Susan R. Kirshenbaum

art and life - both the cherries and the pits

Three Art Events in Three Days

Susan KirshenbaumComment

International Women's Day

Last week was so busy! I started gallery reception hopping on Thursday, March 8, International Women's Day. Appropriately enough, my first stop was at San Francisco Women Artists Gallery (SFWA), where I'm an active member and frequently show my work in their juried monthly exhibitions.

HOMAGE AT sfwa

SFWA's March theme is "Homage". Fiesta, a metal print, is my piece selected for the promo postcard! This theme title is just a bit ironic for us word people due to the maleness of its origins.

Middle English: Old French, from medieval Latin hominaticum, from Latin homo, homin-  ‘man’ (the original use of the word denoted the ceremony by which a vassal declared himself to be his lord's “man”).

SECRET AGENT ART & BIRTHDAY 

From SFWA I sped across town to a seriously fun bash at Secret Agent Salon in PacifIc Heights. They hold quarterly art shows and the space is quite attractive.

  Partners Steve and Melissa on either side of me at our reception and birthday party for Melissa in our glitzy photo booth.

Partners Steve and Melissa on either side of me at our reception and birthday party for Melissa in our glitzy photo booth.

March 8 Continues

Our opening night reception and combo birthday party for my solo show, titled "Reveals" filled the entire salon. We even made a custom candle with my art on the label for the show. 

I've been seeing Melissa (birthday girl) for years. In fact all of our roots (!) together go way back, to DiPietro Todd Salon when she and her business partner Steve were just starting out.

  Some of the delicious food at the salon reception.

Some of the delicious food at the salon reception.

The salon team put together a beautiful spring-themed, colorful spread, with plentiful trays of food and a wonderful assortment of wines served by the owner from the new restaurant Copo DiVino just across the street.

There were all kinds of photo booth shenanigans, festive clothing, and a great crowd of folks making observant comments and asking thoughtful questions about my work.

  Close-up of our co-branded candle on sale now at the salon!

Close-up of our co-branded candle on sale now at the salon!

  I took over the display shelves for the evening with an array of my art merchandise. My art greeting cards are staying at the shop so you can browse when you stop by.

I took over the display shelves for the evening with an array of my art merchandise. My art greeting cards are staying at the shop so you can browse when you stop by.

  Art is above each station as you can see here plus back and front walls.

Art is above each station as you can see here plus back and front walls.

  Here's the cool crew at Secret Agent!

Here's the cool crew at Secret Agent!

This show is up from March through May so stop by Secret Agent Salon and have a look around!

 

  This is the postcard for the SFWA show this month with  Fiesta  featured.

This is the postcard for the SFWA show this month with Fiesta featured.

ARC'S ANNUAL LIFE/LIVE EVENT

The "Life/Live" Drawing Event fell on the Saturday after these two receptions. Now in its eighth year, this event features five figurative artists selected by Arc's managing partner Michael Yochum.

The invited artists: Arlene Diehl, Susan R. Kirshenbaum, Gail Ragains, Eric Saint Georges, & Julianne Wallace Sterling 

Our models: Titine and Titania

2018-03-11 15.48.09.jpg

All Angles & Curves

 Tight, Together

Tight, Together

 A Still Strut

A Still Strut

We participated in an intense life drawing session with two models and eight 7.5 minute poses. Since I draw on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil, I had a unique set up, with a printer by my side. This was my first time being a part of this event, and my first time working publicly on my iPad with a printer. The moment the pose ends the drawings are taken away for sale at $100. With a large audience watching the drawings take shape, they were often sold before they hit the sale table, sometimes with multiple offers.

 Precarious Reach

Precarious Reach

I was quite nervous, fearing technical difficulties, an audience, and an off night of drawing. But I felt completely in the moment, and as the evening wore on, I relaxed a little into the pleasure of performance. It was bonding and thrilling. People observing me gained insight into my process, and into what it is that I am trying to capture - more than a figure, a human being with a powerful identity. Half the drawings I made sold right away. So I think it helps for people to see me at work, and I'd love to do this more! 

  Warming up on my iPad before the event officially started.

Warming up on my iPad before the event officially started.

The accompanying "Life/Live" exhibit of work by the five invited artists is at Arc Gallery through April 14. Come by and see our work during gallery hours or at the Closing Reception on Saturday, April 14.

  That's my new printer set up next to me so I could print out my drawings immediately and get them to the sale table with the others.

That's my new printer set up next to me so I could print out my drawings immediately and get them to the sale table with the others.

Introducing My Aluminum Prints

Susan Kirshenbaum1 Comment

MAKING METAL PRINTS

I decided to try a new substrate for printing my art. Instead of printing on fine art paper mounted and behind glass or adhered to bamboo, I wanted to find a durable, light-weight, easy to hang (each piece has a gallery "mount"-a frame behind the art, creating space between the wall and the art), and it's easy to ship. It's a fresh, contemporary solution that suits my digitally created artwork. Working with the my trusted vendor, Scale Up in SF, I produced my first print on metal (dye-infused aluminum), called "Inside the Walls". Here's some background on how this particular piece developed:

"By combining a photo of an ancient temple in Burma with a life drawing, I'm melding time, place, and media. With irony, I'm placing a nude female in a sacred Buddhist context. She is escaping, contorting, and climbing out - emerging from a traditional society and suggesting we consider the oppressive impact of religion on the Rohingya minority in Burma." 
 Inside the Walls  is the piece that was selected by the juror for  Discover , the January 2018 theme at SFWA. This work is an 18 x 24 inch dye-sublimation print on aluminum with gallery backing, produced by  Scaleupart.com . Ed 1/1. ©2017srkirshenbaum

Inside the Walls is the piece that was selected by the juror for Discover, the January 2018 theme at SFWA. This work is an 18 x 24 inch dye-sublimation print on aluminum with gallery backing, produced by Scaleupart.com. Ed 1/1. ©2017srkirshenbaum

When I look at my work to determine which pieces might fit within an exhibition theme as a juror might see it, I reconsider my intentions and outcomes. What do I think is effective about this piece and how does it relate to the theme?

"Looking Over and In is about self-reflection and our relationship to the the world around us. How are we seen? What do we see? In our world of selfies we are now more than ever - self-observing and self-absorbed."
 LOOKING OVER AND IN  is one of two pieces that was selected by the juror for  Eye of the Beholder , the February 2018 theme at SFWA. This work is a 16 x 24 inch dye-sublimation print on aluminum with gallery backing, produced by  Scaleupart.com . Ed 1/1. ©2017srkirshenbaum

LOOKING OVER AND IN is one of two pieces that was selected by the juror for Eye of the Beholder, the February 2018 theme at SFWA. This work is a 16 x 24 inch dye-sublimation print on aluminum with gallery backing, produced by Scaleupart.com. Ed 1/1. ©2017srkirshenbaum

I go through my work to determine which pieces are most appropriate for an exhibition theme as seen through a juror's eyes.  I look for my work that is most relevant. Because I create all my art digitally, this helps me determine how I'll produce it as a finished piece ready to hang in a gallery. Currently I am exploring metal prints, which are archival, durable, light-weight, and easy to hang and ship.

"Of the Forest" is about my desire for people to interact and appreciate nature and feel a part of it. In my neighborhood, which is called a cloud forest (Forest Knolls), neighbors are clear-cutting their hillsides. I have tried to get through to them about how important it is to allow our landscape to thrive and not see nature as danger. I see our trees as our sustenance, but what one person sees as a treasure, another sees as a nuisance."
 OF THE FOREST  is one of two pieces that was selected by the juror for  Eye of the Beholder , the February 2018 theme at SFWA. This work is a 16 x 24 inch dye-sublimation print on aluminum with gallery backing, produced by  Scaleupart.com . Ed 1/1. © 2017srkirshenbaum

OF THE FOREST is one of two pieces that was selected by the juror for Eye of the Beholder, the February 2018 theme at SFWA. This work is a 16 x 24 inch dye-sublimation print on aluminum with gallery backing, produced by Scaleupart.com. Ed 1/1. © 2017srkirshenbaum

Why Choose Metal Prints?

Fade Resistant

ChromaLuxe Achieves Three Times the Print Display Permanence Rating Compared to Silver-Halide Color Papers.

Moisture Resistant

Our Metal Prints are resistant to moisture, making them the perfect choice for any environment.

Lightweight

Easy to transport, ship and hang.

Scratch and Abrasion Resistant

Chromaluxe Metal has incredible scratch and abrasion resistance, like no other print media.

Color Brilliance

Ink is infused directly into the aluminum sheet rendering a deep color brilliance and stunning vibrancy.

Easy to Clean

The chemical resistant aluminum surfaces can be cleaned with ammonia, bleach, acetone or any all-purpose cleaners.  This makes Metal Prints great for hospitality, healthcare and corporate display.

100% Recyclable

We only use aluminum backing for our metal prints so the finish product is 100% aluminum.

Fire Resistant

Our metal prints meet ASTM standards for flame spread and smoke development.

Info provided by Scaleupart.com

SF ART FAIRS – NOT MIAMI BUT OUR SPECIAL FLAVOR

Susan KirshenbaumComment

Fog Art & Design and Untitled were art fair highlights in SF this past weekend. What a dramatic departure from the experience we had at Miami Art Week (see my last blog post). Just being able to pop in for a couple of hours at my local shows was a real treat. Having one ticket for one price for multiple days of each show was something I enjoyed taking advantage of (although they required two tickets, one for each fair). I attended on a few different days and saw a couple of interesting art talks too. 

There were also special art events taking place simultaneously at the Minnesota Street Project and the new, local East Cut Art Fair with a handful of participating galleries: Chandra Cerrito Contemporary (Oakland), George Lawson Gallery  (San Francisco), Seager Gray Gallery (Mill Valley), and SLATE Contemporary (Oakland). I wanted to get to these shows (and parties!) too but I didn't make it. Do tell me what you thought if you got there!

  Fort Mason is always such a beautiful venue. I love the light on the water. The new SFAI Graduate Art School that shares the Cowell Theatre Pier now is an exciting visual art addition here. 

Fort Mason is always such a beautiful venue. I love the light on the water. The new SFAI Graduate Art School that shares the Cowell Theatre Pier now is an exciting visual art addition here. 

Here are a few of my personal top-notes from Fog and Untitled:

PEOPLE

People watching was very good (for SF). The crowd at Fog appeared to be more buyers where the crowd at Untitled appeared to be more artists.

DISPLAY

Display, especially at Fog, was beautiful.

SHUTTLES & PARKING

Things are picking up here. There were shuttles to take you to various art events!  Free parking was easy to find, too.

COST

It’s still relatively expensive at $30 per ticket (just slightly less online). Tickets were good for multiple days but not multiple venues. Not much is free at Fog or Untitled except art and design  publications so we all loaded up on them.

VENUES

Beautiful! But for newbies, the venues needed more directional signage.

FOG VS UNTITLED

The work was funkier at Untitled, slicker at Fog as was the crowd. Compared to Art Basel and Miami Art Week, there was far less figurative work (my area of particular interest).

And at Fog, there's that strong emphasis on design – especially hand-crafted and vintage home furnishings. More than last year? Next time (always thinking about that) - I’d love to see more shows come to SF  to keep building our week out to a San Francisco Art Week! Let's bring in Form (sculpture and jewelry art), Design (separating design from art is not a bad thing), and the new all-women’s art fair: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/arts/design/an-all-woman-art-fair-during-art-basel-miami-beach.html?_r=

Speaking of women and art, the panel Women Rising (at Fog on Thursday), was quite strong and inspiring. Planning by YBCA in collaboration with SFMOMA for shows featuring living/working women artists include one of my personal mentors, Suzanne Lacy.

But the recent stats on numbers of women showing in galleries and institutions were disturbingly low and the Bay Area is as weak as the rest of the USA.

  San Francisco's magical Palace of Fine Art - a fantastic art fair venue.

San Francisco's magical Palace of Fine Art - a fantastic art fair venue.

  David Ireland performance art piece at Untitled.

David Ireland performance art piece at Untitled.

  An inspiring talk by    Theaster Gates , Artist as Social Activists,   was followed by an uninspiring panel discussion based loosely on the same topic.

An inspiring talk by Theaster Gates, Artist as Social Activists, was followed by an uninspiring panel discussion based loosely on the same topic.

  Untitled SF reflects a local fashion flavor twist.

Untitled SF reflects a local fashion flavor twist.

  Untitled SF reflects a local art fashion sensibility.

Untitled SF reflects a local art fashion sensibility.

  By Chiharu Shiota, these ghostly large photographic images reach into gauzy floating panels from both sides at Untitled.

By Chiharu Shiota, these ghostly large photographic images reach into gauzy floating panels from both sides at Untitled.

  The video portion of this gallery-wide installation. All pieces are for sale individually. At Untitled in the Zilberman Gallery (Istanbul and Berlin) work by Burcak Bingol.

The video portion of this gallery-wide installation. All pieces are for sale individually. At Untitled in the Zilberman Gallery (Istanbul and Berlin) work by Burcak Bingol.

  A thick layered ceramic chunk is part of the installation.

A thick layered ceramic chunk is part of the installation.

  Individual elements are all related to the theme.

Individual elements are all related to the theme.

 Don't miss THIS art SHOW

PARADISE LOST

An invitational group figure show

Back to the Picture, Valencia Street

But even if you missed the opening you can still see the show! It continues through the closing party (which will be another good one!) on

Feb. 24!

 

 

 

 

 

  These are gem-like underwater-looking ceramic sculptures at Fog.

These are gem-like underwater-looking ceramic sculptures at Fog.

  Here's a fun Fog booth filled with over-sized ceramic objects from another era.

Here's a fun Fog booth filled with over-sized ceramic objects from another era.

  Such creepy elegance in this glass snake candelabra. At Fog.

Such creepy elegance in this glass snake candelabra. At Fog.

  I saw these at Fog - I simply love these darkly humorous candle holder sculptures!

I saw these at Fog - I simply love these darkly humorous candle holder sculptures!

  This Fog booth had a master collection of ceramics and furniture, plus someone I observed who knew just what they were doing when it comes to arranging objects in the most elegant way. 

This Fog booth had a master collection of ceramics and furniture, plus someone I observed who knew just what they were doing when it comes to arranging objects in the most elegant way. 

  Ceramics and steel with a fantastic reflection. Each of these pieces was simply luscious. At Fog.

Ceramics and steel with a fantastic reflection. Each of these pieces was simply luscious. At Fog.

 I know I was attracted this day to circles and pink. This piece feels just right to me. At Fog.

I know I was attracted this day to circles and pink. This piece feels just right to me. At Fog.

  A painted pink dot wall makes for a delightful background for these perfect prints at Fog.

A painted pink dot wall makes for a delightful background for these perfect prints at Fog.

  Here I am in pink,   in the  Starn  bamboo furniture gallery show with a delightful gallerist at Fog Art & Design 2018.

Here I am in pink, in the Starn bamboo furniture gallery show with a delightful gallerist at Fog Art & Design 2018.

  At Fog you could see this huge and sumptuous diptych which is marbleized and "spread" onto canvas.

At Fog you could see this huge and sumptuous diptych which is marbleized and "spread" onto canvas.

  Geoffrey Pugen's work, called  Wellness III , was shown at Untitled. There were several in this series that appealed to me - although I saw a great many collages - this monoprint technique is rougher and more painterly, yet digitally printed. 

Geoffrey Pugen's work, called Wellness III, was shown at Untitled. There were several in this series that appealed to me - although I saw a great many collages - this monoprint technique is rougher and more painterly, yet digitally printed. 

  Seen at Untitled, this painting is composed of cut and scratched paint and canvas.

Seen at Untitled, this painting is composed of cut and scratched paint and canvas.

  I enjoyed this painting (at Untitled) which is hard-edged perfectly wed with elements of light and softness. By Michael Boyd, Bijou, 1970, Eric Firestone Gallery.

I enjoyed this painting (at Untitled) which is hard-edged perfectly wed with elements of light and softness. By Michael Boyd, Bijou, 1970, Eric Firestone Gallery.