Fresh Friday Finds: Seeing Things Gallery

seeingthings

“Eat With Your Eyes,” says photographer Jai Tanju, co-owner of Seeing Things Gallery located in downtown San Jose with wife, Blanche Gonzalez. Oftentimes, that’s totally what happens there – a sense of visual nutrition, filled with inspiration and collective ideas. The gallery exhibits monthly solo and group shows, sells art, photo books, zines, tees, and totes.

Deadbeat Club: Field Trip

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I’ve been lucky enough to check out some really rad art these past few months now that I live and work nearby. From Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” mixed media show to Deadbeat Club’s “Field Trip” group photography show, and I recently stopped by the gallery to check out “It’s Not Your Birthday Anymore,” a Morrissey group show currently on display.

Morrissey Group Show – Current Exhibition

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Frida – Resident Dog

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All Photos © Bernadette Cruz

Follow Seeing Things Gallery on Instagram and Facebook for more information and upcoming events. If you find yourself in the South Bay this weekend, Friday 6/6 & Saturday 6/7, stop by  their booth at the SubZERO festival in downtown San Jose and say hi. They will be selling some books, zines, and other merch.

 

Thursday Three by Lisa Coppola

NJ-based jewelry designer and Hump Day Hot Seat alum Lisa Coppola lists her Thursday Three, where different curators share three things they are stoked on. Receive 10% off beautiful Bevastyles jewelry when you enter ‘hotseat10‘ at her Etsy shop.

Photographer Alain Laboile

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Alain Laboile is a father of six from France who takes amazing, fantasy-like portraits of his children.  Many of his photos depict his children running around naked and dirty through the wilderness, interacting with wildlife, and exploring all the magical gifts the world has to offer.  It’s refreshing to see children having fun in the absence of an iPad, an iPhone and a TV!

paint and pour rosalia teaching

Painting and Wine classes are popping up everywhere, and they have finally come to my hometown. These are great social events for you to reconnect with your friends and neighbors while creating a respectable piece of art in the process.  And there’s wine!  For a small fee, all you need to do is bring yourself, a nice vintage, and everything else is provided for you.

3-D Printed Osteoid Cast

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The 3-D Printed Osteoid Cast is an example of the fantastic blending of science and art utilizing cutting edge technology. The sleek, futuristic design looks like something borrowed from the movie Minority Report! Not only does it look cool, but it utilizes ultrasound waves to promote bone healing and reduce healing times by 38%.

Stay at home mom Lisa Coppola is the owner and creator of Bevastyles jewelry found online at Etsy, while part of her collection is on display at Art & Soul Galleries in Roselle Park, NJ.  She will have a booth set up at the Ocean Grove Giant Craft Show on June 21st in Ocean Grove, NJ. 

 

Hump Day Hot Seat: Ali Smith

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© Ali Smith

Today is a bit of a Wednesday Rewind too! You might remember NYC-based photographer, Ali Smith, when she was previously featured on .stART here. in Fresh Friday Finds and a Hump Day Hot Seat in 2013. Find out what she’s been up to lately as she answers questions provided by Finch & Ada once more here. Be sure to check out Ali Smith’s MOMMA LOVE photo book and follow her on Twitter and Instagram too!

1. Who are you?

That is deep, my friend. Still not sure. Thus far, I am a photographer. Musician. I stand around 5’9″. I have started moisturizing because I’m noticing fine lines. I’m happy to be a mom and a wife.

2. What do you do?

Take pictures and try to make a statement.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

I started as a touring,  recording musician.  I took pictures of everything and everyone around me which involved a lot of craziness and black clothing. After years of touring, I craved more female connection because touring and playing music is largely about vans, sweat and men everywhere. Once I decided I wanted more female connections in my life, I reached out to artists who’d inspired me- Alice Walker, Exene Cervenka, Sandra Bernhard, Mary Karr, 35 in total- photographed and interviewed them, and that became my first book, Laws of the Bandit Queens.

4. How long have you been at it?

I’ve been at it since college and since I was touring, so early 20’s, but I haven’t had to do any other type of work besides photography for 15 years or so.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

That I was never a drug addict ( my least favorite public myth about me from my music days). In fact, I never did any drugs. Not preaching, just setting the record straight.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

Donna Ferrato, Amy Arbus, Diane Arbus, Martin Parr, William Egglesteen, Paolo Roversi, Alec Soth, Joshua Bright, Bob Carey, Cig Harvey, Cristina De Middel, and Jennifer McClure.

7. What other types of art are you in to?

I recently saw some paintings from students who were really into and adept at photo realism. After years of being surrounded by high concept and modern art, I was taken aback at how incredible realism can be in painting. How stunning. Right now, I’m into that. But I appreciate all manner of art, as long as I feel I’m not being conned by someone with a budget and no ideas. Ideas are queen.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

Talk to me in ten years when my son is 14, and I have time for hobbies again. That said, I like to get crafty with my bad self and make all sorts of things- chocolate, soft toys, models of volcanoes that work.

9. What’s your favorite vice?

Whiskey is my favorite vice. Also crap TV.

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

Forge ahead. Like a Sherpa. Up that hill. With breaks built in to catch your breath. (the breaks are a new idea for me, but definitely smart)

11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?

I do. Anything that has the letter “r” in its name. I like my husband to cook.

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

Thank GOD that hasn’t happened often at all, but now that you’ve made me say it out loud, it will. THANKS A LOT, BERNADETTE! But really, honestly, it has only happened when I have compromised too much and let peoples’ worry and micromanaging win out. Then the product turns out lame. 

13. Truth or Dare? Elaborate.

Truth. Because I am not the type to run naked to the mailbox and back on a dare.

14. What is your most prized possession?

Can my child be a possession? If not, then my husband.

Fresh Friday Finds: Angry Tiki God A.K.A. Allan Cruz

GonzGonz, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

New Jersey-based Angry Tiki God (Allan Cruz) is not only an awesome stencil spray paint artist, but he’s also my big brother. It’s his raw, unapologetic style that prompted me to share his work in this week’s Fresh Friday Finds. Inspired by his lifelong love of skateboarding and music, and artists like Logan Hicks, Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, and Jason Adams, Angry Tiki God has been cranking out some really rad art featuring some of the most iconic figures of our lifetime.

BlondieBlondie, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

JoeyJoey Ramone, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

Growing up, I can’t remember a time when Allan wasn’t creating in some way. He built a mini ramp with our dad and uncles in the backyard, skated it day and night with his friends, spray painted logos, cut out grip tape designs, played Bouncing Souls and The Misfits songs on drums, wrote songs for the various incarnations of his band, and worked on his motorcycles. His need to express himself was loud and clear. So after decades of creating mostly for himself, it was no surprise that Allan kicked it into high gear in 2008, when the ladies of Sic Chix Productions and Subculture Skateshop asked him to be part of their first of many group art parties called The Movement.

Since then, under the moniker Angry Tiki God, Allan’s fresh talent and technique continues to evolve. He focuses now on his stencil spray paint art continuing to showcase his work in solo shows and with The Movement. He is also available for commission work so hit him up with your concepts and ideas. You can keep up with Angry Tiki God on his blog and Etsy shop, where he’ll be adding works for sale soon, like those posted above.

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In my personal collection. Thanks, bro! ❤

Joe Strummer, spray paint on plywood. © Angry Tiki God

Hump Day Hot Seat: James Austin Murray

 

James

©Max Noy Photo

1. Who are you? 

My name is James Austin Murray. I used to go by Jim Murray, but if you Google “Jim Murray artist,” good luck finding me. Now I go by my full name.

2. What do you do? 

I build and make paintings, what I mean by build them is I make the solid substrates they’re on and shape them as a starting place for the painting.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start? 

I’ve been making art of some sort since high school. I studied Illustration at Parsons School of Design, and I spent a long time doing work that was in some ways illustrative, but now my work has become completely abstract. I find it so much more engaging and the work evolves differently than figurative work.

4. How long have you been at it? 

See above.

5. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?  

Richard Serra for his ability to do massive powerful works that have magic. I also admire many artists who’s names are not yet household names. A few of those are Diane Scott, Keiko Narahashi, Mark Zimmermann, Alex Couwenberg, Valerie Brennan, Susan Carr, Erika Diehl, Don Voisine and lots of other living, hard working artists. There are so many excellent artists working today.

6. What other types of art are you in to?  

I’m pretty impressed by all artists and artisans, particularly by people who believe in what they do and have found a way to do it life long. I have huge respect for the artist that never gets to show much and works their entire life. To me it shows that they are or were true believers in their artistic endeavor.

7. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?  

I collect art, it’s not so much a hobby as it is a love. I think it’s important for an artist to understand what motivates a collector and there is no better way of doing that than collecting. It’s also becoming a retirement account. I don’t know about stocks, but art I know what I fall in love with. Yet it’s something I hope never to have to sell. Lots of people think that collecting art is exclusively for the rich. I spend an average of maybe $1000 a year, that’s less than someone spends if they smoke two packs of cigarettes per week.

8. What’s your favorite vice? 

Lust and Italian wine!

9. How do you make it over the creative hump?  

I can’t relate to artistic block anymore. I have a daily studio practice, and it’s about getting work done. There’s always busy work I can do if I’m not feeling “on” so that when I am feeling clear headed and ready to rock, my studio is ready for me.

10. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?  

I would eat Japanese every day if I could afford it. I’m a decent cook. I learned initially from my friend June Chung who taught me how to cook Italian food in France. He had lived in Italy when he was learning to sing Opera.

11. What is your most prized possession? 

I think it has to be my workspace. I could loose everything and be OK if I could continue to have a space to make work. It’s my personal rabbit hole and my playroom.

 

 

 

 

Fresh Friday Finds: Zio Ziegler

Today’s Fresh Friday Finds is Zio Ziegler, a San Francisco based spray paint muralist, painter, screen printer, and sculptor.

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Ziegler’s got an awesome signature solid black patterned style that is easily recognizable, whether he’s painting giant murals around San Francisco, getting commissioned to paint a Porsche Carrera 911, live painting at the Vans Village for SXSW in Austin last month, preparing for his solo show, “Et in Arte Ego,” that just opened in Milan, or collaborating with Pottery Barn Teen.

Check out this time lapse video of Ziegler at work to promote his Arte Sempre project!

From ZioZiegler.com

I’ve often been asked what my symbols mean in relation to one another, and while I hint at their meanings with a reference in a title, their meanings are as ephemeral as the process itself. This transience of meaning serves as catalyst for each viewer’s understanding. Because each painting lacks a singular explanation, the viewer is faced with self-reflection of his or her own life and internal pursuit. My paintings have subjectively different meanings for each person that views them, and through the observer’s own balance of reason, context, and intuitive reaction, each one serves as a starting place of thought and reflection rather than a means to an end.

There is no conclusion, only more questions. There is no meaning except for that which the viewer designates. My paintings begin with an existential journey, and can only end with an absurdist conclusion – the rest is just a vehicle for conveying this.

 

 

Hump Day Hot Seat: James V. Mignogna

 

seattleviewtourists_Photo © James V. Mignogna

1. Who are you? 

James V. Mignogna The V is for Vincent. It was my grandfather’s name.

2. What do you do? 

These days?  Well up until about five months ago, I was working at the International Center for Photography in NYC helping to keep their darkrooms humming.  That, and of course, shooting any chance I could get. These days… well I gave that up to be a stay at home papa to my eight month old son.  I was able to build a pretty professional darkroom in my attic, so I’m still able to work. So I guess the answer to this question right now is, feed, corral, wrastle and otherwise adore my little gremlin boy (as in that Bugs Bunny cartoon, not Mogwai). Also, I’ve been printing. I guess you’d call me a fine art photographer. I’m currently printing out a series for a solo show that will be opening in September at the Mamaroneck Artists Guild in Larchmont, NY.  They are orotone variants… palladium prints… hand painted emulsion on 24k gold guilded vellum. It’s keeping me pretty busy.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

At Photography?  Well the old joke is that I got a PhD in photography from my father. “Push here, Dummy.”  Really, he was the first person who got a camera in my hands. He was a bit of an amateur shutterbug and always had a camera or two lying around the house. He was generous enough to let me play with one. I also took a photo class in high school. You know how people say they get hooked the first time they see an image come up in the developer? I’m no different. Maybe not super original, but no less true. Jesus, that would have been what… 27 years ago? Wow. I may not be as young as I think I am.

Anyway, I’ve had a camera on me, off and on, since then. It’s always been part of my identity, but I only maybe in the last six or seven years decided that I should stop running around it. This is just who I am. I’ve only been starting to try to show my work in a serious way in the last three years or so, but I’ve gotten some good responses from it. At the heart of it, it’s a connection to my pop. It’s been several years since he passed on, but it’s kind of an unspoken way I keep him close. Funny I should say that it’s unspoken, because for a time there, photography was the only thing we COULD talk about. Some fathers and sons have baseball. We had photography.

4. How long have you been at it?

I guess I kinda answered that one.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

The most important. hmm. I don’t know about most. I guess that depends who you are. What would I tell you about my work? I guess that all of my photography is “straight.” There are some people who would tell you to “make photos, don’t take them.”  I don’t know. For me, I like to take them. The act of extraction from the real world is possibly the greatest strength of photography. I am a photographer by choice, not default. I like to make reference to painting and etching, but it is always photos of real things described as they are. For me to see what is in the world, to record and venerate that is an act of saying “yes” to existence. It’s an act of reverence. It’s really not that unlike prayer.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire? 

So many. Really too many to mention. Mostly, I still lean towards a middle 20th century look, so you’d find my inspiration in Frank, Friedlander, Erwitt, Davidson, Winogrand, Kertész, HCB, Mary Ellen Mark, W. Eugene Smith… I also love the work of Salgado, Kratochvíl, Kashi, Haviv… Ernst Haas and Saul Leiter… so many… I also draw inspiration from lots of my talented friends, Daniel Elliott, Denis Yermoshin, Sumner Wells Hatch, Ed Cheng… I really could go on and on and on, and I hate the idea of leaving anyone out.

7. What other types of art are you in to? 

Painting. I love painting. I’m also a great fan of etching and printmaking. Sculpture is a real love of mine as well. It is really the art form I would love to try, but it just feels so foreign to anything I’ve done before… I just imagine Cellini pouring the bronze for his Persius with the Head of Medusa and I’m just in awe of it.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents? 

Well I don’t know about crazy. I love to collect vinyl which is sort of common, but I also collect Laserdiscs. You know… They were the medium between VHS tape and DVDs. They are kind of like a DVD in the size and shape of an LP. You even have to flip them. They are just so wrong that they are perfectly right. I have about 500 of them now. I love movies. I’m a big movie buff. I also quite like to cook. I’m a bit of a foodie.

9. What’s your favorite vice? 

Wine. Wine and absinthe… and good beer.

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

I try another take. Over the years I have gotten to what I feel is a personal look, but I do a number of things. If I get stuck with the traditional B&W silver gel street work, then I move over to the color abstract stuff… if that starts to challenge me, I move on to the hand painted emulsion / alternate photo stuff.

11. If someone was to write a craigslist missed connection about you, what would it say? 

“You: a hairy unkempt possibly unwashed shambling monster pushing an adorable baby in a stroller.  I was about to call child services when I passed you in the park, but didn’t. I fear I maybe should have.”

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

Well nothing really “Blows up” but often things evolve in a way that I wasn’t planning. It can be a real disaster if I’m too stubborn about that, but I give the process enough respect to listen to what the project wants to be. Ultimately I may still be left with a project that I want to get done in the end, but it’s all just a work in progress… both the images and myself.

13. What is your most prized possession?

My family.  Not really a possession, but you get the idea.

 

Monday Funday: Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” at Seeing Things Gallery

I went to the opening night of Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” show at Jai Tanju‘s Seeing Things Gallery in San Jose this past Saturday. I checked out some rad art, met and congratulated Mountain, caught up with some dudes, and met the artist’s father and skateboard legend, Lance Mountain too. Somebody pinch me!

photo 4photo © Bernadette Cruz

Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” exhibits minimalism through a variety of works – from mixed media collages with typewritten messages and large scale paintings to framed photographs, screen prints, and paintings on canvas. His pieces go back to basics by showcasing familiar lines, shapes, primary colors, earth tones and splashes of metallic. This approach provides viewers with an accessible and unassuming window into Mountain’s abstract visual form of expression.

photo 3photo © Bernadette Cruz

I got the chance to see owner Jai Tanju again and reconnect with San Jose local skater Jason Adams. I hadn’t seen Adams since his NYC visit back in 2010 when we checked out his “American Boarders” portrait at Paul Rusconi‘s solo show at Upper East Side’s Stellan Holm Gallery, and then a couple months later at The Movement‘s fifth art party presented by Jersey’s own Sic Chix Production. I got to catch up with The Kid again, but now on this cool spring Saturday night on the west coast in San Jose – just over the hill from my new hood and home. After nearly six months out here, I still can’t believe this is my life!

seeingthingsgalleryphoto © Bernadette Cruz

Be sure to check out Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” at Seeing Things in San Jose if you find yourself in the South Bay these next few weeks. Visit http://www.seeinghthingsgallery.com for a full list of all artwork, pricing, and shows!

Fresh Friday Finds: Alison Jardine

Contemporary visual artist Alison Jardine is today’s Fresh Friday Finds. This Dallas based artist, originally from Yorkshire, England, finds inspiration in nature and is an Artist-in-Residence at the Dallas Arboretum. Check out her gorgeous oil on canvas series, “Natural Abstractions,” here.

sunlight-silence-screenSunlight and Silence, 50″ x 50″ oil on canvas. © Alison Jardine

canopyofsunlightThe Pixel Tree: Sunlight Canopy, 36″ x 60″ oil on canvas. © Alison Jardine

Decypher-showimage-screenDecypher, 46″ x 46″ oil on canvas. © Alison Jardine

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Starry Night Before Dawn, 50″ x 50″ oil on canvas. © Alison Jardine

From AlisonJardine.com:

In these contemporary reinterpretations of the traditional genre of landscapes, I use colors, light and composition to explore my own sense of wilderness, the environment we live in, people in my life and my sense of self. In this series, I began using the idea of the ‘pixel’ as a ubiquitous intermediary between our society and nature, altering not only our aesthetic palettes, but also our understanding of our place in the  natural world.As the series progressed, I developed upon my idea of digital media as an intermediary during my process of creation, and the image distortion this introduces.

Hump Day Hot Seat: Emilio Florentine

Fresh Friday Finds alum Emilio Florentine is in today’s Hump Day Hot Seat! Get to know this Jersey City based artist as he answers questions provided by Finch & Ada. Thanks for stopping by, Emilio!

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Excursions, Aerosol Paint. © Emilio Florentine

1. Who are you?

Emilio Florentine

2. What do you do?

I paint exploding flowers. They are a visual study of the chaos within beauty.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

I began drawing cartoon and comic book characters at an early age. In my early teens, I enrolled in advanced art lessons after school in Somerville, NJ.

4. How long have you been at it?

A long time.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

I own a fine art and apparel screen-printing business called Jersey City Screen Printing.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

The local artists and graffiti writers of Jersey City and Newark

7. What other types of art are you in to?

Screen-printing and colored pencil

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

Skateboarding and Snowboarding

9. What’s your favorite vice?

Tequila

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

The answer to the previous question.

11. If someone was to write a craigslist missed connection about you, what would it say?

The guy on the path train with paint all over his clothes, messy hair, and drawing in a sketch-book.

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

Today, ink dried in my screens too fast.

13. What is your most prized possession?

My drafting table