The term “health” has invariably been applied to society as a term used to describe soundness of one's body or mind, the freedom from disease or ailments, one’s vitality, economic health or simply a polite wish for individual happiness. While these topics can be found within the artwork created, the artists in this show have either chosen to take the term literally and create a visual interpretation based on their instincts, defining health as a lifestyle choice and a means beyond one’s control or, they chose to create less literally, creating a piece instead for their individual soundness of mind. Perhaps this is rooted in their own recovery, serenity, all around – doing what they love for their mental health and for the viewers' appreciation.
“HEALTH” showcases painting, stenciling, drawings and photography from the genre of the low bro, or “SABI” street - art - brought - indoors movement. A significant collaborative artwork addition to the show includes seven, 4’x6’ panels. Additionally, each artist will showcase his or her individual work collectively – intermingled and salon style – so as to keep the eye moving and intrigued as one peruses the gallery.
Each of the seven 4’x6’ panels feature a photograph of an abandoned trailer photographed in 2007 by Monica Hoover with every artist contributing a painted element in their style to one of the panels. The show flyer features the HEALTH trailer which serves as the centerpiece and inspiration of the show. The HEALTH trailer belongs to one of the show’s artist, Chandu Reading. In 2006, Reading painted the words "HEALTH" on the trailer and said, “ I wanted to quit smoking so I painted the words 'health' on the trailer so that when I would wake up every morning I could look across my property, see the word 'health' and be reminded of why I needed to stay strong.” Hoover had photographed the trailer in 2007 and a year later, living in Jamul, California, Hoover stumbled across a trailer graveyard that she instantly felt the need to capture. With a portfolio of trailer photographs, Hoover presented the idea of a collaborative show to the other artists, and thus " HEALTH" was born.
The aim of all seven artists is to promote innovative fine art and to represent the burgeoning San Diego arts community. Observing many of their successful contemporaries come and go through San Diego, these artists have stuck it out in a city more noted for its weather than its emerging art scene.
The future for the "HEALTH" show is a national touring plan to include cities where the art scene is living and breathing.
Adam Hathorn was born in New York in 1977. After bouncing around the tristate area a bit, he and his family settled down in Boston, Massachusetts. An above average intellect and way above average Attention Deficit Disorder led him to turn his notebooks into sketchbooks, his social studies class to art class and gym to nap time. Besides skateboarding, and lighting things on fire, drawing evil shit was all he really cared about. From old Pushead skate graphics to underground comics, anything gross or funny was what made the cut on his trapper keeper. In 8th grade, Hathorn was supposed to do a report on something that he planned spending a lot of money on, so he chose tattooing. Instead of spending a lot of money on it, he turned it into a career, and has used it to fund numerous adventures, rent, and a gang of stuff he does not need from the swap meet. After high school, Adam attended the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia where he also did a tattoo apprenticeship. After doing his time in the south, notably Savannah and Atlanta, he moved west to find gold. He now resides in sunny San Diego where he can be found slingin' and stingin' tats with the Guru Tattoo wrecking crew, and keepin' it real on the regular with the rest of the folks in this show.
For the "HEALTH" show, “I'm doing a bunch of paint and ink drawings that don’t have to be done for other people since that’s what I do all day at work. It' s for my mental HEALTH.”
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San Diego native, Chandu Reading, credits his earliest interest in art from building forts as a child that were filled with anything in the neighborhood that wasn't nailed down. “I was left alone with my creativity and a budget of zero.”
Reading is formally known for starting “Do The Math” in 2000, a poster and sticker campaign that has made its way from San Diego to Egypt and every place in between. His installation work has been featured in stencil books, magazines and on the San Diego news. Reading was also a featured artist in the hand - painted font book with Dave Kinsey and Tokeon Magazine with Shepard Fairey.
The "HEALTH" show will feature Chandu’s work of stencil and screen print on wood.
“I've always put my heart and soul into things that have no financial benefit or would ever be recognized by any establishments. I think that things are spoiled if they are taken too seriously. I do take the process of making art seriously but don't expect people to react to the work as anything more than fun to look at and throw me an A for effort.” Reading is currently working on "iseethateverywhere.com . "
A San Diegan of twenty-six years, Die Kuts was spawned in the imagination of a young graffiti writer years ago who was at the time attending the school of hard knocks. His caricatures began as stickers and posters, hence the name of "Die Kuts." His work is an eclectic mix of color and characters working spontaneously with a range of mediums consisting of mainly acrylic paint and india ink applied with brush. In addition to his street art Die Kuts' fine art has been shown in galleries across California.
“My goal is to open the eyes of people living monotonous lives, whether is be through legal or illegal means.”
Monica Hoover has been working as a freelance lifestyle and fashion photographer for the past decade. Hoover was born in 1976 in Erie, PA., then later moved to Philadelphia where she attended Drexel University and received her BAS in Photography and Minor in Architecture.
Currently residing in San Diego since 1999, Hoover founded VOICE 1156 in July 2004, a gallery that co-existed as a photography / design studio and fine urban art gallery. VOICE is currently undergoing relocation to the East Village area of San Diego with an anticipated opening late 2009.
Hoover is exhibiting various 2’x2’ fine art photo panels for the "HEALTH" show. Her subject matter contains still lifes, portraits and scams, all which relay lifestyle choices that Hoover defines as health.
Hoover created her first image panels for an art exhibition in 2006. Inspired by the street artists she met through VOICE and, most reputably her former co-workers Shepard Fairey and Dave Kinsey of Blk Mrkt, Hoover savored years of friendship, mentorship and true artist kinship. Several "bombing" excursions later with Fairey, Kinsey and others, Hoover learned the true art of street postering. Through this technique, Hoover has taken the process to a new level by using her own photographs "bombed" on panels for clients to enjoy indoors. Hoover finishes each one-of-a-kind piece with a gloss coat, giving the familiar feel of framed art behind glass.
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Since 1995, San Diego native Neko Burke has been a self taught Fine Artist. Neko’s paintings are larger than life. Even massive gallery spaces must compete with the grandeur of his pieces. Rich earth tones, roughly textured canvases and geometric shapes complement a dark mixture of abstract characters and temperamental lines. Neko’s aggravated passion for painting reveals his inner agitation that his surroundings have brought to him.
In 1997 Neko began working as a professional carpenter and general contracting Foreman, of which he is currently employed. In 2000, Neko began to curate art exhibitions for various artist groups and solo shows which lead to his involvement as one of the main curators at the VOICE Gallery in 2004. Neko was one of the founding rocks of the VOICE gallery and he plans to continue to curate exhibitions at the new VOICE gallery, anticipated to open late 2009.
Past Exhibitions: modest behavior 1,2; neko solo show; price center; neko peep show; understood sk8board show 1,2,3; circus punks toy show; secrets of society show; collabro 1,2,3; 2cent aristrocats project; speakeasy show; bluebottle show; subterfuge; exit6; sk8deck show; jedidiah show; gluenetwork; urban renewal project; thievery corp show; leftover show; below average show; beyond the schoolyard; life is hard but so am I; complaint box; statement 1,2,3; bears vs. bunnies 1,2,3; tou-ki show; coexist ; do the math show; wssa show; hit the deck show
The "HEALTH" show will feature Neko’s mixed media on wood as canvas. “My art for this show is about me and the struggles I have with my vices: afraid of being crazy, harboring loss of friends to suicide, addiction to drugs and booze, graffiti, and social anxiety.”
Sergio Hernandez (aka SURGE) was born and raised in San Diego, California. His parents have deep roots in the city of Tijuana, Mexico, so as a child he frequently visited the city. Surge has been involved in graffiti since his youth and has been held accountable for his actions by the city of San Diego on more than one occasion. In 2004, he received his bachelor's degree in Painting and Printmaking from San Diego State University.
Surge's paintings tell stories that he was told as a child, or experienced himself. His two children have motivated him to adopt a style that is playful and can be appreciated by kids as well as adults. The characters in his work reflect city life and people he has met.
Through painting, Surge has had the opportunity to exhibit his work in cities across the nation and also in other countries. He has created artwork for three solo shows and over 50 group shows.
The "HEALTH" show will feature Surge’s mixed media use of acrylic and spray paint on canvas.
Surge is currently a tattoo artist in San Diego and is also involved in the local music and martial arts scene.
Nathaniel Pearce - “Peep” “thatkidpeep” is a self-taught artist who became interested in art as a young kid and a freelance illustration artist. Born and raised in North Carolina, he attributes his earliest artistic influences to family trips driving up and down the east coast, which exposed him to skateboarding and graffiti and provoked his curiosity. Meeting others that shared his new found interests, Peep soon found himself a new lifestyle that would serve as the foundation of his art career. “This was all we wanted to do. Ride around on skateboards, write on shit, take photos and stay up late listening to music.”
Eventually, a new area was needed to waste time in, so a move to San Diego, CA in 1999 was made and things ended up getting a bit more serious: Peep was introduced into a new world of the Finer Arts and has been involved ever since.
Peep has exhibited his artwork in various solo and group shows around the country, the Caribbean and was a part of establishing San Diego’s VOICE 1156 Gallery. “I can’t think of anything else in life that has provided me with such satisfaction and for that I’m grateful! Although the process may change, the product remains the same…happiness.”
The "HEALTH" show will feature Peep’s mixed media use of acrylic, spray paints, and inks. "I feel my art reflects more so how I would view the day - to - day. I like to find the humor in things. Although sometimes it proves harder than others, it's better than the alternative. Making stuff is fun to me... I like to retain that aspect."
“Understood” 1, 2, & 3; “Neko & Peep”; “Sinner’s Ball”; “Collabro”; “Cream” grand opening; “Topsy Turvy” Chandu & thatkidpeep; “Statement” 1, 2, & 3 “Urban Renewal Project”; “Solo Show” in Winston-Salem, NC; “Beyond the Schoolyard” LA; “Secrets of Society” @ Studio Number One, LA; “Complaint Box”; “Life Is Hard, But So Am I”; “Co-Exist”; “Directing The Masses” @ Progression Gallery, Pomona.