Reliquaries – Shawn Barber | Mike Davis | Dan Witz | Peter Ferguson | El Gato Chimney | Jean Labourdette
Reliquaries is a group show guest curated by Jean Labourdette. This show includes new works by Shawn Barber, Mike Davis, Peter Ferguson, El Gato Chimney, Dan Witz and Jean Labourdette.
A reliquary is a container or shrine for holy objects, and the participating artists have been inspired by this theme to varying degrees: some works obviously depict a reliquary and others are influenced by the idea, though, as Labourdette suggests, paintings by their very nature can be considered sacred objects which capture some of the soul of the artist who created them.
WHEN: Opens Saturday, DEC 9, 6pm – 9pm. FREE ENTRY!
Exhibition runs until DEC 21, closes over the Christmas and New Year break, then reopens JAN 7. Exhibition ends on JAN 10.
Complimentary wine will be available at the opening. For those wanting a non-alcoholic option, we will also have drinks provided by Remedy Kombucha.
Jean Labourdette AKA Turf One (Canada) is somewhat obsessed with Russian icons, dead things, carnival sideshows, seedy theatre stages and Victorian-looking midgets sporting dandy facial hair. Technically, his paintings are reminiscent of the 15th-century Flemish Primitives. Labourdette has forged a unique artistic vision and signature aesthetic over years of compulsive creation. He got his start in the late 1980s as a graffiti artist in Paris, gaining renown for his distinctive and surreal characters. He evolved into a prolific and sought-after artist working as an illustrator, comic artist, filmmaker and painter. Since the early 2000s he has dedicated himself to painting full time. Turf One’s work has hung in such prestigious venues as Yves Laroche Gallery (Montreal), Jonathan LeVine Gallery (New York), La Halle St-Pierre Museum (Paris), Thinkspace Gallery (Los Angeles), Copro Gallery (Los Angeles), the Art Basel in Miami Beach and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Shawn Barber’s (United States) body of work focuses primarily on painting, portraiture and documenting contemporary tattoo culture. Barber’s intimate renditions of tattooed individuals balance meticulous brush strokes and loose energy. His large paintings take on abstractions with explosive colors, meandering lines and paint dripping down the canvas. Barber earned his B.F.A. from Ringling College of Art in 1999 and his A.A.S. from Cazenovia College in 1997. His paintings are held in private collections throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe and Australia. Barber’s work has been shown in Somerset House Museum (London), Craft and Folk Art Museum (Los Angeles), Halle Saint Pierre Museum (Paris), Pinnacles Gallery (Townsville, Queensland), Joshua Liner Gallery (New York) and Billy Shire Fine Arts (Los Angeles).
Mike Davis (United States) is a modern surrealist painter who lives and works in San Francisco. Self-taught, Davis began painting seriously in 1997. His inspirations range from his mother’s woodwork, hand-tooled leather and home projects to art of the ancient world, surrealism and the Flemish masters of the Northern Renaissance. He renders complex works in which symbols of mortality, folly and hubris are fixed within whimsical compositions. Davis’s works are featured in the permanent collection at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, many publications (Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, HEY!, Art Ltd., Pop Surrealism: the Rise of Underground Art and Beyond Tattoo: Art, Graphics and Illustration by the World’s Leading Tattoo Artists) and prestigious private collections around the world. In addition to painting, Davis is an active musician and woodworker and is the owner of the internationally renowned Everlasting Tattoo.
Dan Witz (United States) is a Brooklyn-based street artist and realist painter. He grew up in Chicago and graduated in 1981 from Cooper Union in New York. Witz is a pioneer of the street art movement. His work has been featured in three books and has appeared in Juxtapoz, Time, Arts, Public Art Review, the New York Times, the Daily News, Newsday, the New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine. Witz was an early and frequent contributor to the definitive street art website and blog the Wooster Collective, and he was one of five artists profiled in the 2006 Lou Auguste documentary Open Air. Witz’s paintings have been shown in galleries worldwide, including the Jonathan LeVine Gallery (New York), Stolen Space Gallery (London), Carmichael Gallery (Los Angeles), Addict Galley (Paris), White Walls (San Francisco) and DFN Gallery (New York).
Peter Ferguson (Canada) was born in Montreal in 1968. After graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto in 1992, he began his career as a professional illustrator. Currently with Three in a Box Inc., his clients include Marvel Comics, the Royal Shakespeare Company and newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Ferguson is also a highly sought-after fine artist whose vividly imaginative works read like a lucid dream of an alternate history, recalling the aesthetic of Dutch Renaissance painting, old National Geographic photography and 18th-century British naval history. Combining grandiose, darkly humorous narratives of the great ages of exploration with a distinctly paranormal bent, Ferguson’s work subtly straddles the lines between fantasy, surrealism, and realism.
El Gato Chimney (Italy), a Milan-born artist, counts among his creative preoccupations subjects ranging from alchemy, magic and occultism to popular folklore and primitive and modern art. With an early interest in graffiti and street art, El Gato Chimney developed a sense of storytelling through various media from paint to pencil. He fills his paintings with hidden clues, appealing to the viewer’s imagination and interpretation of the modern world. Animals, real and imagined, describe the vices and the virtues of a world constantly split between a daytime utopia and an unquiet night. Everything from an infinity sign to a deck of cards becomes part of an eclectic mixture of cultures and eras, each whose decipherment imbues his paintings with meaning.
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