Another nice documentary by Colin M. Day featuring the bay’s one and only Jesse Hazelip.
From 941 Geary gallery….
The Belle of the Brawl is a solo exhibition of new work from Oakland-based artist, Jesse Hazelip. In The Belle of the Brawl, the artist continues his ongoing examination of the sociopolitical patterns of repetitive historical mistakes. As the dust settles from the war in Iraq, the anxiety of crisis looms large over Afghanistan. The artist seeks to address the pending inevitability of violence and destruction through a visual examination which will include iconographic imagery from the artist’s earlier work: herons, buffalo and WWII weaponry, while introducing a new assembly of symbols and motifs. The exhibition will feature over 20 mixed media works on found wood as well as a transformational approach to 941Geary’s 3,000 square foot space with a 16’ x 46’ ft installation piece and a second clandestine installation to be unveiled at the opening reception. The opening reception The Belle of the Brawl, will be held at 941Geary on Saturday, January 15, 2011 from 7-11 PM. The exhibit will be on display through February 26, 2010 and is free and open to the public.
Jesse Hazelip was born and raised in the mountain desert town of Cortez, CO amidst Navajo
and Ute Nation territory. At the age of 14 he relocated to Santa Barbara, CA and into an
environment so vastly different from that of his childhood. It was there that Hazelip took root
in the world of graffiti. With his involvement in this underground sub-culture, Hazelip gained
an aesthetic and technique that is woven into his artwork alongside the imagery and history of
his childhood. Through the techniques of painting and printmaking, Hazelip’s creative practice
calls attention to the consequences of human destruction and society’s failure to reflect on
the historical lessons of catastrophically devastating events. A large aspect of the artist’s
working method centers around the development of a visual language that addresses politically
controversial subject matter by using iconic imagery to spark conscious and subconscious recognition within the viewer.
America’s foreign policy under the pressure of wartime is called into question with the expansion of Hazelip’s growing visual lexicon. In The Belle of the Brawl, Hazelip will be introducing new visual elements such as scientifically rendered atomic and molecular structures, traditional Islamic geometric patterning and Arabian typographical design in order to extend his discussion of historical strife to our immediate armed conflict: Afghanistan. The Middle East has supplied The West with energy resources for years. With the latest discovery of Lithium mineral deposits reportedly worth trillions, the question arises “will the US ever leave Afghanistan?” Hazelip renders the atomic structure of Lithium in his new body of work to bring attention to the possibilities the resource might play in our continued occupation of this country.
Geometric and textual design are cornerstones of Islamic art. Hazelip introduces both of these
aesthetic components to his new body of work in an effort to confront the military industrial
complex and the role it now plays in the political, social and religious structure of the Middle
East. For instance, in the background of two works the phrase “Blackwater Massacre” repeats
itself in Arabic. This textual protest openly critiques the privately contracted American security
firm as a symbol of our country’s private interest and profit during wartime. While the mantra
makes reference to human nature’s capacity for repeating our destructive mistakes, Islamic
geometric motifs appear in the background of other pieces as well, their mathematical structure
allowing for a visual continuum that references human nature’s capacity for destructive
repetition while also highlighting an alternative to the devastation: the human capability for
beauty, ingenuity, and innovation.
JESSE HAZELIP received his BFA from Art Center College of Design and currently works and
resides in Oakland, CA. Hazelip has shown nationally with White Walls, 941Geary, Mendenhall
Gallery, SFMOMA Artists Gallery and Space 07 and internationally with YvesLaroche. The
artists has been featured in 7×7, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, Beautiful Decay and Art Nouvea
For more the show visit: http://www.941Geary.com
For more on Jesse Hazelip and his work: http://www.JesseHazelip.com