Friday, August 29, 2008

The Blab Show

Ian Francis Show at Kinsey/DesForges

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, September 6th, 6-9pm (open to the public)

Kinsey/DesForges welcomes Bristol-based artist Ian Francis for his latest exhibition, Together Forever. This will be his second solo with the gallery. The exhibition will open with an artist's reception on Saturday, September 6th, from 6-9pm, and continue through October 4th, 2008.

Whether you’re initially taken in by the sweeping intensity and fluidity of his brushwork or find yourself caught up in the tales that unfold on his canvases, spending time with Ian Francis as he examines the chasm between the tangible details of the everyday and the Western media’s relentless narratives of sex, death, and celebrity is an all-consuming experience. His paintings, made up of oil, acrylic, ink, and his unique transfer process, at once celebrate and indict the plunder and perils of our contemporary moment, describing a world increasingly made up of spectacle, melodrama, and the expanding acceptance of second hand experience—where the consequences of its own machinations flirt perilously on the horizon.

Along with chimeric abstractions are Bacon-esque smears that describe faces, feelings or atmospheres, and built environments that oscillate and recede into wide rich planes of color, Francis calls into question the terms on which we look at our cultural imagery and examines how those images are subsequently sorted and unsorted as we live with and around them. His largescale paintings, like the titles he gives them—with their hints of the familiar and everyday—remain teasingly elusive, and all the richer for the lingering questions they provoke in the viewer. Francis searches for and finds his inspiration in the things he can reach—essentially living the existence he examines—by constantly absorbing and battling with images from the Internet and television, the films of David Lynch and Akira Kurosawa, and from between the edges of good old tactile books. And even while this avalanche of images and rhetoric accumulates onto newsstands and bounces from satellite to satellite, Francis is able to achieve a fine balance in his paintings and tell fantastic stories. Each picture teems with overlapping visions and figures—mostly very sexy women and malingering men—all the while remaining quietly poignant. He shows us our weaknesses by neither condoning nor condemning, but by refracting the culture we know.

Ian Francis was born in 1979 and lives and works in Bristol, England. He graduated with honors from the University of the West of England (UWE). This is his second solo in the U.S.

Rabbit-Hole Gallery

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dan May-Interview

Interview #4

Full Name
- Dan May
Location - Atlanta, for now...
URL(s) -

How did you get started doing art?
Drawing and painting have always been a part of my life in some way. My earliest memories involve creating my own little world of characters. Creating art is just something I have always embraced.

Describe your process.
My process is actually fairly spontaneous. I do not keep any sort of formal "sketchbook" (although I probably should!). My ideas are usually strewn about the studio on little scraps of paper. Some of these ideas make it into my work, while others just float around in limbo or end up in the trash. Once I get an idea that sticks, I begin by preparing a board. This involves building up several layers of gesso, sanding, dabbing, rubbing... basically doing whatever it takes to create a nice textural surface to work on. Next, I pick out my color palette and begin painting an atmospheric background... I do this by mixing colors directly onto the canvas... it's a very playful process! Once I'm satisfied with the overall "feel" of the piece, I start adding in my characters and begin to build up their surroundings... which usually involves painting lots of grass. Because the composition and characters unfold on the canvas, the end result rarely looks like my initial thought/idea. Finally, I brush on a few coats of a satin/gloss mix and send it off to my framer.

Tools of the trade? Favorite medium?
These days it tends to be acrylic on masonite or wood... though I'm always experimenting with things.

How would you explain your art or categorize it?
Hmmmm, that's a tough one. I guess my main objective has always been to create strong images that present a certain sense of mystery and intrigue. It's always exciting for me to hear the stories that some of these images evoke. As for categorizing my art... I think I'll just stick to creating it and let others decide where it fits in. That being said, I'm still working on a completely off the wall answer to give people when asked what type of art I create... one that will really make their heads explode.

What products, prints, books etc do you have coming out this year or are out?
I'm working with a company called Gelaskins, they produce really cool artist designed skins for your ipods, iphones, and ibooks. I have a limited edition print coming out through Copro/Nason Gallery which I'm really excited about. I'm also included in an awesome book entitled "The New Mythology", which was put together by friend and fellow artist, Nathan Spoor. And finally, I have a couple of top secret projects I'm currently working on... so you'll have to stay tuned to my website/flickr for updates regarding that stuff.

What inspires you?
Inspiration seems to be all around us these days. Lately I've been thinking a lot about things that exist beyond our perception. We as humans are such small specs of dust when compared to our universe. Our accomplishments seem miniscule when compared to all that is left to be discovered... it's truly incredible when you think about it. I often pay close attention to interactions, not only with each other, but with our planet. These thoughts and observations all seem to give my artwork a certain spark. Other inspirations in my life include my family and friends, other artists and creative types, nature, travel, and above all my incredibly lovely and supportive wife Kendal!

Any words of wisdom for young artist?
Never rest on your laurels. Always push yourself to create your best work, and once you do... make your next piece even better. Learn to accept criticism with grace and appreciation. Stay humble. There's nothing worse than meeting an artist and finding out he/she is a complete jerk!

What is one thing every artist should do in your opinion to become a better artist?
Create something new everyday...

What is your favorite piece of art work that you wished you had done?
I was just recently browsing through Robert Hardgrave's images on flickr. Aside from being one of the nicest guys around, he creates some kick ass artwork! I found myself coming back several times to "Colophon"... while everything Robert creates seems to be magical, this piece is truly epic. Man, if only I had that guy's skills!!

Favorite band(s)?
I go through many phases with music, and tend to be fairly open minded when it comes to my tastes. Here's a small rundown of stuff I'm currently listening to: Blind Pilot, William Fitzsimmons, Bob Schneider, M. Ward, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Frames, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, Mike Doughty, Soul Coughing, Smashing Pumpkins, Elliott Smith, Beck, The Pixies, Nick Drake, Conor Oberst, Ryan Adams, Band of Horses, Ray Lamontagne, Kings of Convenience, Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket, The Dandy Warhols, Jack Johnson, Matt Costa, The Decemberists, The Shins, The National, Amos Lee, White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Rogue Wave, Cold War Kids, The Kinks, David Bowie, The Cure, Gomez, Spoon, Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, Beth Orton, Tom Waits, Joe Purdy, Josh Rouse, Mason Jennings, Broken Social Scene, Madeleine Peyroux, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Wynton Marsalis...

Favorite artist(s)?
Some of my favorite artists include Dali, Ernst, Bosch, Velasquez, Van Eyck, Bruegel, Carrivaggio, Rubens, Dr. Seuss. As for contemporary artists, there are far too many to name without leaving someone out!

Favorite thing to do when you aren't doing art?
Hang out with my wife, attend museums & art openings, grab a coffee, travel, sleep.

Favorite books, magazines, blogs....?
Haven't read a book in while, but you can usually find me flipping through various art magazines, or surfing sites & blogs such as Hi-fructose, Little Chimp Society, drawn, IllustrationMundo, Juxtapoz, Fecal Face, The Lumper, etc... plus i usually frequent the Artchival forum. I'm also into listening to quite a few podcasts lately. I usually tune in to various paranormal/science/political podcasts; these are great to have on in the background while painting!

What do you have coming up, projects, shows, etc?
In October I'll be taking part in a four person show at Lunar Boy Gallery in Portland and I'm also part of the Grind 2.0 skatepark benefit show at Rabbit Hole Gallery here in Atlanta. In November I'll be part of a killer 10 person lineup at Definition Gallery in Baltimore, and then finally... Copro/Nason Gallery in Santa Monica will be holding my first ever solo show in February 2009!

Thanks Dan!

Next up: Bill Dunlap!

"In the Deep Dark" a solo exhibition by Katy Horan

From the Gallery AD website: "From the deep, dark, magical forest of her imagination, Katy Horan's artwork follows the tradition of folk art as a means to tell her own idiosyncratic tales through the indigenous dwellers that reside in this mythical place. The themes and archetypes of this body of work emerged from countless influences and imagery from Katy's subconscious to form her own language of characters, symbols and illustrated rituals."

Here's the info:

"In the Deep Dark..."

(new works by Katy Horan)
Exhibit on view through Oct 18, 2008

Opening Reception:
First Friday, September 5th
2008 8pm til late
free and open to the public
Music by Dif

Anno Domini // the second coming of Art & Design

366 So. First Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Red Propeller Gallery


Rene Almanza