A GROUP EXHIBITION BY
2501 - BRETT AMORY - CHRISTIE YURI NOH - CRAIG RODGERS - GAGE OPDENBROUW GRADY GORDON - JUD BERGERON - LABRONA - LAURA BERGER
MARCEL PATZWALD - MERIJN HOS - MICHAEL REEDER - MRSA - NICE ONE - PASTEL
SADDO - SAM YOUNG - SCOTT COOPER - VELIA DE IULIIS
Athen B. Gallery is pleased to present the select works of local and international talent in our group exhibition titled Plenty. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 9th at 7pm. The exhibition will be on view through February 5, 2016 and is free and open to the public.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
2501 - Is among the most important Italian artists in the international urban art scene. The artist has participated in numerous exhibitions and festivals all over the world, showing in prestigious institutions like the Center for Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci in Prato, the Milan Triennale, and the MACRO in Rome. In 2013 he participated in Back 2 Back to Biennale, an official satellite event of the 55th Venice Biennale, and in 2009 he won the Street Art Award at the Metropolis Art Prize 2009 with the video Mask, projected in Times Square, NYC.
2501 began painting at the age of 14 in his hometown of Milan. After living in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where he came in contact with the school of South American graffiti, the artist beganexperimenting with a range of techniques and materials, combining painting on canvas, mural painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, and documentary. The artist’s style is distinct from that of other artists for his sinuous and overwhelming wavy lines that invade the work surface, transforming it and giving it a feeling of movement and three - dimensionality. The work becomes hypnotic, capable of activating the imagination and the interpretation of the observer, conjuring images and possible visions. In order to create this effect, 2501 focuses on the simple chromatic pairing of black and white, at times embellished by the color gold.
BRETT AMORY - Amory was born June 25, 1975 in Portsmouth, Virginia. His father, Harry Amory, was a mechanic at a shipyard. His mother, Sally Roebuck, was a nurse. Brett has two brothers, Chad and Jonathan. When he was 21, Brett moved to San Francisco to study motion pictures at the Academy of Arts. Soon after enrolling in school, Brett took his first drawing class and was introduced to his passion for the arts. Around the time Brett turned 24 he tried his hand in painting. In 2002 Brett switched his major to fine art and started his first body of work called Waiting a series of paintings about the anticipation of the next moment. Brett graduated from the Academy of Arts in 2005 and has shown his work all over the country. In 2006 Brett along with five other artist published a book called Convergence and had book signings in New York, La and at the SFMOMA in San Francisco. Brett currently works as a graphic designer at an environmental company in San Francisco and continues to show his work in galleries across the United States.
CHRISTIE YURI NOH - The outward appearance of every painting I make is the equivalent of some aspect of inner human life. The thingness of our experience of things. I know a lot about the necessity of the general idea of painting, but not of the process in which the action will run. When the action runs, my preparation works, because I am prepared to do a thing without knowing where it goes. Every work for me brings a new element in the whole, an unknown area, and unknown world.
Empirical Resolution Attempts: The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between the high probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for such civilizations. One obvious way to resolve the paradox would be to find conclusive evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Efforts to find evidence have been made since 1960. One difficulty in searching is avoiding an overly anthropocentric viewpoint. Conjecture on the type of evidence likely to be found often focuses on the types of activities that humans have performed. Intelligent aliens might avoid these expected activities, or perform activities totally novel to humans.
CRAIG RODGERS - I am a Scottish born illustrator who has been living in California since 2001, I moved to Oakland in 2008 to attend school and focus more seriously on illustration. Since graduating I've been living in an artist collective and have become a bit of a recluse spending the majority of my time drawing and tattooing. The desert serves as the main inspiration for my work- where the cycles of growth and rot are so clear. I find the endless expanse of the desert brings me closer to the trails designed by the shadows. Using lines to interpret my exploration of supernatural worlds I create alternate realities to exist in where the mystery unfolds beyond the moment into infinity.
GAGE OPDENBROUW - A Bay Area artist, Gage Opdenbrouw was born and raised in San Jose, California, who lives, works, and teaches in San Francisco. He is a painter whose work evinces many interests and influences. Regardless of the style or subject, he aims to distill his images to a point where there is a powerful emotional resonance.He paints primarily in oil, and the vast majority of his works involve the figure or the landscape in one way or another. Opdenbrouw’s paintings comprise several distinct, yet interrelated bodies of work.
In addition to his studio work, he also teaches painting & drawing both in a private capacity, and at the Sharon Art Studio, where he teaches classes for adults, and NCMACC, where he shares his love of art with children, both in San Francisco.At the ripe young age of 32 his paintings have been the subject of ten solo exhibitions, and over forty group, juried, and 2 person shows in museums and galleries around the country.
"Garland of Hours"
This series of paintings springs from family photographs, both from the artists family and old 'found' images. The everyday subject is a vehicle for an ongoing meditation on universal human themes, like love and loss, togetherness and isolation, presence and absence, memory and the passage of time. Our impermanence as well as our fragility and strength are constant themes, and depth and resonance of feeling is given more importance than detail or realism. Ideally each painting is achingly rich and beautiful, and teetering on the verge of disintegration, ultimately a reflection on mortality.
GRADY GORDON - is originally from Santa Fe, NM. his art is deeply influenced by various mythologies from across the world. in each new series he finds a particular myth to re-appropriate into a new version, and of course creates the images solely in black and white. Grady utilizes the most crude mark-making instruments to bring about the characters that inhabit the invisible plane. he works entirely by removing thick black ink from a plexiglass surface. the monotype print is a study of impermanence. unlike other forms of printmaking the monotype offers only one copy. the original image on the plate is then given back to the ether, back into the fabric.
JACK CHAPPEL - Jack Chappel, aka Nice-one, recently relocated to the bay area, his art practice has and had been a firm staple in the Chicago landscape for many years. In 2009 he received his BFA from Columbia College Chicago with a concentration in art fabrication and print media. Since graduating his art practice has revolved around pop-up art, muralism, and relief wood sculpture. He’s artwork and skill sets have taken him across the US, also to Brazil, Mexico, and China. With a keen knowledge of materials, he chooses to primarily work with airbrush, latex and aerosol paint, and reclaimed wood.
JUD BERGERON - is a Bay Area sculptor residing in San Francisco, his sculpture has been exhibited throughout North America with a focus on New York and San Francisco. Bergeron works in myriad styles and materials but generally gravitates towards permanent materials such as bronze, stainless steel and mild steel. Jud has been awarded public art commissions in a number of cities around the country and his sculpture has been in museum shows and is included in many important private collections.
LABRONA - For the last 15 years, there's been a man up in Canada painting under the nonsensical name "Labrona." He is a skateboarder, a record collector, sometimes a house builder and, most importantly, an artist in the purest sense. When you look at the projects that Labrona gets himself involved with, it quickly becomes evident that he is a man who wants to capture life in his art and share his creations with the world in any way possible. Whether he's painting on skate decks, canvases, freight trains or the sides of buildings, Labrona's work has an energy and a beauty that comes from a rare combination of drive and talent. Only the best street artists can successfully draw inspiration from themes as seemingly divergent as skateboard culture and the old masters, and that's exactly what Labrona does. Labrona inserts beauty into everyday life with his artwork, but without ignoring the grittiness of the places where he finds himself painting, resulting in a synergy between traditional beauty and worn-down everyday realities that brings new life to wherever he paints.
LAURA BERGER - I'm an artist and illustrator based in Chicago, working primarily in Gouache & Acrylic. I also like making things out of clay & creating little animations. My work is focused on Exploring our connections to ourselves and each other, and the idea of finding novelty and adventure in everyday life. I'm interested in and inspired by Rituals, symbols, nature, dreams, travel, our quest for self-developement and how we piece it all together to create personal meaning and a sense of belonging to the greater whole.
MARCEL PATZWALD - Marcel Patzwald is an artist and screenprinter based in Oakland, CA. Marcel is currently one of the handful of artists at Athen B. Studios in Downtown Oakland.
MERIJN HOS - Merijn Hos is based in the Netherlands. From his Utrecht based studio he works on commercial projects as well as on exhibitions. There is a thin line between his commercial and art based projects. His work is often very joyful and has the intention to make people smile, yet there is sometimes a socially critical side if you look a bit further into his work.
The first group of wooden sculptures are originally made for an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Kampen in the Netherlands, which was on display in the Spring of 2012. The group exhibition, which the installation was part of, was entitled, “Grenzeloos” (nl) - translated as “Boundless”. A number of contemporary Dutch Illustrators working in the traditional context of commercial art projects an self initiated artworks were featured in this exhibition.There are now three series that consists of 360 unique sculptures in total varying in size between 5 and 14 inches.
"I began the creation process by drawing objects that appear frequently in my work, for example, plants, faces and pottery in their most simple form, narrowing each item down to the essence of their shape. The drawings were then cut out of wood and finalized with house paint and acrylics. Being inspired by Art Brut and Folk Art I decided to paint what are rather abstract forms in a naïve way, using about 24 colors and a uniform brush size". Since the first exhibition at Stedelijk museum Kampen the sculptures where on view at Beginnings gallery in New York, Krets gallery in Malmo, Design Museum in Helsinki, Kunsthall Stavanger in Norway, Third Drawer Down in Melbourne, Nina Sagt gallery in Dusseldorf and Grey Area in New York.
MICHAEL REEDER - Born in Dallas, Texas in 1982. He graduated with a BFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Since then he has pursued a career as an exhibiting fine artist, alongside the work he does as a freelance graphic artist and also his work at Eyecon Studios, a custom mural and design company based in Dallas.
Centered on portraiture, my current body of work seeks to make a direct connection with the audience. This connection encourages viewers to bring their own perceptions, imagination, and vision to light alongside mine. I avoid narrowing my conceptual focus in order to allow content to be found and seen for the first time. Although I am technically orchestrating the process, I do my best to remain removed just enough to let the work veer off-course and locate its own destiny. Throughout my work, realism is mixed with flat graphic space, and themes or motifs of identity, ambiguity, and ego are loosely implied. The convergence of infinite space and the figure highlights the realm of contemplation located between the conscious and the subconscious mind.
MRSA - I was born in Fremont, CA, raised in Suwanee, GA and currently lives and works in New Orleans, LA. I am a multidisciplinary artist that works in printmaking, wood work, painting, and street art. Many of my influences come from fairy tales, mythology, punk, and decay. I started creating work out of wood in 2012 and have made wood work my main medium since.
PASTEL - Far away of conventional architecture, I understand work on the street as a urban acupuncture. Modern cities are full of “Non-places” because of irregular and not inclusive masterplanning. So paintings can be a kickstart for those places, working on the local identity and not being another tool of social gentrification. I try to base my work on experiences. Considering the space where I get to create my work, it may be a city, a rural space, an open space or a closed space. First of all by trying to understand the conditions that the environment offers and not to impose an already established concept for the space.
Working with symbolism like arrowheads and flora, the pieces begin a dialogue about the nature of man and his surroundings. The existential, real, pure and tragic, almost forgotten in modern society.
SADDO - Romanian artist, illustrator and muralist, Saddo started his artistic career as founder of one of the first Romanian street art collectives, The Playground, in a time when a freshly graduated artist didn't have other possibilities than to be a graphic designer or a teacher. But his street art activity brought a fresh fun vibe to his way of perceiving art and the world, and opened doors to many different projects, commissions for advertising agencies, collaborations with galleries in Bucharest, Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, New York, Los Angeles, Montreal, Glasgow, Salvador, etc.
Going through many different phases and influences, from horror movie posters, street art, comics, Saddo has recently developed his style into more elaborate shapes, with many different influences from old masters of 15th - 17th century, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Bosch, Brueghel, Walton Ford, naturalistic illustration, pop surrealism, religion, mythology.
SAM YOUNG - a designer, illustrator & self-taught artist from New Zealand, now living in Melbourne, Australia. I have a passion for crafting beautiful things, whether it be art or design. You can usually find me with a pencil in hand. Recently I’ve delved into painting, which I try to do as much as possible while I’m not working.
SCOTT COOPER - Scott J Cooper is a painter originally from the SF Bay Area, and studied art at the University of Oregon. He started his career designing skateboard graphics and editing skate videos for Thrasher Magazine before he began to focus on his own art. He lives and works now in Copenhagen, Denmark, where his painted work has been influenced by Danish culture and 20th century modernist figurative painters. Still lifes and the female figure are common themes in his work, an homage to a classic painting tradition but with a new approach. Abstract patterns, bold colours, and seductive realism all working together in the same composition. Scott's work has been shown internationally in Europe and in the US.
VELIA DE IULIIS - (born 1990) was raised in San Francisco, California where she still resides. Her paintings predominantly reflect her fascination with symmetry found in nature in contrast to the chaos that can be found in an urban world. She received her BFA with distinction in Illustration from the California College of the Arts in 2013. Velia’s past and upcoming shows include the ‘Into the Woods’ group show at the Maeght Gallery (October 2015), a painting for the Imagine Bus project (November 2015), Athen B. Gallery show (January 2016), LA art fair in partnership with AR4T Gallery (January 2016) and her first solo show with AR4T, The Riddle of the Universe (February 2016).
My work reflects what has fascinated me throughout my life. Themes of symmetry and patterns found in nature as well as nature itself are the avenues that both inspire and captivate me. Science, philosophy and art are tightly bound but to better understand humanity I have to first understand the natural world we live in. History shows us that humanity can be destructive; at times unpredictable, disloyal, selfish and cruel. I continue to find peace and hope within the natural world where instinct is unwavering and questions are answered. In choosing to paint flora, fauna and animalia, nature never ceases to fascinate me. Following my instinct, I don’t plan my pieces; instead I first find facts that captivate my attention such as the complexity and lineage of a species but sometimes its their sheer beauty that inspires. I hope that my paintings portray the wonder and constant curiosity I have for this special world, a world where creatures help me to better understand humanity.
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