Archives: 2012 June

Margo Duvall

We’ve had a lot of beautiful installations in the gallery windows and I’m excited to put more amazing work by Margo Duvall in them. Margo has been perfecting and perfecting her photo transfers on different mediums and I’m thrilled to showcase her work which uses lights and the fantastic sunlight that comes into Hijink’s windows.

Margo investigates the role of photography as a means of documentation for moments that have passed, on both personal and historical levels. Photographs, however, also provide us with a false sense of security. Time moves on, photographs fade, people die, and memory deteriorates. Duvall’s delicate installation both reference the fragile and time sensitive elements of memory and photography’s role in this process.

Margo Duvall: We take pictures because we want to remember. We want to remember what someone looked like, our first day of school, our parents, and other significant moments, people, and events in our lives. We want to preserve the moments we fear will inevitably grow dim. We want to be remembered after we die, and photography serves us as a form of immortality.

Photographs provide us with proof that something once happened. They serve as documents for moments that have passed, on both personal and historical levels. But they also provide us with a false sense of security. Time moves on, photographs fade, people die, and memory deteriorates.

My interest in the role photography plays in our memory came about in a box at an antique store. There, I pieced together moments of a man’s life from his childhood through his elder years. Snapshots have become the residue, the evidence of our experiences. How does something so valuable, so representative of a person’s life, wind up as a commodity for sale in an antique store?

This work is an attempt to sustain the fleeting moments of families and lives. My desire to preserve photographs as memory in an unchanging state is symbolized by the selection of the materials used to encase them. The transparent medium simultaneously protects the image and retains a sense of memory within itself- acting as a skin containing and encompassing traces of where it has been. It holds information, immersed beneath the surface, which can be seen upon inspection. This acts much like our memories, in that the clues are there, but they are not always recognizable or understandable.

The images in this show are fragments in time. They become layered, obscured, and complicated by association with other moments. The invitation is open for the viewer to encounter these memories, discern the histories, create their own narratives, and be inspired to stimulate their own memory.

Lurk some Daryll Peirce

We’re excited to have a piece by Daryll Peirce for Visions of Yore, opening on July 7th. When I was reviewing his submission for the show I was enthralled by his artist statement and the depth that it brought to his piece. Very rarely am I drawn to work where I don’t know the process and circumstances surrounding its creation. After reading his statement I felt every emotion and intension surrounding the work.

Daryll Pierce dives into his mental and physical state for the past 18 months, culminating with a layered painting documenting his past and process. Representing both a sense of gnawing sleeplessness that feeds his dark side and blissful moments of dreamlike consciousness, it is a meditative statement urging us to move forward no matter the obstacles.

Daryll Peirce: Recently I finished this painting, “The Vulnerability Evoked in Failing to Capture the Mind’s Ceaselessly Combusting Ephemera” and damn it felt good. My focus had been steadily worsening over the past few months and I just couldn’t seem to keep a single thought in my head, or stay on task for more than a couple minutes at a time. Quieting the mind was impossible and thoughts were entering and flying out of my head at a rate comparable to a hallucinogenic journey. I was feeling, defeated, tired, weak and desperate to grasp a hold of my sanity above the surface while weight steadily tugged me under. I’d honestly thought I was beginning to lose my mind and started seeking help.

Shifting from a self destructive workaholic night owl into a parent and provider was a hell of a transition this past year and a half. Since becoming a father, my love, dedication, fear and “scatterbrain-ness” have intensified tenfold. Our daughter is incredible, but unfortunately not a sleeper. It’d been 1.5 years and my little gal still had yet to sleep through the night. I’m not complaining, just saying it’s been really nice these past couple weeks now that she’s learned to self-sooth and finally sleep through to the early morning. Since then, much of my clarity has returned and I can focus on tasks again such as typing this. So looking back, lack of sleep was definitely the biggest culprit. Also, multiple injuries kept me from exercising and my ever-amassing workload kept me from leaving the house/studio very often. No bueno.

I started this particular piece some time ago and put it on the back burner. In hindsight, I suppose I had a hard time getting back to it because it reminded me of all the frustrating roadblocks I was going through that would lead to this end result. Also, more and more time was lapsing since my last series while I conceptualized, sketched and accumulated materials for upcoming large scale and longer-term projects. I’m excited about the upcoming work, but it doesn’t provide the satisfaction achieved by a timely completion.

Something weird happens if I don’t paint for a month or so. As each day passes it get’s harder and harder to get back into it. Fears start to creep in and the self introspection and questioning arises that, unfortunately for me, tends to lean on the darker side. Compound that with the frustration of the business side of art and other hindrances that cloud inspiration and fuel procrastination and I soon begin to over-analyze everything to the point of exhausting apathy. It gets easier to ignore your fears and handle life’s boring, sometimes mindless tasks instead of delving back inside your own head to confront everything that’s been bottling up and still waiting for you there.

Although I do often enjoy art-making, for the most part it’s extremely stressful. The sketching and conceptual side and the gratification of finishing are really the only parts that don’t make my stomach seize up and riddle my mind with anxiety. It’s not relaxing in any way to constantly confront your fears and analyze, evaluate and dissect yourself and what you put into this world. No happy little trees over here (RIP Bob Ross). That said, I know that being hard on yourself and forcing unrealistic pressures into your daily life is stupid, pointless, and nothing but a self-induced sword over your head, but it’s all I know and in the end is the reason my ideas actually come to fruition.

So, I’ve learned a few things in writing out these thoughts. It’s best to never stop producing, try your best not to be hard on yourself, and sleeping is really fucking important.

Photo above by Shaun Roberts

Visions of Yore Artist: Alexis Arnold


Alexis Arnold creates books frozen with heavy crystal growth that can be seen as artifacts or geologic specimens laden with the history of time, use, and narrative. Stories often exist in our memories while a book remains a spine on a shelf. Often we shape our experiences and thoughts from specific stories that play into our memories and thought processes. Arnold creates a fanciful way of regarding stories and their roles in our present and past experiences.


Arnold is a sculptor and installation artist interested in the visual displays of decay and growth, as well as time and history as physical entities. Objects, whether undisturbed for long periods, in frequent use, or victims fallen to incidents such as fire or flood, have their own life cycles of accumulation and decomposition.

Arnold creates these changes over abbreviated time frames through catalyzed natural processes, such as crystal growth or forced oxidation, in an effort to see objects in a new way, with a new history. In addition to a range of casting materials, her work often includes found objects (bones, books, bicycle wheels, kitchen paraphernalia, crab shells, etc) with crystals grown on them. The crystal growth highlights or creates the aesthetics of these once-utilitarian objects that are entering the world of obsolescence, as well as acts to suggest past and future narratives laden with memory, wonder, and the interminable progression of time.

Sea of Love by Tahiti Pehrson

I stopped by a small ‘informal talk’ with Tahiti Pehrson and Meg Shiffler held in front of the SFAC gallery window installation site. If you live in San Francisco you might have seen a smaller window installation made by Pehrson around 24th and York.

Pehrson has created a very beautiful and intricate installation made out of hand cut paper. The discussion between him and Meg outside of the installation ranged from the Fibonacci sequence, to process driven work, to the benefits of working from home. I love seeing the reflection of the city in his installation as well. His work reminds me of our own Yellena James’ awesome window installation which contains hand cut paper objects as well…worlds COLLIDE!

Check out more at the SFAC website and go look at his installation! You won’t regret it!


Artists from Visions of Yore: Erin Mitchell

Get ready for some posts featuring our artists selected for the upcoming show, Visions of Yore.

First up…Erin Mitchell.

Black and Blue, 2010, Silkscreen on paper, 30 x 40 inches

Erin explores the disorientation and distortion linked to the psychosomatic experience of trauma. She creates forms and spaces that re-envision this complex experience, often aligning themes of the unharnessed chaos and force of natural disaster with the memory and intimate experience of personal “disaster.” Mitchell’s work plays on the lines between abstract and figural, excitement and agitation, and seduction and violence. While often evoking a paralyzing fear of immobility or emptiness, these pieces also flash and rupture with a manic vulnerability – and a strikingly human pulse.

Her process is often key to its conceptual fabric. Her pieces start with the instant transfer of pulling a silkscreen print. This action is recorded as a snapshot in time, a mark of something that has happened, but lingers, physically, on the page. The rest of piece is built out from the visceral and emotional response to this moment, like a recurring dream or memory that continues to seep into and intervene in our present thought and action. In her pieces Black and Blue, manipulated silkscreen monotype is the only technique used, while Agape features a steady build-up of different media (including ink, graphite, colored pencil, gouache, and watercolor in addition to its preliminary silkscreen) and of detail that mirrors the conceptual revisiting and rehashing of memory.Conceptually, both pieces speak to the high drama of memory, where even a small incident can swirl like an impending whirlwind. Our personal tribulations take on an ego of their own; as a result, we become isolated in the wasteland of the past, trying again to make sense of the pieces. Agape addresses the simultaneous aggression and futility of this experience, building and building upon a gaping wound, all at once vulnerable, intimate, violent and sad. In Black and Blue, Mitchell plays within the dissociation of the body and individual, and of the experience of feeling like a stranger in your own skin or at war with your own body.

Pulling from her own experience of personal illness, she wanted to address the feeling of fighting a monster in your own skin; of trying to continue to feel in control of your life, identity, and well-being in the face of debilitating illness. In this series of work, the image of the mouth acts as the embodiment of this struggle. Our crucial vehicle for sustenance, self-expression, and seduction, it absorbs all the chaos of this conflict as it distorts, decays, and begins to rip apart under the pressure.


Agape, 2011, silkscreen and mixed media on mylar
36 x 55 inches

While her work illustrates a kind of agitation or aggression, it also alludes a static, untouchable quality, as if the images depicted were film stills of memory. Like memory, they hover over the course of our present actions and decisions, regardless of how we push them back into the past. We respond to these memories although they have been laid to rest, when in truth, they are written into the very fiber of who we are: our very flesh, blood, bone, and heart.

Erin Mitchell is an emerging artist whose works on paper explore the influence of trauma in distorting individual memory and perception. After receiving her BFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Washington University in St. Louis, her work has been featured in a number of exhibitions, including the American Youth Printmaking Exhibition under the 2011 Shanghai Youth Biennial, in Shanghai, China; and exhibitions juried by Franklin Sirmans, Chief Curator of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Mark Pascale, Curator of Drawings and Prints, Art Institute Chicago; Anne Coffin, Director, International Print Center New York (IPCNY); and Elizabeth Wyckoff, Curator of Drawings, Prints, and Photographs, St. Louis Art Museum.

She currently lives and works in San Francisco, California.

Where Things Come From

Check out this great video by Hardy Seiler. It’s a supurbly crafted trailer for a fictional educational tv series.

The Scoop on Immerse by Yellena James

We asked Yellena to tell us a little more about her biggest piece, Immerse, in her current show up in Gallery Hijinks. If you’ve followed James’ work, this piece is a huge accomplishment and shift in regards to her past work that has been smaller in size and slightly different in color palette. Read below to see her description of the process she went through to create it.


“I worked on this piece for two years, off and on.  It is done with fine-tipped pens, inks and gouaches on 58″ x 42″ watercolor paper which has been mounted on birch wood panel and cradled with 3” maple.  I wanted to challenge myself to see how my work  translates into a larger format.  It started like all of my other works, without any planning or sketching.  i drew the first element, the round object on the bottom right, and then intuitively developed more forms around it.  Line after line, the objects were starting to come together.  I wanted this peice to be intriguing from afar and mesmerizing when examined up close.  The details turn to shades when observed from a distance, but when viewed from up close the viewer gets lost in the sea of little details that form this piece.  Immerse had to be finished in stages.  I would work on one area and then slowly move to another.  The very last element I added was the black branch in the bottom right corner.  I worked on this piece for so long that, when I look at it now, I discover new things that even I’ve forgot about.  When I work, I feel like I am not fully aware of the marks I leave and after I am done with a piece there is a moment of introduction where I take in everything as a whole rather than as parts.  It was a very magical moment for me when I realized Immerse was finally finished.  It had been presented before at my “Zoetic” exhibit at the Giant Robot in LA, but I kept feeling like it wasn’t quite there yet.  Now I feel all of the elements are exactly where I want them to be.  It’s very hard to capture this image in photographs.  The size of it adds so much to its beauty, and even though it is a pretty large piece, I didin’t shy away from adding in tiny details throughout.  Hanging it at the Hijinks Gallery I kept discovering little jewels that I had hidden within the design, and I hope that whoever winds up owning it experiences this same feeling of marvel & unending discovery for a long time to come.”

Pictures from Instill by Yellena James

If you haven’t come by yet to check out Yellena’s show…you’re really missing out. Here are some teasers of the installation and opening night to give you some incentive.
















Visions of Yore Finalists

Hey there blogosphere.

We’re excited to announce the finalists for our upcoming show Visions of Yore, opening on July 7th!

Congrats to…

Megan GorhamErin Mitchell, Alexis Arnold, Lori Hepner, Allyson Seal, Daryll Peirce, Dan Herrera, Kylea Borges, Christine Elfman, Lacy Davis, & Margo Duvall!

Make sure to put on your calendar the following dates as well:

July 13th: Lecture by Renée Gertler and performance by Clint Sleeper and Audrey Love as Robot Versus Future

July 21st: Performance by David Molina, Garrett La Fever, Mickey Tachibana, and Anna Geyer of “Memory Web” and “Transient”

July 28th: Auction of all unsold works from Visions of Yore and previous Gallery Hijinks shows!

#InstillHijinks Instagram Contest

photo credit @eylassie

In honor of Yellena James second exhibition titled Instill we’re throwing a photo contest. Win a framed, resin coated, print from the artist!

Here are the rules:

1. Be creative with your photographs.

2. The photo must be related to Yellena Jame’s solo exhibition, Instill.

3. Hashtag your Instagram photo with #instillhijinks.

We will announce the winner here on the blog at the closing of the exhibition, June 30th.

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