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Home BLOGS So Hot Right Now Roq la Rue's Alternate Realities

Roq la Rue's Alternate Realities
Written by Noah Hanson   
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 08:13
Noah checks out Robert Craig & Travis Louie's show at the Roq la Rue gallery

I regret not sharing pictures from this show sooner, because seriously, they are of some real top notch work. What I have for you is a quick look inside the Roq la Rue gallery's latest show, "Alternate Realities." The show is only a month long, and features the works of two New York painters who each have had careers in commercial illustration, but who also paint what they want personally, and who then show it throughout different galleries across the country.

First up is Robert Craig, who held a carreer for over 30 years doing ads for big time companies such as Playboy, Rolling Stone, Disney, Viacom, General Motors, and a handfull of different cigarette brands. Yes, Robert had a hand in some of those illustrations that made Joe Camel look so damn cool. According to his website, he used to spend 24-36, sometimes 72 straight hours working on his illustrations. Since then he has given up the lengthy marathon like sessions, and now just paints what he wants, when he wants. This one is called "Lost Quatrain of Lettown."

Robert-Craig.jpg

I'm assuming that the title is a play on words, referring to the original (1947) mass-produced suburban community, Levittown, and then also combining it with the term "let down." Maybe the pencil's bite marks are even a symbol of when schools became institutionalized and boring... or maybe it's just a phallic thing... or most likely it's not either of those, but here's some details anyway.

Robert-Craig-detail.jpg

"Self Plagiarism" is a 19"x24" acrylic on board.

Robert-Craig-2.jpg

I noticed that the Wienermobile doesn't exactly say "Oscar Mayer" on it. Is there anything to be said about that? Again, most likely not, but let's not rule that phallic train of thought out!

Robert-Craig-2-detail.jpg

On Roq la Rue's webpage is says that Craig is influenced by old sci-fi movies, cartoons, his own childhood, Hindu art, LSD, the catholic church, the death of his daughter, etc. It's not hard to spot all of those things in his paintings, but still Craig himself says that “My paintings have no inherent, intentional meaning because I don't believe that life has any inherent meaning...it just is. I have no great wisdom, moral messages or cosmic profundity to impart in my work. I feel that would only detract from it. Like watching a great movie and a commercial buts in. 'Shut up and paint!' Sez I.” Basically, I think your supposed to just take his paintings with a grain of salt. I think they're great! "Jinxs Quandary"

Robert-Craig-3.jpg

Mmm, soft serve poopoo.

Robert-Craig-3-detail.jpg

At the gallery, this one was titled "Puddles 2," and on Craig's site it's called "Uh Oh!" I think it was the smallest thing at the show, measuring 9"x10".

Robert-Craig-4.jpg

It also says on Craig's site that this one's titled "I Yam" and that it's a 16x20 acrylic on Human Skin!

Robert-Craig-5.jpg

This last one is titled "The Shroud of Karloff." I didn't know who Karloff was until I looked it up, but it turns out that he was the actor who played Frakenstein. Boris Karloff played a number of roles in different Hollywood films and was also was the guy who narrated the made-for-television animated feature, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." He is not to be confused though, with the guy who sang "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." That was Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger! Ahh, the things you learn from the internets...

Robert-Craig-6.jpg

I totally encourage you to go check out Robert's website. It has a great onsite gallery with a lot of his paintings on there, as well as a really bizarre news section where he talks about sleepwalking, being sent to a psych ward, and a bunch of other weird bi-polar stuff. It sounds kinda fictional and might just be a way of getting you to think that by purchasing his paintings you will be helping him pay for a $50,000 hospital bill, but still, it's pretty entertaining.

Randomly, the gallery had a few other things in the show that weren't really a part of the "Alternate Realities" theme, but I decided to show you them anyway. This stuff was up near the entrance and was made by Kendra Herring.

Kendra-Herring.jpg

I thought it was only mediocre compared to the stuff Robert and Travis had up, but I thought it might still be worth showing. Another thing I thought was interesting was the card in the one down below. I have one just like it that I found on the ground at a grocery store I used to work at.

Kendra-Herring-detail.jpg

There were also a couple things at the gallery that were made by Brian Despain. You can't see it here really, but all those little black sperms had red numbers painted on their backs.

Brian-Despain.jpg

Back to the show, along another wall of the gallery were about a dozen different paintings by Travis Louie. Using transparent layers of acrylic paint over a tight graphite drawing on a smooth flat surface, he was able to create these amazingly awesome portraits. "Rusty, Of Unusual Circumstances"

Travis-Louie-2.jpg

The one below is titled "Ronald "Gadfly" Hastings."

Travis-Louie-3.jpg

Another great thing about Travis' stuff is that he makes up little backrounds for all the characters he paints. Here's one he made for "Gadfly."

Billed as "The Flying Beard", Ronald Hastings would perform his juggling act while swinging on a wire suspended a 100 feet above the center ring, as the headliner of "Conrad Smithy's Traveling Circus and Sideshow" His costume consisted of long, flowing garments and a yard-long false beard attached to his muttonchops. The false beardand long sleeves flowed with his movements and exaggerated his graceful flight above the spectators. Born in Kensington, England in 1823, his remarkable talents were first discovered by local fishermen who witnessed him juggling 20 live rats while balancing on a moving wooden barrel.

Unfortunetly my photos are majorly flawed because I had to photograph all of these through a layer of glass, but if you go and see them in person I sware you'll be convinced that they're actually old photographs. Apparently the point of the series was to sort of make up somthing for himself that he didn't have while growing up. “I grew up in an immigrant neighborhood where most of my friends could trace their ancestry back many generations and often had these wonderful turn of the century photographs that documented their family history. Unfortunately, I'm unable to go back any further than my great grandfather, who came here at the beginning of the 20th century. But there are no photos, just stories, full of inaccuracies…” "Mr. Schnauzer"

Travis-Louie-1.jpg

This one was the biggest at 30"x40", and titled "Run Pug Run." If I remember correctly it was the only painting that wasn't specifically part of the oddities/portraiture series.

Travis-Louie-4.jpg

I pulled this straight from Roq la Rue's website - "His own interest in Noir imagery, German Expressionism, personal dream imagery, as well as his recent discovery of old photographs of “human oddities” that were not from sideshow photographs, but rather pictures that documented that person’s “normal life” (i.e. the famous photo of John Merrick (The Elephant Man) dressed in formal evening wear for a night at the theater)"

While I was there I didn't notice it, but I've been told that all the artwork was also accompanied by a musical score made by Jack West. Using the artwork as inspiration, West created an entirely original soundtrack that the gallery says "evokes everything from the music of Disney's Haunted Mansion ride, demented circus calliope music, and some of the more euphoric music by Danny Elfman."

What I showed here on the blog is only a small fraction of what's hanging at the gallery, and it's all so worth checking out. The Roq la Rue gallery is located at 2312 2nd Ave, in Belltown, Seattle, right next to the new BLVD gallery. Might as well go hit to birds with one stone, right?

{moscomment}

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contact FF

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SEATTLE --- San Francisco based Ryan De La Hoz opens a show of new works at Flat Color on May 1st. We love Ryan's work and have shown it many times throughout the years. Ryan will be also showing at LA - Juxtapoz Psychedelic Show, The Well, LA, CA April 26th 2014 - SF - Paper Cuts, Spoke Art, SF, CA May 3rd 2014

Working in unconventional mediums such as woven blankets, puzzles, and faux marble, De La Hoz has pioneered an innovative style in a class of its own. Collages of white noise, flowers and tie-dye are all hand cut and assembled to create mystic portals of intrigue. Heavily influenced by themes of death and rebirth, past and present, and the collision of modern culture with antiquity; Form and Void is mysterious look into the odyssey of creation, destruction, and an examination of society at large. -show details

 

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//////////
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"Arrangement" by Michelle Fleck
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This morning we take a closer look at this beautiful painting by San Francisco based Michelle Fleck now showing at FFDG.

Arrangement measures 24"x30", acrylic and aerosol on panel - inquires: info(at)ffdg.net

Michelle Fleck is a painter living in San Francisco. Her work focuses on the relationship between man and the landscape, and the marks we leave on it. Influenced by everyday life in the city, her paintings serve as snapshots of an ongoing intersection of the natural and man-made world. She strives to make work that has a sense of relevancy in a culture driven by a need for change and newness.

 

///
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:56

 

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GET THE SHOW DETAILS --- a bunch of NYCHOS

 

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I love you, dear.... Huh? Wut?

 

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AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.


Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.


Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.


John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.


FRENCH in Melbourne

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Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

Our buddy Flavio Samelo down there in Brazil does all kinds of great work including this recent mural project in downtown Sao Paulo in front of one of the most important modern buildings of Oscar Niemeyer from the 60's, THE COPAN.


John Trippe, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

John Trippe, founder, owner and curator of FecalFace.com and the Mission District art gallery FFDG, announced today that he will stepping down from daily operations of the two ventures to seek new career opportunities.


High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

I purchased one of the first digital cameras when Fecal Face went online in 2000. It was a massive Kodak with 2 mega pixels


"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

San Francisco based Schuyler Beecroft emailed over the great new series of paintings he's completed entitled "Touching Base", 16x20in on mounted wood panel. Like them.


Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.


Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.


"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".


"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.


Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.


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