Tag: acrylic

Pictures from the opening of Chromatics and Canopies


(in background) Treasure Frey, Isosceles, 2012, acrylic on walnut stained paper.



  Kyle Jorgensen, Lost, found, and that moment you noticed the stars (set of 3), 2012, acrylic on panel.



Kyle Jorgensen, Blanket of space, 2012, acrylic and ink on panel.


Kyle Jorgensen himself!


       Kyle Jorgensen, Living in a thermographic forest world, 2012, acrylic on canvas.


Treasure Frey, Triangle, 2012, acrylic on walnut stained paper.




Interview: Scott Greenwalt

As I try to wrap my head around the works of Scott Greenwalt I continuously find myself spiraling into a mind trip of gore, patterns and the grotesque beauty of these large scale portraits and lanscapes. In an effort to understand the artist intentions and purpose behind the works, we sat down to interview Scott and pick his brain on inspiration, process, history and the psychology of his new collection of works, Alchemist.

Gallery Hijinks: What inspired and motivated your new body of work?

Scott Greenwalt: The last 37 years of life on planet Earth.


GH: Controlled chaos seems to play a role in your paintings, where compositions flow into strange and unexpected directions. Please explain the artistic process.

SG: For quite some time I have been obsessed with depicting action in new ways. A major component of the germination of my ideas is simply time. I usually spend about six months on any one painting from start to finish. I work on several paintings at a time and spend a lot of time just sitting with them, individually as well as grouped together, looking into them to find what they need next. It’s a slow building of incremental growth and change. If everything is comprised of infinitesimal parts in constant motion, how does everything keep from intermingling? My work concerns an alternate dimension where plants, minerals, animals, electrical charges, ectoplasmic effluvium, atmospheric conditions all come together momentarily and form a new being, then move apart into reformed organisms. This process continues infinitely, without ever stabilizing.

Spectral Unfolding by Scott Greenwalt

GH: Do you have an initial idea for the piece, do you sketch or does it just flow from you in an organic way?

SG: I usually have a really vague idea at the outset what the overall form and color scheme will be. Once I actually start painting, the various components build off of one another and later weave back through each other. The paintings are generally grounded in traditional formats of landscape and portraiture. That sets up a loose structure to experiment within. Then I just make shit up as I go along.

GH: Please explain the philosophy behind the portraits? What are some of the inspirations and why?

SG: One of the initial inspirations for the large portraits were the large black and white paintings by Chuck Close. I had been fascinated with them since first seeing “Keith” as a kid at the St. Louis Art Museum. One day, about a year ago, I stood before some of his large works from the last several decades, but I could not take my eyes off one particular portrait. What captivated me was the handling of the subject’s chapped and weathered lips. The more I looked, the more broken down and abstract it appeared, comprised of jagged little triangle forms. This was before his spinal artery collapse and resulting change of approach, but there were the same things going on in those lips that manifested on a looser, more abstract level in his later work. Since I don’t work directly from reference material most of the time, I am faced with the challenge of abstracting something that didn’t exist yet. Rather than breaking down an existing image into abstract units, I am trying to herd disparate abstract units into an understandable, yet alien image.

"Keith" by Chuck Close

"Keith" by Chuck Close

Francis Bacon’s work has been the richest source of inspiration and frustration. How does one go about deconstructing the nature of the human animal, modern life on earth and the history of painting in the wake of such masterful handling of the subject? This problem can keep me up at night. I also spend countless hours ruminating on the work of Hieronymus Bosch.

"Self Portrait" by Francis Bacon

"Self Portrait" by Francis Bacon

"Portrait of Michel Leris" by Francis Bacon

"Portrait of Michel Leris" by Francis Bacon

Detail of "Christ in Limbo" by Hieronymus Bosch

Detail of "Christ in Limbo" by Hieronymus Bosch

Then there is my obsession with the work of special make-up effects artists Rick Baker and Rob Bottin. Growing up watching sci-fi and horror films, mostly from the 80s, was a tremendous influence on everything that I have done artistically. Bottin’s work on John Carpenter’s The Thing may have been the single biggest influence on the way I look at the world.

MIB special effects by Rick Baker

MIB special effects by Rick Baker

GH: How do the paper pieces with wood glue fit into the equation?

SG: I’m interested in what happens to an iconic image after the icon becomes obscured. What happens to the human face when layers build up and obscure the features beyond recognition? If the human head suffers a massive physical trauma, the swelling that results can distort and obscure the signature forms of a once recognizable face. In time, the swelling reduces, the wounds heal and the body returns to it’s normal state. Though a significant transformation has occurred, often scar tissue will be the only visible artifact of this change. With this work, I am concerned with the manufactured transformation that transpires when semi-translucent layers are built up, slowly swallowing up any distinguishing characteristics into an ectoplasmic goo, leaving the remaining robes to swaddle the amorphous slime.

Vaporous Mold Spore with Pearl Earring (after Vermeer)

Vaporous Mold Spore with Pearl Earring (after Vermeer)

GH: The dark, rich, color palate (i.e. red drapes, black backgrounds, earth tones) versus the bright, even neon colors both play an equal part in this collection. Please explain your reasons for using these very different hues and how you’ve made them work together?

SG: For the last few years I had started all of my paintings on a black background to eliminate context. They were like organisms floating within a void. Over time, this void became more densely populated and space began to form. In outer space, each chemical gas reflects a distinct color. As these organisms become more complex in ever expanding space, more chemical reactions take place, generating stranger wavelengths of light.

Seventeen Minutes Prior to This Exact Moment by Scott Greenwalt

Seventeen Minutes Prior to This Exact Moment by Scott Greenwalt

GH: How is art history incorporated into the body of work?

SG: I think about the history of painting, it’s evolution through the centuries, and it’s contemporary potential as a relevant means of expression on a daily basis. I guess, like any revision of history, my vantage is skewed toward my own idiosyncratic aesthetic preferences. I borrow what is useful or interesting to me and generally ignore the rest.

GH: What are five words that would describe your art?

SG: that shit is fucked up.

Video: Alchemist by Scott Greenwalt

Check out this studio visit with Scott Greenwalt as he prepares for his solo exhibition, Alchemist, at Gallery Hijinks opening November 12th, from 6-10pm and on display until December 17th, 2011.

Shot and edited by Jesse Chandler. Music by Scott Greenwalt.

Studio Visit: Scott Greenwalt

Last week we took a trip to visit Scott Greenwalt in his Oakland art studio. We caught him in the midst of preparing for his upcoming solo exhibition titled Alchemist, opening November 2011 at Gallery Hijinks.

The works have a sense of chaos, grotesque, scientific phenomenon combined with a mutation of both uncertain origin and destiny. Check out some snapshots we grabbed of the works in progress ranging from small paper pieces to large paintings on wood panel and canvas.

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Scott Greenwalt Gallery Hijinks Studio Visit

Point of Vision new works by Gregory Ito


On Exhibit: August 6th – August 27th, 2011

Opening Reception: August 6th, 2011 from 6-10pm

Gallery Hijinks is proud to present Point of Vision, a collection of painting, sculpture, and installation by Gregory Ito. In this new body of work Gregory continues his exploration of the concept of time, broadening his focus from lunar cycles to the cycle of a day, or rather everyday, from dawn to dusk and back again. Please join us for the opening reception on August 6th, 2011 from 6-10pm.

Throughout our humanly existence, time is depicted through the sequenced deconstruction of the constant relationship between night and day. The relationship we hold with the Sun, Moon, and Earth has been an evolution of ideas that continues to the days of contemporary society. The tools we use to define time have changed from Stone Hedge to the modern day calendar.

Gregory Ito’s current body of work is a reflection of human perception of these shifts presented through the mediums of painting, sculpture, and installation. The images he creates depict new ways to visually understand the concept of time, and use the celestial forms: Sun, Moon, and Earth, as reference points to the relationships that are discussed within each piece. The body of work carries this dialogue of our human connection with the linear progression forward into the future.

The atmosphere of a space also plays a crucial role in the presentation of ideas like these. Awnings and shrine like architecture is present in many installations, to aid in the construction of sacred space. Sacred space is commonly used to house ideas that are much larger than our collective consciousness, and are extremely difficult to grasp. Ito’s constructions of sacred space are intended to contain the concept of time and the ideas related that shift our human perception of time, and create new avenues of understanding.

“My work is my intention to transcend an individual to a basic way of looking at the world we live in, and the universe we are part of. I hope to reveal the value and power we have to seek the true reasons we are living for. It is to inspire people to grow together.” -Gregory Ito

Gregory received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008. He is Co-Founder of the Ever Gold Gallery, and Co-Founder/Editor of The San Francisco Arts Quarterly (SFAQ). He currently works and lives in San Francisco.

Point of Vision opens August 6th and runs through August 27th, 2011 and is open to the public. For more information on the exhibition or Gregory Ito please email us at info@galleryhijinks.com.

Studio Vist with Gregory Ito

Last week we stopped by Gregory Ito’s art studio in the SOMA district of San Francisco. We took a quick peek as he builds a new collection of work titled Point of Vision opening this August 2011. The body of work comprised of paintings, sculpture, and installation are very much influenced by the concept of time, and use the celestial forms: Sun, Moon, and Earth. “My work is my intention to transcend an individual to a basic way of looking at the world we live in, and the universe we are part of. I hope to reveal the value and power we have to seek the true reasons we are living for.  It is to inspire people to grow together.”-Gregory Ito

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Luna the cat.

SF Examiner Article on Boreas & Installation Shots

If you didn’t catch the SF Examiner article on Boreas in yesterday’s paper then here’s a your chance.


Artist Lisa Congdon focuses on arctic pleasures

By: Lauren Gallagher | Special To The Examiner | 06/29/11 8:00 PM

“Despite being in the midst of summer, San Francisco artist Lisa Congdon’s latest works — paintings and mixed media — are rather arctic.

Congdon’s show, “Boreas,” which opens Saturday at Gallery Hijinks, draws inspiration from “Heima,” a documentary by Icelandic minimalist musicians Sigur Rós, who are filmed playing venues from Reykjavik to the meadows of Iceland.

“I’ve always been attracted to barren, arctic landscapes in general, and I think that watching the documentary was the tipping point for this new body of work,” Congdon says. “In the same way that I’m interested in the desert, there’s something about the barrenness of the landscape that’s really appealing to me.”

Congdon’s style is distinctive and popular for its simplicity and sense of geometry, but it maintains an organic quality.

Although her recent series is inspired by the sensibilities of Nordic countries, only a couple icebergs appear and the collection bears a sustained vitality, even warmth.

The log cabin on stilts in “Sunrise” is inviting, and the smattering of quilts and their geometrics hint at domesticity and the comforts of home, placing her folk-art influences front and center.

“Nature was a jumping-off point,” Congdon says, “but once I started delving in and researching the natural beauty of Nordic and Arctic countries, I discovered all of these older handicraft and folk patterns from the region and I think in some ways that became the main part of the show.”

Gouache, acrylic paints, shadow boxes, graphite, ephemera and even fake fur are used in “Boreas,” continuing Congdon’s familiarity with various media, but she returns to painting for ultimate fulfillment.

“I like cutting paper, layering, the dimension of collage and the softness of working with pencil, but painting is more gratifying,” she says. “Paint is fluid. Your work can evolve over a longer period of time.”

As a self-taught artist who came into her own in her 30s, some might consider Congdon a late bloomer, but she sees her path as an asset.

“If I had fallen into doing this when I was at the typical age of 20 or 21, I might have taken a completely different path,” she says. “I might have gone to school and gotten burned out and done something different.

“Making art evolved really naturally for me in the course of my life. I think the experience I had in my 20s — before I was making art, having regular jobs, making a regular paycheck and working really hard for somebody else — built my character in other ways.

“I really appreciate the fact that I can wake up and make paintings for a living.”- Read more at the San Francisco Examiner.

Plus for curiosity purposes, a few quick pictures of installation process at Gallery Hijinks today! We hope to see you all tomorrow.

Lisa Congdon & Sarah Applebaum

Click on this picture, Whitney is about to drop a hammer on his head. (photobomb for Joey Mendez!)

Window installation at Gallery Hijinks

Whitney working hard at installation

Sarah Applebaum

Lisa Congdon

Boreas installation shot

Lisa Congdon shadow boxes


Lisa Congdon's Accordion

Sarah Applebaum installing for Boreas

The New Guard

We received the latest issue of 7×7 Magazine yesterday and are pleased to be in company with new art galleries such as Baer Rigdgway, Ever Gold, Guerro Gallery and McLoughlin Gallery. As 7×7’s Allison McCarthy states, “Wake up: It’s art o’clock. We peek into five of the city’s newest galleries to find out what they’re showing, which local artists their watching, and how to start your own collection here and now.”

If you get a chance to pick up the July 2011 issue, make sure to check out The New Guard feature on Gallery Hijinks, page 60.


Contemplation of Humanitarian Theory and The Sublime

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.

Robert Minervini: Sunken Dreams Video

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.

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