifton’s Brookdale in 2011, and it seemed only right that the movie would get a similarly artistic treatment.

Fire Walk With Me — Martin Wittfooth

I was very much looking forward to seeing this exhibit, as Twin Peaks was most certainly one of my two favorite television shows (the other being the original Japanese version of Iron Chef), and the roster of artists submitting work included many of my favorite contemporary artists. The show is very impressive with a miniature version of the “red room” with clips of the film playing on a television, and music from the soundtrack piped into the gallery as you soak in various interpretations of the film’s characters, themes, and notable scenes.

There were tons of impressive pieces in the show, but I’ll try to touch on my favorites, one of which is Martin Wittfooth’s impressive title piece on the right, which perfectly captures a scene from the film’s title credits of a bird perched in peaceful contemplation between two distant mountain peaks. The subject matter was a perfect match for Martin’s style, and a great way to welcome visitors to the gallery.

Something In The Room — Glenn Barr

The exhibit is spread throughout the gallery space, from the entrance foyer to Copro’s two main exhibit halls. My favorite pieces were in the larger of the spaces, with new work from Chris Mars, Glenn Barr, Shag, Chris Berens, and much more. My very favorite piece was a large, ornately framed painting of Laura Palmer from Glenn Barr. I’ve always really, really liked Glenn’s work and would rate this piece amongst his very best. He does a superb job capturing the tormented spirt of the character at the center the film.

Another favorite was An Old Woman and Her Grandson by Shag, which sets two scenes from the movie in a forest of chopped trees. On the right are two of the more enigmatic characters from the film, an old woman who appears along with her grandson who wears a papier-mâché mask. On the left is classic imagery from the mysterious and otherworldly red room with Laura Palmer seated between Agent Dale Cooper and a Grecian statue. Shag has done a thoughtful job in choosing to pair these two scenes in a single painting, as there’s always been much Phd-level speculation in fan circles about the significance of these two scenes in relationship to one another.

An Old Woman and Her Grandson — Shag

One nice treat of seeing the exhibit in person is to finally get the opportunity to see the work of  Chris Berens in person. I’ve followed Berens’ for many years after first being exposed to his work via online previews of his many exhibits at Seattle’s Roq la Rue Gallery, but I’d never had the opportunity to experience his ethereal layering of paint and cut paper strips up close. The technique is very impressive and brings an edgy sense of immediacy to the work that is pretty much impossible to replicate with a JPEG. I liked it lots!

Pale Moon Over Black Lake — Chris Berens

Other favorites included Chris Mars’s engaging portrait of David Lynch as Agent Gordon Cole (complete with requisite headset and cigarette), Esao Andrews’ White Horse, Nicoletta Ceccoli’s tiny acrylic demon, Lori Earley’s excellent venture into digital art, Annie Owens’ portrait of Audrey Horne, Dan Quitana’s Red Room, and Chris Buzelli’s faceless creep-out on heroin addiction, Laura.

This was one of the better group shows I’ve seen in ages, with work that has remained in my mind long after leaving Bergamot Station and heading back to San Diego. The show continues through May 12th, so if you’re anywhere at all in southern California you should head out to Santa Monica and see the show. And, of course, while you’re there, stop by the Bergamot Cafe and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee. And maybe a slice of pie.

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Every now and then I like to venture away from my studio and head up to Los Angeles for a couple of days of pop culture immersion (record stores, art galleries, and rock concerts) and driving frustration (all the time in-between). Such was the case last week when I headed up to LA to see Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at “the dump that jumps” otherwise known as the Los Angeles Sports Arena. It was a super fun time, and rest assured that I’ll have a complete concert round-up posted in the next couple of days. With the concerts consuming only three or four hours of sweaty exuberance each night, that left tons of time during the day to wander around the city visiting bookstores, music shops, and—of course—art galleries!

I took in a bunch of exhibits on this trip from Hollywood to Santa Monica, and I’m pleased to report that every stop was a feast for the eyes and an electric shock to the imagination.

Joe Sorren at La Luz de Jesus

Brothers — Joe Sorren, 2011

My first stop, as it usually is on an “art day,” was La Luz de Jesus on Hollywood Blvd, where two pretty awesome solo exhibits were on view during their closing week. The main attraction was When the Rain Comes, the latest spectacular show from Joe Sorren. Though small in total number of paintings, the half dozen or so pieces on display continue the legacy in oil that Joe has been building for the past dozen or so years. To the right is Brothers, my favorite of the new paintings and—of course—sold, as indicated by the little red dot in the corner of my photo, which sadly doesn’t do proper justice to the work. Joe’s paintings really have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. I like the way that good gallery lighting plays off his layers of paint and glaze, so that each piece shimmers and glistens with life as you pass from one piece to the next. It’s a pretty awesome experience!

Scott Hove at La Luz de Jesus

Also at La Luz was the latest display of surreal bakery confections from the studio kitchen of Scott Hove. His latest show is titled My Own Private Apocalypse, and it’s a one room culinary school of seriously twisted cake decorations to hang on your walls and frighten parents dropping off the kiddies for a birthday party.

“My Own Private Apocalypse” exhibit — Scott Hove

What’s not to like about a cake to celebrate the…

Zombie Apocalypse — Scott Hove

Nice!

Though you’d really be hard pressed to tell the difference, Scott doesn’t really use sugary frosting to concoct his sculptured creations. The bases are made from wood and polyurethane foam, then painted with acrylics and embellished with other mixed media materials. The net effect, though, is that of a seriously disturbed baker luring unsuspecting prey in for the (last) meal of a lifetime! It’s really cool stuff!

Greg “Craola” Simkins and Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez at Merry Karnowsky Gallery

Next stop on my gallery tour was the Merry Karnowsky Gallery on La Brea where I saw new solo shows from Greg Simkins and Johnny Rodriguez (sorry for using your proper names there guys… I have a moratorium on the number of quote symbols I can type in a single sentence). Both of these are strong shows, and well worth a trip into the art and furniture district for a visit. Simkins’ show Cloud Theory, in particular is very strong, with most of the work sold and, frankly, amazing. This was my first opportunity to see his elaborate paintings in person and I came away very impressed! Pretty much every piece in the show is thoughtfully composed, expertly painted, and purposefully conceived with consistent themes and clever motifs. Best, they just look really good! The paintings exhibit an inviting depth of color, and the drawings are expertly rendered. It’s no wonder at all that the show is mostly sold out (though a few do remain, so give the gallery a call!).

My favorites piece was Once They Arrive, pictured below. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the framed pieces in the gallery, as in the past I’ve been politely asked by gallery personnel to not take photos in the gallery (though opening night photos have always been allowed). In any case, I left the camera in my bag, so here are a couple of images from the gallery site for your enjoyment.

First, the 5 foot by 7 foot centerpiece of the show:

Gather Around — Greg Simkins

And… my personal favorite, Once They Arrive (16″ x 42″).

Once They Arrive — Greg Simkins

Also worth seeing at Merry Karnowsky is One Step Beyond, the solo show from Johnny Rodriguez. I enjoyed his collection of acrylic, ink, and mixed media pieces in the Square Gallery. Two pieces in particular were quite nice: Little Boy and Fat Man, which bookended one of the exhibit’s larger pieces, both of which are displayed below.

And, with that, it looks like I saw far too much art to fit into a a single post, so we’ll save the best for a post of its very own: Twin Peaks — Fire Walk With Me at Copro. Next time; so tune in!!

Little Boy — Johnny Rodriguez

Fat Man — Johnny Rodriguez

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