Sri Lanka

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Here are a group of photos that we took on a recent trip to Sri Lanka, where we saw things like evil monkeys, baby elephants, a wedding ceremony, “Let It Be” played by a band from Kandy, an evacuation, a tea country, a golf course with no players, the Buddha’s tooth relic, the largest brick structure in the world, the oldest living planted tree, beautiful sunsets, a full moon, and a rain storm so heavy you couldn’t see two inches in front of you. Through 3 buses, plenty of Carlsberg, extreme heat, and a nighttime view of the Indian Ocean, here is a little insight into one of the most beautiful countries you will ever see… —Raymond Brown/The Citrus Report

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From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

Saner

Screen shot 2012 03 15 at 4.47.18 PM1 Saner saner Mexico City FIFTY24SF Gallery

FIFTY24SF Gallery, in association with Upper Playground, is pleased to announce Corazón Sangrante (Bleeding Heart), an exhibition featuring new works from Mexico City-based fine artist, Saner. After showing at our sister gallery, FIFTY24MX in Mexico City, this will be Saner’s first exhibition in our San Francisco space. The exhibition opens March 16, 2011.

Saner is a leading member of contemporary muralists and fine artists working in both Latin America and Europe. His mural work has been inspired by the Mexican Muralist Movement and David Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco, and Diego Rivera. For this exhibition, Saner will be presenting new paintings and drawings on paper, featuring his signature animal and human hybrid characters. His fine artwork is inspired and informed by research into Mexican custom and folklore, mysticism, masks, and skulls. The character’s most basic rituals are laid bare in each painting, allowing the viewer to see inside Saner’s personal symbology. As written by FIFTY24MX curator Liliana Carpinteyro, Saner’s “free and unpretentious spirit allows him to express a new Mexican vision.”

Saner (Edgar Flores) titled this exhibition “Corazón Sangrante” (Bleeding Heart), while reflecting on the things he saw around him: violence, anger, happiness, anxiety, and fear. Saner says these are the issues that most Mexicans deal with as part of a daily ration of “food”: junk food that is “consuming the body of a society that is getting closer to it’s destruction, unless the blood warriors awake,” he says.

Using the contrasts of lights-shadows and light-darkness, Saner reflects the eternal battle of men, his images referring to that absurd struggle of daily survival, exposing chaos as the background for resurrection. Those who see their reflection in these images will be reunited with the impossible dream, a utopia of mirrors that nobody wants to recognize and to which all escaped. Why change if the tide has not affected us yet?

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From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

Roger Ballen

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It doesn’t matter what he shoots, or when, if it is film or photograph, the work of NYC-born, Johannesburg, South Africa-based Roger Ballen is some of the most remarkable contemporary art being made today. Are the characters real? Are they actors of a some play that only Ballen could direct? Is this a fantastical version of contemporary South Africa, or the truth? Are they staged works meant to be paintings? And as he has progressed, is Ballen trying to create photographs that are the closest thing to a sculptural painting that could ever be conceived? All we can confirm is that Ballen represents one of the most unique visions in art. With a new music video for Die Antwoord, who will be showing a one-night installation in our FIFTY24SF Gallery this Wednesday, February 22, we look at Ballen’s most striking works. —Raymond Brown / The Citrus Report staff

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Hush

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Hush is the moniker of UK-based artist known worldwide for his beautifully constructed abstract Geisha images that are a juxtaposition of both traditional graffiti and abstract expressionism. Heavily inspired by the aesthetic of street art and armed with an in-depth technique that includes painting, screen printing, spray-painting and collage, he has continued to create new works that instantly draw the eye in and holds the viewer’s focus. —James Pawlish / The Citrus Report


JP: Who is HUSH? Tells us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been making art, did you have any sort of formal training?

Hush: I’ve been making art all my life, from first experiences in graffiti to graphic design. I always made my own art and have been painting seriously for the last fifteen years. I studied illustration & graphic design at art school for five years.

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I read an interview where you used the phrases “action painting” and “pure expressionism” to describe your practice. Do you find abstract expressionism and graffiti to have similarities in terms of approach and hand style?

I think now that graffiti has had time to be reflected on as an art form, there would be a serious argument for the action of tagging, dubs etc to be taken seriously as a form of abstract expressionism or action painting and can be seen as a contemporary art form. Of course this is down to the viewers discretion, but that is true in how all art is viewed I suppose.

Tell us a bit about your creative process and the method of distressing your canvases.

I play with lots of ideas in the paintings that I make and like to reference a lot of movements, past and present. I have always loved that old graf rule about how a throw can go over a tag, a dub over a throw, a piece over a dub and so on.

I love the transient way in which work on the street evolves and usually looks more at home the longer it settles, gets tagged over, degrades and fades. I try to create all these actions and mistakes in the studio. I always create two of each painting and work on them simultaneously, partly for the fact that I will take more risks on one, so my work progresses; there does come a point where I will only finish one as it becomes obvious which one is working.

I also do this so that when i make a new painting i can go over the discarded painting and leave remains of it visible to the viewer. I kind of take pleasure in knowing that there was a good piece and lots of work underneath a painting. It always feels uncomfortable working on a clean canvas, I like the feel and textures of a worked-on canvas. It gives it some life straight away and the complexity of a piece matters to me, I like the viewer to discover this.

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I understand you worked in Japan for quite some time…What was that like, and how did it shape your style?

I worked and lived in South East Asia for a few years; it was an extremely important influence on my life both philosophically and visually. The way the East, especially the youth, adopt western styles and cultural influences but struggle with holding onto traditional values is of interest to me and my work. The place is a melting pot and very inspirational. It has influenced my work greatly and has me thinking about a combination of factors; when you add my interpretation of this, we end up with a very eclectic mix. I try to capture and contradict these cross cultural differences and influences in my work.

Your work seems to be a juxtaposition of everything from pop art and abstraction to anime and comics. Are you tying to break the bridge between “high” and “low” art?

Not so much the anime these days but it is still an influence. However, when I see graffiti, especially tagging, as a form of expressionism or a political action, and when lots of it is seen in one place on the street, it creates a visual image like nothing else I can compare it to. It’s beautiful.

Taking it from the street and applying it to the work you make in the gallery setting is difficult. That’s why I approach it as action painting; it could easily be determined as abstract expressionism also. You need to capture that instantaneous decision to make the mark. That’s why I have canvases continuously around the studio. I throw everything at them, tag them, throws, the lot. It feels like it carries a bit of that excitement. It also places this movement into a category that is continuing to build on past art movements, which every new movement does.

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A large portion of your work is centered on the female form. Is there any specific reason why?

I like to keep the eyes dark so the viewer can’t connect with the personality, the figures then become somewhat serene or mysterious. The figures are important in finishing the composition of the piece as before they are formed it’s purely abstraction.

When I make my art I try to translate my interest in tagging, graff, decay and street art aesthetics into my work and juxtapose it with images of beauty, sensuality and the female form; allowing the later to be seen in a more positive way. The act of a tag is no doubt beautiful in its own right but fusing the two together in an expressionist action creates something in its own right and puts questions out there.

What artists have been a big influence on you?

There’s a lot of talent out there but my real influences are Eduardo Paolozzi, Mimmo Rotella, Matthew Ritche, Takashi Murakami, Designers Republic, Inka Essenhigh, Simon Bisley, Roy Lichenstien, Banksy, Peter Blake, Vaughan Oliver, Ian Swift and Robert Rauschenberg, to name a few. James Jean, David Choe, Connor Harrington, and Brad Downey have all been creating fantastic work lately.

I’m influenced by every person in the scene. Probably every artist, past and future! Definitely music has an influence on my work, coming from that whole dance music, electro, hip hop scene, it just makes the work more relevant and seems to make sense in the way that it compliments the work – even in the way that it doesn’t take itself too seriously as well.

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You’re not a stranger to San Francisco, having had a sold out show in 2010 at Shooting Gallery. What is it you love about the city? Do you find yourself getting inspiration from the local arts scene?

I’ve shown a few times here now with Fifty24SF Gallery, Shooting Gallery, White Walls & 941 Geary. I love the place, the people, the liberal attitudes, everybody seems to have a creative awareness here, it’s a very inspiring place. I have had the pleasure of meeting and hooking up with a lot of artists living and working in SF from Apex, Neon & Vulcan to Eine, Blek le Rat & Roa to Aaron Nagel, Casey Gray & Brett Armory…. from that list you can imagine how inspiring it can be.

Alex Pardee @ Urban Air

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A few weeks ago, we dropped in on Alex Pardee and his team as they were painting the offices of Urban Air in SOMA/San Francisco. We snapped a few photos, caught up with the man, and tried not to get black paint on our shoes. Thank you to Urban Air for letting us sit on their couch and vent. —Raymond Brown/The Citrus Report

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From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

Agostino Iacurci

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With bright, multi-layered layered characters, Agostino Iacurci is bringing something great to the neighborhoods he has painted murals in recently.  He has been making interesting illustrations for years while he studied fine art and with a background in graffiti and painting outdoors, it only makes sense to see such amazing murals from him. His whimsical characters seem to tell a story with their gestures alone and they connect through the artists attention to the local surroundings.  On paper or on a five story facade, I am definitely excited to follow Agostino’s work in the coming years. —Ronnie Wrest / The Citrus Report

Where are you from and where are you now?

I’m from Foggia, in the South of Italy, but now I’m based in Rome where I have lived for 6 years.

It must be amazing to live in a place with such a rich artistic history.  Do you find inspiration everywhere you go?

Of course. Rome is beautiful and very inspiring, but my main inspiration is every day life, so I find sources of inspiration wherever I go.

My native city, for example, is very poor in art, beauty and cultural activities, but for me it has been an huge source of inspiration.

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You have only been painting outdoors for a few years? What turned you on to this type of work?

Actually, I started painting graffiti in 1998, when I was 12 years old. I’ve done several pieces, writing letters for a long time, but at a point I realized that “style writing” was unfulfilling for me. Then I moved to Rome to study Fine Art and illustration, and there I’ve done research about my style. At the same time I started seeing lot of huge murals in several cities from all over the world by Blu, Os Gemeos, Run and few other artists. I was very impressed by this “new way of making graffiti” and it gave me again the desire of painting outdoor.

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In terms of the change in audience, and the interactions with people that live near your work,  can you describe some of the experiences you have had working outdoors?

Painting outdoors is an amazing experience. It’s very interesting and funny to collect different feedbacks about your work in real time. Especially because I have always tried to make works closely connected to the place and the location. Because of the easiness of images I draw, every type of person, from kids to adults, feel invited to express their opinions and personal readings. The main strength of making art outdoor is the chance to establish a dialogue with a vast number of persons.

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Russell Crotty @ Left Coast Books

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From Left Coast Books in Goleta, California: Russell Crotty’s work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Pompidou (Paris), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Fine Arts Museum, New York Public Library, and others.

Crotty’s “Fragments from the West Coast: A Peculiar Surf Vernacular” will be on display through December 24, 2011.

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72 Photos, 72 Hours @ Art Basel

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We spent 72 hours in Miami for Art Basel, and among the things we saw were art pieces and themselves in person: Raymond Pettibon, Kehinde Wiley, James Murphy, Santigold, Mark Ryden, Jason Jaworski, FriendsWithYou, ROA, Fat Albert, Ai Weiwei, Barry McGee, NADA, Scope, Pulse, Wynwood Walls, WK, Martha Cooper, Aiko, Bast, Haze, Retna, Haring, Basquiat, Hirst, Kelley, Cuban Food, South American/Japanese fusion, ASAP Mob, lots of the Atlantic Ocean, Soho Beach House, and we drove in a Rolls Royce.

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From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

Sage Vaughn @ FIFTY24SF Gallery

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FIFTY24SF Gallery is proud to present, Runaways, a group of new paintings by Los Angeles based fine artist, Sage Vaughn. This exhibition marks Vaughn’s first solo show in San Francisco and first solo show in the states in 4 years. Runaways opens November 19, 2011.

After two successful exhibitions at London’s Lazarides Gallery and The Outsiders, Vaughn returns to the United States with a body of new work. The first group of work in Runaways echoes the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, “children are all foreigners.” The work illustrates the cast off minutia in our midst, the runaways, the street urchins, scamps, and hooligans that are often ignored. The focus is on the individuals, the small things. Vaughn uses song birds, feral parrots and escaped exotic pets on their own or, at times, with an accomplice, in an obscure dystopian setting. Here the viewer can explore sentiments of rebellion, survival, isolation and stolen sweetness the birds experience as they go about their secret lives above our heads.

The second group of paintings looks at the concept of the fleeting existence of the butterfly. A butterfly is only in this form for a comparatively short period during its life span; during which, it lives to fly, to mate, and to reproduce before it fades. constructing a single visual movement based on the compulsion of the individuals illustrates the driving force behind their transformation. in these works  assembles the inconsequential to a point where they can emphasize something more powerful and instinctual. 

Runaways will feature works in a variety of mediums, including a new series of paintings and Vaughn’s iconic envelope paintings. There will also be a large-sized hand-painted print in an edition of 24.

Sage Vaughn will also present a second exhibition at FIFTY24SF Gallery starting on December 16th, 2011, featuring special installations and conceptual works. 

Sage Vaughn was born in Jackson, Oregon. He has exhibited throughout the world, including Lazarides Gallery and The Outsiders in London, Galerie Bertrand and Gruner in Geneva, Art Agents Gallery in Hamburg, Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, and DACTYL Gallery in New York.

For more information about the work, contact gallery@fifty24sf.com

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Touch the Sky Mixed Media 9 x 13 2011 Sage Vaughn @ FIFTY24SF Gallery Sage Vaughn preview FIFTY24SF Gallery The Lone Coyote Mixed Media 9 x 12 Mixed Media 9 x 13 2011. Sage Vaughn @ FIFTY24SF Gallery Sage Vaughn preview FIFTY24SF Gallery Spider man Mixed Media 9 x 13 2011 Sage Vaughn @ FIFTY24SF Gallery Sage Vaughn preview FIFTY24SF Gallery Self PortraitMixed Media 9 x 12 Mixed Media 9 x 13 2011 Sage Vaughn @ FIFTY24SF Gallery Sage Vaughn preview FIFTY24SF Gallery Butterfly with chainlinkMixed Media 9 x 12 Mixed Media 9 x 13 2011 Sage Vaughn @ FIFTY24SF Gallery Sage Vaughn preview FIFTY24SF Gallery Bad Hair Mixed Media 9 x 12 2010 Sage Vaughn @ FIFTY24SF Gallery Sage Vaughn preview FIFTY24SF Gallery

From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

Kelly Lee Barrett

Kelly 9 Kelly Lee Barrett Photography Los Angeles Kelly Lee Barrett interview

Los Angeles based photographer Kelly Lee Barrett continues to build a beautiful body of work that is an intimate tale about the human condition. Since moving from San Francisco to the city of angels, she has captured a series of playful moments that have given birth to a world filled  with hallucinatory colors and psychedelic fueled adventures.

This exploration of our world has even found its way into our own hands via a set of handcrafted award winning photo-books. In them, she brings insight and humor into everyday urban life. The cleverly organized photos inspire multiple associations about how we communicate with one another in our fast paced culture.  -James Pawlish / The Citrus Report

JP: Who is Kelly Lee Barrett? Tell us a little about yourself.

KLB: “You live among illusion and in the world of apparition. But there is a reality. You yourself are this reality, but you don’t know this. If you awaken to this reality you will see that you are nothing and being nothing you are everything”. -Kalu Rinpoche

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So how long have you been taking photos? When did you decide photography was for you?

I’ve been shooting since I was a kid. Both my dad and grandpa were photographers. My grandpa set up a mini dark room in my bathroom when I was thirteen. I loved the smell of the photo chemicals. In high school, I had to choose between marching band and photography. Photography smelled better.

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What kind of equipment do you like to use? Are you primarily shooting digital these days?

I love using my grandpas old Nikon lens and filters on my DSLR to get that analog film feel. I really can’t stand producing super poppy, crisp, digital photos. So easy and boring. I still like to break out all my traditional film cameras at times, but it gets too pricey since I shoot a ton. Digital shooting offers me more creative flexibility, archiving convenience, and affordability.

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Your work has a dreamlike psychedelic quality to it. Can you explain your creative process?

I’m a very visual person. I like to create my own world, surrounding myself in things that make me happy, in hopes to block out the bad. I create dreamlike psychedelic images because I want to live in a dreamlike psychedelic world.

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Are there any photographers or artists who have influenced your work?

I enjoy exploring Flickr. I’m addicted. There, I’ve discovered amazing photographers like Neil Krug, Ellen Rogers, Synchrodogs, Aëla Labbé. Other artists that inspire me are Miranda July, Ed Ruscha, Kenneth Anger, and Yoko Ono.

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You’ve created a series of books that have featured a number of different themes. Is there a specific process you follow when designing them? Can you tell us how they’ve evolved since you first started?

I made my first photo book in college at U.C. Santa Cruz, after getting back from spring break in England. One night, I was sprawled out on the floor with all my photos from the trip and a bone folder from my print making class. I folded one of the photos in half and the light bulb in my head went on. Over the last ten years now, I’ve been hand-making my little books. I love presenting my images in book form, to create a visual story, in a portable, simple, intimate setting for the viewer.

I like to do all my shooting first. With no particular end result in mind. I then get everything printed and sprawled out on the floor. Next, I start playing with the images sequencing, creating associations and dialogue. The last stage is to construct the book using my bone folder and adhesive. The whole approach is very relaxing and meditative. Its a very time consuming, hands on, loving process.

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You made the pilgrimage from San Francisco to Los Angeles a few years ago. Do you find the south to be a good home base?

Yes, I grew up here. I absolutely adored living in San Francisco, and will live there again. Though, its always good returning to your roots. I have a deep passionate love-hate relationship with LA. There is the typical ego maniac, materialistic consumer, don’t leave your house without high heels and a fancy car,  kind of vibe that I don’t relate to. There is also a mysterious beauty, hidden gem, David Lynch, old hollywood vibe, that keeps me here. I love shooting and getting lost in the hollywood hills, luscious and quiet. The energy here in LA just keeps getting better; beautiful people and places coming out of the wood work every day. I feel very lucky to be living here in this exciting moment.

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What are you working on right now?

I’m always shooting. I have a couple books in the works: my LA book set series, a pyramid book, a long-haired men book, and a ladies of Los Angeles book.

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Whats currently on your playlist?

Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin,  Madlib, Flying Lotus, Cut Chemist, Carlos Nina, Little Dragon, Lulacruza, Harry Nillson,  Gwen McCrae,  Angerine Dream, and  Yes.

See more of Kelly’s photos and books at: www.kellyleebarrett.com

From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report