Our Buddy Sam Grant made this dope video of us preparing for the 111 Minna Gallery Show. The show is on view at 111 Minna through March 29th.
So let’s go back about 2 years…. My studio mate Ken Harman of Spoke Art gets an unsolicited email from an oil painting factory in China. The email explains how the factory is excellent in making reproductions of great works of art as well as portraits, landscapes, nudes etc. All at very reasonable prices.
I thought “shit, that would be a great show”. The idea was to have inexpensive copies of emerging contemporary artists and display them side by side. It calls into question so many things about our culture of individuality, the art world, marketplace and value. We had to do it. But we never did, UNTIL NOW!!!!
Our preoccupation with originality is filled with nuances and paradox. We assign market value to original art pieces for their scarcity, driven by the singular vision of the artist, yet we readily consume designer knock-offs from stores like Forever 21 and H&M, which make their profits from directly imitating the runway collections of Marc Jacobs, Donatella Versace and Alexander Wang. Is fine art something that, too, can be imitated? The rising popularity of giclees, art toys and limited edition sculptures seems to say that the answer is yes for many consumers.
My Gallery, loakal in Oakland teamed up with Ian Ross Gallery in San Francisco to bring you “Made in China”. Artists included in the exhibition are D Young V, Shark Toof, Zoltron, Ernesto Yerena, Akira beard, Peter Adamyan, Jessica Hess, C Kirk, Ian Ross, Eddie Colla, Nite Owl And Robert Bowen. Each artist submitted a piece for the exhibit and photos of those pieces were sent to Shenzhen China to be copied.
The pieces will be displayed side by side at the exhibition
What place do imitations hold in the art market? How do we measure the value of creativity? Viewers are invited to ask themselves these questions when viewing the original works and their imitations in “Made in China.
Come see for yourself Nov. 8th 7-10 pm at Ian Ross Gallery 466 Brannan St. San Francisco, CA
facebook event page is HERE
Our buddy Night Owl invited D Young V and I to do a piece for this project over by The Cottonmill Studios in Oakland back in July. It was a good Friday followed by a free barbecue Saturday. The City of Oakland even kicked in a few bucks on supplies for this project (I’m not sure who arranged that) and I will always take city money cuz they ALWAYS take mine.
Art Works Downtown is excited to present: “Memento Mori” a unique two-man exhibition by Bay Area artists Eddie Colla & D Young V.
Memento Mori, a Latin term for ‘remember death’, is an artistic symbol for remembering the inevitability of death, and is a continuing theme throughout Eddie Colla’s and D Young V’s work. The artists’ installations depict the end of the world juxtaposed to the rising up of a new world from ashes, and a future reduced to the tasks of survival and memory.
The show opens Friday, August 30, 2013 and runs through Friday, October 11, 2013 in the Art Works Downtown main gallery located at 1337 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA, 94901. An opening reception will be held on September 13, 2013 from 5-8 p.m. A closing reception will be held on October 11, 2013, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Art Works Downtown is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Included in this exhibit are the individual artists’ drawings and mixed media works on found objects. The gallery will also showcase a number of collaborative pieces designed specially for Art Works Downtown. These installations represent years of artistic collaboration, both on the street and in galleries, where their mutual styles, ideas, influences, and perceptions become clearly evident.
A few months ago I was asked to do a mural for the film “Fruitvale Station” which is about the killing of Oscar Grant and was released this week.
I had done a few pieces regarding those events in the past which some of the people at Weinstein Co. had seen and liked.
I have some pretty strong feelings on this subject and it had a deep impact on the community I call home (East Oakland). I drafted several layouts of what I was going to do, all of which were very similar to the work the film makers had seen. We had a few debates about the appropriateness of merch (t-shirts, stickers etc.) and also hashtags being included in the mural. I also suggested that the mural be in Oakland and not San Francisco. I was told that they didn’t want to do it in Oakland because it may cause a situation and this was a very hot button issue in Oakland.
After a lot of back and forth, I received an email with a list of requirements that were apparently from the director Ryan Coogler and not from Weinstein Co.. Essentially, I was told that my image was too dark and negative and there was a concern about upsetting people, particularly in the bay area. In my opinion if you tell the story of an innocent, unarmed black man being shot in the back by a white police officer while restrained and people are not upset and outraged than you haven’t told the story correctly. People should be upset, very upset. There was also a list of “cannot’s”
- show pictures of anyone but oscar
- have a gun
- focus the issue on the trial or his murder
At this point the mural could not in any way make reference to Oscar Grant’s murder or the police. The film (which I have seen) is about Oscar Grant’s death. Had Oscar Grant not been murdered, Mr. Coogler would not have made this film. Had Oscar Grant been murdered by another young man, a civilian, this film would not have been made. To my mind to exclude the murder and the police from my image would be dodging what is at the core of this issue.
There was also a list of objectives that were just ridiculous. “ The piece should come from a place of love”, “The piece could see to connect us all, and show how we should all care about each other”
I’m not sure where I was suppose to find love in this story. I didn’t know Oscar Grant, so I certainly could not have loved him and for me to somehow feign an affection that didn’t exist seems ingenuine and disrespectful. I am also not sure how Oscar Grant should be used to make us all feel connected and care for one another. There are a lot of deep seated reason that people of color are predominantly the victims of police brutality. There are also a lot of reasons that justice is rarely served in these circumstances. I feel pretty confident that those reasons are not a simple lack of care for one another. There didn’t seem to be any interest in confronting the issues or affecting the audience (of the murals) and I had no interest in doing what was starting to feel like a big elaborate inaffectual movie poster.
So I quit the project.
So I got a call from Zoltron, actually you don’t really get calls from Zoltron. So I get a call from a guy who sounds like John Forsythe on Zoltron’s behalf. He asks me to be part of The Primus Spring Poster Series along with
And a whole bunch of other heavies. They asked me to do the poster for the Missoula Montana Show At the Wilma theatre. I wanted to do something special that really expressed how I feel about Montana, so I did an image of Hong Kong.
Here’s the poster, Which goes on sale HERE at 9am on May 14th
There’s also a Hand embellished variant of 5 available HERE
Another brilliant project from the darkness of Zoltron’s mind.
Follow the whole poster series On Zoltron’s Blog