Archives: 2010 October

Reality, Metaphysics, & Bright Lights with Meryl Pataky

There is something alarming, seamless, and ultimately subjective about Meryl Pataky‘s neon creations. I say this in the most literal sense, and in the figurative, for the fact that one must bend hot gasses and blown glass together to create the desired object is only then paralleled by Meryl’s purpose and understanding of her craft.

Her approaching solo show “Metaphysics” is such that it emulates her personal beliefs and appreciation of the tools she uses to establish a multi-faceted dialogue between her audience, herself, and her creations. To really grasp what I’m saying here, dive into the world of Platonic philosophy, and comprehend that “objects of experience constitute the only reality; the artist attempts to address the human condition.”

Meryl Pataky

Meryl Pataky

Karanina Leigh: With regard to your “Metaphysics” show you say, “we all aspire to be a form…and our experiences shape our unique matter inside [us] and create our reality…” Can you go into more detail on the process behind your choosing of the words and subject matter you illuminate in neon.

Meryl Pataky: My subject matter has always been about personal stuff. More recently, I have been working with text and language. I used to stay away from such a literal presentation of an idea, mostly because I felt trapped by it but I have learned to enjoy the playfulness of language, the inherent meaning verses the intended meanings and “plays” on words. This stuff is train of thought and some of it sticks and I get obsessed. My glass is an extension of what I’ve always made work about – the nature of existence and human emotion, condition and behavior. That is what “Metaphysics”, the show, is about. Not every piece is about Plato or the actual philosophy but instead my resolution about what it means to be – to be me, to be human, to be artist, to be girl, to grieve, to love, to experience. This is the Metaphysics of me.

me by Meryl Pataky

KL: Neon is a pretty fragile medium that I would imagine to be temperamental. It’s not like a canvas of which you can just wipe the image away and start again; or is it? What are some characteristics of neon?

MP: Definitely not like a canvas although you do work with a well planned out, hand drawn pattern by which you match your bends. Every time you bend, you place your hot glass on the pattern and that pattern is protected by a metal mesh screen to protect it from catching on fire from the hot glass. When glass is hot, it slumps and this is when you make your bend. Because of the malleability of the glass at this state, you need to blow into the glass when you bend in order to round the glass back out and prevent it from kinking or the walls fusing together. When you say the characteristics of neon I think of neon, the gas. Characteristics are: Red, inert, noble, elemental, atomic number 10. For whatever reason the glass bending process and sign-making art has acquired the name of the gas. “Neon” has become a medium, most likely because it is used most frequently.

Meryl Pataky

KL: What do you feel is the greatest challenge in getting something to come out exactly how you see it in your mind?

MP: It never does – that’s the biggest challenge there is. And this isn’t just with neon. I can’t speak for all artists but, for me, the idea of the piece is always greater than what I create. The object only ever aspires to be its essence or “Form”.

letter layout and process

meryl pataky process shot

Meryl Pataky

KL: Before cultivating the craft of neon art, what other mediums did you experiment with?

MP: I work a lot in metal, both steel and precious metals. I have more years experience with jewelry and silver fabrication than with glass bending. I also enjoy using natural mediums like animal hides, dirt, fruit, grass.

tattooed chicken feet by meryl pataky

Civilian Medals by Meryl Pataky

KL: What drew you to working with neon in the end?

MP: However strange and unfitting it is for my personality, I’ve found resistance to be a motivator for me in my work. I’m drawn to tedious processes. It’s annoying. Aside from that, the obvious is because it glows! It draws people – that’s the point!

So it goes Meryl Pataky

KL: Did you find the neon field of study to be a challenging one at the Academy of Art University, or are there a lot of other people working in this medium?

MP: There is only one class at the Academy and, perhaps in comparison to other mediums studied at the sculpture department, not many people get to take the class multiple times for credit or get hooked on that material. It is a challenging thing to get the hang of. There are some awesome neon artists that I know from the Academy who have their own unique bending style and subject matter. In addition, I’ve begun talking to others in the business and everyone is really nice.

meryl pataky

KL: I love that your craft can be translated into both inside and outside art, and I may go as far to say that you create a newer form of street art. Did you ever imagine that your works could be part new movement of exhibition art?

MP: Yea – I totally wanna do neon street art – SHHHHH!!!!

KL: What is the largest piece you’ve ever completed, or would like to execute?

MP: Largest installed pieces: 2 that are approximately 7 ft tall and one that is roughly 9ft wide (horizontally).

meryl postcard front

KL: How long does it normally take you to finish a piece?

MP: It really depends. A straightforward name with four cursive letters, about a foot tall in 10 mm glass would take me roughly 4 hrs (from straight glass tubes to a lit up piece straight through with no stopping or cig breaks) but larger pieces could take me a couple of weeks. I also have a couple of real life jobs.

adj process shot

adj piece by Meryl Pataky

KL: Do you have any other projects coming up that we should be on the lookout for?

MP: After this show I’m looking for commissions, neon work in a shop etc. This is my neon resume, will you hire me in your shop? I might be working with more furniture and lighting showrooms such as Design Within Reach, where I have some light fixers and Dogfork in Portrero Hill. I plan on getting into my studio, cleaning and making jewelry for some consignment relationships I have at RVCA, SF and a boutique called J.E.M in Boston.

meryl pataky jewlery

KL: If you could do anything, with any material, and anywhere, what would you do?

MP: Public neon works on the wall of Ocean Beach and gorilla neon around the city. I’ve wanted to do street art with my chicken feet also.

Take a few minutes to watch this awesome teaser video produced and directed by June Zandona of Meryl in the studio getting ready for her show.

Come check out Meryl’s amazing neon fixtures at her solo show opening reception, held at a.Muse Gallery on November 11, 6-9pm.

Thanks to Shea Greene for the awesome studio shots!

Biosynthesis new works by Yellena James and installation by Pete Belkin


Yellena James

New works by Yellena James and installation by Pete Belkin

Opening: November 20th 2010, 6-10pm

Gallery Hijinks presents Biosynthesis a collection of new works by Yellena James and installations by Pete Belkin. Together the artists will transform the space with saturated color mixed with organic forms and light. This exhibit will entice the viewer to explore the intricate and delicate forms that twist and float in these artists alluring ecosystem. Please join us for the opening reception on November 20, 2010, from 6-10pm.

Yellena James’ colorful arrangements of organic shapes and tangled lines are at once floral and alien, organic and sci-fi. She creates each intimate world with pens, inks, markers and acrylics, which possess their own ethos and special ability to radiate emotion. By adding tiny little details in a sort of compulsive meditation, her ethereal places are hauntingly familiar and yet hypnotically exotic.

Yellena James grew up and attended art school in Sarajevo, Bosnia. At the age of 18 she moved to the U.S. After gaining her BA in painting and graphic design at UCF, she moved to Portland, Oregon where she currently resides.

Pete Belkin brings natural forms into hard-edged empty spaces. The visceral explosion of color and mass morphs Gallery Hijinks both internally and architecturally. His interest in the effects of color and light on the psyche has inspired him to build psychoactive environments and explore natural phenomena. Through painting, sculpture and mixed media installation, he investigates the human relationship to the natural world. Pete Belkin was born in Moscow, Russia into a family of microbiologists. In 2010 he received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been exhibited both locally as well as Internationally.

Biosynthesis opens November 20, 2010 and will be on display until January 1, 2011 and is open to the public.

Pete Belkin

Yellena James

A look at I’m Here Now the painting.

I’m Here Now, a massive painting by Mark Warren Jacques, is the first piece of art that the artist has incorporated both human form and words into his work. If you get a chance to come by the gallery and visit the exhibition you’ll know why I’m so excited.

im here now by mark warren jaques at gallery hijinks

Detail shots.

now detail mark warren jacques

now detail mark warren jacques

Friends on Beautiful Decay this month!

I don’t often repost, but I thought it was pretty awesome that so many of our favorite SF artist and friends were featured this month on the Beautiful Decay blog. I want to give some extra love and shout out to say we are so proud! Keep hustlin!

ROBERT MINERVINI in Beautiful Decay

Robert Minervini’s paintings are an accurate representation of how the true Los Angeles appears to me. Polluted atmosphere, palm trees (not native to LA) implanted everywhere, crumbling and tired buildings, freeway ramps… this is what my home looks like.


AUDREY MAY ERICKSON on Beautiful Decay

Audrey May Erickson’s high energy illustrational style is perfect for grabbing attention. Look like punk rock flyers for a show or something.


Ben Venom on Beautiful Decay


Ben Venom aspires to become the “visual commentator” of the culture found in Southern United States. Having grown up in the South, Ben finds himself immensely inspired by not only the culture, but the politics, history, and identity of his roots.





I’m Here Now Installation by Mark Warren Jacques

It always astounds me how the dynamics of a show can change with an installation. I’m Here Now is a prime example of an installation that challenged a small environment and created an interactive and use of space. After a long week of preparation and building, Mr. Mark Warren Jacques‘ solo exhibition came together in a beautiful conjunction with new paintings, a triangular LED light box, a 12 foot high billboard, ladder and found concrete curb. Since we didn’t get a proffesional photographer to shoot the installation Joe and I decided to take a stab at documenting the installtion by Mark Warren Jacques.











I’d also like to thank The Warholian for coming by and shooting pictures of the opening and BearFlag for providing us with an abundance of delicious wine.


bearflag at Gallery Hijinks


total babes at gallery hijinks opening





opening pictures from Gallery Hijinks

opening pictures from Gallery Hijinks

And simply for your viewing pleasure, this is how the billboard was made.

what it takes to make a billboard

three stooges Jillian, Joe and Mark Warren Jacques

Check out more pictures on our flickr of the MWJ madness!

We now have an online store, time to go shop!

If you haven’t realized yet we have an online store now up and running. Thanks to Qubixcart, we can now sell art, prints, books, zines and all sorts of good stuff with virtually no effort. We realize that it can be difficult especially if you live outside the Bay Area to get your hands on some of these quality goods, so here easiest way to buy. Please take a look around our shop, we will be adding much more inventory in the next days, weeks and months to come.




timothykarpinski-print -galleryhijinks

If you have something you think would be a valued addition to our store please submit your suggestion to with subject “shopping cart submission”

I’m Here Now in San Francisco Chronicle!

Mark Warren Jacques SF Chronicle gallery hijinks

Best known for strong lines and geometric shapes, San Francisco‘s Mark Warren Jacques is opening up to the forces of nature. Living forms and heavenly bodies meet abstract patterns as organic and inorganic find new ways to coexist. The resulting paintings and art installation are on view this weekend at Gallery Hijinks.

Opening reception 6 p.m. Sat. Through Nov. 15. Noon-7 p.m. Tues.-Sat. Gallery Hijinks, 2309 Bryant St., S.F. (415) 309-0440.”

– Mary Eisenhart,

This article appeared on page G – 16 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more:

Interview: Mark Warren Jacques

These past few months Mark Warren Jacques has been living and breathing the San Francisco way of life. Along with many other locals, we’ve come to know and love this guy. Take a moment to read this interview and find out for yourself why we can’t get enough of Mr. Mark Warren Jacques.


GH: What is your obsession with triangles? Why do you like them and what drives you to make them the focus of so many of your paintings?

MWJ: I’m not sure anymore. I used to think up all sorts of mystical or scientific reasons to have on hand to answer this question. But I’m a jealous lover and haven’t you noticed that triangles have become really popular in the last year or so? I knew that bitch would cheat on me. Maybe I should abandon her, quit it for a while, you know, in order to stay on the high ground. I’ve sold her out already anyway. Did you see that Nike shirt I did with her? Oh shit, here she comes… just kidding baby, take me back. We can be together forever baby, they don’t know you like I know you, remember the old days, the excitement of our budding relationship, we used to learn from each other, we were so creative together, what happened to us…. I’m just so sorry baby….. Why cant I quit you, take me back, I love you triangle, your the most beautiful shape in the world. (After a long argument, she took me back, & every piece for the show has triangles, get em while they’re hot hot hot.)


GH: Looking through your website, I’ve noticed that your works and their perspective titles all seem to be a reflection of very different personal emotions. For example, The Optimistic Mind, Staying Just Above versus A song that lifted me in a kiss. Please explain.

MWJ: It’s really interesting and exciting for me to title the paintings that I make. I’ve frequently said that I envy the writer. A good one has the power to entice an audience into personal connection. They put down story, which is universally understandable. We relate to language, to story, and the author gets to lay it all out, you know… it’s different as a visual artist. We leave an image and there is this thick filter that all humans naturally develop involving images, given that on a normal day we are exposed to millions and millions of images. We judge them very quickly. The image is fleeting. Yet it remains a very very powerful object, because (at least personally I understand it this way) when we get hung up on an image, when one really speaks to us, we can relate, communicate, and connect in a way that words, and even emotions, cannot explain. In this way I can only hope the titles are bridges to that world.

mwj_silentheart_galleryhijinksSilent Heart

GH: What is the greatest challenge for you in producing a new piece? Which piece has been the biggest obstacle for your solo exhibit “I’m Here Now” at Gallery Hijinks?

MWJ: Late at night not having enough beer or marijuana can be a real challenge. Luckily you can find those both almost 24hrs a day in S.F. Though honestly all the pieces for this show have been a challenge. Because I’m still quite new to the city, and this place is so full of life and beauty and grime and everything else, it’s been an obstacle to get out of the sun and fun and into the studio. But I’m here now goddamn it. I actually slept here last night, which begins the 18hr days of studio life. What fun.


GH: What are three kinds of media that inspire your work (books, TV, music, movies)?

MWJ: Books, music, marijuana.


GH: What do you think about art school?

MWJ: I don’t much think about art school. Though a wise friend of mine once said, “those who know, teach. Those who can, do.” which I think is true for many things in life, including art school.


GH: Before you started painting the abstract, intricate and geometric paintings that you are known for, what was your focus as a painter?

MWJ: I experimented quite a bit through my youth with many forms of graffiti, angsty basquiat-esk paintings, photography, and stick figure sequences of skateboard maneuvers, things like that. In my late teens, early twenties, I got into phase of en plein air painting. An old artist buddy of mine Jason Mann and I would drive his van out to rural areas of Ohio, just take a left here and a right there until we found some land filled beauty to render. That was my jam for some time. I even exhibited and sold many of them in Ohio.


GH: What inspired you to change direction from oil painting to using acrylic, spray paint and pencil?

MWJ: On one of these excursions to nature, a gust of wind came tearing across the field that I had just caught in simple planes of oil paint on this 24″ square panel. The panel became one with the wind of the field and took flight. Like most doomed artists I was standing a few feet back with my head tilted in gaze at the masterpiece I was working on. The fuckin thing came soaring, smashed me right between the eyes, and then sailed on, leaving me nearly unconscious bleeding in the dirt. I lost quite a bit of blood, which in time turned to a scar and I quit the field altogether. It was divine intervention I believe.


GH: Give us a brief description of this so-called artist collective known as the “Brohemians”.

MWJ: The Brohemian club is faction of The Together Family, a loose collection of artist/friends that are drawn to each other and similar dynamic pose. A typical day for a Brohemian might go like this: coffee, artworks all day (*all day begins around noon), beer drinking starts around 5, skate the quarter pipe in the studio for a while, smoke ciggs on the loading dock, talk about arty shit, paint, read, stare at a painting, stare at the painting, by chance end up in a car with some other like minded folks from a different city, drive to the ocean and fall asleep with all your clothes on and your shoes off. A telltale sign: all Brohemians sleep shoe free. Most of us also have a terrible homemade tattoo or two or too many.


GH: What one person would you want to have dinner with (living or dead)?

MWJ: Living – Tauba Auerbach, Dead – My grandfather

Mark Warren Jacques photo by Jason Levins

My picks for this weekends art events.

Fri, Oct 8th 7-11pm; Sat-Sun, Oct 9-10 11am-6pm, San Francisco: Open Studios

As the largest and first open studios program in the country, SF Open Studios showcases a multitude of artists, styles, and mediums that may lie just around the corner. Explore San Francisco and the Art Made Here each October. The first weekend of the month is dedicated to ArtSpan’s celebratory kick-off events at the SF Open Studios Exhibition, followed by four weekends that feature open artists’ studios. Weekend 1: October 9 & 10, 11am to 6pm  is in Bernal Heights, Castro, Duboce, Eureka Valley, Glen Park, Mission, Noe Valley, Portola Download Weekend 1 Map

2010SFOpenStudios_Weekend1 (1) (dragged)

(Click on map to enlarge)

Friday October 8: Art Explosion Fall Open Studios

Art Explosion Studios, the Mission’s largest Artist’s collective is holding its annual Fall Open Studios on October 8th thru the 10th. Come see over 130 artists as they open their studios to exhibit their work. Painters, sculptures, photographers, fashion designers, jewelers and textile artists will be showing so there will be something for every type of art connoisseur. The free opening reception gala will be on Friday, October 8th from 7-11pm. Don’t miss this opportunity to get a first look at all the incredible work that will be on display and enjoy a spectacular night out viewing art.

fallopenstudios2010web3Three Locations:
2425 17th St, SF, CA,  744 Alabama St, SF, CA,    2345 Harrison St, SF, CA
Fri, Oct 8th 7-11pm; Sat-Sun, Oct 9-10 11am-6pm

Friday, Oct 8th (7-10pm): Fecal Face’s 10 Year Anniversary Show Closing Party @The Luggage Store Gallery
This Friday is your last chance to view Fecal Face’s wonderful 10 Year Anniversary group show, and this time we have live music there in the gallery! Not just Tommy Guerrero playing solo, but he’s bringing the full band with keys and drums for a complete set. A special night for FREE (well, can donate at the door if you want)… Complimentary wine shall be served as well.


Saturday October 9: Highly Contagious Closing Party @ Gallery Hijinks

We hope to see you this Saturday night!!! We’ll be drinking Trader Joes Simpler Times and hanging out from 6-10pm.


Saturday October 9: Nock Nock @ Needles & Pens

AJ Fosik, Chris Johanson, Danilo Stankovic,Holly Stevenson, James Benjamin Franklin, Jeff Olsson, Jennifer Muskopf, Johanna Jackson,Keith Shore, Kim Hiorthøy, Malin Gabriella Nordin, Matthew Feyld, Megan Whitmarsh,Misaki Kawai, Peter Larsson, Phil Elverum,Ragnar Persson, Shoboshobo, & a mural by Richard Colman PLUS MUSIC BY: Death Cheetah


We hope to see you out and about this weekend!

Studio Visit: Mark Warren Jacques

As some of you may know, I intermittently guest blog for My Love For You Is a Stampede Of Horses. A few weeks ago I did a studio visit with Mr. Mark Warren Jacques that I thought I’d share in case you missed it.


“Contributor and gallerist, Jillian Mackintosh shares with us her latest studio visit with newly transplanted artist, Mark Warren Jacques. Mark’s studio is a pretty remarkable place, however Jillian’s pics make it look even more inviting than ever. They make me want to grab a sleeping bag and sleep under the stars surrounded by Mark’s work.” – meighan

Mark Warren Jacques admittedly has an amorous disposition and this time he’s fallen in love with San Francisco. While embracing different cultures, ideals and perspectives he’s undergone a metamorphosis in his painting, both conceptually and symbolically. Last week I dropped by the warehouse where Mark has built himself a zen tent in the attic studio space. A skylight reflects bright light into the white cotton tent filled with succulent plants, a guitar and new paintings for his upcoming solo exhibition I’m Here Now at Gallery Hijinks this October.



Introspection of the mind, body and soul are divulged figuratively while remaining abstract. Bright colors cluster together with patterns and stark edges as elements of the natural world take form with bare boned foliage and starry constellations. Mark tells me he’s experimenting with form, figures and anatomy for his next show which should be an interesting addition to his existing spectrum of symmetrical and organic shapes.











Gallery Hijinks · 2309 Bryant Street · San Francisco, CA 94110-2810
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