Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Artist Focus: Rachel Foster

Rachel Foster is a super fun lady and talented letter press artist from Chicago based in printmaking though branching out as she works towards her MFA at the California College of the Arts. Her work is often concerned with a forms of puzzles or jokes, which make you work a little to receive the hidden meaning. Besides being witty there is also a sense of beauty and wonder to her prints, making them really striking to me.

You can see more images of her work and info here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Artists I Love: Simon Evans

I first saw the work of Simon Evans in the book, Vitamin P, about painting which came out around 2004, and closely thereafter I was lucky enough to see his work in person at the SECA awards show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He works with lots of tape, whiteout, paper, and other supplies that you would be likely to find in an office. His art deals with humor, lists, and personal taxonomy, among other things. I don't claim to be an expert on his work, but I like it a lot. I didn't get permission for any of these images, I just googled them. (I'm terrible, I know). You can get more info from the James Cohan Gallery.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Artist Focus: Marissa Botelho

Marissa Botelho is a good friend of mine and an MFA candidate at CCA by way of Delaware via Washington, DC. We met while standing in the long line to get our ID cards on the first day of school and have been buddies ever since. Her work is focused on some really creative and fun ideas- social media, avatars, and video gaming, along with issues of painting and replication and distortion. Right now she is working on a project where people online choose an adventure for her to act out in diorama form, displayed on a digital frame below. She showed me part of the outfit that is a combination of all her suggestions of adventure wear, to be worn in the new project. She's a true funster.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Artist Focus: George Pfau

George Pfau painting, image from his website (see below).

George Pfau is an MFA candidate almost ready to graduate from the California College of the Arts. He makes really interesting paintings and sculptures that reference things like skin and zombies. He is a super nice guy who let me take impromptu pictures in his beautifully-lit studio one day. For more info and pictures of his work visit here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Childhood Drawings

When I was little I was convinced that I wanted to be a world famous fashion designer. I spent most of my time either organizing my barbies' shoes or drawing my new lines of clothing. These are two of my favorites, but I have mountains of these drawings. I totally love the "Fun Time" sweatshirt- I could see it for sale at Urban Outfitters, couldn't you?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beach Time!

I was supposed to be writing a paper on the last day of my Spring Break, but it was such a beautiful, warm day that it was positively criminal to stay indoors. Kemal and I drove up to Stinson Beach, north of San Francisco. We stopped at the lookout spot for Muir Beach, where you can see the Golden Gate bridge way in the distance.

Stinson Beach
At dusk we saw a thing moving in the water blowing water up in the air. A whale! A ranger told us it was the first time he had seen one so close to the shore. A perfect end to a perfect day.

Work In Progress

These are some paintings I am working on. I'm pissed because I think I just messed one of them up. They go together as a diptych in part of a series called "I'm an Animal- I'm Going to Eat You."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fashion Adventure

In Grad school I am constantly encouraged to think in new ways about my artwork. This fall, after discussing my earlier paintings, my professor suggested since I was so interested in painting images from fashion, we should figure out if it was the photo I was interested in or the product. He told me we were going on an art expedition to all the stores like Prada, Dior, and Barney's that I had never been in. I have been so obsessed for so long with the fashion world without ever having entered one of those hallowed houses because despite my curiosity, I knew the salespeople would see so clearly I didn't belong. Our plan was to get over my issues and try on the clothes and snap photos for diagnosis later. Here are the results.

This one is in the Louis Vuitton store. Our salesperson was a tranny with a tribal hand tattoo, so I felt a little more relaxed about being in the store. That jacket was amazing!!! (The boots are mine- Fryes that were a small fortune to my piddly pocketbook.)

Here we are in Barney's. Our salesperson sniffed us out and treated us with thinly veiled contempt for soiling this Rodarte dress with my grubby, average fingers. It didn't fit- couldn't zip up the back- but was awesome to see how such a thing was constructed out of leather and tulle.

OMG, Givenchy! This was an amazing stretchy perfection that housed my big ass like a good friend. (So much black because my dress size options were limited.) The fur was black icing on the cake. I felt like a warrior princess.

The last was is Lalala Lanvin. So amazing! The bitchy salesguy actually suggested it to me. So, what did we learn on our adventure? That the money from the next painting I sell should be spent on one of these.

I finally started getting into it with this Alaia party dress. I found the pedestal in the dressing room- they really do engineer this to be a fantasy come to life.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Favorites: The Mountainview Cemetery

While you're at Issues (see post below), you can follow Piedmont to the end of the street where you will find the most beautiful and peaceful place in the Bay Area, The Mountainview Cemetery, in Oakland, CA. It is old and grand and enormous, with miles of park to stroll and lounge. Sound crazy? You will see people having picnics, dog-walking, and jogging past the amazing mausoleums and greenery. It is open every day til sundown, when vampires rise and take it over.

What a view! That's Lake Merritt in Oakland and the Bay behind, towards San Francisco.
This one says Serena M, and at the bottom, "Faithful Until Death". Whoa.

This is his Blackmetal pose.
Pyramids for Free Masons.

Kemal started throwing rocks at me while we were walking along the paths, so I ran away, far enough to avoid his aim, until I saw a lady sitting on a step looking at me like I was the fucking weirdest girl she'd ever seen; running alone inside an old cemetery. I yelled, "Stop throwing rocks at me" and she laughed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Favorites: Issues Magazine Shop, Oakland, CA

Fun music finds.
Just look at all those fashion mags! Also available: anything from belly dancing to guns to Korean brides to video games.
Noella and Joe, photo from their website

Issues Magazine Shop, located at 20 Glen Avenue at Piedmont, Oakland, CA, is one of my favorite places in Oakland. I have lived in Oakland for almost six years but have not found very many places that I love returning to. I have found that there is a lack of ease, comfort, and friendliness in many Oakland spaces. Blame it on a hipster, from-the-middle-of-nowhere-but-now-king-of-the-mountain attitude from many young service employees and entrepreneurs, as well as a jaded, down-on-their-luck attitude from the older service employees with master's degrees waiting tables for chump change.

Regardless of the reasons, I generally find the service is Oakland to be crap and the attitudes are off the charts, but NOT at Issues! Yea, I finally found a store in my neighborhood that sells tons of great magazines, books, music, and other stuff with a pleasant and really neighborly atmosphere! Issues is run by co-owners, Joe and Noella, who do an excellent job stocking their store with enough magazines to keep every walk of life under the sun entertained. Bonus attractions are their hand-picked art, music, and pop culture books and super rare music selections. Yes, I am a magazine addict, and I spend enough time thumbing through there to be a regular, but more importantly, they make me feel like a regular, too. Go visit if you're in the Piedmont neighborhood!

Artist Focus: Mark Benson

One of my favorite new friends at school is Mark Benson, an MFA candidate in Painting originally from Colorado by way of Chicago, who happens to be hilarious but also a talented and refreshingly original artist. Mark is not afraid to take risks, or tell me that it looks like someone snuck into my studio and crapped up my otherwise good painting with "that blue stuff". A true friend indeed. For his blog and more pics of his paintings, look here

Mark in his studio

His palette is a juicy mess- I love it!
For whatever reason, he and his fiancee, Michelle, have a talent for making these faces in photos taken of them.

They are good peeps.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Have Been Playing Around with Photography

I have been making my friends pose for me, imitating fashion ads which we collectively decide on. I'm kinda excited about them. Extra special thanks to Maysha and Courtney.