Fairfax + Haight

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© courtesy of VASF
Fairfax + Haight
Curated by: Marsea Goldberg

1485 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
March 20th, 2008 - May 28th, 2008
Opening: March 20th, 2008 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Haight/GG Park
Mon - Thu 1-4pm
street, Art


RVCA is proud to present "Fairfax and Haight", an exhibition currated by Marsea Goldberg, Director of New Image Art.

Featuring the artwork of Cheryl Dunn, Cleon Peterson, David Ellis, Deanna Templeton, Faile, Jeff Soto, Jung Hong, Kelsey Brookes, Megan Whitmarsh, Sean Cassidy, Swoon and The Date Farmers, "Fairfax and Haight" will open at the VASF Gallery on Thursday 20th March 2008 from 7pm.

Marsea Goldberg is the Director and Founder of New Image Art gallery in Los Angeles. Since starting the gallery in 1994 she has been famed for her discriminating eye and solid curatorial skills which have distinguished the finest of both eminent and emergent talents coming out of the street, skate and surf scenes. Besides running New Image Art Marsea has currated galleries and museum shows throughout the world. Over the past six years New Image Art and RVCA have been collaborating on various special projects, this, "Fairfax and Haight" being the first to be showcased at the recently launched (RVCA) VASF Gallery in San Francisco.

"Fairfax and Haight” will showcase selected artists and projects from the New Image Art gallery including an entire wall from the wildly successful "Burning House" exhibition of 2007 by Faile, Swoon, and David Ellis. The show was featured at the Museum Het Domain, Netherlands and "Fairfax and Haight" will mark it's first ever appearance in San Francisco.

Cheryl Dunn, a renowned New York City photographer and filmmaker, has a deep infinity to counter culture. Her gentle yet passionate style has infiltrated the world of bikers, skaters and graffiti artists. Dunn's work is part documental, part drama, providing a uniquely personal style as well as slickly powerful and provocative appeal. Dunn's films and photos have been showcased at international film festivals and art galleries and have traveled around the world as part of the Beautiful Losers show.

Cleon Peterson's bright monochromatic paintings are best described as a slow motion brawl. His well rendered subject matter is intense with beautifully drawn and painted figures, interacting in an on going battle where no one really seems to win. Cleon's roots stem from skateboarding and illustration. He was recently featured and interviewed in Juxtapoz magazine. Besides showing with New Image Art he has shown in London at the Leonard Street gallery, Deitch Projects, NYC and Aqua and Art Basel, Miami. He will be showing at Scope NYC this March and is set to have his first solo show with New image Art later this year.

Growing up in a family of musicians heavily influenced the work of David Ellis, whose “motion paintings” travel through time like music - where beats are orchestrated and translated into colorful, organic paintings. His improvisational wild style sign painting has been a central part of the Barnstormers collective over the years. His works have appeared in public projects in New York, London, and Osaka.

Deanna Templeton’s photographs document the skater subculture from a female point of view, something she has pursued with her series of "autographed girls" for the past seven years. Her photos capture the young groupies who flock to skateboarding events in Southern California, not as skateboarders themselves, but as fans of the skaters who perform. Her work has previously been shown at the Monster Children Gallery, Australia, No 44 Boutique, Paris, Museum Het Domein, Holland and at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia. Deanna has been featured in Venus, Anthem and Thrasher magazine amongst countless others as well as having numerous books and killer zines published, creating for her a devout following internationally.

Faile is a two-person collective based in New York that pulls influences from comic book art, pulp fiction and popular culture. Their work has appeared on the streets all over the world, and at Shanghai’s Tiger Translate, Zurich’s Les Complices and Berlin’s Neurotitan Haus Schwarzenberge. From enormous wheat paste posters, to numerous published books, the quality of their work has propelled them from street renegades to some of the best galleries in the art world, further causing a  tremendously enthusiastic international art following.

Jeff Soto's first solo show in 2001 was in New Image Art's ’10 x 10 room’. Soto creates striking organic and surreal imagery out of his imagination and inspired by his Southern California, Riverside roots. His amazing installations are constructed from found materials, pieces of cardboard, debris and anything else he can scavenge together. His unique style of installation art is as if he is planting a magical yet doomed futuristic garden thus forcing the viewer to ponder our world and the state of our environment.

Jung-Il Hong arrived in Providence, at the Rhode Island School of Design, in 1995 and was a member Fort Thunder collective along with Mat Brinkman, Brian Chippendale and others. Jung's prolific, screen prints, intricate collages, sculpture, and installations are exquisitely executed in her unique figuration and distinctive language. Jung-Il is in the private collections of Shepard and Amanda Fairey, as well as Barry McGee and Clare Rojas.

Kelsey Brookes was born in 1978. A formally trained scientist who spent years tracking viruses for the U.S. government, he now lives and works in San Diego as a painter. His art can be found broadly throughout the US and Europe and is represented internationally by the Lazarides gallery (London). Kelsey’s figurative paintings draw influence from Hindu and Buddhist deities, exotic animals and sex, as well as rustic American quilts. Each figure is adorned with ghostly representations of the natural world…animals and plants that unfold from the body into the surrounding canvas. His chimeras are frozen with animalistic intensity in explosive and sometimes tortured positions. Kelsey blames this raw, anxious form of art on the U.S. University system which refuses to teach its scientists how to draw.

Megan Whitmarsh uses the idea of Los Angeles as a playful catalyst for creating her art. Her work displays scenes of fantasy characters existing amongst the detritus of the modern world and augmented by a subjective and optimistic iconography. In this invented world, elves wear tiny gold necklaces and yetis visit discos, scenes which are supernatural and precious, yet subverted by accouterments such as pieces of trash and junky cellphones. Los Angeles can be read as simulacra of contradiction: a city that contains the zenith of both artifice and Mother Nature. These antithetical characteristics echo the continuous subtext of contradiction the artist perceives in life and finds as a motive for making things. It creates a desire to order the ataxia of modern life, without however, managing to make it discernible. Megan Whitmarsh has also shown at Kling and Bang Gallery, Iceland, the Katherine Mulherin, Toronto, Sixty Seven, NYC and will be having her second solo show at New Image Art this coming September.

Sean Cassidy is an artist that lives and works in Los Angeles. Growing up in a small mountain town two hours north of Los Angeles, his work has been described as a marriage of science to the social and artistic. Cassidy began drawing at an early age and has been largely influenced by skateboarding, independent books, music, and the D.I.Y. spirit of individualism and expression.

Swoon’s intricate paper cutouts have been covering the streets of New York for the past six years with people doing ordinary things – riding bikes, talking on a stoop or going grocery shopping. Her delicate wheat pasted cutouts take inspiration from German Expressionist wood block prints and Indonesian shadow puppets, but infuses a uniquely urban sensibility in the way they become part of the streetscape as they decay over time. Her work has been shown at Deitch Projects and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, and was also collected and shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The Date Famers Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez were first discovered and named by Marsea Goldberg when they stumbled into her gallery in 2002. They have recently risen to international art stardom. The Date Farmers have also shown at The Luggage Store Gallery and Gallery Fifty24SF (San Francisco), The Leonard Street Gallery, London, are soon to be showing at Jonathan Levine Gallery NYC and recently created artwork for the Barack Obama campaign. They have been featured in Juxtapoz, Shift Magazine, Paper Magazine and the LA Times and have recently had their first book published. The Date Farmers of Coachella Valley often collaborate in their art, collage, drawings, and words on discarded signs. Reminiscent of Mexican Revolutionary posters, Ramirez and Lerma explore the essential reality of the roots of California past and present culture. Their art depicts Mexican American religious icons and their style resembles prison art – their lettering strong in a low rider tradition of bold sign painting.

Please join us to see the works of these amazing artists. Opening reception is on Thursday 20th March 2008 from 7pm at the VASF Gallery.