24 April 2012

Catching Up With 8 Artists

[This is our second update report, with news on eight of the twenty-seven artists whose work we've featured so far. Click on the artist heading to view their introductory feature.]

A Step Ahead of What Haunts Them
(mixed media and resin on wood, 2008)

   You remember Joshua Krause. He's the cat who makes the far-out mixed-media collages, like the piece above. Well, last year, he reined in the explosive look of his work a bit, somewhat simplifying the expression of his bold ideas to their key elements. Incorporating airline logos and book parts, his new style evokes a strange but intriguing blend of ideas about the cycles of life, as well as a 1960s nostalgia. The pieces are each a delight, more accessible, and still complex enough to get lost in for what seems like eternities.
"Extracted Abstractions" Series
(mixed media on book covers, 2012)
   Describing his new work, Krause says: "Been making lotsa new works on paper, both for upcoming shows and commissions. Focusing on using only book parts to create these collage pieces.... The core of this new series, Extracted Abstractions, is based on reworking airline logos into new forms, be they characters, patterns, or abstractions. In my commitment to reworking materials into new form, I found the airline logos to not only be emblematic of Modernism, but a rich source of communication marks searching for new meanings. Just as the original logos and books hold value to the companies and industries they were designed for, or to the writers and designers who created them, the new manipulations hold a personal value to me."

"Extracted Abstractions" Series
(mixed media on book covers, 2012)

Ramona's mural  (Hawthorne, Nevada - April 2012)

   Surge has been continuing to ink some awesome tattoos at his day job. But as his recent travels show, Hernandez finds wall art as natural as breathing. The above pic was created during a trip to Nevada earlier this month, where Ramona, the woman pictured, accepted a lovely spray-painted mural for the wall of her antique shop. Lucky lady.

Protecting Nature
(gold leaf, acrylic, cut-outs and 3D objects, March 2012)

   Lupita Shahbazi is finding and exercising rich possibilities with her new style which mixes her acrylic brush work with paper cut-outs. The piece above is an example that lightly evokes a Gaugin Tahitian, but the glorious hum it emits is too true to be anyone's but her own. Of particular delight are the color combinations and the flesh tones.

(acrylic, aerosol, mixed media on wood , 2012)

   As usual, Jordan Josafat has been one busy hombre. His recent work for the 3rd Annual La Hermandad: Workers United in Struggle resulted in some eye-opening watercolor paintings whose text floats boldly and powerfully, like his buildings have done. His painting, Delano (not pictured here), is one of those new pieces, and was made in honor of the Delano Grape Strike. Huelga translates as strike. Some of the other paintings Josafat completed were made in honor of some of the strike leaders at Delano. Vera Cruz was made after Philip Vera Cruz, Itliong after Larry Itliong, Chavez after Cesar Chavez. Manong is an Ilocano word for son, and came to represent the Filipino men who made up the majority of workers involved in the historic fight for workers' rights in Delano, California.

Huelga (2012)
Chavez (2012)

Manong (2012)

Blessed None the Less
(Artwork for Gail, 2012)
   Josafat also created a series of paintings to raise money for a friend who is swamped with cancer treatment bills. Many in the series are based on the woman's original phrase Blessed None the Less. As personal as the paintings are, they are important reminders for the viewer at large. Our prayers are with you, Gail.
   And as if these weren't enough, Josafat has begun working with San Diego rock band, Idlehands. This piece below is a preview of the art slated for the forthcoming EP, Common Soul

Idlehands' Common Soul EP art (2012)

Illustration for Color in the Sky (2012)

   Anna Guillotte, whose last name rhymes with fiat, has found some new inspiration, as you can see above, for her forthcoming illustrated book, the aptly titled Color in the Sky. Amidst doing so, Guillotte has also been developing her troupe of invented characters, which you can see in the group shot below.

Character Family Drawing (2012)

   From Guillotte's hinting, it looks like the next characters up for an adventure will be Tragga, the love monster, and Mercedes, the howling dog. As the sketches below show, they and we are in for a wild ride!

Tragga (2012)
Tragga and Mercedes Music (2012)

Tragga and Mercedes in color (2012)

(acrylic, aerosol on panel, April 2012)

   Will someone please tell Christopher Konecki to have mercy on those of us who are short-winded? Konecki has been on a breath-taking roll with back-to-back shows, pumping out paintings, and expanding the scope of his style which mixes beautiful hues, tasty blotches and aging effects, all the while maintaining a subversively biting sense of humor. San Diego may be "America's Finest City", but as Konecki shows, not in the old touristy sense.

Height and Distance (acrylic on wood, 2011)

(acrylic on panel commission, 2012)
   Here are two Kelly Vivanco pieces that hypnotize all who view them with tranquility. It's a whole universe she's created which encourages us to feel safe and accepting of the tides of life, even while the colors pop and shimmer. We haven't yet found a saturation point for looking at her work, and considering how prolific Vivanco is, we bet that there is none.
Untitled (oil on canvas, April 2012)

   Anna Zappoli works wonders with impasto. The thick slabs that would be unintelligible  and artless with many a painter, on her canvases reveal a midday of magic. 
   On the same day that Zappoli completed the painting shown above, of crows circling a palm tree, she wrote: "Fabulous day, I just finished four paintings the way I like them to be, freedom of expression! always finding the way, my way, regardless." And then later, to her audience at large, she said: "I reveal myself to you at every word that I write or say, at every painting that I do, the clothes that I wear the way I look at you, all the things that I do and not do, love and freedom is my happiness to know." 
   It doesn't always follow that beauty of spirit will lead to beauty on the canvas, but thankfully, for Zappoli it does.

[That wraps it up for this update report. Our conclusion is that San Diego is as tough, ferocious, graceful, and adventurous as ever. See you in six days. Love hard!]

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