Posts Tagged ‘distinction gallery’

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!!


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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August is turning out to be a very busy month, with my Baby Haley photo set to appear in “Break a Leg: An Homage to the Theater” at Distinction Gallery from August 13 through September 3. This is a charity show with all proceeds going to scholarships at Palomar College, and all pieces are going to be sold auction style, with bids starting at the bargain price of a hundred bucks. Come on by the opening reception on August 12th (yep, the day before the set start date, just to make things extra fancy) and be ready to bid!

Also in August, I’ve been invited to participate in “Making Mischief: Humor in Art” at the Irvine Fine Art Center featuring the work of 7 artists who interject levity into their work as a means of drawing the viewer into more serious visual dialog. I’ll have 8 to 10 pieces on display along with a small collection of video animations playing in an adjacent projection space. It should be a really fun show, and I promise to have at least a couple of never-before-exhibited pieces on display along with several choice selections from my vast archives. The opening reception is set for August 13 from 5 to 8PM at the Fine Arts Center Gallery in Heritage Park. If you’re in or around Orange County, come on by!

One cool aspect of the show is its focus on humor and how that particular device can be used to engage people into a work of art, much in the same way that a musician can draw the listener into a catchy song, oftentimes unconscious to the fact that the song’s lyrics carry a much deeper message. Years ago I recall reading Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn writing about Bruce Springteen’s Born In The USA album and how Springsteen had successfully built an album of very deep social commentary around really, really good uptempo rock songs. That’s what I try to do with my photos—create something that is visually pleasing and whimsically reminiscent of times past to pull the viewer into the frame… then hit ’em with something they don’t expect to drive home the underlying narrative.

So count on that at both of the August shows. Hopefully, by then I’ll have come up with the punchline to the joke in the subject line.

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Baby Haley! (The real fame monster)

Lots of exciting news coming up this summer in the land of Wind-up Dreams! First up will be a pair of group shows, both taking place at Distinction Gallery & Artist Studios in Escondido, CA.  You’ll of course remember Distinction as the locale for my 2009 solo show Plastic Prophets of Vinyl Redemption. Distinction is a great gallery venue and they continue to present some of the best art southern California has to offer.

In July I’ll have a new photo on display in Anicomically Correct, a group show opening on July 9th, running through August 6th. If the title and dates aren’t immediately obvious… the running of the show coincides with San Diego’s annual pop culture extravaganza… COMIC CON!! This means two fun-filled receptions: the first celebrating the opening of the exhibit on July 9th (6 to 10PM – mark your calendars), and the second set for Comic Con weekend on July 23rd. Click on the show card to the right (which features the cadaverous photo I’ll have on display) to get all the details.

August will see my participation in another group show at Distinction, Break a Leg: An Homage to the Theater opening August 13th and running through September 3rd. This is a charity event with all proceeds from sales going to Palomar College scholarships. Bids start at $100, so this will be a tremendous opportunity to help a worthy cause and snap up some really cool art. On display will be  another new photo — Despite her parents’ righteous determination, Baby Haley dreamed to follow her own path. A sneak peek is at the top of this page. What? Not enough? Well, if you want to see the whole thing…

There’s video!

Yes, Baby Haley is one of two brand new videos recently posted to the Video pages and available for viewing on my YouTube channel. So what are you waiting for? Go! Go!

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I’ve added a brand new painting to the Collection section of the site. Clarity by Aaron Jasinksi from his two-man show opening Saturday night, March 13th at Distinction in Escondido, California. I really like the composition of this piece, as well as the choice of colors. Nicely conceived and executed!

If you’re in the area, come on out for the opening reception and take in some really cool new art!

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The 7 foot tall banner hanging in the gallery window... It’s going to stay there for a few more months, welcoming visitors to Distinction gallery. Come on out and take a snapshot of yourself standing next to a giant kewpie head!

My first gallery solo show, Plastic Prophets of Vinyl Redemption closed this past Saturday, so if you didn’t brave the drive to Escondido… you missed out! And while you may have missed the show (but, of course, hopefully not), lots of other people made it to Distinction to take in the photos and witness the balancing act that was the installation. Nothing fell, woo hoo!!

According to Melissa and Sam at the gallery, this was one of the best attended exhibits in recent memory, with lots of people browsing the walls, pointing to details, and trying to unearth the secrets hidden within each photo. Fun was had by many, and I hope that “many” included you and all your photo loving friends.

And now… to start thinking about the next show!

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For those of you who weren’t at Distinction Gallery last Saturday for Opening Night of Plastic Prophets of Vinyl Redemption, (by the foot of Zeus, why weren’t you there?!?!) it was a blast. The installations of toys, books, blocks, and records around the gallery tempted hands old and young to play with them as art lovers meandered about the gallery. Everyone we spoke to was very complimentary and had wonderfully perceptive questions about each piece. The timing of Opening Night was great as several of the businesses along East Grand Avenue were participating in a Chocolate Festival for Valentine’s Day which brought in many curious folks as they walked by the gallery and saw that some serious fun was afoot. We want to thank the local band Bogenville for playing outside of Distinction and luring in curious onlookers as well. Most of all, we want to thank those of you who came out and showed your support for Plastic Prophets. It would have been pretty lame without you.  Ah! But don’t forget–the exhibit runs through March 7, so you will have many more opportunities to view the pieces or make a purchase in case you weren’t able to make it. Distinction is open Thursday-Friday 12am-5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, second Saturdays of the month 11am-11pm, and by appointment.

One of the most popular features of the exhibit were these super-cool stop-animation videos of the set-up for three photos, “Mystic Rites of the Eastern Shame Girl,” “Pulling  a miracle ending out of the Plastic Playbook,” and “The Allegory of Sanctimonious Regret.” We’ve posted the videos on YouTube  and on a new “Videos” page in the Gallery for your viewing pleasure. There’s also a video of the installations around the gallery so you can see how everything is laid out. Since everyone enjoyed these so much, videos of future photographs are definitely in the works.

One of my favorite exchanges I overheard was between a father and his son. The father said, “See? Adults can have fun with toys too.” Exactly.

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Idol Worship of the Worshipped Idols, 2008

With two weeks remaining before Plastic Prophets of Vinyl Redemption opens at Distinction Gallery, I’ve been busily making final preparations for what I hope to be a spectacular show. Fourteen of the 22 photos that will be on display are now back from the framer and everything looks really great! Above is one of the pieces you’ll see in the show, Idol Worship of the Worshipped Idols, which is framed in a vintage Federal frame that I had restored with a black finish and gold metal leaf. Every photo in this exhibit features the presidents of the United States, from George Washington through JFK, who appears in this piece nestled into a bed of rubies. The frame was an eBay find, and it captures the presidential theme of the exhibit perfectly.

In addition to the art on the walls, I’m going to have a couple of small installations on display, some video animations playing on the gallery’s computer, limited edition flip books, and a one-of-a-kind hard cover book that shows all of the behind-the-scenes work that’s gone into preparing for the exhibit. Here’s a sample spread from the book:

There’s only going to be one copy of the book on hand, so enjoy it — but treat it gently!

Images from the show will be posted in another week or two, so check back often!

(Update: Now available for purchase through iTunes for only $3.99!)

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Doesn’t that show card look great?! What do we have in store for you at John’s first solo exhibit at Distinction Gallery, you ask? Oh, just evolution, alcohol, magic, and a few badly-behaved Presidents. Plastic Prophets of Vinyl Redemption runs February 14 through March 7, with an opening night reception on Saturday, February 14 from 6-11pm. Is there a better way to show that special someone that you’re a class act than with fine art, wine, chocolates, and live music on Valentine’s Day? We think not. And because we know you’ve always wanted to delve into the mind behind these delightful works, click here to read John’s interview with Michael Bushman where he discusses his methods and inspirations.

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It’s about time that I formally announce some very exciting news… my next solo exhibit! Plastic Prophets of Vinyl Redemption  will debut February 14th (yes, Valentines Day) at Distinction Gallery in Escondido, California, running through March 7th. This will be my first gallery-size solo exhibit, and with 91 feet of wall space to fill I’ve been locked away in the studio for the past several months with my camera trained on all kinds of new toys, robots and record albums!

I’m super excited about the exhibit, and promise lots of surprises!

What’s in store, you ask?

Prophets! Presidents! Very tiny saints and curvaceous bathing beauties!

And — of course! — alphabet blocks, army men, and assorted pop culture reminders of simpler (and more sinister) times.

More information will be shared as the exhibition date draws closer, so stay tuned…  And if you want to be the first on your block for an early peek at all the new work, just sign up for the mailing list and you’ll be “on the list” for my super-secret preview page, just like trying to crash an exclusive club in Hollywood! (ooooo! ahhhhhh!)

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The Project 57 web site is now live!

Bidding on 105 rather fantastic works of art is now open — including Casting mischief from the soul of the Illegitimate Interfaith Love Child, my 5×7” contribution to this very worthy charity event.

There’s tons of really great work available in all formats: oils, acrylics, mixed media, photos, etc, from an impressive array of contemporary artists

Click on over the the Distinction site to see the entire show and submit your bargain bid to pick up some minty fresh new art for your otherwise bland and needful walls!

The opening reception is this Saturday night. 6 to 10 PM with food, drink, music and frenzied bidding.  Or, you can just as easily submit your bids from the comfort of your remote locale by emailing the good folks over at Distinction, or clicking on the handy links of the exhibit site.

Hope to see everyone there Saturday night!

More Distinction news… soon!

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