Join us this weekend as we host artist Brandon Bird for an exhibition based upon the peculiar contents of one children's superhero coloring book.

The story behind Bird's 
X-Mans show took shape a decade ago, when he found an X-Men coloring book in a Watsonville dollar store. The artist found the activity book's non-traditional anatomy intriguing, its early industrial setting inexplicable. Needless to say, images of X-Men standing around water coolers ultimately emerged as the inspirational source material for this weekend's exhibit. 

Bird has asked his artist friends to present their own interpretations of this unique work. 
Each piece is displayed next to the coloring page that inspired it, credited to Ronald & Donald Williams. The fact that the coloring book was an officially licensed Marvel product provides the satirical reference point to which each piece certainly imbibes!

The show will be on display in our upper gallery on May 17th, 18th and 20th, with the opening reception taking place on Sunday, May 18th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

Any questions or purchase inquiries can be directed at brandonbird@gmail.com; you can also follow @Brandon_Bird on Twitter for updates. 



From top to bottom: "Magic Man, Magic Land" by John Larriva, "Visor Man Encircled by the Sun" by Joel Fox, "The Immovable Object" by Jeff Ramirez

0 Comments   




What is nostalgia without a solution of the new to activate it?

Killian Eng's works are pop sci fi lost artifacts from the late 70s or early 80s. An artist who's work feels like it has existed for the last 30 years and is just now being discovered or re discovered and digitally remastered. It is a retro future, a yesterday's tomorrow of an era when cd's were making their debut. Its phsychadelic but so much more a sci fi trip than an acid one. He works primarily with lines and dots and whatever texture is suggested by a combination of the two. I love the flat colors, gradations and airbrush styles that are signatures of his work. Amongst a sharpened hyper age of HD everything I have become a sucker for the look of a VHS video.



His first book Object 5 and this new book Object 10 was adequately titled as the size and content have doubled since his first debut. What was once an indy pub soft cover 8.5 x 5.5 soft cover is now an 8.5 x 11 hardcover printed in better quality.



I am not sure how long the artist has worked in this style but Killian knows his medium well. There is a strong fashion and architectural sensibility present in the work. The perspective is often two or one point and often imperfect but it is what partly gives its charm.



One of my favorite activities is to try and guess at an artists' influences without any confirmation or evidence to back up my claims and upon close inspection of Killian's work...well,here goes: Nintendo game box art, Syd Mead, Moebius, Katushiro Otomo, dreams, German symbolist painters and kittens. Killian if you are reading this please confirm. The rest of you join in with your own guesses.





(Were a whole game or film were set in this world then sign me up. In the mean time I will stare at his alien utopias, and dream about past futures.)



(Not sure what this is but I it is an illustrated diagram of what it feels like to burp, sneeze and cry at the same time.)



(I had a dream like this once...I think you were in it. We made some sweet dark tunes. Weird....)

If you miss MTV's Liquid television, Laser discs, and the original DUNE you may want to pick this book up...with your power glove.

0 Comments   




The idealized female form has been the subject of many. The cartoon female is equally diverse in its various proportions and styles. It's a fine art in itself to make a female cartoon character appealing, much less anatomically elegant and convincing.



Some who have inspired in this field are: Glen Keane, Fred Moore, Earl Oliver Hurst, Mary Blair...the list goes on and on.



Elsa Chang is currently a freelance character designer and in her latest self published sketchbook, she has amassed another collection of drawings of the feminine and zoological variety. They are characters that fit within the scope of the standard Disney influenced western animation genre but she does it with a flair that feels fresh and uniquely her. These are not just studies of figures posing, these characer studies actually have character that can be a struggle to capture for many artists. 






The confidence of the ink work and fluidity is superb and effortless. She is often not so much drawing as she is creating work of calligraphy. I would even venture to guess that she has had english or chinese calligraphy as part of her past training.
The book its self is only thirty two pages, and seemingly with a lot of negative space, but with one to two figures poised per page it feels a bit like a fashion catalog and very much fitting of the staple bound medium she chose to publish this book.





(Fashionistas come in all sizes and shapes. Mint Corral 1 has even more examples of this.)






Each book is only $9.95, so it's no brainier to get Mint Corral 1 and 2 as a set.

You can also browse some of her original ink drawings, some of which are still available here:
http://www.gallerynucleus.com/artist/elsa_chang



(OMG! look at this horse drawing...I love the balance of black patterns and the way it leads your eye around the drawing. This is one of my favorites and for $60 you now know what to give to the horse / art lover.)

0 Comments   



I have never met Kim Jung Gi but I think he is a bad ass. Having put out 3 dictionaries, I mean bricks, I mean sketch monograph books, within 6 years, the man is a drawing machine. Seriously, I see fully inked murals in my facebook feed by him, what seems like, twice a day. 
Besides teaching art classes and drawing comics, he is also a full time father. I imagine instead of reading to his kids he draws them narratives till they get drowsy at which point he saves the drawings for his next sketch collection book. I am joking of course but maybe this is not a bad idea for some fathers out there.



One of the amazing things about him is his willingness to share and the transparency of himself in his work. This brings me to mention a 1000 page book called RAKUGAKING by Katsuya Terada released in 2002. Up untill the release of that book it was as if artists were afraid to show their sketchbooks, and be open with ideas so raw that it bled from the page. What am I talking about? It was a book filled to the brim with nearly all unfinished work. It was the purest form of the artist at play I had ever seen. It felt almost forbidden, as taboo as peeking into someone's sketchbook without asking them. Surely we weren't meant to see such perversions, dementia, and master pieces in this form.

Kim Jung Gi, as well as many others, were inspired by this audacious form of self promotion and validation. So a few years later in 2007 he published his own visual memoir, a thick, dense, perfect bound compilation also brimming with sketches in his own unique style, draftsmanship, figure invention, and his signature muralesque panoramas drawn in a skewed 4 point perspective.



It appears that Terada's message had gotten through to someone: "Draw like mad, all the time, non-stop." Kim Jung Gi's latest book "Sketch Collection 2013" is his 3rd self publication. If you observe closely you can actually see his progression and improvement from his previous books. His lines are more elegant, minimal and confident, his early work a slight more stiff and less expressive, but still technically amazing.



Kim Jung Gi is an artist who has overcome a self imposed stigma "Never show less than perfect work" He is not afraid to expose himself for our benefit and by trying to confront his fear, it has lead him to create better work because the fear of making a bad drawing is as prevalent as before.



These books makes incarnate what every professional has said to a young aspiring artist when asked for advice..."Just keep drawing."

All Kim Jung Gi books come wrapped in a foil package and includes a signed poster! Here are his first two equally amazing books:


0 Comments   


ARON WISENFELD ARCADIA CATALOGS




Aron's images are haunting and even at their small print and shelf friendly ratio, they exude awe and beauty. I feel qualified to say this because I have had the pleasure to see his work up close several years ago and It is difficult to describe what it is about Aron's paintings that are so engaging. Often solitary figures in austere and overcast backgrounds, all his paintings have mood.




There is strong atmosphere and a sense of air to all the work, they are scenes you can step into. They contain the heaviness of a baroque painting, the elegant sensibility of a classic children's book and all seemingly a part of a greater narrative. The subjects seem all exist in some indistinct time in the 20th century. I can't quite point out what it is but his paintings feel distinctly American and is reminicent of artists like Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, and Grant Wood and all seemingly from a greater narrative.



It is difficult to gauge how much photo reference if any that Aron uses but whatever the case, he has a strong grasp of the form and subject matter, as is illustrated by his well thought out preliminary drawings which he creates out of charcoal and graphite and are masterpieces in themselves.



However one dissects Aron's work, it is apparent that he is a modern master.

These 3 catalogs each represent a different solo exhibition at Arcadia Gallery in New York and illustrates some of the key pieces from nearly a decade of work and although we do not often carry exhibition catalogs, these 3 mini books/pamphlets are currently the closest things to a collection of published work by Mr. Wisenfeld.

Short of purchasing an original or a limited edition etching by Aron, it would not be a bad idea to edit and frame the individual pages, and keep another set intact for safe keeping and collecting purposes. No that is not a sales pitch but merely a practical suggetion. 

Aron was Born in Washinton DC, grew up in Santa Cruz California, went to school at Cooper Union NY and Art Center Pasadena. He was also a successful comic book artist before he became a fine artist.  

0 Comments