Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Liz Mamorsky closing reception this weekend...

Already getting ready for the Liz Mamorsky closing reception this weekend...

Curating the new January exhibit

So last December, I had the same challenge i'm faced with right now: find the most determined emerging artists that I can find, then have a huge group show for them. Let me tell, you, it is a fascinatinating process. We have been meeting artists from as far away as Sonoma, to as close by as the Haight district, and so far it has been an amazing journey.

The whole reason for us wanting to do this kind of exhibit is because, as emerging artists ourselves, we know how hard it can be to break into the scene, and we know that not a lot of galleries are interested in the emergers, and that can dampen their inspiration. I do believe however, that by me curating my second anual emerging artists exhibit, that word can spread, and all you artists wanting to take the plunge might have an extra reason to for 2013! And soon maybe even other galleries will be inspired to feature the brand new emerging artists in their city.

What's most fascinating to me about the aspiring artists is the rawness in their works. The haven't been so polished that they know exactly what to paint and in what style, but rather, their images are full of imagination and possibilities. The are on the path to where soon their art form will be so finely executed and with so much purpose as they evolve. But one day, they will come back over these first few paintings from their first few series, and remember what they were, where the came from, and where they are going.

Here are some images from our studio visits!
Sarah Haba

Sarah Haba

Beatrice Hunt

in the studio with Paul Morin

Hephaestus, oil and leaf on canvas, Paul Morin
oil on canvas, Kate Daly

It Will Only Leave A Little Scar, oil on canvas, Kate Daly

This new show will open on Friday January 6th at 6:00pm at Driftwood Salon and will feature many of the above images and many many more not posted here. Hope you guys can make it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

LIZ MAMORSKY opening reception, Nov 19th, 2011

I am so inlove with our current show. I want to own half the paintings hanging in my "second" home right now! The opening for the Liz Mamorsky solo exhibt was amazing. The art looks so incredible, and Liz's husband generously donated some beautiful wines by Uvaggio, whose specialty is growing Italian varietals here in sunny California. It truly added to the evening.

Click on our Facebook link for the full albums:-)

Liz Mamorsky Opening

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November show; LIZ MAMORSKY

As the year comes to an end,we present to you, a 50 year retrospective exhibit by Liz Mamorsky!
It is amazing how fast the year has gone by, and especially now that it is past Halloween. But put on your brakes, and join us for one last show this holiday season, which will open Saturday November 19th at 6:00pm.
Here are some images from our last studio visit to her Lizland Gallery, located here in SoMa on Clementina Street.

 The LIZ MAMORSKY 50 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE will run from Nov. 19th to Dec. 17th.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Driftwood Salon Presents: T. W. CHUI: A 35 Year Restrospective

Hello bloggers!

Well, I haven't been here for a while now, and I must say, it feels good to be back. I am designating Saturdays to blog. I figured the only way to get as much as I want to done, I have to make appoinments with myself :-)

This month, our gallery looks SO GOOD, and our opening party for this exhibit was probably the best so far in our nearly two years of being open.

It's good to take chances and to be able to feature whomever I wish to feature. As you all may remember, earlier this year, we launched our first ever EMERGING ARTISTS exhibit, and decided to chose one of those determined budding artist for a solo show.

And here he is, T. W. Chui.

It's funny because during the open artist call we had going , which had started in Nov. 2010, he was one of the very last people to submitt their art.  At that late time, I did something quite out of the ordinary; rather than sit there and try to find the words to compose a reply email, I saw he's sent a cell number, so I closed my laptop and dialed him up. Sometimes it can be strange calling a stranger, but with Chui, I felt like we were old friends from the moment he said a warm hello. He came in the very next day with a few of his paintings, and from the moment we laid eyes on TWINKLE TWINLE LITTLE STAR, a huge oil on masonite painting of a young girl, we knew he was from another league, one we wanted to be a part of.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, oil on masinte, 60"X40"

The day we opend the emerging artist show, "Coming Into View", I'd emailed the head of Warholian, a popular arts publication, with a personal short note, a press release, and the flyer for the show. To my surprise, he actually showed up that very night. When I expressed my amazement and gratitude, he told me it was the Chui image on the flyer that caught his eye, the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. At this point we'd already decided that Chui was the one we'd offer a solo show to, and that remark on solidified that feeling.

We are extremely please to present to you, T. W. Chui, and 35 years worth of his multi faceted talents.

Self Deconstruction, oil on canvas, 60"X40"

Mask Of Kali, oil on canvas, 30"X30"

JFK, hand tinted giclee, 30"X40"

Skin And Pelt, oil on masonite, 36"X48"

Heart Sutra, oil on canvas, 36"X60"

Artist as a young dog, oil on canvas, 24"X36"

Dreamer, oil on canvas, 24"X36"

Chui with his wife Kris and son Aion

Five Friends, oil on canvas, 88"X66"

This is me with the folks from WARHOLIAN! They came to our opening!

Toasting to a great artist.

The crowd was overflowing the gallery!

Detail of Heart Sutra

The end of a long, successful evening!

Baba Muktanada, acrylic on board, 13"X17"

All images provided by BEATRICE HUNT.

For more info visit Driftwoodsalon.com

To view the full album of our opening, visit us on Facebook, and be sure to "like" us, we really appreciate your love and support!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Studio Visit with Bern Rauch

So far August is going amazing. I am inspired everywhere I go. Bern Rauch takes months to complete each piece, and he paints like he means it. There is no one else like him. His technique is unheard of, in fact, apparently he invented it. It's a weird and stunning combination of airbrushing to soften the focus, and adding layers and layers of  a clear gel medium from Golden Paints, (who I'm convinced will want to use Bern's art to adverstise their product, since no one else uses it this way) for texture and dimension, which makes for the most unsual looking surface, and that's not even the content matter!
I am so excited to see our September show, 9/11 Realism coming together. Bern was a part of the foundation for this show, and the true reason why we decided to curate this commemorative show for this year's ten year mark of the 9/11/2001 tragedy.

It is really hard to describe Berns work. You must see them in person. Our 9/11 Realism show will ipen Friday Sept. 9th at 5pm. Please join us for our opening reception and get a chance to see Bern's works, hear him talk about them, and hear him perform his own original brand of music!!! Hope to see you all there. More images about this show coming soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Interview with Johnny Ringo

Interview with the one and only Johnny Ringo.

This January we had our first annual Emerging Artists exhibit at Driftwood Salon, and featured sixteen brand new artists who are all really going strong, trying to kick start their art careers.

Johnny Ringo was one of the last applicants we saw for this show. Right when we thought we’d rounded it up to a nice 15, he emailed me the day before the deadline I’d posted in the original artist call for this show.   I had no idea what to expect as I waited for him the afternoon of our meeting. He showed up with HUGE rolls of paper, and kept going out to his car to unload more from the trunk! We immediately realized we had no tables large enough for them, so he carefully unfolded them on the gallery floor.

At once the larger than life smooth texture of them all captivated our attention to an echoing silence.
Graphite literally jumped off the thick, acid free paper and danced about our imaginations. His texture is so rich it seems like the blacks are deep wells of darkness. The pencil lines so intentional you follow them all around seemingly unimportant objects that somehow tell a story even in their stillness.

Johnny broke the silence and immediately started telling us that they’re just mere studies for the large scale paintings he wants to start really soon. The Boss’s Daughter is my favorite. A study of random house hold items including a hammer, a staple gun, a used crystal ashtray, some garden nippers, a single semi decaying daisy, and a snap shot of a beautiful black haired girl whose hair seems to be coming out of the drawing. It silently whispers of a story you know you want to hear. And that’s the magic of Johnny’s works; they have a way of enveloping you in their story, begging to be told.

We had the pleasure to catch up with Johnny this June at the gallery, and we got him to answer some of our burning questions. 2011 has been a busy year for him, after having shown with us here in January, he’s gone on to participate in numerous group shows all over the city, including with Chillin Productions at 111 Minna gallery and at Wonderland gallery. Additionally, he is also currently featured in a solo exhibit in Sacramento at Space 07 gallery. 
Driftwood Salon: Hi Johnny, I know this is really busy month for you, so thank you for taking the time to meet with us. First of all, we know you as Frank Medina, so tell us about this artist persona you’ve adopted. Why Johnny Ringo?

Johnny Ringo: Johnny Ringo is the idea that you are your worst enemy. 

DS:  When did you know that pursuing art was going to be your profession?

Johnny Ringo: Ever since I read the biographies of some of the Impressionist and Renaissance painters, I felt deeply on the way they lived and I fell in love with the idea of being a painter. Maybe it was glamorized in the books, like the gangster movies we have today but to me these were men I could relate to at that moment in my life.

DS: When did you read them? And what was your favorite one?

JohnnyRingo: I think it all started after reading a biography about Picasso when I was young. There was a part where he was in his studio with a girl and his girlfriend showed up and they started to argue. He calmly says, “Whoever wins a fight between the two of you can stay.” That had me laughing hysterically for some time and I think it was then that I envisioned myself being old, bald, and painting.

DS: Your still life drawings are dramatically large; tell us why the larger than life scale?

Johnny Ringo: I feel like drawing still life keeps my eyes sharp on the way things are and not how they could be. It’s really the movement from scaling the objects from their normal size to their larger than life size that I’m in love with. As long as the relationship between the objects stays true, then I can enjoy the physicality of drawing a hammer without actually using it.

DS: Where are you going with all this?

Johnny Ringo: The idea is to have a voice, so today I’m still working on aesthetics and technique but eventually I’m at a point where aesthetically I can draw you in with false beauty and technically you are not tripping around the composition, wondering “what is that” or is that a “fork or spoon”. I want to make sure to control my audience’s eye to a point where, “I’m the story teller and not the guy trying to make a pretty drawing”.

DS:  Most artists attribute style, technique and discipline to someone in their life who has been influential to the development of their work, do you have such a person in your life?

Johnny Ringo : It seems like in the beginning, artists’ take bits and pieces from people either from books, the radio and television but it really comes down to the people that are tangible. The people that have directly influenced you by taking the brush from your hand and shown you, “This is incorrect or this is strong.” The faculty at UC Davis, people like Troy Dalton and Wayne Thiebaud made a huge influence on me as far as drawing.  Mr. Dalton really gave me the idea, “There is no right or wrong way to draw”.  During, a critique in his drawing class, a peer of mine (English Major), decided to tell me that my drawings’, “Actually were not drawings”. To my surprise before I could respond Mr. Dalton said, “There is no right or wrong way to draw. Actually, his drawings remind me of Caravaggio.”  I guess you could say that about life as well. 

DS: Tell us something that your family and friends would be surprised to know about you?

Johnny Ringo: I’ve never eaten canned tuna.

DS: Ahaha! Neither have I! Oh come on, something more substantial!  I mean who eats canned tuna?

Johnny Ringo: It seems like everyone that invites me over for dinner.  

DS Let’s talk about “The Boss’s Daughter”, can you indulge me a little, I’ve imagined so many possible scenarios, but I want to hear the story, I mean a staple gun? Who’s the daisy for? Was that your cigarette?

Johnny Ringo: The Boss’s Daughter was intended to be a dark narrative from the perspective of the father or mother.  All the household items are intended to inflict psychological and physical pain on the employer/s that has stepped over the line and tainted the Boss’s Daughter, which is strictly forbidden.  The flower represents the remaining time in the lives of the culprit/s.  The ashes from the cigarette show a sense of satisfaction from all this.

DS: Why are female cartoon characters incorporated into your drawings?

Johnny Ringo: Every since I was young I’ve always had respect for strong female characters. Being raised by a single mother has had a huge impact on my life and it resonates in the majority of the drawings.

DS: What’s next for you?

Johnny Ringo: Probably going to do an animal series in black ink, a political series in graphite and a Brothers’ Grimm series with graphite and red ink. 

For more of Johnny Ringo’s works, please visit www.driftwoodsalon.com and (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Ringo_(Visual_Artist) /

His work was on display at Space 07 in Sacramento this June, as well as at Wonderland in S.F..

In July-August, he will have another solo exhibit at the Moxi Salon and Spa in San Francisco.  Opening Reception is on Thursday August 4th, from 6:30-8:30pm.

And in September, he will be featured again with our gallery for our 911 Realism group show, which opens Friday, September 9th at 5:00PM.