When Forces Unite: co·lab at Athen B Gallery

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Work by Brett Flanigan and Jean Nagai

In a fun game of artist exquisite skeleton (the Surrealists’ favorite pastime where you would draw something, fold the paper over and have a friend unwittingly add to a drawing they couldn’t see), Athen B. Gallery has filled its walls with work from 17 pairs of artists. The artists in the show work in different mediums, sizes and styles. And what they create together on a canvas carries traces of their signature style but also the process of a unique collaboration.

co·lab features the collaborative work of Lauren YS and Meryl Pataky, Gaia and Nanook, Brett Flanigan and Jean Nagai, Martina Merlini and Derek Bruno, and much more. What I find really interesting about the show is that some collaborations feature public and street artists working with primarily fine artists. Each piece — each result of the exquisite skeleton game, you could say — showcases a new side of each artist involved.

If you’re in San Francisco, the opening reception for co·lab is taking place this Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7pm. The show is up until Nov. 6.

Check out some more photos below:

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Work by Lauren YS and Meryl Pataky

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Work by Bunny Reiss and David Marc Grant

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Work by Moneyless and Sten Lex

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Kaleidoscope Vision: Hueman’s Just One Moment

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Photo by Brock Brake for Mirus Gallery

Artists get asked a lot about inspiration, about source material. And then they get asked about process, about all those little steps in between prepping the paint and declaring a work the finished product.

But there’s nothing quite like walking into a gallery without this information to get a little lost (and maybe a little dizzy) by jumping head-first into an artist’s unique vision.

Hueman, aka Allison Torneros, is a street and fine artist working out of San Francisco. Her recent solo show, “Just One Moment,” includes more than 15 new pieces. Much of Hueman’s work features vibrant colors, flowing lines and mysterious faces.

The works in the show are described as “a look into a singular moment in time, spliced, dissected, and manipulated through intersecting lines and planes.” Hueman often plays with perspective, asking that the viewer put together the pieces — or surrender to the work’s intertwined parts and get lost in their ordered chaos.

For this show, Hueman pushes that concept further by also manipulating the canvas. No longer a square surface, it also alters the expectations of the viewer. In some instances, the canvas echoes the movement of the work’s content; an edge mirrors the curve of a woman’s neck and back while sharp angles echo the angularity of strong lines.

At this point, Hueman has already gained the viewers’ trust – and will continue to break it into gorgeous, dizzying pieces.

“Just One Moment” is on view at Mirus Gallery until October 10.

Check out some more photos from the show:

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Photos courtesy of Mirus gallery; final photo by Brock Brake for Mirus Gallery. 

Seen Across the City: A Few Favorites

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Zio Ziegler spotted in the Outer Sunset. Such a cool mix of color and pattern.

In San Francisco, you better hold on when you get on the bus. The announcement over the speakers tells you so and a kind stranger might warn you, too but if you don’t heed those warnings you’ll learn your lesson soon enough. When the bus goes lurching forward, it makes even the most talented skaters and gymnasts (who else has great balance?) judge their abilities. Basically, you might go flying forward into the dashboard or head-first into someone’s groceries.

But the magical part of riding public transportation here — at least from an LA native’s perspective — is how easily it can get you almost anywhere. So long as you hold on tight. In LA, I stumbled upon street art while driving. But after two years of not driving, I realize the value of finding public art while stepping off the bus or just walking.

Apologies for the long break (again). Here are some of my recent (and not-so-recent) favorites from around the city:

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Nychos in the Tenderloin (or TenderNob as the locals call it). The word ‘gnarly’ comes to mind.

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Clever Eclair Bandersnatch piece in the Mission.

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One of many awesome pieces in Clarion Alley in the mission. Artist unknown (any leads?).

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Awesome collaboration between Brett Flannigan, Zio Ziegler and Cannon Dill near downtown.

What Life is Like in San Francisco

It’s been a year since I moved to San Francisco! Compared to LA, this city is colder (duh). It’s much easier to get around without a car. Everyone on the street seems to walk faster, at least in Downtown.

Oh, that’s the other thing – each neighborhood has it’s own personality. This city often feels like a crayon box – all the crayons might be right next to each other but they are definitely not the same color.

Speaking of color, I recently got to check out “A Declaration of Color” at 1AMSF. It’s a fantastic solo show by the street artist Sen2. The artist is originally from Puerto Rico and he got to see NY during the glory days of the ’80s. That exposure to the graffiti world led him to the success he’s found today. Besides being an awesome artist, he’s worked with famous people like Missy Elliot and Nas.

Check the show out for yourself:

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San Francisco Travels

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It’s official. I’m leaving Los Angeles.

A part of me still doesn’t quite believe it but if all goes well come August I will be in the crazy, colorful city that is San Francisco.

I visited during the weekend and didn’t quite keep an eye out for street art but a couple of pieces found me. I’m interested in the difference between the art scenes of LA and SF — especially the street and public art scenes. I’m excited to find out. I have high standard for you, San Francisco!

On another note, I’m getting quite addicted to traveling and seeing new places. So hopefully this blog will grow to show even MORE places that make the world feel like a canvas.

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Victor Reyes @ Known Gallery

It’s fun to look for street art around your neighborhood so imagine looking for twenty-six letters throughout a portion of the city.

Street artist Victor Reyes was able to provide that for the residents of Mission District in San Francisco. In swirling, beautiful colors he covered certain parts of the streets with letters – one was a giant ‘M’ on the wall of a liquor store. Reyes began his career in the 1990s and now has a second solo show at Known Gallery. “The Jungle,” which runs until the 7th, shows off both Reyes’ skill with typography and his ability to work with colors.

When you first walk in, two opposing pieces greet you. What I liked about these were that they were so different yet so similar. “Diamond” was a strictly black-and-white piece with an amazing amount of detail.

Across from this piece was “The Jungle” which was an explosion of color that contrasted this piece. But it also had a good amount of detail and some of the same swirling shapes.

What helped show off the art even more were some cool artistic and curatorial choices. In any given show, the curator works with the artist to decide placement of pieces and in this particular show both the curator and artist’s vision came through.

For example, the gallery chose to dedicate an entire wall to a group of piece which Reyes entitled “Quilt” followed by the piece’s respective number.

Reyes also chose to pair some pieces together, with one triangular canvas on top of a rectangular one.

Some pieces also showed off his typography skills, while still keeping to the themes of the other pieces (i.e. the swirling colors).

The show was focused on showing the “savage nature of humanity in context of modern day America while simultaneously exploring the primal, mammalian inclinations that pulse just under the facade of contemporary culture.”

My favorite piece was “Lions” because from far away I couldn’t tell that there were in fact two animals fighting. The color are spectacular here and it’s one of those pieces that you can’t just glance at and walk away from.

Check out the other pieces in the show. I definitely recommend seeing it in person. There’s something about these colors that is transifixing.