Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Urban Confluence" opens at C.A.V.E. Gallery Saturday January 9th.

Experience the creative energy sparked by imaginations that run amok in the City.

The January exhibition at C.A.V.E. Gallery will showcase the work of a talented group of art renegades, whose dynamic compositions are inspired by the surrounding urban environment - the density of buildings, the serendipitous interaction of city dwellers, and the hope that elements of nature will find their way into our urban daily lives.

This exhibition will feature an interesting diversity of cutting edge works, including paintings, mixed media collages, pen and ink, and unique hand-sprayed stencils.

In addition to showing their artwork in galleries, several of these artists also seek out empty, ignored, monolithic urban facades as their canvas and have created urban scale murals as public art.

Hans Haveron: Mural in Houston

Codak & Kofie: Mural in Highland Park

Greg Boudreau: Mural at the Bus Stop Bar in Seattle
Eatcho and Josh Wigger: Mural in Fresno

Last month, we caught up with Daryll Peirce (Oakland) at Miami's Art Basel. Daryll was invited as part of the epic Primary Flight installations to paint his iconic "arterial- botanic" city organisms on the streets of the industrial Wynwood area.

Focused on exploring the connectivity within humanity and its claims of control over social systems, habitat, nature, and the future - Daryll’s artwork pendulates between the satiric and esoteric, optimistic and pessimistic, scientific and spiritual, bold and poetic.

Daryll Peirce and Jim Darling: Primary Flight Miami '09


We are looking forward to kicking off 2010 with this exciting show that will hopefully encourage some thought-provoking reflection on our current urban condition.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"The Way of Flow" Featured Artist: Patrick Gannon (Tokyo)

Patrick Gannon has created an impressive series of work for his featured show this month at C.A.V.E.  Gallery. His artwork, created entirely of cut-paper and wood in his studio in Tokyo, Japan, brings together influences from his life and experiences in urban Japan with his upbringing on a farm in New Jersey.  Fascinated from an early age by mythology and fables created to explain the world around us, Patrick is inspired to express and reveal a wondrous and pensive world of thought and emotion in his artwork.  His skill, technique, imagination and composition make each piece a unique treasure. 

CG: How has Japanese art and culture influenced your artwork:

PG: I moved to Japan for the first time back in 1994, long before I even started thinking of creating art professionally.  Back then, I drew in two very different styles; either ultra-realistic or cartoons.  Eventually, these styles merged and evolved into what I do today.  I love the cleanliness and simplicity of Japanese art and design, from hanga woodblock prints to anime and manga to the design of everyday household products.  I actually went out of my way not to be influenced too much by the Japanese art which I saw around me every day.  It all sort of crept in subconsciously.  I think my use of space and color owe alot to my life in Japan.  

I came back to the US in 2000 to go back to school, then moved to Tokyo in 2005.  The diversity of styles, colors, and textures of the paper over here have had a huge impact on my work, allowing me to evolve in ways I probably couldn't have done anywhere else in the world.  My life here is also a big influence on my work;  there's a sense of separation from the rest of society, of being an outsider due to language, race, culture.  At the same time, living here has changed the way I see the world.  I also think that my work has absorbed a little of the Japanese character; optimistic on the surface with it's fetish for all things cute and kawaii, pensive and a little dark underneath, but in a very introspective and accepting way.

CG: When did you first start collaging with paper? What were your influences/inspirations for this technique?

PG: I started using collage back around 2000, when I was experimenting with different media in school.  I tried a whole lot of mixed media back then; paper + acrylic, paper +watercolor; paper + oil (that was a mistake), paper + scratchboard (kinda nice, really).  Eventually, I got some great advice from one of my professors, Dick Kreple.  He suggested I "let the paper be paper", rather than try to force it into the role of another medium.  I took that advice, and eventually culled the other media from the work.  Now I enjoy the purity of the paper, and using it in a kind of found-object way.  

I was kind of lucky in the beginning in that I didn't know of many people using cut paper.  I had to invent my own techniques from scratch.  Early on, I found Michael Bartalos' work jazz-inspired work, then David Wisniewski's great children's books.  Later on, I discovered the rich Chinese / Japanese history of the technique, and I've tried combining what I like best about these styles with what I do.

CG: Can you please describe your process/technique? 

PG: My work usually starts either as a doodle in my sketchbook or, more commonly, as a simple, ambiguous concept which develops into something more concrete.  When the idea starts to solidify and the timing feels right, I sit down with a small sketchbook and start scribbling.  In the past, I was very analytical about my approach, trying to find a reason for everything I drew in a picture.  Lately, I've found that thinking too much makes things a little stale, so I try to let my mind wander, and just sketch whatever comes to mind.  When an idea feels right, I start to work out the composition.  I draw small, maybe around 3 inches tall or so.  When I'm happy with the layout, I'll scan it into photoshop and blow it up to the size of the final piece.  I'll tweak the composition, and add elements such as faces or pieces of more detailed sketches.  I print this scribbly mess out, then trace it onto tracing paper.  I'll nail down the basic shapes and characters, then start in on details.  Things tend to change alot in this phase, with new elements being added or removed until I'm happy with the results.  I also start to work out my layers here, deciding on what will be my base color (usually the border of the piece and outline of the main character).

Here's where I start in on the paper.  I've got a huge collection.  I typically start with a basic color combination in mind, but I'm open to letting this change as it goes along.  Most of the time, the image chooses the right papers for it, despite my original intentions.  Take the Tiger piece, "From the Bamboo Forests of the Night";  I originally planned to use a pale green and beige background and to use a dark blue-black for the stripes.  The great advantage of cut-paper is that I can keep trying different papers and color combos all through the process, as long as I don't glue anything down.  So, on a lark I slid the final background paper underneath the tiger, utterly convinced it wouldn't work, and it did.  I went back and forth between 3 different background papers for awhile before finally choosing that one.  None were bad, but each one had a totally different emotion to it.  Once I choose a color for a particular piece of the image, I trace the shape onto the back, then cut it out with an NT cutter (pretty much a x-acto knife).  I use about 3 different glues right now, depending on what effect I'm looking for.  I think the gluing is the toughest part, especially as the cutting gets more complicated and the pieces larger.  Cutting is actually pretty relaxing, sort of like meditating.

Be sure to come in to see C.A.V.E. gallery's December group show, "The Way of Flow", featuring Patrick Gannon, alongside a talented group of thirteen international artists who have created memorable work conceptually inspired by the flow of wind, water, air and breath - and what this movement means to life, thought and emotion.