Saint Everyone, 2011

11 feet by 9 feet

Acrylic and Silkscreen Appliqué on Canvas

I installed my 11 foot by 9 foot acrylic painting, “Saint Everyone,” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art yesterday. It will be on view at the SFMOMA’s Artists Gallery Windows on Minna Street from June 2011 through January 2012. There are florescent lights which are timed to go on at dusk until 2 am.

My large scale painting, “Saint Everyone” is figurative, a postmodern pastiche of Pop, Op and Rock Art. Its theme is inspired from the very recent spontaneous popular movements which have swept the world since January 2011. My iconic figure holds a lotus, it’s unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty springs from the fertile mud of its origin and grows into a benign spiritual promise. The figure is a loose appropriation and is re-imagined by the artist from a rock poster created by The Big Five (Mouse, Wilson, Griffin, Kelley, and Moscoso) for the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Love in 1987. The Summer of Love in 1967 is the San Francisco analog of the change that is sweeping the world in 2011. This image was originally used on a poster I designed and printed for “American Artifact, The Rise of American Rock Art,” directed by Merle Becker. Appliqué disks employ elements of Op Art, inspired as they are from the work of Martin Sharpe, the British psychedelic artist. They are produced via silkscreen and applied – like a poster would on the street – in rhythmic patternization. The disks suggest decentralization or cell structure. I wanted to combine acrylic painting and silkscreen techniques in a seamless composition, and “Saint Everyone” is the result.

This painting was a year in planning and six weeks in execution. Renée de Cossio curated the project which involves me, Chris Shaw and Ron Donovan. Renee has been a constant source of support and inspiration and I thank her and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for making this show happen.

Make sure to check the websites of my collaborating artist friends Chris Shaw and Ron Donovan to see their paintings and art work. They will be posting pictures and more very soon!

The six weeks spent working in this resulted in scores of paint layers, many in florescent acrylic, silkscreen and painting processes. There are certainly at least 30 layers of paint on this and the depth shows. The red blue chroma literally stopped traffic yesterday when Chris Shaw and I were hanging these – someone driving down Minna Street actually skidded to a stop to look at our paintings and ask our names.

I have several process videos of the painting in progress. The first is a short montage of photos I took throughout the process:

Below are some of the more photogenic processes in timelapse. First, removing a mask I cut with an exacto knife to paint the gold Op Art patterns that surround the figure:

Next, I’m printing the appliqué optical patterns on very nice Japanese rice paper that resonates with and continues the motif painted in gold:

Here’s a timelapse video of me applying the rice paper op patterns to the canvas with gel medium under and gloss medium over to fully embed the rice paper to the painting surface:

Finally here are some beautiful photographs taken by my friend Stephen Abramson of the final reactive blue color getting layed down. Click to see larger:

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Ron Donovan, Chris Shaw, & Chuck Sperry

June 11, 2011 — January 12, 2012

Bay Area rock poster art contemporaries Chris Shaw, Chuck Sperry, and Ron Donovan stand out amongst their predecessors in the Bay Area tradition of poster making that spans nearly 50 years. Through their prolific bodies of work, the masterful artists have brought inno­vation, invention, and new meaning to this art form. Each distinc­tively fuses propaganda, imagery, text, and historical art references with Pop and rock-poster art sensibilities to create accessible, relat­able imagery that is at once empowering and undeniably populist.

Minna Street windows

A collaborative art work involving three individually created window installations, Donovan, Shaw, and Sperry layer silkscreen, painting, collage, and mixed media to transform two-dimensional imagery into three-dimensional expression. Showing reverence for man’s commu­nicative nature, they reference the renewal of the idea that art has a purpose.

Natoma Street windows - Temporally Bound

Temporally Bound is a “visual improvisation” between Sperry and Shaw. Its form is drawn from the Asian accordion-style bound scroll to recognize the Pacific Rim as the gathering center of the art world and to emphasize post modern appropriated multiculturalism. Sperry and Shaw express a realization of the temporal, time-punctuated nature of street and poster art. By binding the panels together in monumental book form, the artists create a visual record of events through a modality of time. Additionally, through binding invention, the contextualization of visual imagery, and a reassigning of repre­sentational meaning, the artists transform ephemeral events and experiences by creating a lexicon of a shared cultural visual memory.

 

The “Windows Program” uses the SFMOMA Garage’s street-level win­dows located at 150 Natoma and 147 Minna Street (between Third and New Montgomery Streets) to showcase artwork. The program, organized  by Renée de Cossio of the Artists Gallery, invites some of the area’s most ambitious artists to transform these every day spaces into compelling exhibitions that the passerby can view round the clock.

 

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