FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
First Solo Show for artist ShawNshawN – Still Smoking
Opening: January 24th 6-9pm
Exhibition: Jan. 13th – Feb 23rd
ShawNshawN debuting his first solo show at 4th Street Fine Art in Berkeley. His show is focused on a new style he developed called Political Pop. This style reinterprets popular cultural icons into the underlying reality beneath the surface usually focused on a moment when change occured.
One of the subjects is the infamous Malboro man captured in his painting “Killer Cowboy Cloud”. The 4th cowboy advertising for Marlboro died in 2012 (story from LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-marlboro-men-20140127-story.html) "He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him," his wife, Susan Lawson, told the Associated Press. "He knew, yet he still couldn't stop." The artist himself smoked the brand over 15 years and his own father was nearly taken twice by throat cancer from smoking 15 years. In the own artist words, “I smoked 10 years before quiting and the damn things will likely take my brother before his time, so I feel I owe the company payback.” This works explores who exactly was behind the campaign and its popularity. Was it Hollywood, US Presidents or Leo Burnett ad agency? In addition to the painting, the artist is selling Morbido cigarette packs signed by famous smokers from JFK to Andy Warhol. A detailed artist interview follows here: http://shawnshawnartist.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/interview-on-killer-cowboy-clouds/
Other themes that are captured are the theme of the Hunger Games just after the release of the 3rd of four films based off the 3rd book in the series “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins. ShawNshawN lived in Poland in the last year of Communism in 1989 and actively witnessed the fall of totalitarianism by the people, so this book rang true to his vision and serves as a device to expose pitfalls of dictatorships like China, North Korea and Cuba. This painting points to the reality of Hunger Games in the US empire we find ourselves in: global corporations dominating the planet, dictators like Kim Jong Un in North Korea and the hypocrisy of leftists coddling dictatorships like Cuba. The painting captures the moment that Katniss defies expectations and sacrifices herself to save her sister with “May the Odds be Ever in your Favor”. A detailed artist interview is here: http://shawnshawnartist.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/interview-on-may-the-odds-be-ever-in-your-favor-painting/
Another topic explored is cyber warfare and 1984-type secret government spying of citizens exposed recently by Edward Snowden. As quoted by Snowden, “I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.” The artist explores the duality of US-China relations in his work titled “Ride the Dragon on the Plains of Slaves”. Here the infamous Matrix movie is shown with Morpheus asking Neo to choose the red or blue pill, reality or continued fantasy. In this work, the artist exposes the underlying secret cyber war of China and US. In public, both powers claim to be the world’s biggest trading partners. In reality, China has a secret military division 61398 actively hacking Western patents while being the global trade “partner” of the West. A detailed interview follows here: http://shawnshawnartist.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/interview-of-riding-the-dragon-to-the-plains-of-slaves-painting/
The artist will be on site to discuss your questions on the duality of life in his paintings. The show will be Jan 24th from 6-9pm. There will be food, drink and music to enjoy as you bear witness to Political Pop style.
About 4th Street Fine Art
The gallery was launched in September 2012 with 15 artists. Now the gallery has 14 painters and 3 jewelers. The original idea for the gallery was the Art Gym started back in 2002 before changing the name to 4th Street Studio in its second year. One of the founders, Gera Hasse, helped found the new gallery location in 2012.
4th Street Fine Art
2000 4th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Hours: Fri-Sun 11am-6pm
Show info: http://www.4thstreetfineart.com/still-smoking.html
Exhibition: Jan 24th – Feb 23rd
Opening: Jan 24th 6 – 9pm
She has lived and worked in California all of her life, and graduated from the University of CA East Bay Campus with a degree in Liberal Arts. She is largely a self taught and experiential artist. She is continually trying to master a complicated process involving resins, oils, acrylics, paper, photography, metals and natural objects that are contained within my art.
I like the gestures, contours, and volume of the human form. Whether the model‘s pose is active or passive, I seek to convey the dynamism and movement of the body. I bring that to action on my canvas - any size, any shape, any gender. Since my college days, I have made more than 100,000 sketches.
Suzane Beaubrun is an Oakland jewelry artist who transforms common materials such as bottle caps and recycled inner tube into art to wear. In addition to working with these everyday materials she also crochets and weaves fine silver and semi-precious stones into ethereal, fantastical jewelry. Her work is an eclectic exploration of texture, color and form. Suzane is a graduate of The San Francisco Art Institute and studied metalsmithing under Lisa Spiros at The Craft Student’s League of New York.
Sherrod Blankner is a graduate of Yale University where she studied Art with Tom Roma. She focuses on painting architecture, whether in city or rural scenes. Ms. Blankner’s current Southern tableaus are based on photographs by one of her artistic collaborators, Christina Huntington, of Memphis, Tennessee.
Whether it be City Scenes, Ballet Dancers or Animals, Debbie's paintings are about movement and personality. Debbie developed her flawless drawing technique at a young age. Debbie's work is collected internationally, has been featured in Art Show at The Dog Show, American Kennel Club, Colored Pencil Society of America and Artists Magazine.
Bernice Gross is known for her vividly-painted scenes of middle-class America in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Her spot-on eye for images that capture awkward, familiar, and intimate family moments has made her a national reputation as an inimitable painter.
She grew up in St. Louis and in the 60s decided to move to the SF Bay Area. She started her first limited edition prints gallery in 1990s and then cofounded Fourth Street Studio in 2000. She also was a key founder of the current gallery. Her work explores ceramics and acrylic painting. Her latest series was a ceramic tile work using broken plates and glass tiles.
Ann Marie Hodrick:
She is an artisan inspired by the beauty of the colors and textures that influence our daily lives … the way light is reflected off a cityscape, the colors in a spring garden or the texture of the surf against the sand on a beach.
Lately I’ve been inspired by the sea: I find the ocean to be grounding. It’s a place of elegance, power, and grace amidst constant change. There is something settling about the sea for me, and creating the work for this show has been very meditative. I swim a lot, and growing up, I spent most of my time in the ocean.
Growing up on the outskirts of San Antonio, I spent a vast amount of my childhood playing outdoors and camping. This cultivated an early appreciation of the wilderness around me. As I grew older, my simple love for nature was reinforced from travels within and abroad the U.S., many to natural landmarks.
My name is Nuch. My passion for form, simplicity, and salient details has continued to grow in me since I was an architecture student and architect. The first time I made a necklace for my aunt, unexpectedly, these dormant enthusiasms blossomed in me again. Since then, for over ten years, designing and crafting jewelry has become my inspiring muse.
I have always wanted to paint and began dabbling about twenty years ago. In 2002, I suffered the biggest personal loss of my life and took up painting more intensively at that time. I paint mostly in oils, although I use watercolors when travelling. I paint plein air landscapes, and do studio work from my photographs, hoping to convey my feelings about these sites and the beauty of the ordinary. Cindy Podren
My urban collage paintings are inspired by my day to day observations - from street scenes, billboards and posters to often overlooked surfaces, architectural elements and birds. I translate these moments into fragmented images, objects, textures and colors. As I collect and interpret these visual cues, I use them to create a new visual experience. This process for me is purely intuitive and my ultimate form of self expression.
For this small exhibition focused on 8x8, I decided to cover Malala Yousafzai. She was blogging for the BBC in Pakistan about living as a girl under Taliban rule and standing up for female right to education. The Taliban tried to assassinate her, but luckily she survived and perseveres in her struggle for her rights and the rights of all women in a patriarchial society dominated by extreme religion.
My work process involves intuition, imagination as well as intellect; serendipity as well as planning and design. I always observe the world around me, consciously noting details and I leave it to my senses to randomly record what they deem worthy of interest. It will trickle down to my consciousness later.
Hallie Strock is a graduate of Mills College, in Oakland, CA, with a BA in studio art. Her work, now focused on water-based media and textile arts, hangs in a number of private collections in the United States, and has won significant awards in local and regional juried exhibitions in California. Hallie is a member of the Oakland Art Association.
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