Depth of Surface
March 26, 2010

Yesterday was the closing day for the SFSU Fine Arts Gallery show titled Depth of Surface.  I was pleasantly refreshed with the memory of the exhibition when I stumbled upon a video on Facebook made by SFSU Creative Arts students.  You can see that video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nQtE0J1wfs&feature=player_embedded.

Julie Chang, Example of Scrolls

Mad props to Mark Johnson, Sharon Bliss and Victor De La Rosa for this show.  My absolute favorite pieces were the hanging scrolls by artist Julie Chang. Chang’s scrolls, if you have never had the pleasure of encountering one yet, are absolutely worth seeking out on your next art venture.  I am head over heels for these babies!  They hang high from the ceiling and are printed on both sides.  Each side has a different design involving images extracted from our current culture — such as six shooters, the thank you from a chinese take out bag or the silhouettes of oil pumps — and recontextualized in patterns that far surpass the expectations of the consumerist masses.  The extracted images are either quickly recognized or incorporated so well as design that one must unlock them from the whole as if it were a puzzle.  Oh what I would give right now to own such a piece.

Though all of the work in the show is worthy of praise, I can only highlight a few at the moment, especially since I saw it way back on opening day.  My mind is a bit foggy on details.  Apologies, apologies.  However, I encourage you, reader, to meander through all the artists’ links provided at the end of this post.

I can’t not mention the whimsical installation titled Interstellar Media Stars by Ernest Jolly —  pinwheels with a glow from behind.  The first my attention was brought to this piece occurred when a slight breeze touched my skin…

Ernest Jolly, Interstellar Media Stars, 2009

…accompanied by a soundtrack of subtle tit-tit-tit-tit-tits.  A rotating fan, hidden from our view, passed behind the pinwheels, giving each a turn of spinning delight as the glow from behind sucked me in like a moth to a flame.

Once I pull my foggy memory away from whimsical delight, I fondly head over to Anthony Ryan‘s installation consisting of  prints of circular patterns with correlating wood blocks; an insight into Ryan’s exploration of Milton Bradley’s early childhood learning and the patterns of agricultural crop watering circles.  The aspect of this piece that most resonates with me is the crop circles, having grown up in the mountains outside of Bakersfield — just a hop, skip and a jump away from agricultural heartland.  If your mind is drawing a blank, imagine yourself in the window seat of a passenger airplane, eyes glassing over the circles spotting the expansive terrain below….

The other artists involved, and worth checking out, are Victor De La Rosa, Jennifer Ferre, Dustin Fosnot, Taraneh Hemami, Andrea Higgins, Mung Lar Lam, Katie Lewis, Victoria May, Ali Naschke-Messing, Francesca Pastine, Jeremy Chase Sanders, Lisa Solomon, Jina Valentine.