Take a walk through a day with David Bayus as he documents his processes of sculpting, photography, digital media, and painting.
Archives: 2011 May
We recently had the opportunity to talk with artist, David Bayus on his upcoming solo exhibition, Bad Casserole. David’s work is out of this world! Check out what he has to say about his new collection.
Whitney Lasker: Can you talk to us about your upcoming show “Bad Casserole” and the an concept and/or theme?
David Bayus: This body of work focuses on my own desire to develop a personal non-linear narrative based on the excessive, material nature of our existence while using a visual language that I feel best represents that existence. We view objects and images simultaneously as both literal documentative subjects and as representations of personal or cultural meaning. This osculation between the documentative and the representational is the basis of approach to each piece in the show.
The title for the show “Bad Casserole” comes from the title of an early work I did using the mixed media process that I use now. Bad Casserole seemed like a fitting show title.
WL: How do you decide what textures and content you are going to work with?
DB: A large part of the initial process is intuitive, I’ll see an object that catches my attention or I’ll sculpt something that hits the right notes. When I assemble the individual objects together, a narrative emerges, albeit an intentionally non-linear one. From there, the rest of the competition and the final image are centered around that narrative.
WL: Tell us about the materials you use in your art?
DB: Keeping the material qualities of the imagery is important. This aesthetic lends itself to the history of craft; the creation of objects from other objects.
WL: How do you think technology has changed painting?
DB: I think the current advancements in technology are informing painting to a similar degree that photography did when it was invented. The difference being that photography presented us with the documented reality of objects, while the advancements we have today with computer rendering programs for visual media, advances in printing, and the increasing fluidity of digital images themselves; are creating space for new approaches to be considered, I think artists are starting to look at digital media not just as a conceptual basis for making art, but as simply the best tool for the job if needed.
I think digital media has had a more direct influence on photography than its had on painting. The overall result I think is movement towards a merging of disciplines that I think is really exciting. Painting will always have an important role to play. Its singular, performative, and ultimately representational. Photography is reproductive, mechanical, and ultimately documentative. Digital media moves between these qualities freely, but is ultimately synthetic. Painting has qualities that are specific only unto itsef, which is why I like to use all three mediums, not as a conceptual basis, but for thier distinct qualities as images.
That Museum Visit by David Bayus
WL: You mentioned in a past interview that you where saving up for a camera. Can you tell us about this camera and how it has changed your work?
DB: The purchase of my Canon EOS 5d Mark II is probably the most imporant thing to happen to my art practice since I learned how to paint. Before I had my camera, I was using found imagery for digital collages. I was at the whim of whatever I could find that worked for what I wanted to do. Using my own photography has opened up avenues for creating a new visual language, it allows me to control every aspect of the composition, and gives me the ability to add a layer of representation into the objects being photographed that was impossible before. The change in my work after I finally got my hands on that camera has been dramatic.
WL: What is your process from start to finish for each of your pieces?
DB: It generally starts by walking around my apartment, then out into stores, walking the aisles of Safeway, looking for any object (usually utilitarian in function) that catches my eye. After that I’ll bring the objects home and begin creating a narrative. I’ll sculpt objects out of colored paper, clay, colored sticks, food, etc. based on expanding that narrative. After I have a complete composition, I’ll separate each object to be documented. I’ll use different lighting techniques to create atmosphere and photograph each object with my camera. After I’ve uploaded the photos onto the computer, I put the images back together, and then print the final composition and mount it to panel. Then, I’ll mount the panel to stretcher bars and seal the print to get it ready for painting. The painting process is significant because it brings the singular back into the final image. There’s a contrast that occurs when a painting and a photograph are placed together that I’ve always been drawn to. The documentative and the representational. I try to bring that contrast to the lowest point possible by painting the same object that is photographed in a realistic manner. Trying to get the different mediums as close together as possible. But there will allways be that contrast. I want it to be there. Its like two people showing up to a party wearing the same outfit.
WL: What other artist do you think your work draws a parallel with?
DB: I was turned on to the work of Czech Animator Jan Svankmajer this past fall. His animated short “Dimensions of Dialogue” is one of the greatest things Ive ever seen, and instantly drew parallels to my own work.
WL: Color seems to play a large role in your work, please explain the current palate in your recent work.
DB: Well, I think if your a visual artist and your not working in black and white, then color should be an important part of your work! I look at color as a way of creating compositional lines, emphasizing certain areas or making others low key. I approach the color choices in my work based on the local color; whats present in the photography. If I need something to jump out I’ll use a complementary color scheme (i.e. turquoise and orange) and if I want something to sit back I’ll use an analogous or tertiary color scheme.
WL: If you had to describe your work in 5 words what would they be (not a sentence)?
DB: Sculptural. Visceral. Synthetic. Funk. Funk. I like Funk. Can I use Funk twice?
WL: How does your artwork make you feel? How do you think your viewers will feel when you see your collection?
DB: I think a piece is sucessful when I look at it and think that it looks like the description of experiences that I cant put into words. The work is intentionally non-linear an non-illustrative so that each viewer will have different feelings when they look at a piece. I don’t know what viewers will feel when they look at my work, but I know that it will be different than what I feel, and I love that.
Last night all of us at the gallery went to the ArtPad preview event. Alongside the amazing works featured by some of our favorite galleries, we also enjoyed live music and some interesting performance art. Here are are just a few photos of the art we saw there. If you live in SF this is definitely one art fair you shouldn’t miss!
These works by C. Finley were at a few different booths. We really love the geometric, bright, naughty paintings by this Rome based artist.
Just for kicks! So funny!
We had a great time at the opening of Sunken Dreams by Robert Minervini and we hope you did too. We are psyched out of our minds because we love his work so much. We had an awesome opening reception, thanks to all you who made it out and we are looking forward to spending the rest of the month with Minervini’s work! We would like to take this time to show you some of his past paintings mixed with some new. Enjoy
Opening: June 4th 2011, 6-10pm
June 4th 2011 to June 25th 2011
Gallery Hijinks is proud to present Bad Casserole a collection of mixed media works by David Bayus. In his first solo exhibition the artist focuses on his desire to develop a personal non-linear narrative based on the excessive material nature of his own experience. His work employs a unique visual language that utilizes the inherent implications of sculpture, photography, digital media, and traditional painting techniques. Please join us for the opening reception on June 4th, 2011 from 6-10pm.
Bayus’ process begins with creating assemblages of both found and sculpted objects drawn from his environment. This aesthetic lends itself to the history of craft and our relationship to functional and utilitarian objects. He then photographs the individual components of the assemblage with different lighting techniques to create varying atmospheres. Afterwards he digitally montages the images together and prints the final composition onto panel.
Using traditional painting techniques, Bayus adds a final layer of singular representation to the work by painting the same object that is photographed. This contrast between the documented and the representational, the painted image and the print; completes the process by bringing the image to a point of unified tension. The inherent contrasting qualities of each medium are brought together to form a unified narrative of personal experience.
The exhibition Bad Casserole offers viewers a rare look at an intriguing and highly individual artist. The exhibition opens June 4th, 2011 and will be on display until June 25th, 2011 and is open to the public.
Contemplation of Humanitarian Theory and The Sublime
Written by Libby Nicholaou
After spending a sunny San Francisco Saturday afternoon with Minervini, visiting the SFMOMA and listening to a talk on personal identity at the YBCA, I discovered he’s an artist who values the ideas of various creative individuals throughout history. He’s been particularly swept away by Buckminister Fuller’s theories on humanity and ingenuity of design, in particular with the geodesic dome. He recalls Fuller’s writing and quotes him as striving to be “the world’s most successful failure.” Through Fuller’s insistent efforts to seek new discoveries, it’s easy to understand why Minervini couples him with Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe’s writings on the sublime. Taking the influence of these men into account it is understood that much of what Minervini paints is a visual dialogue in response to the ways they probed at understanding humanity’s root nature and redemptive qualities.
The works, in Robert Minervini’s solo exhibition at Gallery Hijinks, focus on the idea of utopia by way of geodesic domes, desolate landscapes and radioactive colors. Although a young painter, Minervini has transformed much in his career, moving from painting purely figurative murals to the abstracted landscapes we see today. His choice to move towards abstraction was spurred by a realization that more can be said when blurring the lines of reality. As part of his evolution he’s removed the human figure from the canvas but says the figure is still a central role in his works. There is a real pleasure experienced when viewing these paintings, it is as though Minervini is creating a portal to undiscovered or abandoned planets that are mirrors of our world which have more to offer than believed before.
Setting humanity as the subject matter but not actually painting figures on the canvas opens a new space for the viewer to step in freely. Through the domes, Minervini provides the viewer with an image to look into, look out of, or step inside of. The geometric patterns of the domes and the still landscapes surrounding them invite the viewer to pause, while their eyes wonder over the canvas. As the viewer takes time to discover the paintings’ different characteristics, they see he has taken note of his art training by use of formal elements, such as color, texture and line. In most paintings, he’s created a sense of depth through the allusion to deep space, use of vanishing points carrying the eye deeper into the painting and selecting cool colors that remove anxiety from the mind and give a somber tone to the body of work. These elements open the paintings up and take the viewer to another location, often leaving them with a sensation of awe, which most of us forget to translate into the sublime.
Since moving to the bay area Minervini’s path has included much formal guidance as a recent fine arts graduate from the San Francisco Art Institute, former resident with the Headlands Center for The Arts and resident artist at Root Division. He is able to realize that as individuals we are able to translate many complex things in life but with art not even the artist can provide a full translation. They can explain their technique, philosophy, and intent behind each interacting element within a composition; but to assign a definite meaning would flatten one’s experience.
Through my Saturday afternoon with Minervini I realized this even more as he continued to talk about the connection between the sublime, beauty, and art. Most of us who studied the liberal arts in school have an understanding of their differences but here Rolfe gives us a reminder in saying, “Thus in Schiller beauty is inferior to the sublime because the latter leads to a condition of thought which is independent of all sensuous affects,’ which is to say, of all that is fundamental to the beautiful.” In Minervini’s paintings, the abstract touches on the sublime carrying the viewer beyond their meaning, to a possibility for more understanding than what is before our eyes.
Katie Baum’s photo series
“Lightbox SF is hosting a series of artist marketing parties to get you out of the studio, meeting new friends and thinking about how to better market your art. We’re gathering together artists, gallery owners, and others in the industry who “get it” to mix and mingle. Grab a glass of wine, nibble some cheese, and make friends. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn.
On Thursday May 12th we will be hosting a panel discussion including local jewelry artist Shana Astrachan, photographer Trish Tunney, Yabette Alfaro owner of Swankety Swank, Giselle Gyalzen and Gallery Hijinks owner Jillian Mackintosh. Genevieve and I will interview the panel and then open the floor to the audience questions focusing on selling art and craft in SF. Gallery Hijinks will be our gracious host for the evening. The festivities start at 6pm with wine and beer, the panel will begin promptly at 6:30 and last roughly 45 minutes. The rest of the evening is left to mingling and making new friends. There will be very limited seating so please do arrive early to save a chair. If you have any disabilities or concerns with seating please let me know and I will make sure there is a place available for you.” -LB
What: Drinks and conversation.
Why: To bring a greater sense of community among art professionals, and because it’s fun!
When: Thursday May 12, 6-9pm, panel from 630-715
Where: Gallery Hijinks – 2309 Bryant St (between 21st St & 22nd St)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
As a busy weekend approaches of art auctions, exhibitions, and events, we’ve spotlighted a San Francisco artist who’s taken the surrounding environment and translated it into beautiful paintings for his solo exhibition titled Sunken Dreams. Check out what Robert Minervini has to say about his influences, views on art and upcoming exhibition.
Please join us for the opening reception on May 7th, 2011 from 6-11pm.
Video By Third Street Works.