Archives: 2010 November

Artist Feature: Fernando Pizarro

Fernando Pizarro is an artist from Mexico City. He graduated in 2009 from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City with a B.A. on interactive Design, allowing him to participate in a student exchange program with the Facultad de Bellas Artes of the Universidad de Barcelona in Spain. His focus is creating art that emphasizes and revalues the issues of his generation. He presents these issues as conflicts that should be dealt with and solved in order to find the emotional, spiritual, and social evolution of the individual and humanity. His work portrays the idea of his generation as a transitional one, meaning to consciously live wanting more. This issue leads to implicit violence, frustration, and deception. He portrays theses issues using various mediums.

fernando pizzaro

To create his most recent work, Pizzaro uses mainly cutout ink drawings on paper, which he then positions in different layers to create small relief structures. All the paper used in his works is 100% reused.  He also uses magnets, wood, acrylic as well as oil paint. Pizarro has participated in a number of collective exhibitions and art projects and will be having an individual exhibition in April 2011 in the Mexican Gallery, Traeger & Pinto.

fernando pizzaro

This piece is called “Soy, Soy” translated in english “I am, I am”. It is a figurative concept or portrait of the obsession that the contemporary individual has with finding themselves, both superficially and spiritually. This piece attempts to bring the individual to his truths and deals with questioning the honesty of an individual within themselves utilizing  techniques and tools that can be used to discover the truth within ones self.

I am. 2010. 72 x 72 x 7.2 cm. Expanded graph. Ink on paper and wood reused on screen.

fernando pizzaro soy, soy

fernando pizzaro soy, soy

fernando pizzaro soy, soy

fernando pizzaro soy, soy

I rely on the theoretical background previously synthesized for the production of collage “Homo economicus” understood as a subjective portrait of the human being produced by the neoliberal system, which in its pretension to quench their thirst, have a serious spiritual crisis. In this case the agony ignored by the spiritually poor man is the leading theme of the work presented.

Main element was taken as a cell, container of human DNA, which consists of a series of small format drawings representatives of symbolic features, figurative and abstract form the identity of this human being postmodern.”

Homo economicus. 2010. 165 cm in diameter. Expanded graph. Ink on paper and wood reused on screen.

Frenando Pizzaro Homo Economicus

Frenando Pizzaro Homo economicus

Frenando Pizzaro Homo economicus

More recent works from this amazing artist. Look out for him in 2011 at Gallery Hijinks!

Fernando Pizzaro entera1

Fernando Pizzaro entera1

Fernando Pizzaro entera1

Fernando Pizzaro entera1

Fernando Pizzaro entera1

Fernando Pizzaro entera1

Artist Feature: Eric Helvie

Eric Helvie was born in Portland, OR in 1984 but raised Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. He paints with acrylic and latex, creates amazingly detailed drawings with pen on paper and even builds sculptures out of plastic straws.


He currently has a show at The Black Tag in New York, and will have some work in our group show this March. Keep an eye out for this guy in the upcoming months at Gallery Hijinks but for now enjoy this artist’s array of styles, mediums and concepts.

eric helvie

eric helvie

eric helvie

eric helvie



eric helvie

eric helvie

eric helvie

Pictures from Biosynthesis Opening Reception

Thanks to everyone who braved the treacherous rain storm this past Saturday to attend the opening of Biosynthesis. We had such a blast and hope you all did too. Take a look at some pictures we shot in the midst of the action packed night. Also we still have one or two of some prints left for sale so check out the online shop and grab one for yourself before we run out!

Yellena James

Pete Belkin Installation

Art enthusiasts

Pete Belkin

Andrew and Joe

silhouette of the crowd


prints for $25

laughter and good times

From outside the gallery



Yellena is so cute!

Pete Belkin Installation

rained cats and dogs

Robert Minervini

Andrew and friends


There’s much, much more on our flickr site, check them out!

Alarm Press Gallery Spotlight

We were recently interviewed for which is ALARM Magazine’s online site. The magazine is published four times a year from their headquarters in a small Chicago office, along with a cast of contributing writers spread across the country. They are a pretty tight crew who “listen to thousands of CDs, view hundreds of gallery openings, and attend lectures and live concerts in order to present inspirational artists who are fueled by an honest and contagious obsession with their art.”

Check out what they had to say about Gallery Hijinks on


Installation of Biosynthesis

Todays gloomy weather has been replaced with vibrant paintings and the makings of an exotic installation in Gallery Hijinks. In a matter of days the space has transformed before our eyes. Here’s a quick look at the installation process by Yellena James and Pete Belkin. We hope to see you tomorrow for the opening reception of Biosynthesis from 6 to 10pm!

yellena james install

Drawings and paintings by Yellena.

yellena james install

yellena james install

What goes where? First step is to lay out the show, then hang.

pete belkin install

Pete on top of the entry way installing painted eucalyptus branches tied together with yellow and blue strings which grow out from the ceilings.

pete belkin install

pete belkin install

yellena james

Andrew delivering SFAQ magazines

Andrew stopped by with more SFAQ Magazine for us!

yellena james small resin pieces

Small resin pieces for those who need just a little something to bring home.

Artist Feature: Uri Korn

Uri Korn is a photographer based out of Oakland, Ca. You might have seen his photographs in Hamberger Eyes, but most recently his new blog features some great black and white photos of “Proofs From The Great Experiment.” All Photos copyright Uri Korn 2010.









New Prints by Lisa Congdon

Lisa Congdon dropped off some truly amazing prints this morning. The original painting titled Benevolent Pirate Ship is 9 x 12 x 1.5 inches, painted with gouache on masonite. The print is a limited edition of 40, printed on 11.75 x 15 inch acid free paper, signed, numbered, dated by the artist and ready to sail to your home.

Benevolent Pirate Ship Print by Lisa Congdon

Check out what the rest of these exclusive prints at our online store.

Rolleiflex Print by Lisa Congdon

The Addax Print by Lisa Congdon

“Artificially Natural” by SF Weekly

This morning SF Weekly published a great article on Biosynthesis which opens this Saturday at Gallery Hijinks. Check it out on page 23 of this weeks paper or read on.


Artificially Natural

Yellena James‘ former shows have names such as “Succulence,” “Stasis,” and “Aquarium.” No wonder: Her mesmerizing paintings and drawings contain paisleylike jellyfish and otherworldly plants that are loose and organic while also painstakingly precise. Her vividly colored forms are vaguely representational yet strongly purposeful — like an elaborate vintage wallpaper pattern that’s slowly changing after being injected with LSD. Artist Pete Belkin also mixes synthetic elements with natural forms, but in three dimensions. Some of his works consist of groups of long branches, painted garish colors, that appear to be climbing and embracing large trees. Their work comes together in “Biosynthesis.” Belkin’s installations conjure being inside a larger organism, whereas James’ 2-D works serve as windows to faraway places. The gallery calls it an “alluring ecosystem.” We call it a natural mix.

The opening reception starts at 6 p.m.” – By Keith Bowers

Riff Raff a new zine by Mildred

Riff Raff zine by Mildred

Riff Raff zine by Mildred is 32 pages of drawings, paintings, skating, eating, drinking, picture taking, long frontside boardslides in a mini ramp, and other stuff. This new zine is his fourth edition which includes stickers with every zine purchase. Buy this zine at Gallery Hijinks online shop and get weird!

Riff Raff zine by Mildred

Riff Raff zine by Mildred

Riff Raff zine by Mildred

Riff Raff zine by Mildred

Interview: Yellena James

This month we have the pleasure of working with a very talented and driven artist named Yellena James. In this interview we learned that her work for Biosynthesis stems from a deep place culturally, physiologically and even physically. Her drawings and paintings stimulates the mind and imagination to discover “a place they’ve always wanted to go”. As you read on, take a look at some of the new works that will be exhibited at Gallery Hijinks this November and December.


Gallery Hijinks: Describe to me what biosynthesis means to you.

Yellena James: I think that biosynthesis (a process by which cells get together to create complex chemical products from their own various substrates) is a good metaphor for how art is born of an artist’s own more-abstract substrates, such as their experiences, perceptions or beliefs.. not to mention blood, sweat & tears.

GH: What is your greatest influence in constructing these recent creations?

YJ: My muse guides my hand so it’s always hard to pin point specific influences. I just get to work, pick up my favorite pen, a nice piece of paper, stare at it for about 15 minutes and then I attack. Sometimes I look at my previous work and see some intriguing elements that I might want to explore deeper. Balance, symbiosis and interconnectedness is something I strive to project.

parity by yellena james

GH: Your recent works for “Biosynthesis” give me the tranquil feeling of swimming deep through the Great Barrier Reef. Have you ever done any scuba diving, or studied the ocean?

YJ: I’ve never been scuba diving. I did love visiting the Adriatic Sea coast as a child, and in Florida I lived an hour from the ocean. I also lived right on the Pacific coast for a few years. So, the ocean was always near, but I don’t consciously focus on aquatic elements in my work. In fact, I’m pretty scared of deep water, but I am also fascinated by the ocean and deep sea creatures. I know there is this whole beautiful alien world underneath the dark surface of the water.

prefix by yellena james

GH: How have your experiences in Sarajevo impacted your art?

YJ: I started going to an art high school while the city was still under siege. It was a small group of students with only one art teacher. It’s hard to put it all into just a few sentences and try to explain what making art meant to me at that time. Lets just say it was worth running past snipers and ducking through trenches to go draw every day. I lived right on the front line for almost 3 years. We would sit at home and the bullets would pierce through our apartment, and very often grenades and mortars would hit our building. Once, I was in the kitchen having lunch with my family when a tank missile blew our living room to a fine powder. When your life is in constant danger like this, you are constantly aware of everything around you and all of your senses are turned up to high. Everything you feel, you feel to a maximum degree – good and bad. When I got out of that environment and was thrown back into ‘normal’ life, my perception of the world was pretty messed up. Continuing to do art made the most sense as a way to connect with everything around me, and I really wanted to bring some beauty into the world.. still do.

range by yellena james

GH: Growing up and attending art school in Sarajevo, Bosnia, must have allowed you the opportunity to work with varying artistic resources. What other mediums did you explore before finding your niche within pen and ink on paper, and acrylic on wood panel?

YJ: Our resources were incredibly minimal during the war. We had pencils and we barely had enough paper to draw on. My teacher had this strategy to have us perfect line work first and so that’s what we did for months. Older students had the privilege of working with colored pencils, ooooh fancy. Sounds kind of boring, but the work that came out of that school was so amazing. When I came to the US I continued to study drawing with some great teachers, but also got to do printmaking, ceramics, photography, graphic design and painting.

aloft by yellena james

GH: How has Portland impacted your art and/or processes?

YJ: I’m pretty new to Portland but so far I really like it. There are some impressive talents living and working here. I recently had the pleasure of doing a group show with some lingering favorites of mine, APAK, Betsy Walton and Jill Bliss, all of whom are now local. It was an awesome experience. We all worked on the same pieces, often side by side, and it was neat how relaxed everyone was and how we all brought a different perspective and approach to drawing and painting. Aside from that, Portland has history, culture, great music, great food, friendly people and a million things to do, rain or shine. I hope to be even more involved with the art scene here as time goes on.


(Collaboration piece with Yellena James, APAK, Betsy Walton and Jill Bliss.)

GH: Do you have a favorite space you like to work in, or be in to think, create, eat, play, etc?

YJ: Yes, my husband just recently finished renovating my new studio. We actually bought our house primarily because it has a 1000sq foot space in the back. Half of that is now my studio and we’re hoping to fill the other half with a silkscreen operation, letterpress, kiln and a bunch of other art equipment. I’ve been spending most of my time in there lately. Just me, my supplies, lots of coffee and lots of Arcade Fire.

taste by yellena james

GH: What do you hope for people to feel when they look at your art?

YJ: I want them to feel something pure and beautiful, positive and uplifting, and I want them to see something new and intriguing but vaguely recognizable at the same time. I want them to look at one of my pieces and disappear for a moment to a place they’ve always wanted to go. That’s what it feels like for me. It takes a lot of time, effort, thinking, solving, adding etc. to get it right and sometimes the process hurts even physically but then it always rewards me with something new and inviting and every time I get into my work I am reminded how much I love what I do.

GH: If you could work in any medium despite price or accessibility, what would it be, and what would you do?

YJ: Tough question because I would love to explore so many mediums. I think mainly I want to make a documentary. I’m really just waiting for the right moment to start that project. I do believe anything is achievable if you really want it.

-Interview by Karanina Leigh

Gallery Hijinks · 2309 Bryant Street · San Francisco, CA 94110-2810
All content & imagery are copyright © Gallery Hijinks 2017 & its artists.
Join our Mailing List: