events reviews

Review: Van Arno and Chris Pugliese @ Shooting Gallery

On July 10th, the Shooting Gallery in San Francisco opened a duo show with new works from Van Arno and Chris Pugliese. I was finally able to make my way into the city to see the work in person, and I’m very glad I did. The show opened July 10th and will close August 7th. I have been a fan of Van Arno since the first time I saw his work at the Shooting Gallery. He has an amazing, energetic way of painting the figure, and his color palette and stylized body types make his work very unique. I was also very surprised with Chris Pugliese’s paintings. I had seen his work online, but I think it is really important to see art in person as so much is lost when it is presented on the web. Click the jump link for the rest of the review, or just look at the photos from the show at the Creep Machine Flickr.

The first part of the gallery was all dedicated to Chris Pugliese. The walls were painting a dark slate color that works very well with the art, and taking photos in the gallery. Chris had these amazing frames for each one of the paintings. On a few of the frames the corners had floral-sculptural elements, and even some Romanesque faces could be seen peeking out in a few of them. I really like the way that Chris handled the paint, as there was a nice mix of finely rendered skin tones, some messy drippy marks, and even some pretty heavy impasto as seen wit the feathers in the painting “Leader” (shown below). I liked the idea that Chris was able to harmoniously mix well controlled applications of paint, and some rough elements such as sanding, scratching, and maybe even some sgraffito to some of the surfaces of the paintings.

The back portion of the gallery had the Van Arno paintings. The bright vibrant colors were successful in drawing the viewers in, and even though the back part of the gallery does not get as much light as the front, the works were just as powerful as they would be had they been hung anywhere else. Many of Van Arno’s work are inspired by fables and literature, titles such as “Hester Prynne Pricked” from the Scarlett Letter (shown below), and “Charlotte Bronte Is Carried To Heaven By Morning Sickness” after the English writer and poet.

Once again the Shooting Gallery puts on another amazing show. Its great being able to not only be exposed to artists you have not heard of before, or only seen on the internet, and I love the idea of being able to see new works from artists that frequent the gallery such as Van Arno. I hope that Chris Pugliese will be back in the gallery in the next year or so as well. You can see the rest of the photos at the Creep Machine Flickr.

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