Tag: spray paint

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

IMG_1035 copy


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gregory ito

gregory ito

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gregory ito

gregory ito

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Luna the cat.

Artist Feature: Lelo

João Lelo, an artist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has just released a short clip capturing the process of his most recent mural outside of Galeria Choque Cultural in São Paulo. Check out the video below, I especially like the heavy use of patterns and bright, bold colors in his work.

photoGaleria Choque Cultural in São Paulo


“His work, which used to be a strong reflection of his childhood influences such as cartoons and videogames, has matured through the study of artists – mostly from the art nouveau and cubism movements – into a world of human or animal images morphing into each other in an extremely surreal way. His goal is to create a modern mythology in perfect connection with the urban everyday life.” – http://www.leloart.com/

rainha_marI really love this piece titled Queen of the Sea. Collage and acrylics on canvas.

Mi Bandida by LeloMi Bandida, Latex and spraypaint on wall. Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

photo-7So perfect I can’t find no double, Latex and spraypaint on wall. Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Untitled Mural by Lelo

Wolf / King Rio de JaneiroWolf/King, Rio de Janeiro

All hail my hands by LeloAll hail my hands, Latex and spraypaint on wall. Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Queen/Bird by LeloQueen/Bird, Latex and spraypaint on wall. Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Erik Otto Open Studio


Our friend and accomplished artist, Erik Otto, is hosting an open studio in two weeks! Trust me, this is one you should not miss (check out our studio visit Erik a few months back). The event will have past and present artwork, prints, and other projects on display and available for purchase. “To keep it proper, there will be music and beer provided with a taco truck right outside! So please roll through to say hello as I will be working day and night for the next 2 weeks to make this the best open studios ever.” – Erik Otto

We look forward to see ing you there!!

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.

Artist Feature: DIA

This Friday, May 6th, is a pretty awesome art show featuring new works by one of our local favorites, Sean Sommers, aka DIA, at  Eli’s Mile High CLub. The event starts at 7pm and goes late with 80?s and 90?s dance featuring Dj Handsome Neto and Dj Grace.

(click on image for high res)


“Dia was born in New York, but has been traveling his entire life since the age of five. Living in NYC, Long Island, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, various parts of the Caribbean, Utah, Colorado, Seattle, California, and traveling many other places. Seeing the wide spectrum of culture at a young age had made a profound impact on him as an observer and forced a maladjusted view on many things. Never really being embedded in a stable family, living, or education system made it clear to him that experience is the greatest teacher. His interests in art making were evident early in his life mostly with music. His uncle who was a Tango singer would play songs on the guitar and while living in Puerto Rico he had been playing the piano around age six and started playing guitar around the age of eleven. He enjoys composing music based on discovery in non-conventional genres and exploration.


His interest in illustration and street art started around the age of 9 when he would collect comic books, skateboard, and draw on the desks in classes just to see what others would ad to what he had wrote. Since then it has evolved into painting large scale murals in the street, works and installations exhibited in galleries, and personal projects.


He had attended school in western Washington at a small art college and excelled in illustration/painting. His style of painting credits influences by parallels found in Art Nouveau, History, the science of sound, Native Americans, punk ideals, and especially Nature and Humanity. He had begun painting and assembling with found objects and discovered working with wood panels and warm tones was most intriguing.



His synthesis of art making focuses on a great deal of figurative work, sound, experiences reflecting life and the human condition. The beautiful and horrific, the positive and negative, the vices of human behavior, empathy, and sincerity.”- Artist Biography written by Sean Somers.



Sunken Dreams

Sunken Dreams new works by Robert Minervini

Sunken Dreams_web

Gallery Hijinks proudly presents Sunken Dreams, a solo exhibition by Robert Minervini. The paintings in this new body of work are inspired by the history of the geodesic dome and are a continuation of the artist’s urban landscapes exploring utopian and dystopian environments. Please join us for the opening reception on May 7th, 2011 from 6-10pm.

The word Utopia originates from the literal Greek meaning “non place,” suggesting that perfection can only exist in the realm of imagination. Minervini’s work presents invented spaces that are based on reality, but revel in artificiality.  In these desolate dreamlike non-places, the artist subverts nature and constructs or destroys architectural sites alluding to the making of a utopian and/or dystopian environment.

“Sunken Dreams” suggests the potential futility of aspiring for a better future in the face of humanity’s self-destructiveness.   The inspiration for this series comes from the life and work of R. Buckminster Fuller who had, among other things, popularized the geodesic dome. Fuller had a vision for a utopian future, one which he saw as attainable through the innovation and implementation of science and engineering.  Fuller’s iconic dome structure was the pinnacle of his design and by implementing them into this body of work, the artist hopes to make a connection between Fuller’s ideologies through symbolically utilizing his structures.

Minervini draws reference from an archive of photographs both personal and researched in order to construct the environments within each composition. With this framework he then utilizes innovative painting techniques to create layer upon layer of depth and texture. Vibrant colors remove the image from its reality and call attention to the origin of the digital image. “While I am interested in the process of working from digitally processed imagery, I place a strong emphasis on spontaneity, materiality, and revealing the painting process.” The end result is an image where abandoned landscapes stretch to the horizon and vast ruins of urban decay slowly crumble under the beauty of a pastel sunset.

Robert Minervini received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009, and his BFA from Tyler School of Art in 2005. His work has been exhibited nationally including Marine Contemporary, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, The Brooklyn Historical Society, the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, and the Pennsylvania State Museum. He has been awarded the Murphy/Cadogan Fellowship by the San Francisco Foundation in 2008, and the Edwin Austin Abbey Mural Fellowship by the National Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. He has been a resident artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Root Division Studio Program. His work has been published in New American Painting No.91, and Mural Art: Large Scale Art from Walls Around the World.

Sunken Dreams opens May 7th, 2011 and will be on display until May 28th, 2011 and is open to the public.


Studio Visit: Erik Otto

I’ve known Erik Otto for a number of years and have always been amazed by his work. It seems he bears his heart on the canvas. Bright colors, organic forms, dripping paint and an ever evolving concept in his work has made him a popular artist for number of publications, residencies and exhibitions nation wide. Recently we went over to his art studio to check up on a few things he has lined up for this year.

Erik OttoErik Otto in his Mission art studio.

shared warehouseErik shares a warehouse space with these artist who work with a variety a mediums including sewing, photography and woodwork.

woodshopHe’s also crafted a wood shop which he’s currently using to construct a glass house.

glass house

glass house detail

Erik Otto

Every single thing inside Erik’s studio has been reclaimed, mainly from his residence time at the SF Dump: from his paint, brushes, and wood panels to his flat files, tools and electronics.

inside the studio


shelves of art stuff


detail of painting


how it all begins


detail shot


paint brushes

paint cans

studioThe studio has a beautiful view of the Mission District from Potrero Hill to Bernal Heights.

Potrero Hill

Bernal Heights

erik and his workOtto’s most recent work has been focused on the idea of opposing forces, light vs. dark, color vs. monochrome, and so on. The current collection has a repetitive them of circles, which really to draw the eye in.

four panel painting


light vs. dark

O This painting is available on our online shop.

work table

Erik OttoThank you Erik for inviting us over for a delightful visit. We love you!!!

To learn more about Erik Otto visit his website at erikotto.com.

Sebastian Wahl’s SF trip and studio visit with Robert Hardgrave.

How time flies. It seems like yesterday that we were installing the kaleidoscope eyes in the front window for Sebastian Wahl‘s opening reception. If you haven’t got the chance to see the exhibition feel free to stop by the gallery before the closing on Saturday the 26th.

Here are some pictures of Sebastian’s visit to San Francisco as well as his studio visit with Robert Hardgrave.

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

Walter and Joe

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

sebastian wahl sf trip

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Robert Hardgrave's studio

Interview & Studio Visit: Aleksandra Zee

Aleksandra Zee lives and works in San Francisco, California. Her many disciplines include installations, display design, sculpture, construction and painting. We were lucky enough to get a quick glance at her art studio and work shop. We asked her a few questions about her installation project titled “What happens when they meet?” which opens on January 8th, 2011 from 6-10pm at Gallery Hijinks.

allie j zee

Gallery Hijinks: What is your inspiration in creating your sculptural installations for “As it was before”?

Aleksandra Zee: Initially the installation was inspired by natural objects and unnatural objects being forced to work together to form one unit. Later in the creation process I was greatly inspired by a tiny bird’s nest that Jillian had found in her yard. Though it was very small, it was perfect. A perfect sphere, with every piece of twine and branch carefully and precisely woven together. It was incredible and has been at the forefront of my mind in creating this installation.

natures best

GH: Please explain your process. What materials and process do you use?

AZ: My process begins with a larger then life image in my mind. I then think of what material I would like to mass out in order to make these large images a reality. The materials that I chose to work with are, wood, paper and branches. I wove everything together keeping in mind the integrity of the material.

aleksandra zee

beginning stages of nest

GH: Your aesthetic is very organic and terraqueous. Why have you chosen to use elements of nature combined with those made by man?

AZ: I love the juxtaposition of that moment when the two (man made and natural) meet and work together. It is beautiful to me to see materials transform right before my eyes, even though I am the one manipulating them.

aleksandra zee booksinstallation

GH: Does your work often tell a story, if so what is this tale?

AZ: Yes I love for my work to have a quiet story that only suggests that there is more behind what is going on right in front of the viewer. The story that I am portraying with this installation is the moment that the natural and unnatural meet and become one unit.

GH: I hear your workspace is nothing less that a crafts man’s workshop. Which are your favorite and most used tools while creating your art?

AZ: My favorite tool ever is my jigsaw, I love it!!!!! I do have to say that I use hot glue on a daily basis, it works for everything.

allie zee work shop

aleksandra zee studio

aleksandra zee art studio

GH: Did you go to school to become a multidiscipline artist?

AZ: I actually went to school with the intention of becoming an art teacher and found myself falling in love with mixed media, sculpture and LARGE-scale installations. I love to build and construct!

aleksandra zee studio

GH: Who are some of your favorite artists today?

AZ: Peter Callesen makes incredible things out of cardboard and paper, he build a castle out of cardboard!

My favorite right now is an installation artist named Chiharu Shiota. Her installations using windows absolutely blows my mind. So beautiful!

Interview: Martin Machado

You might have seen Martin Machado‘s paintings this month at Southern Exposure, read about his travels online at FecalFace, or maybe you have never heard of him at all. We got a chance to ask Marty some questions about his paintings, photography and lifestyle as a merchant marine. Check out what he has to say and make sure to stop by Gallery Hijinks January 8th, 2011 from 6-10pm to see his new works at the opening reception of “As it was before”.


Martin Machado at sea.

Gallery Hijinks: You’ve insinuated your art is not always about the destination but the journey. “Searching for piece of mind. Searching for the exotic. Searching for answers. Time slows at sea and life is stripped to its necessities.” Does this translate in your most recent body of work?

Marty: Ha, that quote was kinda tongue and cheek, but sure I think it translates, I guess in the sense that for me I’ll always fail when creating my pieces, they’re never going to be as perfect as the real world, they’re never going to completely capture the magic of a moment in time, the experience of being in that place. But to me that failure, or I guess attempt could be a better term, is what is interesting. Over the years I’ve tended to accentuate the “mistakes”, leaving evidence of the process of creating the composition/painting/etc. In a lot of ways this recreation mirrors the way we recreate moments in our mind, twisting them into something better or worse or whatever, to be able to wrap our brains around our own story or existence….Hmmm, could be getting a little heady here so I’ll stop…

Small Tender 35mm

Small Tender 35mm

Drifters, Bristol Bay, AK 2007 Oil, Fiberglass Cloth, Panel, Epoxy 18x36"

Drifters, Bristol Bay, AK 2007 Oil, Fiberglass Cloth, Panel, Epoxy 18x36"

Drifters, Bristol Bay, AK 2007 Oil, Fiberglass Cloth, Panel, Epoxy 18x36"
Goin Under the Richmond Bridge

Days on the Bay 2009 Gouache, Oil, and Spray paint on Panel

GH: How does the work that you are exhibiting in “As it was before” this January differ from your previous work?

M: I’m trying to get away from working with as many nasty chemicals these days, because I was using so much epoxy before, and I’ve enjoyed working on found materials, which to me just adds to the story of each piece.

Napkin Art

Napkin Art

Napkin Art

GH: Nice. So what kind of materials are you using to create this current collection of works?

M: There is a group of small paintings on Arches paper with Gouache, a couple acrylic/oil paintings done on cardboard boxes that I found in an abandoned salmon cannery in Alaska, and possibly two pieces that were done just before these on fiberglass cloth and epoxy which are painted in oil.

Martin Machado box painting

Martin Machado box painting

Martin Machado box painting

GH: You are in a unique situation, where for most of the year you are out at sea. How has your profession as a commercial marine affected your art? Did you start painting seascapes only after you starting spending so much time at sea or was the interest always there and your profession just fueled it further?

M: Well not to get all snotty, but the term is “Merchant Marine”, but don’t feel bad nobody really knows it, as times have changed it has become a relatively unknown occupation in the US because its so small these days. I’ve worked on boats and ships for over a decade now, but it was only recently during grad school that I finally started bringing my personal “work” life into my painting. I don’t know if it was just me, but I felt the early 2000’s seemed kinda cynical, and I always thought I’d get made fun of or my work wouldn’t get taken seriously, if I painted the sea. But eventually I realized that I should paint what I’m passionate about and I began to see how painting a subject that is usually seen as “beautiful” could be an interesting challenge in the context of the contemporary art world. Maybe people think that is a cop out, but that is really how I feel about it. Its easy to make fun of everything, but to celebrate beauty, the sublime, I think that is a challenge. But I think I’m seeing a shift. My prediction for the next decade is POSITIVITY! Mark my words.

night sea

martin machado container ship

martin machado container ship

working on a container ship

working on a container ship




GH: Who are some of your biggest inspirations in the art world?

M: Honestly other than painters like Friedrich and Turner, who are obviously not super alive these days, I’m more inspired by photographers like Corey Arnold or Ryan McGinley, or even writers like Hunter S Thompson or Jack Kerouac. I like people who get out in the world and look outside themselves. I hate art about art. Art should reach out to people, all people, to some core, and aim to unite, not alienate ourselves into some pretentious circle jerk. I have been inspired by a lot of amazing folks I met at SFAI though, Ryan Beavers, Ben Venom, Peter Cole, Carrie Hott, so many others

Corey Arnold photography

Corey Arnold photography

Corey Arnold Photography

Corey Arnold Photography

Corey Arnold photography above

GH: Where and when are your next adventures at sea?

M: I’m not sure, definitely fishing again next salmon season, probably won’t be on a container ship for a little while, but I am really looking forward to spending a long chunk of time in the studio this spring. I have so many reserves of piece ideas that I need to hash out. I actually did a lot of traveling this fall, finally non-work related, using some money I saved from working so much last year, I was carrying a suitcase full of art supplies, actually a lot of this work was painted on the go, which is tricky but kinda exciting. But very happy to be home now in SF, I’m a total Christmas nerd and was in the middle of the Pacific last year, so I’m stoked to see the city all lit up. Happy Holidays, hope you like some of my work!

Marty in his element

Marty in his element

out to sea

night lights


“Somewhere in the classroom of my youth a larger person told me that the best work is forged out of what you are familiar with. I agree with this and have tried my best to live up close and personal to any subject that I want to make art about. And like the land artists Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long, I think that it is not just the resulting creation, but the most ridiculous path you take to make it, that makes something great.” -Martin Machado

Marty + friends

Marty + friends

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