Art for the House Raises $6K

Urban Art Silent Auction at The Shooting Gallery

Last Saturday’s event at The Shooting Gallery was a great success. Central City Hospitality House mounted a beautiful show for their 6th Annual Urban Art Silent Auction drawing in a pack of eager buyers. We broke records this year with over $6,000 worth of art going out the door, all of which benefits the Hospitality House’s Community Arts Program. Lucky buyers walked away with pieces by Joshua Petker, Ramblin Worker, Jesse Hazelip, and Greg Gossel among others.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the local community, and to the generous artists that donated their time and talent for the cause.

The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa

The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa

With Yumiko Kayukawa’s solo exhibit fast approaching we took a moment to thumb through her book, The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa. The publication includes a large collection of new and old paintings that help us understand the scope of her career. We pulled a few snippets from The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa to share; you can pick up a copy at The Shooting Gallery for the full dive.

Yumiko Kayukawa

Yumiko Kayukawa

Excerpt from The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa:

“Yumiko’s work is built upon a personal and cultural iconography; some easy to read and some inscrutable. Almost invariably, a young woman shares space with an animal. At times, the animal and human relation is obvious -it seems easy to understand a doe-like girl retreating from teh viewer in almost the same pose as a gazelle next to her. I think I’ve figured out the snakes and jungle cats, but what to make of a tiny salamander or hedgehog peering from a pocket?

Recurring themes like eating, bandages, spilled food, and bondage commingle with far-east elements. The Zen self-awareness of the girls and the traditional Japanese floral designs and lettering is at complete odds to the rock and roll and street fashions they wear. Even so, Yumiko renders these incongruous elements with compulsive precision.” -Shag, December 2004

Yumiko Kayukawa

Yumiko Kayukawa

The book also offers these thoughts from Niagara Detroit:

“Yumoko’s the teeny-bopper with the tarantula for a playmate. She’s the witch who tames the wild wolf; the corceress who walks among venomous snakes. Ever the beauty who enchanges the Beast, she’s fealress in her tapping into her source. The paintings are ripe with a bright and obvious magic. The dolled-up motif does not hide the divine message.

The girld-child of Yumiko’s illustrations is not an innocent. The epitome of wisdom, she’s a dancing shaman who conjures up the sacrosanct. She’s a heroine of animals as she understands and promotes the environment. Indeed, she’s a treasure to preserves as, today, that’s a forgotten art. ” -Niagara Detroit, January 2005

Yumiko Kayukawa

Yumiko Kayukawa

Yumiko’s new body of work is clearly related to those pictured here, but she has a few surprises up her sleeve. Come by The Shooting Gallery this Saturday, November 14th from 7-11pm to celebrate the opening reception of Yumiko’s  Wild Wild East.

Exclusive Interview: Yumiko Kayukawa

In anticipation of Wild Wild East

Opening Saturday, November 14th 2009, 7-11pm at The Shooting Gallery

When Yumiko Kayukawa’s paintings arrived in a large wooden box this week, we frantically held them to the light. The level of detail and precision in this body of work is phenomenal, no matter the size of the painting. In Yumiko’s Jungle Book fantasy, Mogley is played by a long legged and pouty-lipped young woman who softens the wild spirits of tigers and sharks. She invents harmonious scenes that carry undertones of sexuality, mischief, and perhaps even escapism. But enough from us, we’ll let the artist tell you about her work. Read on to find out why Yumiko left Japan, how much time she spends painting, and why she identifies so strongly with lions, tigers and bears.

Okawari by Yumiko Kayukawa

Shooting Gallery: When and where are you most likely to spark an idea for a painting?

Yumiko Kayukawa: Ideas come from my feeling at any moment in my life.
Something I hope or enjoy, something that impressed me; feeling sad, mad or wondering.
They are also from scenes of a movie or lyrics from songs.
Also as you know I’m a big animal/nature fan, many ideas comes up when I see them in the nature or a wildlife TV show.
These recent years, since I moved from Japan to the US, I have a different feeling than I had before.
Every day is discovering, challenging and adventure. This new life definitely gives me the ideas, too.

Waves in the Mind by Yumiko Kayukawa

What material do you work with?
I use acrylic and ink on canvas or wood board.

Do you sketch out each painting before you put the brush down?

Yes I do. I sketch on a paper first, then trace it on a canvas or wood board.

Are long hours painting in the studio an obligation, or a reward?

Both. Painting is always is a lot of effort. I can’t make any piece without effort and it’s physically hard, too.
But the sense of fulfillment to finishing a piece and just looking at the painting – nothing compares.

Will you ever incorporate English words into your paintings?

Maybe. “MANGA Art” makes sense?

Are many other Japanese artists doing the same style of work as you are?

I haven’t researched it seriously, and I’m afraid to say it’s the “same style” as mine, but I see Japanese and American artists painting ‘a girl and animals’ more and more these days.

Read It to Me by Yumiko Kayukawa

Which contemporary painters do you relate to most?

I have some artists I like, but I have no good answer for “relate.”

How much time do you spend on each painting?

Big pieces take about 200 hours, and small pieces are about 40 hours.

Why did you move to Seattle? Will you stay?
Since I visited Seattle for the first time, I really like this city.
I grew up in a small town in the countryside and I can’t find my peace in a big city.
Seattle is just the perfect size for me and a good balance of city and nature.

Has living in the States affected your perception of American culture? Has it affected the subject matter or style of your paintings?

Yes, as I answered for the first question,
I have big “?” for many times in my life because of the living in 2 cultures.
I was inspired by American/Western culture a lot when I grew up, but still I can tell that what I saw before and now is different. I can see my home country more clearly from the out side, and there are big differences between these two countries.
I guess this feeling is going to be an important theme for my art in the future.

Snack by Yumiko Kayukawa

What do you like about predatory animals?

I love wolves and tigers specially. They are beautiful, and seriously KAWAII for me. But I also have sympathy for them, for being misunderstood. They are pushed to a sad place in history.

If you could be an animal for a day, which would you choose?

A bird, the fruit eating kind (hunting is too much work). I want to try to fly.

Where will you take your next vacation?

It’s gonna be Japan. I haven’t have a chance to going home this year, so I hope to go next year.

What do you do when you aren’t painting?

I love to watch movies, listen to music and read.

How do you want people to feel when they walk away from your paintings?

I hope people feel like something they can’t make into words, as I am when I see a nice art.
Also I hope people laugh at my jokes, not just smile but laugh.
It always makes me happy to see people pointing their finger to my paintings and laughing with friends 🙂

Sweet Water by Yumiko Kayukawa

Come by this Saturday, November 14th from 7-11pm to meet Yumiko Kayukawa and to see her new body of works in person.

Silent Urban Art Auction Tonight

Art for the House

No plans tonight? The Shooting Gallery promises to keep you entertained from 6-10pm with its 6th Annual Urban Art Silent Auction. Art for the House benefits the Central City Hospitality House, a wonderful organization that aids the Tenderloin’s homeless community.

Art for the House

The good folks of Hospitality House came in to hang the auction pieces today, and we dutifully snapped some shots for you. Click below to see works by Greg Gossel, KMNDZ, Fanee, Adam Flores, Ramblin Worker, Bryan Schnelle, and others.

Art for the House

Be sure to stop by tonight from 6-10pm to snag yourself a pretty something for your bare walls and support the local community. Click through these teasers for inspiration.

Akira x Academy of Art Fashion Illustration

Nothing beats a hands on experience to make your point. Akira (currently showing at The Shooting Gallery) is a teaching assistant at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and he goes the extra mile to get his students out of the classroom. His fashion illustration students joined us in The Shooting Gallery this week for a personal tour of Akira’s works. As they huddled around his 21 oil and watercolor paintings, a few words from the wise floated through the gallery. His short talk made us want to be students of Akira forever.

Akira and Christopher

Leading the class: Akira Beard and Christopher Jernberg

akira students

Akira opened by saying his art is a reflection of culture. It’s like taking a hummer, a military vehicle, and putting it on the streets of SF. Then take that vehicle and put it into an art gallery. In such a manner, Akira re-contextualizes the culture that we experience everyday.

Jean Paul Sartre

Akira said that as Americans living in the modern world, we experience racism, culture, entertainment, etc. He uses icons from these cultures as his subject matter. For example, Jeann-Paul Sartre is a philosopher. He has an American flag on his chest, yet Sartre believes in Existentialism’s theory of taking responsibility for oneself. Americans typically don’t do this, so the irony is clear.

Viktor Frankl

Next is Victor Frankl, the psychologist who proposed theories of Logotherapy. By finding meaning in your life, humans find purpose. Without purpose, we become depressed. In the portrait, Victor wears a Scarface shirt (a symbol of conformity). Although Americans are lost in such meaningless icons, Frankl has the answer.

picasso

Pointing to the portrait of Picasso as a gangster, Akira mentioned that different cultural groups relate to this piece on different levels. With its controversial text in the style of a hip hop lyric, some may be offended. He told the story of an African American woman who approached him at a previous opening, where he had hung a bold painting of Fifty Cent. The rapper’s nose and lips had been purposefully exaggerated, drawing attention to the stereotypical views that Caucasians have about African Americans. The woman was so furious that Akira thought she was going to slap him. But she allowed him to speak, and once he explained his reasoning behind the image, she was so impressed that she took pictures of the painting to show her boyfriend.

Students with Akira's paintings

“Being a painter doesn’t make you an artist,” Akira stated. There is craft and concept, and they are separate. Painting a realistic flower is an example of craft, while someone else could urinate on a canvas and call it concept. Having both is the key to being an artist. “You see the conversation,” he said. “My conversation is cultural.”

Akira then pointed out the potential of art. “You can take it as far as you want to take it. Take advantage of it or not. It’s having a voice and saying something.”

Akira with Academy of Art class

Catch the last day of Akira’s current show at The Shooting Gallery which runs through Saturday, November 7th.

Press Release: Lifetime Companions by Travis Louie

Lifetime Companions

New Works by Travis Louie

Opening December 12th 2009 7-11pm

Travis Louie

Travis Louie

The Shooting Gallery is proud to present Lifetime Companions, new works by Travis Louie. This will mark Louie’s first major solo show at The Shooting Gallery with fifteen intimate portraits. Please join us for the opening reception of Lifetime Companions on Saturday, December 12th 2009, from 7-11 pm.

Travis Louie’s portraits are developed from another time and reality. They entice the viewers bringing them a step closer to the imagination of a man whose stories are as wondrous as his paintings. Referencing bits of particular moments, journal entries and obscure facts; Louie creates haunting dreamlike creatures. Dressed in pea coats, top hats and other Victorian fashions the otherworldly beings possess odd human characteristics. Some of their origins are a complete mystery while others are hinted at. A man is cursed by a goat, an engine driver can’t seem to stop vibrating in his sleep, a man overcomes his phobia of spiders, or a groomsman’s head mysteriously shrinks on his wedding day. In this particular collection, most of the paintings are family portraits of people attending weddings and formal events.

The visual style of Travis Louie’s work is strongly influenced by the lighting and atmosphere of German Expressionist and Film Noir motion pictures from the Silent Era to the late 1950’s. Films from directors like F W Murnau, Fritz Lang, Orson Welles, Robert Siodmak, Robert Aldrich, Jacque Tourneur, and cinematographer, Greg Toland, has a great effect on the way his paintings to look. To achieve the dramatic “mood” he sets for his paintings, the works are produced primarily in black and white or limited color. He uses acrylic paints over tight graphite drawings on smooth grounds, such as “plate” finish illustration board or finely sanded, primed wood panels. When he is not painting, his time is spent writing in his notebooks and journals. Many little drawings and sketches are made from those writings, most of which are less than ten centimeters square.

Please join us for the opening reception of Lifetime Companions on Saturday, December 12th 2009, from 7-11pm. This event runs through January 2nd 2010, and is open to the public. For more information on Travis Louie please visit our media kit page.

Paper Tigers @ Fivepoints Arthouse

diaspora

Wallen Works and Fivepoints Arthouse bring you Paper Tigers, new works from two of our artists and friends, Kevin Earl Taylor and Lafe Eaves.  The show opens tomorrow November 5th  with an opening reception from 7 to 10pm.  Here’s a note from Mr. Taylor himself:

Hello earthlings,

If, by chance, you’re not too busy on Thursday, check out some works on paper made by Lafe Eaves, Bert Bergen and myself over at Fivepoints Arthouse’ new space (see map below).  If you can’t make it, however, the show will be up until Nov. 28. and you’re welcome to visit.

10-4,

kevin t.

Map