When most people think of Rene Garcia Jr., images of fedoras and a handlebar moustache are trademarks of this “Gonzo” styled artist. For many years, Garcia has been well known within the art world as a premier glitter artist, a medium so difficult and messy to use most artists swear it off altogether. Not Garcia though, he sees the tiny specs of ground reflective plastic as a way to broadcast his inner thoughts to the world. His large scale works often stretch entire wall spaces, and are amazing in their scope and detailed refinement.

In his latest show “Satisfaction Guaranteed” at Project One Gallery in the Design District of San Francisco, the artist incorporates new techniques and mediums in a show that focuses on life’s guilty pleasures. The exhibition invites one to “Strap on your X-ray glasses, collect your proofs-of-purchase, and sneak a peek behind the beaded curtain as we delve into a world of mail order fantasy, groovy gimmicks and candy coated novelties.”  Playing off vintage classified ads found in the back of old smut magazines, the show reimagines many of the products through the eyes of Garcia himself.  The classic “Spanish Fly” well known for it’s apparent ability to attract all with a pheromone scent has been rebranded by the artist as “Spaniche Fly”, a subtle, yet whimsical switch-up on the infamous novelty.

Garcia again brings his a number of his glitter paintings to the Project One Gallery, as well as entirely new felt based works.  The artist has again reinvented himself by delving into a medium that is both accesible and simple, and shows that when used properly… is far from elementary.  Crafted in beautiful technique and skill, the felt  “Novelties” are most definitely showstoppers and seem to jump right off the walls.

Garcia’s strives for his art to be immediately accesible to the viewer, which is accomplished through his use of craft based techniques.  By breaking down barriers, patrons immediately connect with the shared experience of having worked with these materials at some point in their own lives.  Having captured their attention, Garcia then takes the viewer into his world of surrealistic symbolism and cultural mashups.

Situated in the newly remodeled Project One, “Satisfaction Guaranteed” is yet another strong show from Gallery Director Brooke Waterhouse who has been presenting Garcia over the past few years in the space.  The artist was recently commissioned by Waterhouse to create a stunning lion which hangs over the bar, accompanying his classic “Scorpion Girl” on the opposing wall.  There is no doubt that in San Francisco, Project One is Garcia’s playground.

“Satisfaction Guaranteed” is open from Dec. 6th, 2011 – February 2012 at Project One Gallery.  For more info please visit:  http://www.P1SF.com

– Warholian (photos by Michael Cuffe)

To visit Rene Garcia Jr.’s official site:  http://www.renegarciajr.com/

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