Category: Events

Information on Gary-Paul Prince exhibitions, events, and appearances.

Common Ground – Group Show at Gray Loft Gallery

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Hadley Williams © 2015

Second Fridays Art Murmur @ Gray Loft Gallery in Oakland yesterday was a wonderful surprise. The current show is a group show that includes Larry Davidson, Philip Dow, Katie Hawkinson, Joe Slusky, Jon Wessel, and Hadley Williams.

A great selection of artists who are all in tune creatively. I was particularly drawn to the work of Hadley Williams whose fields of bio-forms set off slight vibrations. The work is very serene yet emits a visual buzz. There is also an attention to surface that is very well executed.

John Wood’s paintings also relay a visual vibration. His use of line and color is brilliantly demonstrated in the series of paintings at Gray Loft. Although chaotic his squiggly lines seemingly create hidden images that are juxtaposed against heavy strokes of color laid in a guttural fashion. The resulting paintings are reminiscent of a work that is in mid-deconstruction or a level of evolution.

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Philip Dow’s sculptures are produced with a blend of materials including cast acrylic which plays a prominent role. Dow manages to create works that entice the viewer to experience the piece from a variety of angles because of the large sections of acrylic that have a Fun House prism element to them. The work is playful as well as visually powerful in his blending of materials and juxtaposition of surface qualities.

Katie Hawkinson is pushing paint in the tradition of bay area abstraction. Heavy strokes and thick paint that detail the history of her process. Some of her works include figures of birds that appear on the canvas out of the brush work.  Hawkinson create fields and then defies them with new applications of paint. She builds some wonderful abstract  landscapes and then counteracts them with planes of color. I love her abandon use of paint with drips and brush marked strokes.

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I recommend taking the time to go down and see all the work in this show. Curator Jan Watten has a assembled and strong collection of artists who are creating compelling work. Gray loft Gallery should be on your list of galleries to visit in the Oakland Jingletown area.

COMMON GROUND is open April 1- – May 16th, 2015. Their next reception is Saturday May 16, 2015 3 – 5pm (There will be a Rock Wall Wine Company tasting.)

Free Speech Retrospect: Don’t Draw That réspondez s’il vous plait

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dont_banner300 It has been a while since I posted. I have been occupied with completing art works for a display at Art Basel , follow up show at AutoBody Fine Art, and a movie project.

My first show in 2015 is participation in a group show at Works/San Jose, a community art center in downtown San Jose, CA. This is my inaugural showing in San Jose, CA. I honestly cannot recall the reason it has taken so long for me to have a show in San Jose, because it is one cool city. I used to come here yearly for Game Developers Conference and I always visited their modern museum of art which never failed me with a brilliant show.

Don’t Draw That: réspondez s’il vous plait is a group show at Works/San Jose gallery with a wide variety of work that responds to the recent events—including the murder of artists by terrorists in Paris, and the calls from many in reaction, including from some world leaders, for artists not to create provocative work on religion or other subjects that might offend—have spurred a wide range of responses from creative individuals and communities. The show includes work that touches the subject across all lines and pain points.

One of the art works I have in this show is a painting I did in 2009 titled “Jihadi Martyr in the Golden Pussy of Heaven.” I am not placing an image of it here, as I wish for patrons to attend and see it in person (March 6th – 21st, 2015). However I did wish to take the opportunity to write a few words on my thoughts about my participation in this exhibition. The painting in question is a classic example of my influences from religious art, cartoons, and Mad magazine style satire. This work was originally part of a series called “Die for Allah.” It was a defiant reaction to Islamic extremists attacks on innocent people. There were 5 paintings which displayed images that were satirical views of what some people, may consider to be absurdities of extremists interpretations of the Islamic faith i.e. promises of paradise for killing innocent people, virgins to tend to the sexual desires of martyrs, …etc.

This series of work was shown in a gallery exhibition and then posted on my web site.  A few years later, I submitted a proposal to a contemporary art space in another state for a completely different series of paintings. I was told that the curatorial committee was interested in my show but saw the “Die For Allah” works on my web site and decided to decline my proposal. Their decision was based on the idea that they felt that the “Die For Allah” series would be viewed by their patrons and their association with me would jeopardize the art centers funding and make them a target for Muslims who would be offended that they were displaying my work.

I was quite irritated that they were judging my proposal on work that wasn’t even part of my proposed show – in addition I felt they were spineless and self censoring their program out of misdirected assumptions and fear. On the other hand, it was their decision and they have the right to display work that fits within the framework and guidelines of their program. This is their Free Speech and I respect and support that fully.

I believe, as many artist do, in exercising my right to Free Speech and defending it for others whether I agree with their viewpoint, find them offensive, or otherwise valueless. Free Speech at all costs is a tight rope and delivers a challenge to a society in global multicultural system. Dialogue and tolerance are paramount. In addition there is still the possibility that you may cause offense…that is the price we pay.

For my part I must declare, I don’t feel the same way I felt, when I first painted “Jihadi Martyr in the Golden Pussy of Heaven.” It’s not that I think the painting has lost its impact or that the satire is wrong in anyway. Many things like religion have an inherent power, and power always corrupts. For this reason we must allow for them to be criticized, otherwise we will be overcome by them with the establishment of institutionalized oppression. Now at the time I made this painting my motivation was fueled by a need to react against the actions of extremists by exercising my right to satirize their actions and religious beliefs, and this painting does just that – it very poignantly takes a comical jab at Muslim extremists who feel that it is their mission to kill those who don’t agree or live by their standards. The political statement behind the works very strongly raises the flag of opposition to any group who would use violence, coercion, threats or murder to limit Free Speech in a free society.

In retrospect, I see that the deeper devilish danger threatening Free Speech is not the actions of extremists. For ultimately their impact is shallow against nations who have liberty embedded in their constitutions and culture. Au contraire, the real threat is the reactions of democratic governments who use the actions of extremists, taken against artists, to pass legislation that usurps the very freedoms for which artists use to create art.

Post Charlie Hebdo, there was a call for more police power and surveillance. The Orwellian lie was repeated by media outlets, that we need to be protected from extremists and the only way is to allow government to remove more of our freedoms.  Democratized governments are increasingly turning their eye toward their citizens and using the actions of extremists as justification for building a police state and increasing reductions of privacy and the deterioration of personal freedoms. The Snowden revelations are concrete evidence of this direction coupled with politicians loudly parroting the message  “We need the power to listen in to conversations, we need the power for home searches, we need the power to comb internet records…”

This all pales the threat from extremists on the soil of democratic nations. My goal in writing this, is not to diminish the lives of the artists in Paris or any others who have suffered at the hands of extremists for exercising Freedom of Speech, without doubt this is tragic. I only now realize that perhaps I didn’t tell the whole story.

Perhaps, my painting didn’t go far enough…perhaps it should have included elements that detail how democratic governments are stealing the freedoms of citizens and using Muslim extremists as an excuse to rob us of our Free Speech, privacy and personal rights. For that would have been more accurate in focusing on the real danger from the Hebdo murders.

As an artist, the final act of creation is displaying your work to the public. This is the moment when what you have created becomes a permanent part of the cultural landscape. I am a fan of satire and my work has always had humorous elements. Much of my art has been an exercise in button pushing. When you see “Jihadi Martyr in the Golden Pussy of Heaven,” you will either love it or hate it. Some people have viewed it and thought is was in poor taste, and others have seen it, and laughed uncontrollably! Ultimately, I hope that this art work creates a dialogue that encourages viewers to explore the complex Free Speech issues we are faced with.

To other artists I say, express yourself to the fullest and use your tools freely but examine what you have wrought. Examine it closely, because there are many who will use it to fulfill their purpose and it may very well be the undoing of your freedom to create.

Art Review: Derek Van Beers @ Roscoe Ceramic Gallery

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I hate what you Stand For © 2012 Derik Van Beers
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Fix Me Jesus © 2012 Derik Van Beers

Oakland’s art scene is booming. The First Friday event is fun but definitely more of an overcrowded night on the town. It’s quite difficult to maneuver and see the various galleries. Fortunately we have Third Thursdays which is my choice for gallery hopping. This month artist Derik Van Beers has a couple of works at Roscoe Ceramic gallery. Van Beers’ work moves away from traditional trappings of ceramic sculpture. The pieces are expertly crafted objects made up of multiple pieces collaged together. Van Beers blends a comic style with Day of the Dead. The topics reference the indifference of understanding between warring parties. These sentiments are juxtaposed with happy colors and clown-like faces. I am looking forward to seeing more of his work. Take the time to go down to Roscoe Ceramic Gallery and see the works on display.

Review: Art Hazelwood and William Wolf @ ArtZone 461 Gallery

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Steven Lopez and Eric Koehler at ArtZone 461 Gallery : Art Hazelwood and William Wolf Print show
Gallery Director Steven Lopez and Eric Koehler at ArtZone 461 Gallery : Art Hazelwood and William Wolf print show 2014

San Francisco, CA. – Up now at ArtZone 461 Gallery March 1 – April 6, 2014 is a two man show of printmakers Art Hazelwood and William Wolf. This show is produced in conjunction with the SGC International 42nd Annual Conference in San Francisco. ArtZone is the host gallery. Both Artists have incredible artistic vision and technical mastery to match. This is a posthumous show for Wolf who passed away in 2004. Wolf was one part of the early bay area figurative movement. Hazelwood worked with Wolf over the last years of his life as archivist and friend.  Wolf’s works on display are truly poetic. Many are a collage of body parts disjointed and visually bound by their eloquent composition. Subdued colors along with exquisite print textures exude a harmony which runs through all of his work. His modus operandi included repeatedly re-working plates so that there was an unending evolution, resulting in one plate having many different print incarnations. In contrast Hazelwood’s prints of political inspired themes, with rich black ink and melodious line quality, speak volumes of his interest in bell ringing the injustices of America. His figures are beautifully drawn, and orchestrated into scenes which touch upon the political pain points with a style that is reminiscent of satirical cartoons. There is much theater in Hazelwood’s work and his vision and characters come to life on the paper. This is a unique opportunity to see two masterful printmakers side by side. I recommend you take the time to go by and experience the work for yourself. The show is up thru April 6 at ArtZone 46 Gallery. Located at 461 Valenica St. San Francisco, CA.

Art Review: Rocky Angel at 2520 Telegraph

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Oakland, CA. This month’s Art Murmur was a bit dampened by the rain and cold. Folks here in the SF Bay Area are spoiled by generally great weather year round, so rain and cold can be off-putting. Nonetheless, I braved the elements and made my way down to see Rocky Angel’s latest work at 2520 Telegraph… and I was glad I did!

I met Rocky years ago when I first opened INFERNO gallery, he came to all the shows and he was a ardent fan my own art work. We also share an interest in the world of conspiracy and unexplained phenomenon. After seeing his work, I liked it so much I asked him to join with me for a two man show at INFERNO. So when he recently told me he had new work, I was eager to get out and see it.

Rocky’s paintings are visual answers to the great mysteries of the universe. His show at 2520 Telegraph is a continuation of his artistic research resulting in an eye-popping explosion of religion, UFOs and sexuality. The latest works show a refinement in his technique without losing his imitable style and freshness. “Space Bottle” is a wonderful painting that eloquently translates a sky of stars into a quasi-pointillist field embellished with a stylized milky way, and faraway  galaxies. The centerpiece of this painting is a multi-appendaged spaceship with happy nude figures at the helm.

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Space Bottle by Rocky Angel © 2013

So much a part of Rocky’s personae is that of a nudist, which comes out gloriously in his work. Many of the figures tend to be nude, this is in parity to the idea of aliens and how they are typically nude as well. The nude figures in the Spaceship in “Space Bottle” appear perfectly natural, the same as Adam and Eve in a jungle paradise.

“Sci-Fi Seaside Smash-Up” is a beach scene of aliens and humans engaged in pleasant debauchery and manic brotherhood. The sky is filled with spaceships clashing and exploding. For all the mayhem there seems to be an underlying sense that all is well and the world is moving towards a landscape where humans and aliens are to live together.

Rocky peels away the falseness of our current social structure and declares a cosmic new world hedonistic order. Take the time to go down and see this show. It’s not to be missed. Recommended! 2520 Telegraph Oakland, CA.

reviewed by GP Barbosa Prince

Artist Rocky Angel with his painting “Sci-Fi Seaside Smash-Up”

 

Let Me Google That For You: Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions

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Screen shot 2013-12-06 at 11.11.41 PMWhen I was  kid I loved MAD magazine. One of the artist, Al Jaffee, came up with “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.” This was hands down one of my favorite bits. Jaffee’s great drawings were paired with several choices of answers to stupid questions. The quips blended with his unique style of drawing was pure genius. When you work in an office environment you become accustomed to the pervasive culture of “information need” and along with that comes a lot of stupid questions.

What is a stupid question? Well, it is anything that can be easily answered by doing a quick search on Google, looking in your email, or reviewing information that has been previously provided to you. Basically it a question birthed from laziness. As an event manager I can’t enumerate the amount of times I have been asked the dates and details of an event by my colleagues. Honestly, some folks ask for all the information that could easily be acquired if they would just go directly to the show web site. The amount time they take connecting with me and asking the question is longer, and takes more energy, than it would take for them to look it up for themselves.

So here is one quick way to provide a snappy answer to a stupid question, while also sending the message that in the future the questioner can take initiative and answer their own question. When approached with a stupid question simply go to:

www.Letmegooglethatforyou.com

Type in the pertinent search criteria and then click  “Search Google.” You will then be provided with a URL that you can send to the questioner as your “Snappy Answer.” You can formulate your response like so ( I also provided a URL for you to test):

_________

Hi

Here is the answer to your question about stupid questions : http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Stupid+questions

Have a great day!
Gary-Paul

__________

Once they click on the URL it takes the user to a page that shows their question being typed into a Google like interface, searched and results appear. It is a wonderful site and I use it all the time – needless to say I have received a lot fewer stupid questions and time wasting queries.

 

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In the Creative Cloud: Adobe MAX 2013

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Last week I went to Adobe MAX 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. I have been attending this show since it was run by Macromedia and called the UCON – Adobe inherited MAX which was primarily a developer show with a smattering of content for designers. Four years ago the decision was made focus more on designers. Fast forward to 2013 – Adobe launches The Creativity Conference.

For my part Adobe has always been about creativity and although developers dream up and create the tools that fuel the creative world, it is designers who take those tools and model a new reality. This was hands down the most exciting MAX to date. The keynotes were spectacular and the session schedule was incredible.

The Keynote on Tuesday morning was comprised of four presentations: graphic designer and illustrator (Pentagram) Paula Scher, multimedia artist Phil Hansen, photographer Erik Johansson,  and designer writer Rob Legato. I encourage you to visit their sites. Each of them gave inspiring talks about their work and how Adobe’s drive to make creative tools helps them realize their artwork. My favorite was Phil Hansen who is so talented and a driver of the “think in the box” mentality. His work is true genius – he has made paintings from regurgitated food, hamburger grease, candles and utilized application methods from spitting to karate chops instead of brushes. He also discussed a new collaborative work of capturing stories into art. He basically will take your call listen to your story and use the text to make his work. Here is the link to the kickstartr campaign which includes his phone number so you can actually be a part of the process.

A large majority of the sessions filled up rather quickly. If you go next year make sure you get your badge early and sign up for sessions immediately, as they fill up and Adobe keeps a tight lid on classes. So now standing room opportunities, once a class is full you don’t get in. Most all of the Premiere and After Effects session were full as well the publishing on the iPad sessions. Here is a list of sessions so you can know what to expect next year if you decide to come.

Adobe’s big announcement that seemed to irritate some, perplex a few and made all the sense in the world to everyone else, was the new rev of Creative Suite that is now called Creative Cloud.  As you could guess Creative Cloud is subscription based. Access to Creative Cloud runs from $19.99 to $49.99

I have heard some gnashing of teeth but in all honesty when you see it all laid out and understand the brilliance of having access to all the CC tools, you will find that Adobe has given digital artists what they always wanted – endless room to create whatever their mind and heart desires. This will also stick a pin in those who pirate software so if you are one of them just know now the free ride is over. My word of advice is honesty is the best policy. I heard there are some folks who want to petition Adobe to change their minds about CC. There will always be detractors and they have their reasons but progress moves quickly and it doesn’t go backwards.

MAX is a great place to connect with like minded people as well as make new friends. I recommend designers and digital artists look to MAX as the go to conference for inspiration, learning new tools, and getting the inside track on where digital technology is headed. I’ll see you there next year!

PMA launches The Big Photo Show

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PMA Photo Marketing Association is launching a new show in Los Angeles this coming May 4-5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center: http://www.thebigphotoshow.com/

It is free to register:
http://thebigphotoshow.eventbrite.com/

It is going to overlap with Adobe MAX 2013 (which yours truly will be attending). The Big Photo Show is PMA’s foray into the consumer level photography conference market. Typically PMA conference operations focus on B2B markets – serving as a resource to help business train, connect and outsource solutions. The Big Photo Show is in direct competition with shows like Imaging USA and Photo Plus Expo. If you are in the LA area and interested in photography than I recommend you register and drop by to see what PMA brings to town.

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The Lesson of nine-and-a-half minutes

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Several years ago during a layover while traveling for business,  I picked up an abandoned copy of USA Today and read the short snippet below. I tore it out and have kept it pinned on the wall in my office. I have shared it many times with colleagues and assistants. Today I am going to share it with you.

Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, graduation speech at the University of Pittsburgh: “On the subway in New York, there is a train that runs the full length of Manhattan and out to Brooklyn, called the “A Train”…On that train, there’s a stretch between 59th and 125th streets without any stops…Nine-and-a-half minutes of uninterrupted time…We hired actors to pose as a passenger in trouble on the train. One of them would enter the carriage start to wobble, grab onto the hand rail and then keel over…We watched while the majority of the people hesitated, looked around, and then looked away…Make no mistake: Doing nothing is a choice in itself. And surprisingly that choice gets more likely as the size of the group grows. That’s the lesson of nine-and-a-half minutes—not much time, but enough not to act, or enough to do something that matters, to extend a human touch, change another person’s life…You can choose to act right in your own backyard, in small, meaningful ways. This was my nine-and-a-half minutes with you. I hope I used it well. Congratulations.

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