I was treated to a sneak preview of the new White Walls and Shooting Gallery exhibitions a couple days before opening night, which gave me a rare glimpse at the installation process for four artists. The night that I visited, the mood was chill and arty, and everyone was in the early stages of hanging their work.
Ferris Plock and Kelly Tunstall (AKA KEFE) are an S.F. power couple, and their signature styles and characters mesh well in their current collaborative paintings, which are inspired by recent travels to Japan.
Tunstall was fascinated by Kimono traditions and Japanese bondage, as evidenced by the styles her ultra-feminine characters are wearing in the new paintings. Plock was clearly influenced by the architecture and regalia as well. Their unreasonably cute ginger baby was helping with the installation, and I couldn’t help but think what a lucky kid he is to grow up with these artist parents. You can tell he’s pretty stoked about it.
Nearby, Meryl Pataky was setting up her neon-lit works against fields of succulents and pyrite. Her new pieces are an ode to stars, their explosive deaths, and the precious metals that result. Pataky is incredibly knowledgeable about the elements, which she uses in countless ways in her show. The pieces that cause the most visceral effects are the cowhides (carbon) with neon pieces attached, and a short hallway space turned into a neon tunnel with pink and orange tubes. (Check out Pataky’s feature on Art School to learn more about her work and practice.)
In a cosmic connection, Niels Meulman (Shoe) was also inspired by the universe for his current set of paintings, and on the day I visited he talked about the endless unknown that even scientists are still baffled by. His “Calligraffiti” words have personal significance and are subtle comments about lingering universal questions.
Meulman used an exciting new kind of paint on these pieces, which are meant to be painted on black backgrounds and succeed in taking iridescence to another level. From one direction, the paint is green; from another angle, it’s purple -- you have to see it to believe it. Meulman also uses paint with other morphing color combos. When I stopped by the gallery, he was painting a new suit to wear to the opening.