On September 18th, Gallery Hijinks opened “Highly Contagious,” featuring works from Chris Blackstock, Sebastian Wahl, Robert Minervini, Langdon Graves, Jen Mann, Andrea Wan, Catherine Ryan and Peter Gronquist. The space offered an interesting array of various themes presented on media that ranged from multi-layer resin collages (Wahl), to installations including beer bottles gathered from friends’ apartments and bits and pieces from Tenderloin street corners (Blackstock.) We spoke to some of the artists featured in the show to find out more about their work and how the show came together.
Chris Blackstock, a San Francisco-based artist and co-founder of the Emerging Artists Collective, described his window installation as the “three denizens of the TL cooking the ultimate crack.” The inspiration from the “colorful,”to say the least, neighborhood of San Francisco reflects in the titles of the three pieces that make up the window installation, referencing notorious street corners. Blackstock said his inspiration for the piece comes from specific San Franciscan anomalies and the rich history of the greater Bay Area. His use of pyrite, or fool’s gold, references the gold rush and the false hopes that came with it, which Chris says still reverberates in the spirit of the city.
Rob Minervini presents a cross section of urban sprawl and the classicism of 19th century landscape painting. His environments are heavily drawn from the atmosphere of California, though he states that none are dedicated to specific locations. His paintings are a manifestation of imaginary places that merge the natural with the man-made and recall the look and feel of California in the 40’s and 50’s as the suburban sprawl began creeping from the deserts into metropolitan centers.
Sebastian Wahl’s collages are like a visual cake; bits and pieces stuck between layers upon layers of resin to create a multi-dimensional plane with psychedelic connotations. Wahl’s concern with psychogeometry, symmetry and asymmetry translates into a
visual time capsule, as the parts that make up the work are trapped between the resin and serve as vessels of communication for the piece at large. Although Wahl normally works on a larger scale and recently completed a mural with the same technique, which coincidentally has been evolving for the last five years, he chose to scale down his pieces
for the show as the gallery is focusing on smaller, more affordable works in its initial stages of inception into the San Francisco art scene.
The show will be open to the public until October 6th. For hours contact firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to check out Mark Warren Jacques’ first solo exhibit “I’m Here Now” opening October 16th.
By Roman Koval
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