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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ray at Night: Agitprop/4 walls/Art Produce/The Rubber Rose

On Park Blvd

Guillaume Cherel - Big G - as he calls himself, left this morning. I took him to the Greyhound Station downtown San Diego. He went to L.A., the town he does not like (Kerouac did not like it either).

Big G at the entrance of Zuri Waters and Chris Warr's show

Saturday night Kyle, Guillaume and I went to Ray at Night (I did not want Guillaume to miss it!), we are meeting Kevin Freitas there. As we are driving in North Park, we see Hank Gross and Richard ChauDavis walking in the street and they decide to take us to Cafe One Three on Park Blvd to see Hank's brightly colored, twisted (and expensive, wow!) paintings and then we head back to Ray area, to Agitprop gallery where we meet Kevin. The title of the show "If I can't see you can't be you" (which still puzzles me) is taped on the green wall at the entrance. The small gallery - which looks forever unfinished - is filled with artworks from Zuri Waters and Chris Warr (I did not find a website of Chris' work), "the fruits of our almost two year collaboration and friendship come to harvest in this tightly packed exploration of personal yet symbiotic ideas".

Zuri Waters and Chris Warr's sculptures/installations

It is a funny mess (I would say "joyeux bordel" in French), I can feel a lot of energy. A lot of different materials are used to make all the sculptures and installations. A few paintings and some drawings are on display too. There are no labels and the pieces from both artists are mixed so if one is not really familiar with the work, it is difficult to tell what belongs to who... I talk briefly to Zuri and introduced him to Kyle and to Crazy Guillaume.

From left to right: David White, the director of Agitprop, Chris Warr, artist, Guillaume Cherel, cyber-beat poet and writer, Kevin Freitas, inspired writer of one of my favorite blogs on Earth, Zuri Waters, artist and saxophone wizard, The man with the Hat (I don't know who he is!), and Kyle Forbes (with the light color shirt), my extraordinary partner.

I decide to take a group photo for Big Guillaume's Libeblog - and for mine! I wish I were in this group photo, mais c'est la vie!

The (very) small Zuri's drawing I like is the one next to my hand

There is a small drawing glued on a piece of wood by Zuri that I really like and I ask him what the text means. He says with a smile "You don't want to know!". I would like to buy it. I am really thinking that any little effort to buy some art could help the community, especially after I read Kevin's article about the closing of Rubber Rose Gallery. Sad news.
I feel responsible, as everybody should. If no one buys art, the galleries like Rubber Rose cannot keep up. But at the same time I cannot spend a lot of money!
"We did not think about selling anything in the show you know..."
"You mean you do not want to sell or you just did not think about it?"
"We could sell but we did not think about it."
"How much would you sell the drawing, the one I don't understand?"
"I don't know, is $20 ok?"
"$20 does not seem enough to me!"
"$50 then."

Then we leave to go to 4 Walls where we see Les LeVeque: Unsung Algorithms and Musicals. A sharp contrast with what we saw before, using the latest technology. The first room with the 3 screens is almost difficult to stay in because the images vibrate so much. I am thinking one could get an epileptic attack watching this long enough! I cannot tell what the images are about. At the same time the presentation is extremely elegant and clean.

the images revealed...or... may be I should not have done that

One interesting thing is that when I get home I see the picture I took from the screens and suddenly I can see what it is (click on the image to see it bigger)!

"Buttoned Up", new work by Dina Rubiolo at Art Produce

Grand Cheyenne and Kevin Freitas

We go to Art Produce before it closes. There we see "Buttoned Up", new work by Dina Rubiolo, a nostalgic look at a close past through the use of tons of slides attached to each other to form 2 large curtains which can be seen from the inside or the outside of the gallery. And little lighted boxes are displayed on the wall, each of them proposing an image made of 2 superposed slides. We meet the artist briefly, but I do not understand why she did this. I think this is a very clever use of vintage material but what does it tell me about the artist's vision of the world she lives in now and here? May be I missed something.

Guillaume talks about Jack Kerouac and the beatniks to Richards Gleaves whom I am very happy (and, yes, impressed) to meet for the first time.

We go now to The Rubber Rose, the one which is about to close - this is their last show: "Remember when having a mohawk meant something", new work by Spenser Little. The gallery is packed with people and artwork. Too much stuff I guess but I love the work. Wired, philosophical,
sexual, dark, light. Some pieces are animated, some are not. Words and images intertwined. I would like to buy something, the pieces I like are too expensive for me, but after a second tour of the show, I see a little piece above a door I really like right away. It has 2 faces, and, in between, one can read "Don't Fake". I decide to buy it.
I do not have any pictures because I forgot to take some.

I am happy to know that in a month or so, I will bring back to my house (which is almost already full!) two small pieces of art I will have the pleasure to see every day!

But I am sad that The Rubber Rose is closing.


Kevin Freitas said...

The power of art and good friends, a winning combination indeed! A great night had by all I believe, I know I did!

Michele Guieu said...

Hehe! Thank you Kevin! Yes, it was great!

The Rubber Rose said...

michele, i've just stumbled upon this post..! what a fantastic jaunt through north park's art scene. i like.
thank you for buying that piece of work in our last show, it was one of my favorite shows we had because of the conversations that show had woven in its fabric. a piece that michelle (ray street framing) bought said, "you'll pay for war but not art" an interesting tidbit: almost all of those pieces were sold to artists...i think the cynicism runs through us all perhaps. the "don't fake" was a favorite of mine as well...
anyhooo... the gallery closing was very hard, but it was a huge space and without our undivided attention (the shop is our primary focus) its hard to keep doors open, ah well, Larry (warp9 imaging) loves it now, so all is well...!

Michele Guieu said...

Great you like the post! The Rubber Rose Gallery was a hub in North Park. Things change, that's the way it is, but I still missed it a lot after that last wonderful show!

I moved to the bay area two days ago. Unpacked my treasures. One being "Don't fake", waiting to see where I will hang it. I am so happy to have bought pieces from artists I like in San Diego, or exchanged a piece with them! Each of them has a story, each of them reminds me of good memories!