Tag Archives: San Francisco

Mixing Light Into the Grey

12 Jan

None other a luminary than my husband’s man crush, Eddie Vedder said, “It’s an art to live with pain.. mix the light into the grey.” Although I don’t necessarily subscribe to the notion that all artists must suffer in order to create great work, artists have long had a way of funneling hardships endured into their work.  The result is often something extraordinary.  When diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer, Cleveland artist Arabella Proffer channelled the painful endurances of modern medical procedures into research of the remedies of the past.  The result is a new series, The National Portrait Gallery of Kessa, a collection of paintings exploring the medical procedures and superstitions of the past.

Skin of the Fox Cures the Pox, oil on linen, 16x20 ( via Lee Joseph Publicity )

Being in the midst of a Frida Kahlo biography, Arabella’s work immediately struck a chord with me.  But these aren’t remade Kahlos.  There may be a similarity in style and subject, but while Kahlo’s work dealt directly with her own experiences and emotions, Arabella instead chose to portray imaginary female subjects, creating not only a visual representation but a history and backstory for each.

Violets for Heart Veins, oil on linen, 16x20 ( via Lee Joseph Publicity )

From the artist: “After having a section of my leg removed, I began researching medicine from the Middle Ages through the 18th century; this series was a good way for me to work out my anger and be even more thankful that what I’m going through is nothing compared to old remedies and techniques. My art and interests were in the way society lived in the past, but with emphasis on the defiant, glamorous, and eccentric — not daily strife. You could have been rich, important, or beautiful, but if sick, you would still receive brutal or worthless treatment.”

Sawed, oil on linen, 16x20

Black Madonna, oil on linen, 5x7

This series, along with selected works from the Black Madonna series, are now on display in a solo exhibition, Ephemeral Antidotes at Articulated Gallery in San Francisco through February 3rd.  If you’re not in the San Fran area, be sure to check out Arabella Proffer’s website for more of her work.

Featured image is a detail from Violets For Heart Veins, oil on linen, 16×20.  All images are via that artist unless otherwise stated.

Advertisements

Are Chickens the New Black?

1 Aug

I admit, I’m not always up on the very latest trends, I am in my 30’s after all.  I knew all about the “Put a Bird On It” trend, but had no idea that art featuring chickens had become such a big deal.  Chicken art makes me think back to my grandma’s house and her Americana farm scene prints featuring chickens.  And her ceramic chicken collection.  Needless to say, chickens aren’t the first subject that jumps to mind when I think of the latest in the art world.  But for whatever reason, these birds are fowls are ruling the roost.

Roost by Brian McGuffey

Seattle area artist, Brian McGuffey draws from childhood experiences in his creative process.  In “Roost”, pictured above, he elevates the rooster from lowly barnyard animal to a dignified, full-plumed specimen.  Just look at that profile.  You know all the hens would be clucking all over him.

King of the Hill by Sydney McKenna

Why did the chicken cross the road?  To attend a chicken-only art show, apparently!  St. Augustine, Florida artist, Sydney McKenna painted “King of the Hill”  specifically for a show at the W.B. Tatter Studio & Gallery celebrating not just chickens, but also the gallery’s sixth year anniversary.  I hope they served a vegetarian menu for the opening. 🙂

But the Tatter who is by no means the only chicken show I’ve covered in recent months.  Remember Yvonne Lozano’s What Happened to the Chickens show?  Yvonne created an entire series of painting centered around a family trip to Colombia and a few friendly chickens she met there as a child.

Here, Chicky Chicky by Yvonne Lozano

Out and About by Hilary Williams

But chickens in art aren’t just reserved for the barnyard.. In “Out and About”, San Francisco based artist Hilary Williams  depicts a little hen who seems to have escaped and is enjoying a lovely day on the town.  This chick is ready for a ladies lunch and some retail therapy.

Speaking of plucky adventurers ( pun intended ), Dolan Geiman’s Blue Highway also shows how chickens in art aren’t just for grandma’s kitchen anymore.  Geiman’s graphic, mixed media approach results in work that is more contemporary than kitsch.

Blue Highway by Dolan Geiman

Where is this upsurge in chicken art leading?  Only the chickens know for sure.  The banty in Jim Draper’s Cross Creek seems ready to take the road less traveled.  And maybe that’s what the chicken art movement is all about.

Cross Creek by Jim Draper

The featured images is Laughing About This Life by Hilary Williams.  All images are courtesy of the individual artist’s websites.

PS– I restrained myself from finding a Road Crossing Chicken joke to go with each piece of artwork.  You’re welcome.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: Hilary Williams

27 Jul

The world(s) created by Hilary Williams, that is.  But really her work is no more absurd than the world we see around us every day.  A San Francisco printmaker, Hilary takes elements of urban life, the natural environment and their inhabitants and repositions them into surreal landscapes.

Song and Dance for a Laugh

Haunting images of leaning buildings and ghostly figures are juxtaposed with decorative motifs and child-like doodles.  Echoes from the past haunt the present, creating a commentary on how far we’ve come, but perhaps, how little we have truly gained.

Herding Out Saturday Night

The dark, eeriness of the iconic architecture contrasts with the light and cheerful colors and patterns to create an absurd dichotomy.  Not unlike many recent trends that look to the past while still trying to find a place in the future.  Such irony is not lost on this artist and conveys the struggle of humanity to co-exist within the urban and natural landscape.

Adventures in Coasting

Hilary’s work is heavily layered which gives it a visual depth and complexity that draws the viewer in.  There is so much to see and figure out.  My husband George & I first saw Hilary’s work in The Pines Art Gallery in Hood River, OR.  We fell in love with her work and George could not stop looking at it.  A true testament to the power of the work!

The Front Porch by Hilary Williams

Check out more of Hilary’s work on her website, I think you’ll love it as much as George & I do.

Pulp Fashion

20 Apr

OK, the fashion loving girl in me is coming out! Check out this amazing show opening at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. “Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabel de Borchgrave” is a study in fashion and sculpture, meticulously recreating garments from the annals of art history out of paper. Wonder if George will let me take me a detour through San Fran on our trip to the NW?

http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/37480/watch-out-for-paper-cuts-pulp-fashion-show-brings-recycled-finery-to-san-francisco//

%d bloggers like this: