RAYKO - ROCKET WORLD - THE LAB
DOUBLE PUNCH - FIVEPOINTS - LOWER HATERS
04.10.09
(with Assistance from R.W. Miller and Lynnore Goldfarb)



Buy the book:
The Art of Buying Art

Art Appraisals

Services & Consulting:
  • For Artists
  • For Collectors

    Articles:
  • For Artists
  • For Collectors

    Product Reviews:
    Art Price References

    San Francisco Art Openings

    Recent Updates

    Support This Site

    Donor Links

    Site Expert

  • RayKo Photo Center: The Great Disruption - Jon Edwards, Sandrine Hermand-Grisel, Tempest NeuCollins; Michael Elsden - Pogonophora, RayKo's Inaugural Artist-in-Residence.

    Review by R.W. Miller: How nice it is sometimes to see or have facial hair. In a sense Michael Elsden's Pogonophora is a reminder that the 1960s have not been completely forgotten. Rather than photographing scary or intimidating men with beards, Elsden's beards suggest a more sensitive attitude and way of being. It is not always clear what it means to wear a beard because the act is so often something that strangers interpret. The photographer shows that in many cases it is not just about being too lazy to shave, but rather about conscious life choice.

    Some of the fascinating images in the three-person exhibit, The Great Disruption, may remind viewers of open spaces and road trips. There is also silence, quiet and stillness on display. You can wander alone and find solitude along the back roads in a country so big you can easily get lost in it. The old buildings remind viewers of the past, and the quiet of empty rooms that were once full of life. The world beckons.

    Michael Elsden Photo

    Photography by Michael Elsden.

    Photo

    Photos by Michael Elsden.

    Photo

    Photographs by Michael Elsden.

    Photo

    Photography by Sandrine Hermand-Grisel.

    Photo

    Photo closer (Sandrine Hermand-Grisel).

    Photo

    Photographs by Tempest NeuCollins, I think.

    Photo

    Photography by Jon Edwards, I think.

    Photo

    Long view-- photos by Jon Edwards, I think.

    ***

    Rocket World: Humans Beware - I.W.G. Custom Art Show.

    Artists: ADDEccentric, Angry Woebots, APina, AW177, Ayleen Gaspar (October Toys), brainstrikers ARTDENKA, Bert (gatchabert) Gatchalian, Betso, Bovinyl, Brandon sopinsky, Brian Colin, Brent Nolasco, Charlie Alan Kraft, Cris Rose, Ckaweeks, Clinton Reno, CoreRoc, CrEsToNe, Cyan Banister (Zivity), Daniel Elson, Dead Presidents Designs, D-Lux, DrilOne, Dustin Cantrell, El Maz, FAS, FOOX, Frank Kozik, George Gaspar (October Toys), GOCCODO, Grimsheep, Hellopike, IZ the WIZ, Jenny Wolf, Jeremiah Ketner a.k.a. small and round, Jeremy Regan, Jes, Jim Koch, Joe, Jon-Paul Kaiser, Ka, Keith Noordzy, Keith Poon, Kelly Vetter, Lana Crooks, Leecifer, Lou Pimentel, MADTWIINZ, Maku, Matthew Ryan Sharp, Matucha, Max Bare, Metal Man Ed, Mimic, MONSTREHERO, Motorbot, Nanan1, NEMO, Newkon, Okedoki, OsirisOrion, Paulkaiju, Phetus, Phu!, Pretty Poopie, Redhanded, Reactor 88, Rebel SC, Robot Octopus, Rsin,Sade TCM, Scott Stulen, SpankyStokes, Squink!, Tan-ki, Toybot Studios, Trenton M., Trevor Zammit, tyleR, willow408, 64 Colors, more...

    Review by Lynnore Goldfarb: Rocket World is in a warehouse space way out in Potrero Hill, maybe the Dog patch area, I am not so sure. On first glance, it is a store split down the middle with an imaginary line. The right side of the store is dark with racks of army green and navy colored clothes and, from what I can tell, survivalist gear. The left side is bright and cluttered with many shelves along the walls, packed with Sci-Fi looking Japanese-type plastic figurines-- sometimes set into dioramas-- and racks of cute trendy colorful clothes.

    I look around and cannot distinguish the art exhibition from the actual merchandise, even though I have narrowed it down to the left side of the store. Finally, I figure out that the items with the price tags are merchandise for sale and the items with numbers next to them are the art. I'm impressed with the actual figurines on display and manage to take two pictures before my camera dies... and I am pretty sure that's about when I get Ma'am-ed (it is a youthful crowd, for sure). I look up to spy my tormentor-- just kidding-- a nice young man who asks if I need some help. I find out that eighty artists were sent Rocket World I.W.G. blanks (unpainted figurines) and were asked to do something arty with them, and this show is the result. Now, I cannot be more confused... my questions just bring on more questions as I'm bombarded with way more information than I can handle! This place is a madhouse, but I like it!

    Comment by AB: According to the ballyhoo, this event marks "the very first ever release of I.W.G. (Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo) Designer Art Toy blanks to be customized by artists from all over the world." Now I'm not exactly sure what Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo means, but the artist-customized toys on display are admirably adept, engaging, and often entertaining. For you fashion plates in the crowd, Rocket World appears to be THE place to shop for Paramilitary Chic.

      art

    Customized toy blank art.

    Photo

    Customized toy blank art.

    Photo

    Limited edition weaponry art - kinda like it.

    Photo

    Customized toy blank art and environs.

    Photo

    Customized toy blank art closer (photo c/o Lynnore Goldfarb).

    Photo

    Customized toy blank art.

    Photo

    Paramilitary fashion and accessories.

    ***

    The LAB: Living Cube - An installation by Rie Kawakami; Matt Kennedy - Nothing Ever Happens; Points of Contact - Michael Namkung.

    Review by Lynnore Goldfarb: I walk into the main gallery space at The Lab-- a labyrinth of twisted wire resembling a child's scribbles with a pen on paper. However, there are no pens or paper, just wire to be manipulated. Buzzing around these units of wire-- maybe measuring 3' square-- are people fervently bending them. Some of these impromptu artists are very serious and others are playful in creating their own masterpieces-- and here's the best part-- never once letting go of their beers. I find the artist Rie Kawakami and ask, "What is going on?" She points to the carefully assembled grid of cubes hanging above us from the ceiling and tells me that, that was exactly what this chaos on the floor looked like originally. I am dumbfounded, because the cubes had been completely reformed within twenty minutes of the show's opening. The Living Cube is intended to be an interactive installation, however the artist confesses that the verve of the people participating is far exceeding her expectations.

    Rie Kawakami art

    The basic idea - floor & ceiling sculpture by Rie Kawakami.

    art

    Floor sculpture (Rie Kawakami).

    art

    Ceiling sculpture (Rie Kawakami).

    art

    Rie Kawakami - art (photo c/o Lynnore Goldfarb).

    art

    Floor sculpture closer (Rie Kawakami).

    art

    Art (Matt Kennedy).

    ***

    Double Punch: The Right Place.

    Artists: Kelly Tunstall, Scott Barry, Ryan Bubnis, and Alexei Vella. Curated by Ryan De La Hoz.

    Comment by AB: Delightfully affordable group show offers a number of works for under $100; almost everything is under $500.

    art

    Art.

    art

    Art by Scott Barry.

    art

    Art.

    art

    Art by Kelly Tunstall.

    art

    Art.

    ***

    Fivepoints Arthouse: Venom v. Camaro - A Deadly Duel Between Satan's Camaro and Ben Venom.

    Comment by AB: For starters, I like artists who've mastered the skills necessary to make whatever it is they make. So yes, I like Ben Venom. His double-barrel joy ride here at Fivepoints consists of spiffy silkscreen prints, and slick stitched sewn fabric works, a number of which incorporate cut up pieces of Venom's personal vintage headbanger heavy metal T-shirt collection. In a classic case of "that was then and this is now," Venom tells me the T's represented an era in his life that was no longer relevant, and that even though they had collectible value-- and rather than keep them intact or sell them on eBay-- he chose to evolve them along lines more consistent with his current purposes. The payoff? Good show; go see.

    Ben Venom art

    Art by Ben Venom.

    art

    Art.

    art

    Ben Venom + unique heavy metal T-shirt comforter art. Yours for $3K.

     Migdalia Valdes art

    More repurposed T-shirt art.

    art

    Repurposed T-shirt art closer - nicely done.

    art

    Repurposed T-shirt art closer - nicely done again.

    art

    Art - like it.

    art

    Innie.

    art

    Outie.

    ***

    Lower Haters: Jonathan Wakuda Fischer - Deconstructing the Floating World.

    Review and images by Lynnore Goldfarb: The artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer tells me that he does not consider himself a fine artist, but rather a pop artist. Instantly, my perception of his work lining the walls of Lower Haters Gallery changes from "huh?" to "yes." He uses his own carefully cut out stencils to meld traditional images-- Geisha and koi for example-- into more contemporary pieces. The colors are bright and the style has a graffiti type of airbrush or spray paint look to it.

    art

    Art.

    art

    Art closer.

    art

    Art.

    ***


    Articles and content copyright Alan Bamberger 1998-2009. All rights reserved.