Press Release | "Natural Plain" Group Exhibition
Press Release - Join us on Thursday, September 28th for the opening reception of "Natural Plain" a group exhibition coming to First Amendment Gallery in Downtown San Francisco. The exhibition will feature the works of : Aeron Roemer - Conor Kolk - Ian Ferguson - Jared Duncan Tharp - Lenworth Joonbug McIntosh - Luke Pelletier - Mando Marie - Nelio - Oliver Hawk - Saddo - Samual Weinberg - Scott Albrecht. To learn more about available works contact firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to lear more about each of the artists below.
Bio - Aeron Roemer grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from the University of Utah in 2013 with a BFA in Art Education. Aeron’s work is influenced by their lifestyle which includes a decade long connection with radical/punk/DIY spaces and travel. Elements of their travel experiences through the Western U.S.—which includes riding freight trains, hitchhiking, and embarking on other forms of low-budget movement—are a major influence in Aeron’s current work, both conceptually and aesthetically. Many of the places shown are based on the landscapes of California, Utah, and Nevada as well as more specific locations such as the Bay Area or northern California's weed farms.
Artist Statement - Aeron's current work is based on representing an Extraterritory - that is, a space outside the bound of law and state jurisdiction. The images Aeron paints are a sort of documentary painting of a place inhabited by friends and associates that live there. This world that involves continual transformations; finding a sort of home on shifting ground, and making transience into a kind of security. Although Aeron's work highlights a specific group, environmental and economics shifts necessitate more of this kind of living for many people.\
Artist Statement - Rather than planning my pieces in advance, I allow dreamscapes to take form as I layer patterns and symbols onto each other. In this way, the characters and scenes of my artwork come alive as if by their own volition, retaining in the process, the many separate parts that make up the whole. My work thereby represents the infinitely multifaceted realms of the imagination and the often disjointed parts that are ever-present beneath the surface of anything that appears complete.
Bio - Conor Kolk creates sculptures and paintings that bring to life pleasant dreams or strange nightmares. His sculptures are composed of layered woodwork with repeating geometric shapes, forming creatures and beings from unwritten mythology. Kolk has a high school level of education and learned most of his artistic skills through life experience. He was originally born in Fremont, CA, and now lives in New Orleans, LA- where he is an active member of the artist and punk rock communities.
Bio - Ian Ferguson (Hydeon) is a contemporary artist, illustrator, and designer living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Born in 1985, originally from San Diego, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of California – San Diego in 2006.
Artist Statement - Inspired by life experiences and consciousness, his thoughtfully detailed illustrative style evokes a sense of contemplative meaning in each piece. Using his characters and subjects as conduits for storytelling, Ferguson is able to deploy his thoughts and ideas through them. The aesthetics of his works, are often inspired by ancient historical civilizations, European Renaissance, Victorian Era, and the 1800’s American Civil War Era. He has worked with clients such as The Oscar Niemeyer Museum (Brazil), The World Trade Center (NYC), Converse, Red Bull, Flavor Paper, PBR, 1 9 9 4 ., The Very Warm, and Brick & Cotton. His work has been in publications such as VICE Media, Forbes Magazine, Hyperallergic, Hi Fructose Magazine, Juxtapoz Magazine, Tape OP Magazine, Time Out Chicago, and more. Ferguson has exhibited his work in cities throughout the United States as well as internationally in cities such as Paris, Denmark, Oslo, Stockholm, Buenos Aires, and Curitiba.
The attention to detail and meticulous line work in his drawings reflects his patience and passion for his work. He often uses Indian ink, acrylic paint/markers, and gouache to create his drawings, paintings, and murals. Ferguson’s dream-like pieces harbor a vivid post folk art/graphic surrealist presentation emphasizing consciousness through the life experience.
Jared Duncan Tharp
Bio - I'm originally from Stockton California, currently teaching and making art in Sacramento California. My work consists of paintings, drawings, murals, and immersive art installations.
Artist Statement - Using cartoon-style iconography I create paintings that convey a variety of themes and narratives. My aim isn't to make an obvious message come across in each project, but to give hints to the viewer as a way to stimulate their own personal response.
Bio - Joonbug works full-time as a visual creative, and is now based in Oakland, Ca—by way of Dallas, Tx. Joonbug has carefully cultivated his skills for illustration, painting, and graphic design over the years. His classic wit and hand-styled approach coupled with a digital polish, gives his work soul and character.
Artist Statement - Lenworth McIntosh is a Jamaican-born artist now living in Oakland. His character, Man Wearing Hat, personifies the multiple complexities of the black man’s both internal and external plight, and how he navigates through social norms and systemic oppression. His work features renditions of said character, stemming from personal experiences and cyclical historic happenings.
Bio - Luke Pelletier grew up in western North Carolina. He graduated with a BFA in fine art from SAIC in 2015. Living in a tourist town for much of his life, he has been heavily influenced by seasonal economies, as well as the multi-level relationships, dependence and resentment, between tourists and locals.
Artist Statement - Much of Luke’s art blurs the lines between celebrating and condemning a culture that agrees to be taken advantage of while it takes advantage of others. His art is filled with personal anecdotes, dark humor, dualities, contradictions, repetition, and scenes of paradise that are simultaneously pristine and decaying. Luke Pelletier uses photography, painting, sculpture, social practice, writing, and craft to riff on his moral dilemmas with romance, objectification, labor, competition, tourist culture, capitalism, addiction, free will, masculinity, fun, and Americana.
Bio / Artist Statement - Mando Marie is an American artist and painter living in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She uses nostalgia as a tool to engage an audience. The work has a remarkable ability to give nearly any viewer the ‘I know that from somewhere’ feeling, regardless of age or background. Mando’s work subtly straddles a line between comforting and spooky. Often compared to Golden Book era illustrators like Eloise Wilken, and fine art outsider Henry Darger, her use of children at the threshold of adulthood relays both innocence and impending change. Mando uses stencils to create her signature twin imagery. As stencilism has grown in importance in contemporary art, primarily through the popularity of artists like Shepard Fairey and Banksy, Mando’s work is set apart by her vast visual library of hand drawn imagery, and her painterly attention to the work. Unlike other artist using stencils as an artistic tool, Mando’s work goes well beyond the overtly sexual, easily political or punchline imagery of most of her Street Art peers. Instagram @seeyouthroughit
Nelio was born in the East of France in 1982. Self-taught and vagabond, he has built himself through his many travels that have made him a multidisciplinary visual artist, in perpetual search for learning and experimentation. Working in a cyclical manner, adapting to the context and his desires of the moment, he moves from conceptual to expressionism, from construction to destruction, establishing bridges between these different processes. At the same time fascinated by the power of a minimalist work and the depth of a dense and complex work, he likes to explore the artistic field between the two. The style of his debut, based on a typographic work and a refined representation, mainly influenced by his practice of graffiti and graphic design, has slowly evolved into an abstract universe, fruit of the dialogue he develops with the architecture and the surrounding of places that host his creations. He imagines and freezes fragments of a world in perpetual change, creating a feeling of in-between, of unstable equilibrium, where geometric shapes and unstructured lines contrast in interlocking spaces that play with movement and perception.
Bio - Oliver Hawk Holden currently lives and works in the Bay Area. Holden’s practice intertwines video, sculpture, painting and printmaking to explore the anxieties and vulnerabilities of day to day life with humor. He is fascinated by comedy’s crude ability to address failure, always waiting for the inevitable truth to be exposed. Within his simplified forms and texts, he creates a space for the viewer to insert their personal experiences into his visual narratives; simply trying to talk to people about people.
Artist Statement - Oliver Hawk Holden’s work is in numerous private collections and he has exhibited at Gallery y2k (Oakland, CA); Noroof Gallery (San Francisco, CA); Residence/SF (San Francisco, CA); and Incline Gallery (San Francisco, CA). He has guest curated for Adobe Books Backroom Gallery (San Francisco, CA) and Good Mother Gallery (Oakland, CA). Holden has developed murals for numerous institutions in California, Denver, Texas, Louisiana, and Maine.
Bio - Romanian born contemporary artist Saddo, currently based in Bucharest, has a labile way with style, techniques and subjects. He juggles between paintings on canvas for galleries, large scale murals and commissioned illustrations for different projects and brands. His work mixes his taste for painters like Rousseau, Bosch, Walton Ford, Matisse, Iranian miniatures or Asian carpets, with his street art formation, visible in his love of contemporary illustration, decorative arts, hip hop, urban culture. He’s been part of numerous group shows all over the world, he’s had two solo shows, in Viana do Castelo ( Portugal ) and Berlin ( Germany ), collaborated with many brands and agencies from Romania and abroad, and has painted murals in Germany, Romania, Canada, Bosnia, Thailand, Morocco, Portugal, Israel.
Artist Statement -His subjects range from surrealist imagery, day of the dead like iconography, explorations on death in different myths and religions, to more light stuff like portraits of rappers, flowers, intricate patterns of birds and plants - and he usually samples many different details, compositions, themes, from all the paintings, illustrations, carpets he likes, and incorporates them in his own complex iconography.
The “Stories of Violence” series dates back from the beginning of 2016, and it was made for a show that was part of the Bukruk Street Art Festival. The pieces inspired by naturalistic illustrations of animals and Islamic miniatures, deal with themes such the cycle of death and violence, the balance of nature, and are born from an earlier work titled “The Circle of Death”, part of Saddo’s first solo show, in Viana do Castelo (Portugal), titled “Rise of the Bird People”
Bio - Samual Weinberg’s paintings depict strange, uncertain narratives where relationships are tentative and the Pink Man runs wild. In this world, there’s a popular television drama called, “The Hand” (Soap Opera), there’s a man who’s slowly turning green, there are Sad Trippy Smileys which signify god knows what, and no one knows who anyone else is anymore because it seems that everyone has masks of everyone else.
Weinberg most recently discovered that Young Pink Men have a coming of age ceremony at age thirteen called “Pool Fights” -kind of like a Bar/Bat Mitzvah- where, you guessed it, they fight at a pool; as well as probably his biggest discovery about the Pink Men yet, namely that he didn’t invent them. In the last year, Iterations of and obsessions with the Pink Man have been found all over Japan dating back to 1960. Weinberg received this news earlier this year along with eight Japanese paintings/drawings of the Pink Man from an enigmatic Italian man named Dr. Bruno Federigo.
Weinberg recently had solo shows at Sadie Halie Projects in Minneapolis, Fogstand Gallery in Taiwan, and Thierry Goldberg Gallery’s Project Room in New York City. In 2015/16 he was awarded a Jerome Fellowship, which culminated in a fellowship show at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and is a 2017 recipient of a MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. He received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin–Stout and currently lives and works in St. Paul, MN.
Artist Statement - In my paintings time and space are disjointed, relationships are tentative, and evidential artifacts appear from unlikely events or circumstances. Uncertain narratives unfold, leaving viewers unsure who or what to trust and unsure who they should root for. Indeed, humor tempers suspicious characters and creates levity as viewers try to make connections between the familiar, the historic, and the outlandish.
The fracture that began in the 20 th Century with the advent of Cubism continues today in manic, multiple ways. My paintings pull from the often incoherent, collective noise of our hyper-culture to develop complex, manifold realities. To create my narratives I begin by culling images from friends’ Facebook accounts, personal photos, screenshots from films and images from Google Image Search. Authors like William Faulkner, Tobis Wolf, Franz Kafka, David Foster Wallace, Haruki Murakami, Robert Coover and Jorge Luis Borges also provide me with insight as to structuring narratives. In my paintings characters interact with one another in half imagined, half referenced spaces, that are familiar but garbled – siding and domestic interiors, as well as sunsets, cloudy skies, fields, plants, and yards – creating a dreamlike, hallucinatory quality. These unreal spaces and operas I paint mirror back to me the strange and wonderful experiences I have felt in film’s such as Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (or his show Twin Peaks), Tarkovsky’s Stalker, with it’s telepathic little girl, and Wes Anderson’s quirky stylized world in Moonrise Kingdom (or any of his other films).
This body of work features reoccurring characters which center around The Pink Man/Pink Men- who are wide-eyed like children, seemingly amazed by whatever befalls them. These cartoonish, mischievous, fleshy beings, run around messing with the other characters and in turn get messed with back, building a fictional world where events continue to escalate towards ominously curious ends.
Bio - Scott Albrecht was born in 1983 in New Brunswick, NJ, and raised in Bethlehem Township, NJ. In 2003, he received a degree in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Philadelphia. Scott is currently based in Brooklyn, NY and a member of The Gowanus Studio Space. His work incorporates elements of woodworking, hand-drawn typography, geometric collage using vintage printed ephemera and found objects and has been published and exhibited both domestically and internationally.
Artist Statement - The work I create is inspired by the day-to-day that happens around me — from the undeniably larger events, down to the smaller ones that we regularly interact with but almost always ignore. I draw inspiration from these moments, and use my work as a way to highlight these experiences and through the process, reflect on what they have to offer. Because of this, I often see my process and final works as though I’m creating reminders or artifacts for myself of these ideas and situations, and have come to use this perspective as a guide in my work — to create something worth being reminded of.