The ocean is often mysterious and dark, but it can also play a rejuvenating role within our lives. We’ve all had the experience of watching waves break, over and over, in a cycle that has been repeating itself since the beginning of planet earth. “Voodoo Chop” is the latest group exhibition at Project One gallery (in the Design District of San Francisco) which brings together a number of talented artists to examine the power of the ocean’s waves on our subconscious.

Artist Nick Flatt brings us another large scale work featuring a black and white ocean landscape classic of his aesthetic. The most intriguing part of this piece is crisp horizon line that cuts directly across the painting with precision, separating both water and air in a ying/yang style.

Christopher Jernberg is no stranger to surfing the waves of the ocean, and his intense interpretation of a wave about to break places the viewer in the path of nature’s power. “When it comes to the Voodoo Chop show I don’t think so much of the fantasy of a wave but what it is like to actually be out there in the ocean. I did a lot of water training and was made incredibly humbled and in awe of the ocean, it shaped my body to be like a superman, detoxified and energized my whole being and it made me realize how vulnerable we are out there, how insignificant and out of our normal control on land.”

Artist Aleksandra Zee creates site specific installations from reclaimed materials, and in Voodoo Chop she incorporated a driftwood “wave” that starts at one end of the gallery and crests at the other. Zee has exhibited at many other well known galleries around San Francisco, but it is her installations in retail spaces where her artistry and ability truly shine. The artist blends both contemporary aesthetics with “found objects” creating a seamless blend of the old and new, and we look forward to seeing more from Zee in the future.

Aline Dargie has studied textiles at the California College of the arts, and her interpretations of waves that hung throughout the gallery were simply stunning in concept and design. Hand dyed fabrics interwoven with metal fibers gave each work a shimmering mystical quality, and caught the eye of many visiting gallery patrons. Her signature piece was an textile interpretation of sunset light bouncing off the Golden Gate Bridge, casting reddish purple hues on the water below. A perfect concept paired with amazing technique.

Photographer Trent Mitchell aims to “produce contemporary photographs that celebrate the natural phenomenon of the breaking wave”. His photographs capture a beauty in the form of each wave, and give them individual personalities which are clearly defined in the frame.

The colors of artist Llewellyn Ludlow capture the hues and beauty of the ocean waves, and even hints of what lies beneath. A longtime surfer, it is clear within this artist’s body of work that Ludlow holds a deep love and appreciation for the water. His paintings hold a spiritual air which give the viewer the feeling of standing on the beach, taking it all in.

As a photographer for Surfer Magazine Todd Glaser is no stranger to the ocean. He has traveled the world covering some of the most impressive names in the surfing community, and has assembled quite an impressive portfolio while doing so. Glaser’s highlighted work in “Voodoo Chop” is some of his best, and most definitely eye opening.

Photographer David Orias also has had his work featured in numerous magazines around the subject of surfing. His work almost has an ease to it, which invites the viewer to spend more time within the photograph, exploring every subtle detail.

Voodoo Chop “An exploration of the tranquility, ferocity, and mystique of the ocean’s waves” runs from April 4 – April 30 , 2012 at Project One gallery, be sure to check it out.

– photo and review by Michael Cuffe for Warholian

For more information on the show, or any of the artists featured above visit: