Noritaka Minami, A706 (Wall I), 2011; archival pigment print mounted on aluminum; 30 x 38 in. Courtesy of the Artist and the Kearny Street Workshop, San Francisco.

Humans are resilient. Our anatomy is extraordinary and highly complex. We build, construct, destroy, and synthesize. But human nature involves understanding the biology and mechanisms that provoke us to move and accelerate. In Movement in Many Parts, an exhibition curated by Lucy Seena K. Lin and Weston Teruya, artists investigate human evolution through nature and industry. Their ruminations are shown through organic forms, moving image, photography, drawing, and painting. Each work reminds us of the adage that the totality of many things in concert is far greater than one single part of the whole.

In A1007 (Wall II) (2011), Noritaka Minami asks us to peer into the modular housing built within the Japanese urban landscape. At the start of the series, a viewer is let into a small room with a single, large round window that looks out onto the city and other pods. There is no returning gaze; a viewer sees only the disheveled room of a seemingly busy city dweller. The room could very well be a viewer’s; the window is the only way to see outside and to observe other living things. Stagnancy is apparent through the dull colors of bed sheets and the aging, disintegrating papers on the wall. Even the dated typography of the numbers on the clock suggests a thick layer of dust has settled over things untouched. The scene gives the sense that the busyness of city life has depleted the weary soul that inhabits this space. Minami’sTower (Facade 1) (2011) includes a segment of the exterior architecture that gives a viewer not only a sense of scale but also of how nature has weathered the building’s exterior. The erosion suggests that the original design is obsolete in this fast-paced environment.

While Minami’s photographs depict an environment, Kim Anno’s photographs ponder the effects of climate change and demonstrate how humans may adapt to and work with rising sea levels. Men and Women in Water Cities (2011) shows individuals fully clothed in suits and corporate attire turning their bodies toward a viewer, as though caught in mid-action. The picture plane presents something absurd. Yet, is it as absurd as we think? Anno proposes peculiar but perhaps ingenious ways we might survive despite nature’s disposition, showing what humans may be driven to do when it is necessary to endure. It is this human tendency toward movement that forces resiliency.

Originally posted to Shotgun Reviews on Art Practical, please click here to view.

Cholas to Picasso: The 3D Artworks of Rio Yanez

April 27, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ASTERISK SAN FRANCISCO GALLERY PRESENTS, Cholas to Picasso: The 3D Artworks of Rio Yañez

Exhibition runs: Thursday, May 3, 2012 – Friday, June 1, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 3, 2012 7PM -9PM
3156 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Gallery hours: Wednesday to Saturday, from 11am -7pm

Asterisk San Francisco Gallery is pleased to present Cholas to Picasso: The 3D Artworks of Rio Yanez, a collection of 3D drawings and photography.  Please join us on Thursday, May 3, 2012 from 7-9pm for the exhibition opening.

As a native San Francisco artist, curator, and photographer, Yañez includes the viewer into the art experience. This show is particularly meaningful as it is Yañez’s first solo exhibition in the neighborhood where he was raised. In Cholas to Picasso: The 3D Artworks of Rio Yañez, three-dimensional works of his ongoing series, The Ramirez Sisters, depicting two siblings and their parallel lives in San Francisco’s Mission District takes on the form of sequential art. Although Yañez negates text, the images of the sisters evokes a strong sense of the how the city shapes the sisters’ individual identities. With his re-contextualization and imaginings of Frida Kahlo and Picasso inspired works, the images mesh into the contemporary fabric Yañez calls home. His photographic works depict the richness and vibrancy of San Francisco. Through Red and Cyan colored lenses, the dynamic simulation of being in these moments of creation is brought to the participant. The textures and scenes of the city enliven the urban landscape. The three-dimensional facet of the works are also kinetic and engaging as they lure the viewer into participating into the city’s infectious and energetic spirit.

About the Artist

Rio Yañez is a curator, photographer, graphic artist, and San Francisco artist. As a curator, he is a frequent collaborator with his father, Rene Yañez, and the two have been developing exhibits together since 2005. He has exhibited in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Tokyo. His reimaginings of Frida Kahlo have included the Ghetto Frida Project, a series of prints, writings, and performance pieces featuring a thugged-out Kahlo. Yañez is also a founding member of The Great Tortilla Conspiracy, the world’s most dangerous tortilla art collective. Most recently, his work is featured alongside Miguel “Bounce” Perez and Susie “Tendaroni” Lundy in current exhibition, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at the De Young Museum. Yañez received his BFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts. He currently works and resides in San Francisco, California.

Web: http://rioyanez.com

About Asterisk San Francisco Gallery

Asterisk San Francisco Gallery is located in San Francisco’s vibrant Mission District. The gallery was founded in January 2012 by Asterisk San Francisco co-founders Chief Editor, Jeremy Joven, and Managing Editor, Alex Winter. The gallery focuses on supporting emerging artists within the Bay Area community. It is also available for art openings and single evening events. Rental of the space is available upon request.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm. To visit, please visit us at 3156 24th Street (at Shotwell), San Francisco, CA 94110.

Web: http://asterisksanfrancisco.com

Anais Nin once said that the role of the writer is to not to say what we can but to say what we cannot. The sentiment certainly translates well into the visual arts. Often, dishonesty abounds in everyday pleasantries, which is why the artist strives to reveal the truths of human interaction. To detect the context and sub-context. The artist mines the crevices of everyday exchanges and finds the raw, unpolished, sometimes tarnished, kernels of mundane gesture and speech to create something undeniable about the human condition. The artist is often brave enough to produce work that shows what one may conceal and obscure. Meet Carissa Potter. Her utilization of simple materials to express complex emotions is a clever depiction of the intensity and gravity of love in an authentic way.

Potter’s drawings are created from various materials such as pen, ink, marker, and textiles. Using techniques such as printmaking and installation, Potter’s multi-faceted work takes on dimensions that fit the ideas she is trying to convey. At the SOMArts Cultural Center’s Spread group exhibition earlier this year, she included a print piece, “You Love Me”. The work consists of an accordion folded paper piece that declares the words, “You love me” followed by images of commonly liked things (i.e., ice cream, sweaters, Harrison Ford, and unicorns, to name a few). Potter’s use of everyday objects in her art creates a strong bond and connection with her viewer.

At first glance, Potter’s drawings and sketches seem simple and straightforward. There’s an accessibility and resonance to the work. Her fondness for turning the multitude of everyday actions and thoughts into fine art has a tremendous effect on what the viewer is willing to experience and how they will do that. People understand authenticity. Love, loss, frustration, anger, happiness, sadness, and elation are all emotions people can correlate to their own experiences. In Potter’s work, there is something for everyone regardless of whatever culture, sub-culture or ethnicity someone identifies with. There is something about the individual viewer in the work.

Although some of the works may produce feelings of uneasiness or conjure one’s insecurities and fears, they give the viewer permission to engage, feel, and re-act. For individuals that crave art that is witty and complex, yet simple and straightforward, Carissa Potter is the artist to view. With bits of humor nestled between the lines of images and text, one is welcome to simply enjoy the quips. The intention of the artist is also left to the viewer. Whether the art is a cathartic expression or musings on unanswered questions of lost love, the artist welcomes whatever perception and understanding you have of what you see. Another aspect of her work deconstructs the moments we may forbid ourselves to experience or reactions to situations that we may normally suppress. One may ask, seeing a chronicle of the artist’s depictions and understandings of love and loss, what makes this art and why pay attention? Without question, Potter braves the impervious layers of life, dusts off all the fossilized sentiments, desires, and angst and hits directly upon the nerves that force the observer to beautifully collide the past with the present and future.

Please click here to view Carissa Potter’s work.

Published to Asterisk SF Magazine.

Currently working with text and image...

Carissa Potter, I'm Attracted to You, Mixed media installation, 2011

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fallen Angel, 1981

Genius Child

This is a song for the genius child.
Sing it softly, for the song is wild.
Sing it softly as ever you can –
Lest the song get out of hand.

Nobody loves a genius child.

Can you love an eagle,
Tame or wild?
Can you love an eagle,
Wild or tame?
Can you love a monster
Of frightening name?

Nobody loves a genius child.

Kill him – and let his soul run wild.

~ Langston Hughes

Growing up, art kept me busy. My mother knew this deep seeded passion within me yet insisted on telling me that artists don’t make money until they’re dead. If only she knew, making money was never a concern. She probably knows that now but making art, writing about it, and discussing it was all I ever wanted to do. Yet, my mother’s sentiments are shared by many parents.

Being an artist (any kind of artist), during one’s lifetime is challenging and burdensome. However, for the contemporary artists that brave the criticism, are precocious or highly experienced, and most importantly, believe (not think) they are the art star the world needs to know must probably learned something from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s through cultural osmosis.

After watching Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s documentary, The Radiant Child, directed and written by Tamra Davis, I found myeslf intrigued and seduced by Basquiat’s motivation, work ethic, and audaciousness. Having studied his work in contemporary art history class coupled with Google musings during slow work days, I was pretty eager to watch the film and acquired a greater sense of why anyone makes art (not just Basquiat).

The physicality involved in his work, the contour lines, bright and bold colors, and various mediums he worked with along with his use of language made for an eye opening look into what happens to he human soul when it’s allowed to roam aimlessly with paints and pens. His sensitive, impulsive, free, non-committal, bold, confident, and addictive nature come out in the film but my favorite parts of the film were of him painting and drawing. He could have said anything he wanted to in his interviews but it was watching him unfurl child like bold strokes on his canvases that made me believe he had a lot more to say than what he actually said.