Wednesday, May 29, 2019

May Mail

Melissa Wand asks, “Is it really worth getting dressed just to go check the mail?”  
The answer is YES!  Especially when you head up to the post office in the Upper Haight and find mail art like this In your box.  Some recent arrivals include the following:
  1. Melissa Wand— Wisconsin
  2. Pam Delucchi – San Francisco
  3. Dori Singh – California 
  4. Lubomyr Tymkiv- Ukraine 
  5. Carolyn Oord (aka Kerosone) - Qu├ębec/Canada 
  6. Marina Salmaso– Denmark
  7. Gregg Biggs – Museum of Unclaimed Ephemera – California
  8. Torma Cauli– Hungary
  9. Serse Luigetti – Italy
  10. Ryosuke Cohen– Japan

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Mildred Howard


I have already seen Mildred Howard’s TAP: Investigation of Memory twice at the Oakland Museum.  Art that expresses time, memory and a big grid, so many of my favorite elements.  And then my recent trip to the di Rosa  up in Napa offered another look at her bottle house Memory Garden, Phase 1.  I am a big fan of bottle houses, both historic and contemporary.  
The SFMOMA has also posted a really good video and overview of her art.
I need to keep an eye out for every opportunity to see more of Mildred Howard’s work.  The installation in Oakland is on until September 1, 2019 — it is highly recommended.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Surprised by Viola Frey

We escaped from San Francisco today up to Napa for a visit to the di Rosa Preserve .  It’s been quite a few years, and I was looking forward to seeing their vast collection of Northern California art.  Until we began the tour, I hadn’t realized that Gallery 2, their largest gallery space, is currently showcasing a large exhibit of the work of Viola Frey
Before today, I was only familiar with some of Frey’s larger-than-life, ceramic, sculptures seen in places like the Oakland Museum.    Seeing a comprehensive exhibit of her work and discovering she was first a painter was a surprise and unexpected to treat.  Once you see Viola Frey first and foremost as a painter, her ceramic work even feels like paintings rendered in clay and glazes.
About once a year, an art exhibit comes through the Bay Area that is truly a don’t miss, incredible experience for art lovers.  It is rarely the most hyped-up, big museum extravaganzas.  We are only about half way through the year, but the show to see in 2019 is most definitely Viola Frey: Center Stage.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Let’s Play Surrealist Baseball!

Recently a friend gave me an old Topps Baseball Card Guide for the San Francisco Giants.  Perfect for some collage fun (not that I am opposed to cutting up actual baseball cards— I have in the past).  The results are a series of 20 Surrealist Baseball Postcards that are on the way in the mail.    Who would the teams be?  Would the Brussels Magrittes play the Barcelona Dalis?  

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Polka Twins

After finishing one artist scrapbook, I’ve started on another.  I have been digging into my collage boxes and ephemera and filling up an old book on graphic design and layout. The Polka Twins were found in a box of my old photos and they needed to make an appearance.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Art is best seen in person

Borowiacy Folk Costume, 16”x16”, mixed media on board

“Couldn’t you just do this in photoshop?”— it is a question I hear now and then.  I realize it is never meant as some scathing critique of my work.  Some folks, so used to a digital format for all imagery, assume this is the best and only option.  It is tied into the same set of beliefs that an Instagram filter will turn you into an Imogen Cunningham or Edward Weston.   When you see one of their photos in person (not online) you immediately can tell.  Analog photography is here to stay. 
With collage and mixed media work it is a similar conundrum. There is some really good digital collage work out there.  And at times, I have seen some high-quality prints that are quite impressive.  But, when you view analog collage, handmade, one-of-a-kind work in person — you can see it.  Like practically all art, no book or jpeg can do the work justice.  
It is a problem I face with my work.  While I am glad for the ease of being able to share it online, it is never the same as being able to show it to art lovers in person.