Artists Republic is pleased to welcome LA based artist Michael Hsiung for our first solo show in our new gallery at the Anaheim GardenWalk!! Opening Saturday, February 25th from 6-9 pm Michael’s solo show “Autobiomythographical” includes 30 new original works.
Michael is a Los Angeles native working as a full time artist and was recently awarded gold in New Zealand’s Best Graphic Design. His pen and ink illustrations consist of mythology and narrative with a hint of humor within each image. With a background heavily embedded in surf and skate culture, Michael is a perfect artist to bring in a new chapter at Artists Republic.
Check out this interview to get to know Michael and join us on February 25th to see his work in person!
February 1st, 2017
Interview with LA based artist Michael Hsiung by Amanda Raynes:
1. Tell us about the title of your show “Autobiomythographical” and the theme behind your current work.
My upcoming show “Autobiomythographical” is basically a name that was inspired by a comment my sister Pearl left on something I posted once, but ultimately it encapsulates a lot of the work I’ve made for the show. They’re all a bit autobiographical, mythological, and graphical. I guess that’s how my brain works – it slams together various parts of myself together: my interests, my subconscious, my fantasies, and my hopes. All the works are in some way or another about human nature and the relationships between humans and nature, humans and animals, and humans and humans. Other drawings, for instance, such as the mermen and mermen in the bottles are drawings about isolation, captivity, the environment, loneliness and depression.
2. What is life like as an artist living and working in Los Angeles? Tell us a little about what a typical studio day is like for you.
Life as an artist living and working in Los Angeles has its ups and downs like anywhere else I think. Four months UP, and six months DOWN. hahah. It is very much a fluid industry, and I often depend on word-of-mouth to get cool projects, so I try and just keep my head down and draw.
In the studio, I really try and sketch out ideas I’ve jotted down or just let my mind pour out whatever it wants. Sometimes I get inspired from books I’ve read or current news or just some random fact I stumbled upon while digging through reference stuff. My typical studio day involves half my day working on art related things and the other half of the day involves thinking of things and ideas that I want to draw out.
3. Is there anything that is especially inspiring to you currently? What kind of music do you listen to while you work?
I used to listen more to playlists and records, but I often go through musical phases. Sometimes I just listen to sports radio because I can drown out the talking; sometimes it’s an occasional podcast. Right now, I’m drawing to classical music and/or just pure silence– hah. Super exciting! When I get in the zone of making something, I sort of forget about flipping records or changing stations, so the radio is perfect on or off. I just have to stock up on batteries a lot.
4. You work primarily in pen and ink, what other mediums do you enjoy using? Is there any form of art that you haven’t yet tried but are hoping to experiment with?
I mostly feel comfortable with pen and ink–sort of started out with those tools, but have dabbled in painting here and there. I’ve been messing around with animation here and there as well. It has been fun manipulating drawings and creating new stories out of them. I really started out animating gifs, and now I’m trying to slowly figure out stuff properly through programs vs. the weird way I was doing it. I’d love to work with textiles and clothing designs, and well, I’m pretty much up for anything.
5. What are your current goals and any plans for the future?
I’m glad to have survived the last year, and am looking forward to what 2017 brings. I’ve got a few things set up and brewing but of course all that early stages type of thing, but just follow me on instagram for any updates!
Artists Republic is proud to have shown in the Littletopia section at the LA Art Show last week! Littletopia, curated by Greg Escalante and Noah Anetieau, is always the liveliest and raddest section of the show and we are thrilled to have been a part of it for the third year in a row.
This year our section featured works from Laura Berger, Brian Bent, Lance Cyril Mountain, Chad Hasegawa, Super Future Kid, and a selection of small works from various artists that we’ve worked with this past year. Here are some photos from this past weekend incase you missed it!
With our upcoming move to Anaheim, we are getting super excited to be closer to the incredible murals that have been completed over the past few months. New murals include work from Sara Lyons, Josh Grelock, Trace Mendoza and a collaborative mural from Nancy Chiu and Yevgeniya Mikhailik! Visit our Anaheim gallery space in the new year to see in progress murals and take photos with the completed ones!
A Collection of Covers
VOl. 2 No. 1
January 5 – 8, 2017
Artist’s Reception: Thursday January 5th, 6-9pm
We are thrilled to announce that after close to seven wonderful years in Laguna Beach, Artists Republic Gallery will be moving to Anaheim, CA. We have loved having our home base by the sea, and we have made many fast friends while growing our roots in Laguna, but with a larger and central location we feel that Anaheim offers many exciting opportunities for us and our family of artists. This change was prompted when we began our mural garden project located at the Anaheim GardenWalk and saw the incredible potential surrounding the area. Our mission at Artists Republic has always been to spread the New Contemporary Art movement throughout Orange County and this move will bring about alternative opportunities to do so. We are very excited for a new chapter in 2017 and we invite you all on this incredible journey as we continue to bring New Contemporary Art to Orange County!
Here’s a look back at some show highlights over the last 6+ years. A huge thanks to our family of artists, collectors and everyone who has and continues to support us!
Thank you to everyone who attended the opening of Son of Skywalker: Imperial Uprising. A big thank you to our artists for putting together such a wonderful show, Avocado Jesus for providing the incredible Jazz tunes, and Darth Vader & friends for bringing the Star Wars celebration to life! It was so much fun to have the gallery full of families and kids coloring darth vader masks and taking pictures with storm troopers!
We are thrilled to have Chicago based artist Laura Berger for her first solo show on the West coast. Laura’s show “Softer World” will open on Thursday, November 3rd from 6-9 pm.
1. Much of your work focuses on human connection to the self, others, and the world around us. Tell us about the title for your show “Softer World” and the theme behind your current work.
With all of the violence happening in the world and how oversaturated we all are with messages and media, I feel like I’ve been turning to painting more and more as a place of escape and a way for me to sort through and shift feelings — I can kind of just hide out and take refuge in whatever I’m working on.
Painting positive possibilities rather than focusing on darkness not only serves as a way to see through negativity or fear, but also has become very therapeutic as a daily practice for me. It helps to reinforce a sense of calm and to physically envision a peaceful world where we’re all honoring our connectedness and just hanging out together in a place of total ease.
2. As a full time artist, what is a typical studio day like for you?
Every day is full of a lot of the same elements but all jumbled up into different, unpredictable orders and timeframes. I sometimes wish I had more structure, but I also know I thrive on constantly feeling some degree of challenge. Coffee is the first order of business, of course, and then it’s a mix of administrative and creative things — working on sketches or plans, email, updating my website, sorting out color palettes, ordering supplies, working on illustration jobs, prepping panels to paint, social media stuff, packaging web orders, documenting my work, making ceramics, trying to fix my computer / printer/ whatever is currently broken, and then of course…. actually painting. Actually painting has to happen in there, too, ha! I try also to remember to eat something and to either do some yoga or get outside for a run or walk at some point in the day. That helps everything.
3. You work primarily in gouache and acrylic, what other mediums do you enjoy using? Is there any form of art that you haven’t yet tried but are hoping to experiment with?
Yes, I love using those paints, mostly on wood panel. I’ve just recently gotten into doing more ceramic work and that’s been cool so I definitely want to continue with it– working in 3D is satisfying in a different way. I also really love making little animations. Sometimes when I get into a place of feeling frustrated or sort of burnt out, I’ll take a break from painting and make a short animation — it’s just for fun so it seems to have a rejuvenating effect on me creatively. I’m very interested in the whole 3D printer/ laser cutter world — I’ve never tried it and i was absolutely terrible in woodshop class in 7th grade, but the possibilities of making large-scale work using those tools seems exciting to me.
4. Is there anything that is especially inspiring to you currently? What kind of music do you listen to while you work?
I just saw this incredible exhibit of Asian jewelry and ritual objects at the Art Institute here in Chicago –that was fascinating because I’m very interested in learning more about different forms of body adornment, as well as ritual and tribal cultures. When we were in Mexico City earlier this year I also started learning more about these ancient Nayarit sculptures — their forms really resonated with me. It’s so amazing when you see these ancient things that look almost contemporary. But really everything can be inspiring in some way, so I’m just picking a couple of things that first popped to mind.
I do a lot of my working with no music, actually. I sometimes don’t even notice. When I do listen to something, it’s a big mix because I like so many different types of music, but while working I think I tend to lean towards stuff with no words — more ambient stuff or something that keeps me in a very steady place. I also listen to a lot of podcasts and talks. Ira Glass has no idea how much time we’ve spent together. But it’s a lot.
5. What are your current goals and any plans for the future?
My goals are simple, I guess — I mostly just want to keep painting and learning, showing my work in spaces that feel good & getting to work with nice people. I love doing murals, ceramics, and animation work, so I definitely want to do more of that in addition to exhibitions. I really need to find a larger studio space so I can paint bigger work, and it would be cool to do a residency abroad since I love to travel. But honestly if things kept going just as they are I’d be nothing but grateful. After this show, I have a two-person show at Athen B Gallery in Oakland — that’s in March next year. I’ve also got some illustration and other fun projects in the works, and a solo show at Rotofugi in December 2017.
We had so much fun at KAABOO festival in Del Mar this past weekend! KAABOO was much more than a music festival; bringing together art, comedy, and food as well. We were stoked to be next to our friends from CAVE Gallery and to have the chance to check out new and exciting works from surrounding galleries and artists! Our booth included works from Martha Rich, Super Future Kid, Ben Eine, Brian Bent and more. Here are some images from our weekend at KAABOO.
Exclusively through Artists Republic, we will be releasing a special edition print of the official poster for Banksy’s Dismaland featuring Jeff Gillette’s painting “Minnie Hiroshima ‘clasp.” The original painting is part of our current exhibition Pageant of the Vandals on view through October 20th. This print release is to commemorate Jeff & wife Laurie’s time in the UK working on the Dismaland with Banksy – this print is of Jeff’s painting with the word “Dismayland” and is exclusively through Artists Republic to go along with Pageant of the Vandals.
Artists Republic owner Torrey Cook interviewed Laurie Hassold about their experience working on Dismaland.
Can you tell me a little bit about the background of how you and Jeff got involved in Banksy’s Dismaland last year? I know Jeff had a past show… “Dismayland” … can you talk a little about that show and how that has been part of Jeff’s path?
Banksy contacted Jeff in early spring 2015 through Holly Cushing, his manager at Pest Control. He asked to buy one of Jeffs paintings saying he meant to buy it years ago. He also asked if jeff was interested in participating in a UK exhibition in late summer, early fall, at an undisclosed venue, but which would have an abandoned amusement park theme. Banksy flew us out there, but we had no idea what the name of the show would be until opening day. Of course we made the connection right away to Jeffs “Dismayland” 2010 solo show at Copro Gallery in Bergamot. We know Banksy visits Bergamot when in LA, and think he might have seen Jeffs work there. Jeff has been working with slum based paintings with Disney referenced for the past 20 years, and Dismayland was one of these incarnations.
Dismaland…What was it like going over there? did you have any preconceived notions of how it would be? and how did that stack up to what was actually like? did you stay on site when you were there? first impressions…..
We were thrilled and nervous, and had no idea what to expect. We were positive it would be on the east coast at a dilapidated theme park we found online called Dresmland, however, Our instructions were to take a train southwest from London toward Bristol, then change trains and head to Weston Super Mare. When we arrived, they sent a car to pick us up at the hotel and brought us on site. I remember driving down the sea front and seeing a strange spire and part of the huge truck piece peaking up over the construction fences. The whole thing was surrounded by fencing and gates, and we were admitted into a very discreet looking door to the side of the main building/entrance. Security was tight, and we were instructed on safety issues since it was a construction zone. They gave us these neon vests and laniards with credentials that said “Grey Fox”, a fictional movie, which was the cover name for the operation until opening day.
Holly Cushing then gave us a guided tour of the site, ending with the exhibition space where all the artists showed. I was over the moon to see some of my very favorite artists, such as Kate McDowell, Paco Pomet, Damian Hirst, and Josh Keyes.
From that day on, we came to the site everyday to help in whatever way we could. It was about 20 minute walk down the seafront from our hotel. We arrived Monday, and the VIP opening was scheduled for Thursdsy, so there was a lot of pressure. As far as I know, we were the only artists to offer help, and took on the massive job of fabricating all the dismal Mickey ears out of paint can lids. We needed to make hundreds of these for the stewards to wear…
Each day we came to the site it had changed overnight…new things were up and running, and it was like Christmas every day opening a new present! We heard through the grapevine that “the Boss” which is what we all called Banksy (we meaning ourselves and the crew), came in the wee hours to look everything over and make sure it was going to his specifications. We soon felt like part of the crew, and so enjoyed working with them..they were tireless, good natured, incredibly resourceful and talented, with a wicked sense of humor. They all busted ass until late at night, then partied like rock stars once or twice..jeff and I had a helluva time keeping up!
One evening there was a crew party for Randall’s birthday..he is the guru who makes all of the automation work In Banksy’s kinetic prices, like the Grim Reaper bumper car, among many others. We all hoofed it to the little caravan camp in town. Where hundreds of the crew were sleeping in caravans. Banksy had a chef cook a scrumptious dinner…there was plenty of wine and beer and birthday cake. I especially felt like one of the boys when I accidentally got hit in the face with a soccer ball after dinner! The next day when we came on site, word had traveled and everyone I cam across, from security at the entrance, to crew members I didn’t even know people we’re coming up to me and asking how I was!
What was it like being behind the scenes on a project like this with such an infamously mysterious character like Banksy in the lead? Was Banksy around and hands on? or was it more the artist crew that came over doing most of the set up?
See my answer above…Banksy came over in the wee hours to check on everything. Most of the crew we worked with were the art crew who had all worked with Banksy before and knew him. They were extremely professional, and had a wonderful camaraderie with one another…their humor was infectious!
How long did it take to set up? When you were setting up was it pretty tightly guarded or could people come and go as they pleased?
It was very tightly guarded, you had to have credentials or you weren’t admitted. We were only there a few days before the opening, but the crew had been there for several months setting up I believe.
Which leads me to the golden question… the one that everyone asks… did you meet Banksy…. what was Banksy like… are you even supposed to talk about Banksy?
So, yes, I believe we did meet Banksy and have since had it confirmed. It was very late and we had been working hard all day and we’re exhausted. Everyday we came in, the castle was undergoing lots changes inside, but we had not been allowed inside before. It was about 1am, and Sam, a street artist who was also banksys right hand man during set up, saw us about to leave and said “have you met the princess yet?” We of course thought he meant the inside of the castle was done…and we had no idea what was in there..so we said no and would love to check it out. We entered the castle and got into the chamber where Cinderella/princess Di was hanging out of,the coach dead with all the paparazzi flashing their bulbs off continuously. We were just Gobsmacked! I kept exclaiming how fucking awesome it was, and then to my left I heard a male voice say “thank you!” I looked over and caught sight of a nice looking chap in a security vest and thought it was a worker. I was about to say something else, and even thought for a moment..could it be him?? But I was soooo tired I was beyond thinking clearly at that point. Well, it was a missed opportunity and Jeff and I have been kicking ourselves ever since. In a subsequent email from Banksy he did say he looked forward to meeting us in the future, so who knows?
As far as talking to Banksy, he was very prompt with emails all the months prior to going to Dismaland. Jeff and he had quite a back and forth correspondence about the work Jeff would show there, with Banksy making suggestions on new paintings. When we got home, I sent Banksy a thank you, and received a lovely email back. Since then, I have sent him an announcement for a show I was in with some images, and he very graciously said he enjoyed them and to keep in touch.
Do you think Dismaland will leave a lasting impression on the public and the art world? Do you think it accomplished what it set out to do?
I am biased, but I don’t think there has ever been anything like it. It is my hope that the art world will take its head out of its overly commodified stagnant ass and give Banksy his due. In my opinion, it was a complete success, but I do wish it had been up longer. Although, I can’t imagine the cost of keeping it running day in and day out, and not,sure the revenue coming in was enough to break even.
As an artist yourself… Did being part of this project inspire you? change your mind or your personal art direction in any way?
I am still percolating over this. It gave me a sense of freedom with hadn’t felt since grad school, and showed me possibilities to explore. Making objects for sale can dry your soul out a little bit, and the scope and imagination of Banksy’s vision makes me want to experiment more and get back to my performance/installation roots.
and last… you guys have traveled the globe and seen many different cultures and levels of life… what do you think about the state of street art and murals today… and how it affects communities.
We look at street art, ( not referring to ‘tagging’ which is a blight) as an aesthetic complement to an environment. Cities all over the world have art festivals where urban art is encouraged. Some cities sanction art on walls, and private businesses commission wall art. We think there should be more. Give talented kids spray cans, scaffolding and wages to paint all those dull, grey freeway walls in Southern California and it would improve our stressful experiences sitting in gridlock for hours a time!
Last night for First Thursdays Art Walk we hosted our second Monster Draw Block Party! A huge thank you to the 10 local artists that live painted all along the block – Grigoriy Karapetyan, Laurie Evans, Heather Hritz-Phipps, Aaron Brown, Case McQuillan, Michael Blackwood, Jorge Meza, Jonathan Jucaban, Cody Jimenez, & James Thistlethwaite! Also a big thanks to local hot sauce makers MAGO for sampling their product and our neighbors at the Spice Merchant, Lala Boutique and Aviator Nation.
We always have so much fun during art walk and in turn are able to support local artists and businesses! Stay tuned for the exciting things we have planned for our upcoming art walks!!
Interview with Brian Greif by Amanda Raynes
We are thrilled to be hosting an original Banksy piece at Artists Republic opening on August 20th. Pageant of the Vandals is a group show highlighting the importance of street art in the contemporary art world. A big part of this show is made possible because Brian Greif conserved and restored Banksy’s Haight Street Rat. The rat had originally been painted on the side of a Bed & Breakfast in San Fransisco back in 2010. We asked Brian to tell us about himself and his contributions to the art world –
1. Your involvement in the arts and dedication to public art is admirable and exciting; tell us a little about yourself and your vision for the art world.
I wanted to be an artist at a very young age. My first “show” was when I was in eighth grade. I won third place in the Indian Creek Nature Center “Bald Eagle” contest in my home town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Seeing my pencil drawing of a bald eagle displayed with works from noted wild life artists from around the Midwest had me hooked. Some how after college I ended up in the television business for 33 years. Producing programming, consulting TV stations and eventually managing TV Stations. While in the TV business I continued to be involved in the arts and art projects. I began spending a significant amount of time in the bay area (due to my TV job) in 2003. Being in San Francisco opened up new art opportunities for me. I began to work on projects with local galleries and meeting artists from around the world. In 2008 I moved full time to San Francisco and really began to notice and appreciate street art. I began working with local street artists in SF and eventually began to meet some of the international artists visiting the city. The first international artist I met was Ben Eine. Spending time with Ben, listening to his stories about the illegal side of the street art world made me realize the importance of the Graffiti and Street Art movement.
Thank you to everyone who came out last Saturday night for the opening of Andy Davis‘ solo exhibition YOWZA. A big thanks to George Trimm for the tunes and Sean Tully for the live screen printing demo. It was awesome seeing Andy and Sean produce a limited edition run of a single color screen print during the opening.
If you weren’t able to make it to the opening – you’re in luck! – we have a handful of these gorgeous prints left for purchase in our shop : Here !
Check out the catalog and email email@example.com for inquiries!
YOWZA will be on view through August 14th – don’t miss it!
Hey all! I hope you’re enjoying your summer & staying cool.
There has certainly been a lot going on with some of our favorite artists that we want to share with you!
The Vans US Open is going on right now through this weekend in Huntington Beach and the bowls were painted prior to the events. The artists this year include Nathaniel Russell, Casey O’Connell, Travis Millard, Sasha Barr, and Jay Howell!
Another friend of the gallery, Lance Cyril Mountain, has a spread in the latest Juxtapoz issue and a rad show up at Seeing Things Gallery in San Jose!
His work is abstract and has an element of simplicity, but the color theory and craftsmanship is complex and stunning.
Another local artist, Craig “Skibs” Barker, has created an amazing installation as part of a group show at the Long Beach Museum of Art titled Vitality & Verve: In the Third Dimension. “V&V3D features immersive, multi-media installations by a select group of nationally and internationally renowned urban contemporary artists, ceramic artists and sculptors.” This show runs through October – don’t miss it!
Photos courtesy of the artists.
Opening Reception | Saturday, July 23, 2016
Show Runs: July 23 – August 14, 2016
Artist Interview with Andy Davis by Amanda Raynes
Artists Republic is pleased to showcase YOWZA, a solo exhibition by Andy Davis opening Saturday July 23rd from 6-9pm.
Andy Davis has made a successful career through his highly recognizable surf inspired art for over twenty years now. His work has been shown in galleries all over the world as well as translating over to clothing design. His trademark surf art has had a cult following since the 90’s and he continues to produce new works out of his studio in Encinitas, CA.
You have been a successful artist working on your trademark surf inspired art for twenty years now, how has your art evolved to get you to your current solo show? What was your creative process for the work being shown?
Wow I’m getting old ! I just keep on keepin on . I am really fortunate to still be creating and having new opportunities. I don’t know how to do much else either so that helps with the motivation as well. It has evolved by years and years of being influenced and inspired by things that make me happy. A big part of that is the lifestyle revolving around the ocean.
The process for the show is a makeshift grocery list of ideas and concepts that I have been working and re-working over the past year. It will be the second course from my last solo show titled Cooked Just Right which I had at Said Space Gallery in November. For that particular installation I was focused on evolving from the last show I had and omitting the obvious surf centered connection to a more abstract version that still had my touch and feel. There were no waves or boards in any of the pieces. But there was plenty of movement, color and flow. I was listening to this really amazing African garage rock from the late sixties and early seventies and it inspired me to mix in an interpretive dance-ish element as well .
It is clear that your love of surfing is what inspires and drives you to continue to create each day, what else in your life gives you inspiration? Any new music/artists?
As I mentioned in the first question music is a huge inspiration to me. It always has been and I don’t see that ever changing. Other things that make me happy are my family and friends . Yes I’m also always looking and learning from other talented humans. Old and new .
You create art that is fun and a perfect depiction of the love of surfing/ but above all else you are truly authentic in your art. This is something that I feel many artists strive for. Do you have any advice for young artists just starting out?
Thanks so much for the kind words. I think it’s fairly easy for me because it’s what I really love. It doesn’t seem like work if you love it. So I guess it’s stay true to yourself.
What are your current goals and any plans for the future?
My current goals are to try and not take things for granted. To be a better dad , husband and friend. To enjoy the process of preparing for this show. To get a few waves here and there. I’m also super exited to see the new film Forbidden Trim !
Future plans I am currently in the beginning phases of a new company with my wife Ashley and partners Liam and David called Way Way Out There. It will be a brand that is doing all kinds of fun projects revolving around art design and hopes to make people smile and laugh.
Kelly Tunstall & Ferris Plock
Opening Reception | Saturday, July 2, 2016
Show Runs: July 2 – August 14, 2016
If you follow Dennis McNett aka Wolfbat on instagram (if not you should @wolfbat) you will know that he is always working and there seems to be a constant creative flow from his studio. Wolfbat works in so many different mediums from woodcuts and paintings to sculptures and installations. It is always incredible to see what different elements can be shown in an artist’s work when involved in a collaboration.
“The Richmond Ballet used my mural with dancer Ira White to promote their season performances.”
Bay area artist Velia de Iuliis had her first solo show with us earlier this year with her gorgeous gouache paintings emphasizing her love for nature. She is busy in her studio creating new works furthering her themes of balance and pattern in the natural world.
“So excited and honored to have my work featured as the cover art for Libri Mondadori reprinting of Gabriel García Márquez’ books – Here is ‘Love in the Time of Cholera'”
At Artists Republic we’ve developed a family of artists that are constantly pursuing new projects and inspiring us with everything that they do! Here’s an update on exciting things going on with some of our artists.
Deanna Templeton will be doing a signing of her new umyeaharts book “The Swimming Pool” at Arcana Books in L.A. on June 18th from 5 to 7pm.
“The Swimming Pool is a new photographic essay from California-based street photographer Deanna Templeton (born 1969) that departs from her usual style to offer an expressive, intimate view of the human form underwater. The series was born after an impromptu nude swimming-pool shoot of husband and artist Ed Templeton, which spurred an eight-year journey in the study of light, expression and the enigma of water. Shooting entirely on color and black-and-white film and Polaroid, Templeton sent friends into the pool to be photographed in their truest form. Unlike her street photography, in which subjects were often strangers, Templeton found that creating these portraits required more intimacy and connection―a feeling that is apparent throughout every image in the series, which show strong, liberated individuals, confident and at ease in their most beautiful and vulnerable moments. As Ed Templeton writes in his afterword to this volume, “the nude swimmer is floating in a void of quiet solitude, the gentle pressure of being underwater enclosing her form like a baby in a womb and nothing exists outside of this world. A lone figure amidst a sea of blues and greys and frenetic sunlight performing a solitary dance for the photographer above, choosing movements and directions, twisting and swooping, contorting and expelling breaths painting a picture of form and light together.” The Swimming Pool offers a deep and inspiring view of the human form.”
Wirtz Elementary in Paramount
Erik Caruso is a 5th grade teacher at Wirtz Elementary School in Paramount, CA. Caruso felt that the school was lacking in the art department so he created one himself. He also brought some incredible artists to paint murals around the buildings and inspire the students. Murals included our own Rich Jacobs, Ben Brough, Nathaniel Russell and Gomez Bueno along with works from Tim Kerr, Takahiro Hida, Hi-Dutch and Yusuke Tanai.
Musicians: Ray Barbee, Chuck Treece, Mike Watt
Kids’ project participants:
Shepard Fairey, Matt Leines, Sandy Yang, Tobin Yelland, Nathaniel Russell, Tim Kerr, Rich Jacobs, Yusuke Hanai, Hi-Dutch
We will continue to keep you all posted on the incredible projects that our artists are constantly creating and working on.
Stay tuned for upcoming works from Ferris Plock, Kelly Tunstall ( KEFE) and Andy Davis!
The experimental yet classically grounded work of Ferris Plock and Kelly Tunstall lives comfortably in a space between graphic expression, stylized representation, surrealism, and sketch. Their preferred medium is a combination of acrylic, collage, spray paint, pencil, pen and ink, gold leaf. The binary contrast of masculine and feminine as the major theme in their work is also a very real and personal visual conversation between their imagined realities. Enhanced by complex, delicate layers, their bold pieces exist not only as individual pieces, but as part of larger installations or site-specific works.
Tunstall’s studied portraits render stylized female figures, as well as their pets, prey, powers, and dreams. Their physical forms and their relationship with each other represent and mirror internal thought processes and turmoil. Frequent themes, such as mermaids, twins, or extra limbs, concede a desire, a reliance, an adaptation, or more simply, an aspiration to something greater than the medium itself.
In contrast, Plock’s work centers on the inner animalistic tendencies reflected in humans throughout the context of modern life. Transfigured into monsters in some cases, characters include a samurai cyclops and a delicious slice of fanged pizza on roller blades. The prominent theme of anachronism in his work features creatures in all walks of life coming together to aid each other.
Tunstall and Plock have both shown individually, as well as collaboratively, on a national and international scale. They are also professional animators, illustrators and designers. The pair are based in San Francisco with their two sons.
Artists Republic is pleased to showcase Aquatics, a duo exhibition by Kelly Tunstall and Ferris Plock opening July 2nd.
Interview with Kelly & Ferris by Amanda Raynes.
1. Your upcoming show with us is titled “Aquatic” and revisits similar themes as your show seven years ago titled “Sea of Love.” How has your work/partnership changed or evolved since then and what is it that draws you to this recurring theme?
We live basically by the ocean; we can hear the fog horns by the golden gate bridge at night. the ocean and water was a big part of both of our childhoods- i personally love the feeling of weightlessness and silence and the pretty hair you get when immersed- i have crazy hair and it made much more sense underwater. ferris surfs and also kept a rock collection which needed to be submerged to show its colors. now we get to spend a lot of time at the beach with the kids, so we get to bring that to it too.
we’ve kind of grown into a real symbiotic relationship in terms of the collaborative work. it feels good to work alone, it feels good to work together- it’s a really natural mature artistic conversation at this point. since we work both ways, someone is always bringing something new to the table, and we get to share the process completely.
sea of love was right before our first son was born. we now have two boys; brixton is six and aengus is three. so we’ve learned to work concisely. there’s not a whole lot of room for experimentation, so our process is really refined at this point.
2. Both of your work has ties to so many influences. Are there any travels or experiences that stand out as leading you to where you are now in your style?
Ferris and our son Brixton just got back from a show in tokyo. that’s a big one. they brought back a ton of toys for me.
we are ever obsessed with disneyland.
we go to the oregon coast every summer- it’s a moodier coast than some
we are staycationing the rest of the time in our favorite place. san francisco is a shapeshifter that seems to be able to sense our moods and provide for them. for two people that get bored pretty quick, we keep it on its toes for sure.
3. As far as process goes- do you come up with the idea/composition together or does one of you start a piece and let the other add/complete it?
the big ideas come out of the title for the show, so we kind of make sure everything we do works within that parameter first. for “aquatics” for instance, we’ll be doing some floating compositions.
ferris has aquatic creatures that cross with his ukiyo-e works, so i will have a lot of rich patterning in my work too. since we work in the same space, and with the same materials, it’s a very fluid, fluent process with a lot of crossover.
the conversation is basically- do you want to work in on this? or hey this thing would look great there.
some of the works will be done individually, but we naturally try to complement the other work in the show, reflexively almost. so the whole body of work is really a collaboration.
4. As individual artists you both have an illustrative approach- does working together ever lead to a narrative in the work?
absolutely! we are visual storyteller- so on a meta level, it’s our conversation, embodied by our many different internal people. like, i get to be eight different people on any given day, so that feeling becomes a character, or i’ll put my friends in, or we’ll put the kids in, but sometimes it’s a visual record, a diary of something i saw or experienced that day. but it’s a really natural conclusion, we don’t plan much more than “this shape goes here”, but somehow these intricate balances and interactions work into the pieces. it can be these really big stories, or tiny little corners that are this tiny story, but so poetic. our clients find things years later and will get in touch about it. it’s pure train of thought most of the time, but it’s so fun to look back and have these little puzzle pieces all over the world.
Please contact Torrey Cook, Artists Republic for further details.