artMRKT SAN FRANCISCO

Booth 505

May 13 – 21, 2014

ADAM MYSOCK
And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him,
Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward,
and southward, and eastward, and westward
, 2011
acrylic on panel
16 x 22 inches

This piece is about redirection. While inserting Lincoln into Eastman Johnson’s In the Fields, it became quite apparent that emulating Johnson’s paint handling would make it quite difficult to capture a likeness. I needed to clarify Lincoln’s face in order to give him an identity. To overcome the obvious stylistic discrepancies, bizarre elements of Massimo Stanzione’s The Sacrifice of Moses were inserted to pull attention right, most specifically the pointing Moses. Baseball player Pat Burrell (of the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants) stands in his appropriate position – left field – assisting in the redirection by pointing to the opposite side. As a baseball player, Burrell’s presence in the field is logical, even if his appearance is unexpected.

ADAM MYSOCK
And Abraham looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward
all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the
country went up as the smoke of the furnace
, 2011
acrylic on panel
16 x 20 inches

In a rather straightforward way, there are three parallel stories of food scarcity presented here. The top half of the composition comes from J. M. W. Turner’s Fifth Plague of Egypt. The fifth plague was a disease on the cattle of the Egyptians. The lower half is a cropped section of Thomas Eakins Mending the Net, in which fishermen mend holes in their net. In both cases a staple of nutrition is absent. The third reference highlights a more contemporary (and trivial) understanding of food scarcity – the recurrent disappearance/reappearance of McDonald’s McRib. On the extreme left, Lincoln walks carrying a basket subtly suggesting his role as savior or provider in times of need.

ADAM MYSOCK
And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, 2011
acrylic on panel
16 x 22.5 inches

This image begins with two allusions to the divinity of nature. Most noticeably, the figure of Moses crouching in the foreground was taken from Sébastien Bourdon's Moses and the Burning Bush, an episode where God speaks to Moses through a plant. Serving as a stage for Moses, George Inness’s Evening at Medfield, Massachusetts, was supposedly a manifestation of the artist’s belief in the idea that nature was a direct link between the material world and the divine (a belief that resulted in a very particular “glow” from many of Inness’ paintings). In further considering the idea of divinity and nature, the tall tale of Johnny Appleseed came to mind (many versions of which reference Appleseed as a preacher as well as an obsessive, pot-wearing gardener). Because of the darkly silhouetted forms in Inness’ painting and Moses’ posture of covering his eyes, it made sense to conceal elements from a Highlights For Kids Hidden Pictures drawing featuring Johnny Appleseed throughout the composition.

ADAM MYSOCK
Mars on Mars on Mars, 2013
acrylic on panel
5 x 3 inches

We have rovers and cameras on Mars (there’s even a penny from 1909 on
the Martian surface), but does that mean we’re on the surface of Mars?
Sadly, no. While I can watch a web-cam of Niagara Falls from my studio in
New Orleans, it does not mean I’m in New York or southeastern Canada.
Our technology is on Mars, not our pioneers.
Perhaps it’s an overly cynical thought, but it’s one that has allowed me to play
with some visual puns. Looking at the photos of Mars on NASA’s website,
it appears as if the only things on Mars are sand and rocks – or to put it
another way – small pieces of Mars cover Mars itself. From these images,
it seems apparent that Mars is on Mars and nothing more. More allegorically, however,
I recognize that throughout our history we’ve enjoyed imposing our myths on to Mars.
Hence, it made sense to me to use this painting to depict evolving conceptions
of what’s on Mars. The planet as a whole (the oldest conception) sits as the
highest form. It sits atop the face of the Roman god Mars, who sits on the rim
of a crater on the Martian surface. Overall, the celestial body – recognized as
early as 1500 B.C. – sits on the next temporal conception of Mars, who sits on our
most recent conception of Mars. And each keeps us questioning what’s really on Mars.

ADAM MYSOCK
Upon Meeting the Permanently Discontent, 2014
acrylic on panel
7.42 x 6 inches
after: Caravaggio's David with the Head of Goliath (1611) and an illustration by Ed Valigursky

Digital technology and culture rely on a built-in dissatisfaction in order to progress.
The science fiction that once promised us jet packs and flying cars has been replaced by
persuasive speculation about the newest features that’ll define upcoming devices and services
(think “I heard the next iPhone  will  have  a  bigger  screen.”  or  “Pretty  soon smart watches and
Google Glasses will replace the tablet.”) And, stereotypically, these progressive challenges to the
technological status quo are  fueled  by  younger generations, generations who’ve been raised to
expect products to become obsolete every few years. The narrative of David and Goliath has been
used  here  to  illuminate  this  challenge. Rather than pinpoint the differences in stature between
the characters that define the original story, I’m relying on David’s youth to serve as an opponent
to a dated technology. In the timeline of the robot’s life, we’re seeing him older than ever before
and, as a result, the prey of a discontent operator. A bit of a Catch-22 – A culture expecting
planned obsolescence creates technology unable to survive, in order to sustain its own evolution.

ADAM MYSOCK
The Beginning of a Long Distance Relationship, 2014
acrylic on panel
4 x 6 inches
after: Edward Hopper's City Sunlight (1954) and an illustration by Ed Valigursky

Since the dawn of the Internet Age, there have been viruses, scams, and hidden codes that have existed
only in the background of our digital activities. Unless we’re programmers ourselves,
we happily go about our business, ignorant of the underlying depth of digital space.
Every once in a while, I enjoy contemplating the layers of our technology
(and, as a result, its surveillance potentials – i.e. who  gets  to  see  our activity, who’s responsible for setting
the parameters in which we get to function, and how our choices impact the larger systems involved).
In this work, Valigursky’s robot lurks in the corners of a neighboring building, watching the female character
as she focuses on the more obvious encroaching claw. Our awareness of the robot’s presence isn’t shared by
the woman, but it  may  serve  to highlight our own vantage point as voyeurs. We recognize ourselves staring
at her as intently as technology is, but at least he’s had the decency to reveal (at least a part of) himself.

MICHAEL PAJON
The Man with the Gilded Face, 2014
mixed media collage on antique book cover
20 x 16.5 inches

 

 

Much of the history of modern electric tattooing owes a great debt to sailors and the traveling Circus’s and sideshows that were so popular in their day.  Here is a circus relic, face covered in filigree that so lovingly adorns book covers, wrought-iron fences and fine lace.  Most likely a performer as well as an artist he grew accustomed to the stares of children and the slack jawed gaze of the public.  After all the pageantry of the circus was what drew him to a life on the move, a chance to travel the world.  I borrowed certain design elements as nods to the tattoo machines, the fist with bolts of electricity was borrowed from a telegraph emblem…the first machines were actually modified telegraph pens a device that died quickly with the invention of the telephone.  If you can glean one piece of advice from this piece, never trust a man with a pinky ring. 

MICHAEL PAJON
Of Saints and Serpents, 2014
mixed media on antique book cover
19 x 16 inches

This piece is meant to read as a kind of reliquary, the skull of an unknown saint with a golden halo, his/her fate as mysterious as what lies beyond the stars in the heavens.  Serpents twist and coil in and out of what remains.  Life coiling amongst death, flowers left as offering to those who suffer from life’s many ailments.  A flock gathers below amongst the tombstones of the long forgotten, birdsong fills the air like a hymnal despite the fork-tongued devils.  A pair of brave and stalwart herons approach to dispatch the serpents infesting the remains of their forgotten saint.   

MICHAEL PAJON

The Magpie's Mountain, a Calamity of Creeks and Wanton Beasts, 2013

mixed media collage with hand drawing and book covers

14 x 43 inches

[SOLD]

MONICA ZERINGUE

Hydra (study), 2010

graphite on claybord

13 x 17 inches

MONICA ZERINGUE

Shewolf, 2012

graphite on primed linen

31 x 41 inches

MONICA ZERINGUE
Nocturne, 2015
oil and hand-sewn glass bead on linen
​12 x 12 inches

MONICA ZERINGUE

Ophelia Descending, 2012

graphite on primed linen

41 x 31 inches

MONICA ZERINGUE

Uphill, 2013

graphite on primed linen

13 x 13 inches

MONICA ZERINGUE

Take Only What You Need, 2013

graphite on primed linen

13 x 13 inches

MONICA ZERINGUE

Cloak, 2012

graphite on primed linen

23 x 31 inches

HANNAH CHALEW

Devoid I, 2012

pen and ink on paper

30 x 44 inches

HANNAH CHALEW

Threshold, 2011

pen, ink and marker on paper

26 x 35.5 inches

HANNAH CHALEW

Urquhart Threshold, 2013

pen and ink on paper

34 x 48 inches

HANNAH CHALEW

Gentilly Curve, 2013

painted wallpaper, wire, wood

32 x 45 x 19

PAUL VILLINSKI
Legacy (After Bonnard), 2012
antique frame, aluminum (found cans), gold leaf, encaustic, stainless steel wire
60 x 84 x 8.5 inches 
by commission

PAUL VILLINSKI

Empire II, 2014

antique carved frame, aluminum (found cans), wire, steel, soot, flashe

17 x 15.5 x 6.25 inches

PAUL VILLINSKI

Mirror III, 2014

antique carved frame, aluminum (found cans), wire, steel, flashe

22.5 x 27.5 x 9 inches

PAUL VILLINSKI

Empire III, 2014

antique carved frame, aluminum (found cans), wire, steel, soot, flashe

36.5 x 28.75 x 8.25 inches

NIKKI ROSATO
Connections no. 2, 2012
hand cut road map
11 x 12 inches

NIKKI ROSATO
Tim: Detroit, MI, 2013
hand cut road map
21 x 17 inches

DAN TAGUE
Made in China, 2012
archival inkjet print on rag paper
40 x 40 inches
Edition of 5, 1 AP  

DAN TAGUE
Make Love Not War, 2013
archival inkjet print on rag paper
40 x 40 inches
Edition of 5, 1 AP  

Information

JOHNATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is proud to be featured in the artMRKT San Francisco Fair 2014, the Bay Area's premier contemporary and modern art fair. The fair features scores of galleries from around the globe, bringing some of the world's most intriguing artists and galleries to San Francisco. In showcasing historically important work alongside relevant contemporary pieces and projects, artMRKT creates an ideal context for the discovery, exploration and acquisition of art.