17 September – 18 October 2010
Opening on Friday, September 17th

Artists: Sahar Al-Sawaf, Sadie Barnette, Rich Bott, Mike Calway-Fagen, Thomas Helman, Vincent Manganello, Clare Parry and Louis M Schmidt.

Curated by Louis M Schmidt.

This show brings together a group of artists based in Southern California whose works employ various styles of visual language and media that intersect across themes of culture, humanity and social critique.

These artists take-on an intimidating array of concerns and employ a wide variety of formal and conceptual strategies in order to do so. Through meticulously rendered collages, drawings, paintings, prints, found materials and photography, each of the works in this exhibition, whether beautiful, grotesque, enigmatic, absurd, crude or polished- push, pull and tease-out biting critiques and welcomed social assessments. The artist’s works strive to strengthen our capacity for critical reflexivity and help us to see what gets lost in humanity’s patterns.

The Artists

Sahar al-Sawaf is an Iraqi-American experimental filmmaker and artist currently residing in Los Angeles. Sahar’s films and art have been exhibited at numerous venues internationally. She received her Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Sadie Barnette was raised in Oakland, CA. Using drawing, photography, and objects, she creates a visual language system out of sub-culture codes and west coast vernacular, geometric formalism and economy. She received her BFA from CalArts in 2006, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego.

Rich Bott is a media artist and performer who lives and works in southern California. As one half of the duo Animal Charm, and independently his work has been shown in The Whitney Museum of American Art, Centre Pompidou, Wexner
Center For the Arts, LACMA, MOCA, New York Video Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Videoex Festival Zurich, and Lux Center for the Arts, London.

Mike Calway-Fagen has solo shows coming up at The Good Citizen in St. Louis, MO; Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA; Sewanee University in Sewanee, TN; and will take part in upcoming group shows at California State University Long Beach, Nurture Art in Brooklyn, NY, and the KY7 Biennial in Lexington, KY.

Thomas Helman is a Los Angeles-based experimental media artist and software developer whose work has been exhibited internationally. Growing up in the darkly surreal post-modern dystopia of Las Vegas provided him with a deep-rooted understanding of the desensitized verstimulation and hyper reality echoing within the hollow vacuum of the undead American Dream™. His current work focuses primarily on the development of non-linear immersive environments through non-traditional use of software, interactivity, image, and sound.

Vincent Manganello is a painter from Southern California. He received his BA in studio art from the University of California, Irvine after study for several years at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga. Most recently Vincent has completed his MFA degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, where he met his sometimes collaborator Rich Bott.

Clare Parry grew up in New York City, spending equal amounts of time on both sides of the Hudson between Brooklyn and the suburbs of New Jersey. She recently received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego and received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2004. Clare has exhibited her work nationally and has recently participated in shows in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and San Diego. Most recently, she installed a permanent site-specific piece at Flux Factory’s new location in Long Island City, New York.

Louis M Schmidt grew up in Illinois, in a rural town of 300 people. Skateboarding has been the most important influence upon his life. He worries a lot that he is dumb. He’s worn glasses since the third grade, which he thinks was 1983. He’s been in love more than once. He loves peanut butter and crossword puzzles. He’s a collector. He’s a misanthrope. He’s an optimistic pessimist. He want the straight story. He prefers plain talk. Rumors abound that he smiles more lately.

Park Life Gallery, 220 Clement St, San Francisco, California 94118
info [at] parklifestore [dot] com

Image detail courtesy of Artist Rich Bott.

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