Category: Reviews

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.)

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.

Book Review: The Rudy Letters

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the_rudy_lettersRudy Schumann is a oddly-mannered American who lets his thoughts be known. Uninhibited with his prose, he takes to writing letters to a variety of companies and entities detailing bits of his personal life and making strange requests. At times, mistaken in his understanding and other times perverse and absurd. All the letters were actually mailed and the recipients replies are included. Delightful, witty and funny, The Rudy Letters take you on one mans’ trek to connect with the world. A great read!

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”

 

Book Review: Rise of the DEO

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Rise of the DEO bookI consider myself lucky that I have worked in the area of creative how-to publishing for so long and that my job is actually an education and skill building endeavor. I am basically paid to learn and stay on top of technology trends – there is one other plus, and that is working and getting to know the brilliant minds who are our authors. Maria Giudice is a fountain head of creative savvy. From the early days of the web she has been a leader in creating design that enhances and extends user experience and heightened visual continuity. She has spoken at conferences the world over and co-teaches a Business and Design course at the California College of the Arts with co-author Christopher Ireland. After running HOT Studio, hands down the most successful design studio in San Francisco, Facebook recently purchased HOT in order to bring in Maria as Director of Product Design.

In Rise of the DEO Maria and Christopher recognize the function of the Artists’ role operating at the highest level in the corporate structure. In the new paradigm the MBA left brain approach which dominated the 20th century corporate structure has given way to the DEO. Design and data are paired with intuition and savoir-faire that understands evolving media.
Well written and structured to real-world application. Maria and Christopher share practical knowledge that is helpful to all levels of leadership. I recommend you get a copy for everyone in your organization. This book is destined to be a classic!

Rise of the DEO
ISBN-13: 978-0-321-93439-0
Published by New Riders

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!

Aqua Art Miami 2012

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This year my work was displayed at Aqua Art Miami during Art Basel through Jacqueline Cooper Fine Art. Aqua Art has been operating during Art Basel Miami as a satellite show for 8 years and has developed a solid following as well as a reputation for displaying great art from West Coast galleries with a highlight on emerging and mid career artists. The show opened the evening of December 5th with a VIP event that was(putting it lightly) a complete blow out- attendance was through the roof and the vibe and excitement was fever pitch. The high energy has remained and the show runs through December 9th. Most of the galleries have a distinct vision to their stable of artist and a few seemed discombobulated. This Isn’t a criticism as the same can be said for Art Basel. News was also released yesterday that Art Aqua was purchased by Art Miami. Word from the galleries was that the Art Miami folks went around to make introductions and to ensure exhibitors that all is well and they are looking forward to working with them in 2013. If the Art Miami folks can keep the momentum going and continue with bringing in the edgy west coast galleries than Aqua Art will continue its rise on the Art Basel radar as a destination to find fresh art unfiltered by the Basel big gallery hubris.

If you want to see the work of mine that Jacqueline took to Aqua Art go to my website at BarbosaPrince.com and look at the “Mexican Drug War” series. So instead of just promoting myself I want to name a few notables.

Edward Del Rosario produced some exquisitely painted works that were mysterious and playfully dark. His work “Contest of Champions” hints of the gender interactions of love and social circumstance.

Dickson Schneider and his “Free Art Cart” bucks the Art Basel aesthetic by giving away the valuable commodity to the masses. Schneider has built a cart that is reminiscent of the old style ice cream carts. He sets up in front of the Aqua hotel and offers his “free art” to any and all who ask for a work. The artwork is part art display and part performance. This is the second year he has produced this work and it has also been shown in Oakland, Ca. at the now recently legended Oakland Art Murmur in Oakland, Ca.

Finally Helen Bayly my fellow artist at Jacqueline Cooper fine art produces incredible drawings inspired by decadence, lust and deep seated sexual desires. Blending religion, mythology and classical drawing, Bayly creates work that draws in the spectator and excites the senses. There is dark underpinnings and Bayley’s execution is alluring and delicious.

All in all Aqua Art is a unique part of Art Basel and has made it mark as a must attend event!

Puppy Tweets – Keep tabs on Fido

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Okay this is for the person who has a pet and is obsessed with their pet’s shenanigans. In addition they have to also love Twitter messages that are more mindless than most and we know Twitter is not a place filled with mindless tweets, cough!

Introducing Puppy Tweets! The good folks at Mattel are teaching kids the value of K-9 social media, well thank God someone is! Apparently after you hook the tracking puppy tag, any time your dog moves or barks you are sent a tweet. I am a firm believer that once I leave the house my dog puts on my bath robe, turns on the stereo, and gets on the computer and browses the web all day in addition to ordering the occasional home delivered pizza.

Of course some dogs may sleep all day- in which case you won’t get many tweets. However in the case of the all day yapper- you may get 100’s of tweets that say “your dog just barked.” Perhaps there will be an occasional tweet that says “your dog just drank water.” As you can see this is a fascinating and incredibly rich experience. The prize jewel of tweets will be when you get one that says “Your dog just pooped on your rug and tracked it all over house.” That is sure to brighten your day and give you something to look forward to when you get home.

Puppy Tweets is PC and Mac compatible so everyone can jump in on the fun. In closing, the one thing I love about technology is taking it and subverting its intended use. I think the device and software for puppy tweets, may have some other sinister use and I can’t wait to find it!