Tag: inspiration

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.

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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.

Interview with Pakayla Biehn on Hi-Fructose

Hi-Fructose caught up with our girl Pakayla Biehn to pick her brain on her most recent collection of painting. Check out what Miss Biehn had to say about integrating technology into her artistic process, personal inspiration, childhood embarrassments and what to expect from her next!

Pakayla Biehn painting

Initially the double exposure effect was a direct image of what I experienced, but as I explored the theme more I began to discover a multitude of transcendental issues within the work. Most importantly the passage of time and thought, the eternal and durable, sustainability versus impermanence; these images very much serve as a metaphor for my relationships. Things that are usually, but don’t necessarily have to be, mutually exclusive.

These paintings are already visually confusing and I think that the only honest and clear way to paint them is photorealism. Coming from a mathematics background, I’m most familiar with having a final product known and plugging my variables in to create an equation that is coherent.” Read the entire post here.

(t)here new works by Pakayla Biehn

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On Exhibit: October 8th – November 5th, 2011

Opening Reception: October 8th, 2011 from 6-10pm

Gallery Hijinks is proud to present (t)here, a solo exhibition by Pakayla Biehn. Featuring new photorealistic multiple-exposure paintings that revisit the cognitive distinction between authenticity and abstraction while utilizing the suggestive combination of critical and substantial realism. Please join us for the opening reception on October 8th, 2011 from 6-10pm.

Building upon the double exposure theme of her previous works, Pakayla uses oil paint on canvas to present dream-like transfiguration of the natural world. The skill and refined beauty of her paintings enlists a realist style that recalls the delicacy, formality, and craftsmanship of old master techniques. She combines the cultivation of the portrait with a very intimate and vibrant observation of nature.

The artist is concerned with themes of ephemerality, melancholy, and the marriage of subjective experience and beauty. Pakayla’s process treats her subjects with a modern approach; the dual imagery provides the viewer with the sense of historical substance or the artist’s version of it.

Pakayla displays the unique potential to capture her subjects in inextricable moments that appear to straddle two worlds at once, that in which we exist and another slightly beyond our comprehension. These indistinct figures lend to the imagination with soft color, faint texture, and shrouded focus, offering the viewer a chance to finish the story that has been laid before them.

(t)here: a point where emotional complexity, dreams and reality are unified in a solo exhibition by Pakayla Biehn. Showing October 8th through November 5th, 2011. This event is open to the public.


SF Weekly write-up on Beau Stanton

SF Weekly did a blog post today on some of the pieces in Beau Stanton‘s upcoming exhibition, Sanguine Machine. Here’s a little quote from the article, you can read the entire post on the SF Weekly website here.

When it comes to surrealism, we can’t help but moon over artists who produce such detailed and complex pieces that we think to ourselves “Holy guacamole, what am I even looking at?” It’s astounding what the human mind is capable of transferring onto a canvas, just take Beau Stanton’s 19th century letterpress-inspired paintings.

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Point Of Vision: Opening Reception Photos

Thanks to all of you who made it out to the Point of Vision opening reception! We had a blast and hope you did as well. Congratulations to Gregory Ito, his work looks amazing in our space. Check it out!

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Redefine Magazine interviews Sarah Applebaum

This week we deinstalled the Boreas installation by Sarah Applebaum and are getting ready for our next exhibition, Point of Vision. We were sad to see her paper and soft sculptures come down but happy that Redefine kept the ball rolling with an interesting article on Sarah Applebaum.

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“Before thrift stores ever entered the fashion mainstream, San Francisco-based artist Sarah Applebaum had already found a second home in them. From shelves and racks full of accumulated junk, she gathered inspiration. She saw how relics of the past could be repurposed into new and exciting creations.” Read the rest here.

Point of Vision new works by Gregory Ito

Point-of-Vision-postcard-front

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.

Lisa Congdon Podcast on My Love For You.

Lisa_CongdonPhoto credit: Meighan O’Toole

Yesterday Meighan O’Toole from My Love For You. launched her most recent podcast interview with the lovely Lisa Congdon. Hearing artist interviews straight from the artists themselves is such an awesome idea and Meighan is certainly on a roll. In this interview Lisa talks about her story as a late bloomer in the art world, her inspiration for her solo exhibition Boreas and well … I wont spoil it all for you. Click here to listen to the podcast on iTunes.

Also check out the Lisa Congdon Studio Visit featured on My Love For You a few weeks back! Her studio will make you jealous.

Studio Vist with Sarah Applebaum

Last week we checked out  Sarah Appleaum’s art studio in San Francisco. We were eager to see her material rich creations for her window installation in the upcoming show Boreas with Lisa Congdon which opens this Saturday (July, 2nd, 2011 from 6-10pm). Applebaum’s new-psych work has played a key part in reinvigorating installation and soft sculpture through her use of textiles in contemporary art and we cant wait to see the finished installation!

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David Bayus top pick in The Examiner

Congratulations to David Bayus on the write up in yesterday’s Examiner on his solo exhibition, Bad Casserole. Here’s the scope in case you missed it.

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