Exclusive Preview: For Smoke & Mirrors by Ransom & Mitchell @ Varnish Art

Coming this Saturday, September 8th, to the Varnish Art Gallery in San Francisco is the debut exhibition For Smoke & Mirrors by Ransom & Mitchell. This SF based art duo includes Jason Mitchell, photographer-director, and Stacy Ransom, set designer and photo-illustrator. Since 2004 the couple has Purebred Studios, a still and motion production studio in SF, that along with client work also serves as the studio they use for personal projects. Not only do Ransom & Mitchell create breathtaking images based on artist they respect, they also share how these photos were created in a behind the scenes website they call Fake Believe. Fans are able to see that what they believed to be photoshop illustration in the image was in fact part of the set, or even a full costume that was constructed just for the shoot. While living in San Francisco for a short time, I was asked to stop by the studio and hang out while the the duo and their crew worked on a new artist shoot with Scott Musgrove. Below is an exclusive image of one of the final photos from the Scott Musgrove sitting. Read more for a breakdown of the days events, and more images of this upcoming exhibition.

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Crazy 4 Cult: New York

The sixth annual Crazy 4 Cult group show opened this past week; the big change is that this time around it is in New York. There is a new lineup of artists with a good mix of new and returning favorites. Looking around the net there are stories of the long lines, people camping out to see the show, and an overall amazing night of art and cult movie entertainment. Just a handful of the artists that graced the show this year are Aaron Jasinksi, Allison Sommers, Casey Weldon, Cate Rangel, Chris B Murray, Dabs Myla, Fred Harper, Jason Edmiston, Lora Zombie, Sam Wolfe Connelly, and Travis Louie.

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Review: “Creatures of the Night” by Jackie Gallagher @ Articulated Gallery

Last year Jackie Gallagher opened her first solo show in San Francisco at the Articulated Gallery entitled Of Melancholy & Monkey Business. The show was amazing, you can check out the review and images here. Jackie is back in SF and the Articulated for another solo show, this one entitled Creatures of the Night. I headed over for the reception, and this time I even used a worse camera than I did before, sorry about that. Either way, we have some images of the works from the show, and more will be added to the galleries website in the next week or so.

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Review: “Élan Vital” by Michael Page @ White Walls SF

In 2011 at the Shooting Gallery in SF, Michael Page opened his solo show Into Passing (reviewed). The show was outstanding, and for the past year I have keep my eye out for the new work by Page. I was surprised to see that his new show entitled Élan Vital would be at White Walls, directly next door, as the space there is much larger. Often White Walls hosts large group shows, street related art, and shows that contain large assemblages such as the show by Jonathan Darby (reviewed). I was very curious to see how Michael Page would use this space. Would he use all of it, would wee see larger paintings by him? I finally managed to check out the show in person, and was not disappointed. Read on for the full interview and more photos.

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Review: Sergio Lopez “Sacred Spring” @ Modern Eden Gallery

Over a week ago on April 14th — which also happened to be the day the Creep Machine turned 5 years old — Sergio Lopez opened a solo show entitled Sacred Spring at the Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco. I had seen Lopez’s work online a few times, but I knew these paintings needed to be seen in person. Sergio did have some work on view at the Safehouse Atelier here in SF, but I just happened to miss the one night event. The amazing thing about this solo show, is that every available wall space in the gallery was filled with Sergio’s work. Normally, the main portion of the gallery is one show, while the inner area next to the fireplace has a smaller selection of works from various artists. The inner portion of the gallery had these small paintings by Sergio, as well as a couple that were different in style that the rest of the show. The bulk of the work was figurative, but also had elements of nature infused in them, either with patterns or the model was posed in a an outdoor setting. Sergio was present for the reception, so I was able to talk with a bit about his working process. Read more for the rest of the images and review.

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Review: “Finding Together Again” by Nimit Malavia @ Spoke Art

On Thursday Night, April 6th, Spoke Art in San Francisco opened a new solo exhibition by Nimit Malavia entitled Finding Together Again. The past couple of weeks had been nothing but work, so being able to see new drawings by a outstanding artist such as Nimit, was good news indeed. For this reception, Spoke Art gave away free mini-prints to the first 100 attendees. There was a good amount of people there for reception; each person scored a free print without having to fight for them. Nimit showed up shortly after opening, and I was able to ask him a few questions about his process and other projects.

I have been a fan of Nimit’s work for quite a while now, and had talked to him a few times before but mainly about print releases and preview pics for shows. I took this opportunity to get a look into his working process, and how he creates these breath-taking images. I had always assumed that the line work in Nimit’s drawings were made using a micron or similar style of pen, but learned after the thumbnail and sketches are created, and then blown up for the final piece, every line you see is created with a tiny brush and ink. He said he just keeps drawing until his hand can’t move anymore; in the piece seen below Remus and Romulus, he put over 100 hours into it. For the painted pieces, Nimit will use watercolors to do light washes, and then finish up with acrylic washes, as seen with the two pieces that had gold-leaf embellishments. One of the smaller painted drawings was all acrylic washes, and the contrast was more intense, so you can see the difference in those that had a more mixed-media style to them.

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Kris Kuksi’s Triumph Opens at Joshua Liner

I recently had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for Kris Kuksi‘s latest show, Triumph, at Joshua Liner Gallery. Every time I see his work, it has evolved in some way, which is refreshing to see. Kris’s work has a schtick to it, however each individual piece has its own strength and power overwhelming any threat of triteness. His works are engrossing and can keep your attention for hours tickling your eyes with their beautiful forms and distracting you with their meta-narratives.

When you see Kris’s works in person, it’s important to look into each corner and crevice. Crouch down to look at the undersides of each assemblage so you can take in his works fully – his works could likely be flipped upside down to reveal entirely new worlds. Full of ideas, plays between good and evil, with a touch of humor here and there, it’s hard to stop exploring each work to move on to the next. Regardless of the large crowd, I was able to take some detail shots of his work, shared below.

Kris is also an avid painter. His sculptures have upstaged his oil paintings for the past few years. It was thus nice to see that for Triumph Kris had painted a portrait of artist Ewelina Koszykowska, a large acrylic and mixed media on wood with a raised pattern. This mysterious painting sets the sculptures off quite well, adding color to his stark white palette. Also new is a bronze version of his Churchtank sculpture, its detailed texture and weight add to this already stunning work.

Triumph will be on view until April 7th.

The crowd takes in "Triumph"

Detail view of "Triumph"

Detail view of "Capricorn Rising"

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Review: “Wayward Fairy Tales” @ Modern Eden Gallery

On Saturday, March 10th, the Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco opened the group show Wayward Fairy Tales, curated by artists Glenn arthur and Jeff Felker. Each artist in the show took inspiration from a classic fairy tale, and gave it a new spin. While this was a smaller group show, with 8 artists submitting work, the paintings were outstanding. I like the idea of group shows with 20 or even 100 artists participating, but I often feel as though some of the work in the show doesn’t get the full attention it deserves. That was definitely not the case with this exhibition, the art was good and the crowd spent a good deal of time enjoying it.

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Review: “Menagerie” group show @ Modern Eden Gallery

This past Saturday, no matter how cold it was here in San Francisco, we headed over to the Modern Eden Gallery for the reception of Menagerie, a group show dedicated to animals. Each artist donated a portion of their sales, from 20-100% to the San Francisco SPCA. The show featured works by Akira Beard, Peter Adamyan, Bradley Platz, Lacey Bryant, Renee Castro, Aunia Kahn, Lee Harvey Roswell, Corey Benhatzel, Leilani Bustamante, Robert Bowen, Grant Gilliland, and many more.

I loved the idea that all the work in the show were dedicated to animals; as well as being an art fan I am a fan of those that care about animals as well. There was not only a good amount of work in the show, but a wide variety of styles. Akira Beard submitted a watercolor or ink work that I believe was on yupo paper (below). It was not only textural and energetic, but shows the artists ability to capture a subject such as two dogs on a white background and make it look amazing. The show will be up until March3rd, so if you are in the area make sure to stop by. Otherwise check out the art on the Modern Eden homepage.

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Review: Charmaine Olivia “Ritual” @ Shooting Gallery SF

On January 14th, the Shooting Gallery opened the first solo show in San Francisco by local artist Charmaine Olivia. Entitled Ritual, this show features new paintings inspired by the themes of mythology. Each one of the large oil paintings feature a female deity created by Charmaine, and the entire gallery has been transformed into a temple. The installations features magical items, and smaller works of art in dedication to the central figures. The show closed on February 4th, and I finally made my way to the gallery and caught it on the last day. I was told that the reception was pretty amazing, and free prints were even given out to the first group of fans. I wish I could have seen the show the reception night, but I am happy I at least was able to see this show before it was taken down. Along with this review/photos, I also made another video walkthrough, the longest one yet at almost 10 minutes. Click the read more for the full review and video.

Prior to this show I had only seen a painting by Charmaine in person one time, at Spoke Art Gallery, however I missed the show she participated in there alongside Tatiana Suarez, Handiedan, and Craww. I was interested in how Charmaine would use the entire space over at Shooting Gallery for this new show, and was blown away at how she not only used the space in order to create a new world for this show, but completely owned the space. There was so much to be seen, so many details and tiny elements that all culminated together to allow the viewer to understand and feel the mythological beings the artist created. Since there was so much to see, I not only took more photos than I usually do, but also made a longer video than normal. I hope the video gives an idea of what seeing this show in person was like.

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Review: Obey Your Master Art Tribute to Metallica

This past weekend a group show dedicated to the music of Metallica opened at the Exhibit A Gallery. While I was not able to attend the show, friend of the Creep Machine Brennan was able to make it to the show, take some photos, and write a short review for us. Take it away.

So a few weeks ago I received an email about an invite only show coming up at Exhibit A Gallery here in Los Angeles. It was for a show entitled Obey Your Master and was going to be a group show with artists paying tribute to one of the greatest metal bands of all time, Metallica. The list of participating artists was a who’s who of the current art scene. You had everyone from Travis Louie to Shawn Barber and Sylvia Ji to Shepard Fairey all with pieces re-interpreting some Metallica songs into art. I was obviously very stoked to be able to attend this show, and it did not disappoint at all.
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Review: “Absolute Happiness” by Serge Gay Jr @ Spoke Art

On December 3rd at Spoke Art in San Francisco, the latest solo show from Serge Gay Jr entitled Absolute Happiness opened. The same night this show opened I was at the reception of Dan Harding and Joanne Augustine’s I See You See Show (reviewed), so of course I had to check out the show a few days later. I was surprised to see that even though the reception was past by a few days, the gallery had a good amount of people inside, one of which was the artist himself. I not only grabbed some photos, but was also able to talk to Serge a bit about his working process and inspirations.

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