Todd Francis: "Thanks a Lot" @ FFDG Juxtapoz Interview
Via Juxtapoz - January 8, 2016
"Todd Francis (featured July, 2014) is set to open a new show, Thanks A Lot, at FFDG in San Francisco showcasing new studio work with five charcoal drawings nearly six feet tall each and four larger water color paintings. A common trope throughout Todd Francis’ oeuvre is what he calls “environmental warfare.” This warfare ranges from Francis’ widely known decrepit and confused pigeons who continually appear facing a variety of byproducts of the human condition to larger studio works depicting struggle, violence and conquering between animals and man.
There are certainly startling or disturbing elements to some of these past works which only enhances their effectiveness. The dark humor seen in most of his work mixed with elements of commentary makes for a layered experience when viewing. It can go like this-a quick laugh, a grimace maybe followed by an approving survey of the skill and hopefully ending with a shudder of reality and an emotional reflection.
Juxtapoz: We like that name. It's a good name for a show. What's the story behind it?
Todd Francis: Hey, i'm glad you like it. The new work I'm showing is mostly about environmental stuff like global warming, overpopulation and conflict over our expansion into natural habitats... all really cheery stuff. So I guess it's a sarcastic, "Oh man, thanks a lot for fucking everything up" line, whether it's coming from the animals under siege or our future generations. But it's also the reaction I want people to have to seeing the work, as if they'd be walking out saying to themselves, "Great...thanks a lot for bumming me out."
Another consideration was my gratitude in having a solo show at Fecal Face. A number of people whose work and careers i've really enjoyed have shown here, people like Jeremy Fish, Josh Keyes, Mike Giant, and a bunch of others. Years of vision and hard work by John and Jessica Trippe created something really special, and now Rachel Ralph is continuing in their footsteps. So there's a sincere "thank you" built into that show title as well.
You are going big with this show. Big charcoal work to be exact. Do you like making large-scale work? Is that liberating?
I've been doing large scale charcoal drawings my entire life, they're a completely different challenge than the smaller work i often do. Frankly, you just don't see a lot of huge charcoal work out there today, so it's fun working in an underappreciated medium. Plus, the richness of the blacks and the process of addition and subtraction with charcoal and erasers is really enjoyable. It can be pretty physically taxing, but that makes it feel even better when it comes out as you'd hoped.
There's an added visual authority to really large, six foot drawings that I enjoy as well. Seen in a gallery setting, especially in a series, I really like the power of the scale, and hopefully it furthers the message.
What is your daily practice? Do you draw as soon as you wake up?
Man, I hate it when artists try and get all mystical about their approach to art making, like they're channeling spirits or something dopey like that. I wake up, and if I've got my daughters that week I feed them and get them to school. After that, I eat and read the newspaper... I love reading the newspaper. Then I drift out to my studio and get cracking, turn on something funny, whether it's Howard Stern or Phil Hendrie or some other source of laughs, and hop to it. Usually I've got a lot of deadlines at once, so i'll grind away, maybe take a break to either go jump in the ocean or go shoot some hoops, and then work until i'm feeling better about those deadlines. Lately that's taken me deep into the night.
How often do you make it back to San Francisco?
Since I do so much work with both Antihero and Equal Dist, I try and get up there every few months. I lived in SF for pretty much the entire '90s, so it's a second home to me. Plus, I sometimes feel like i've got more friends up there than I do down here, so I take any excuse I can to come up.
Can you thank a few people here?
I'd like to thank Fecal Face Dot Gallery for hosting this solo show, and both Rachel and John and Jessica for what they've done for the SF art scene. Thanks also to Yong-Ki of Equal Dist for helping bring this show together so smoothly. I'm very humbled this show is being sponsored by some of my best friends in the industry: HUF, Antihero and Stance, their support really means a lot to me. Thanks to Bloom Press for making the screenprints for the show, and thanks to everyone who can make it out to the show. And finally, thanks to Juxtapoz for your continued support of my work, which is incredibly meaningful to me. I guess i've got a lot to be grateful for!
For more information, visit toddfrancis.com
JASON JAGEL'S "CRAP SHOOT" AT FFDG
Via Juxtapoz - November 6, 2015
On Friday, November 6th, FFDG will present Jason Jägel in his first solo show with the gallery entitled "Crap SHoot" including a diverse selection of work spanning studio ephemera, sketches, fragments, oil paintings, paintings on newsprint, and works in gouache on paper; framed and unframed, both large and small. The artist will be present. Beer and wine will be served.
"Crap Shoot" acknowledges the inherent gamble –the experimental nature– of making art, an arena where literally anything can happen. “My desire is to plumb my studio for evidence of time spent through an expression of studio phenomena. How the show will end up is anyone’s guess… a crap shoot,” Jagel says. As a kind of experiment with and celebration of the art market, works will include varied editions of hand-embellished prints and other reasonably-priced works for sale, alongside archival works which will remain in the artist’s collection. Following two decades of gallery exhibition, this is both a light-hearted experiment and a dead-serious study of an artistic career.
Always carrying a notebook and at least one pen, Jägel is an obsessive observer and chronicler of his daily life and reality. His larger works, often combining text, sketches and swatches of color, evoke a sense of controlled chaos, more like an improvisational jazz composition than a fine-tuned classical orchestra. Ambiguous figures and snippets of text are combined in fascinating and spontaneous compositions, which create a space for multiple readings and interpretations. Inspired by comic book aesthetics and his family lineage in both art and music, Jagel creates images fitting for both album covers and the walls of a museum – both of which locations in fact hold his works.
Fecal Face Debuts All-Female Art Show-Guerilla Style
Via SF Station - September 24, 2015
Fecal Face Dot Gallery curator and director, Rachel Ralph, had the idea to curate “4%ERS”, a group show which alludes to the 4 percent of female artists found by the Guerilla Girls at the Met in 2011. “4%ERS”, which opens Friday, September 25, was conceived from a similar idea that Ralph had when she realized that she, too, had unknowingly been showing artwork created primarily by male artists.
Somewhat of a rogue feminist collective, the Guerilla Girls have operated anonymously over the years, wearing gorilla masks and using dead artist’s names as pseudonyms, while embarking on artistic missions to dispel oversimplified ideas of identity and sex.
“4%ERS” will present pieces from over twenty female artists working across varying media such as street art, sculpture and painting. Their collective body of work explores themes of feminity, ethnicity and desire, among others concepts, portrayed through often surrealist sketches and watercolor interpretations of space, environment and culture.
The concept of “4%ERS” also draws influence from Occupy Wall Street’s slogan “We are the 99%”, as well as from motorcycle clubs of the 1950s and 60s like the Hell’s Angels who began a movement to distinguish “good” riders from “outlaws” by sporting patches that referred to themselves as a “1%er”.
“I thought it would be kind of cool to capitalize on this kind of idea,” said Ralph. In her description of the show, she gives a voice to the artists by saying, “We are the 4%ers. We claim walls (inside and out). We make work. We’re outsiders in a professional field previously not available to us. We are not the 96% you’ve become accustomed to. And we don’t want to be.”
FFDG initially started out as a zine and later became the website Fecal Face Dot Com in 2000 before launching its Mission gallery in 2008. It has always had a slant toward counterculture and showcasing work from a broad range of artists who often find inspiration outside of the mainstream.
The Complexities Of Love :: Dave Kinsey’s “The Modern Condition” Solo Show
Via The Hundreds - August 21, 2015
Currently showing at San Francisco’s FFDG through September 12 is contemporary painter and designer Dave Kinsey’s third solo show with the gallery, “The Modern Condition,” consisting of nine new paintings in his distinct aesthetic. Kinsey’s visually enthralling body of work uses a sublime blend of acrylic and collage, and his newest creations demand the viewer reflect on our modern world in a way that can only be analogized with “the complexities of love.” Dreamy, ambiguous subjects tap into an unspoken, yet universally felt congruence of hope and defeat, while colors seem to dance the chasm between the two. But then again, maybe that’s just my interpretation—a perspective the painter encourages, saying, “Honestly, I’d prefer the paintings be interpreted without much intervention on my part.”
I was lucky enough to have a Q&A with Dave Kinsey on “The Modern Condition,” the similarities between his home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and his industrial place of work in Vernon, and designing in a post-digital age. “The Modern Condition” is now running until September 12 at FFDG in San Francisco (2277 Mission St., San Francisco).
DAVE KINSEY "THE MODERN CONDITION" @ FFDG, SAN FRANCISCO
Via Juxtapoz - August 12, 2015
"The most difficult thing about creating a painting is going through the process of finding a connection in what I see and feel in the world around me, while also seeking a visual harmony between the beauty and chaos of the human." So says Dave Kinsey, as he prepares his newest solo show, "The Modern Condition," at FFDG in San Francisco on August 14, 2015. The show will be his third solo at the gallery, and featuring nine works on canvas composed of acrylic and collage.
Dave Kinsey "The Modern Condition" @FFDG
Via HypeBeast - August 2015
Money, overpopulations, power and climate are themes present in Kinsey’s forthcoming exhibit.
Following the exploration of his new series “Ashes to Ashes” in Cologne, Germany and “Cushion of Memory” in Detroit. Dave Kinsey has prepared a new body of work dubbed “The Modern Condition.” Consisting of nine works on canvas created with collage and acrylic paints, these works with semi-abstracted figures aim to be metaphors or symbols in reference to contemporary issues such as money, overpopulations, power and climate change experienced through everyday life. An open reception is scheduled for August 14 at Bay Area’s FFDG.
Dave Kinsey Presents Geometric Landscapes in “The Modern Condition”
Via Hi-Fructose - August 12, 2015
Los Angeles based artist Dave Kinsey (HF Vol. 13) will debut geometric landscapes in his upcoming solo exhibition with FFDG Gallery in San Francisco on Friday. In “The Modern Condition”, Kinsey continues to walk the line between the natural world and his abstract perceptions of it. His exhibit features 9 acrylic and collage works on canvas that portray boldly colored giant figures and structures erupting from a barren environment. These images are an expansion from his previous showing with the gallery, “Cushion of Memory”, where Kinsey took inspiration from his west coast surroundings. “The most difficult thing about creating a painting is going through the process of finding a connection in what I see and feel in the world around me, while also seeking a visual harmony between the beauty and chaos of the human experience,” he shares. The ‘modern condition’ is sometimes characterised as a culture stripped of its capacity to function in any linear state. With these visually layered pieces, Kinsey seems to search for a link between our understanding of our existence with that of the world around us. Take a look at some of the work in the show below.
Previews: Dave Kinsey - "The Modern Condition" @ FFDG
Via Arrested Motion - July 22, 2015
Continuing his exploration of a new series first seen in Cologne & Detroit for a show in San Francisco, Dave Kinsey (featured) has prepared a new body of work entitled The Modern Condition. Comprising of nine works on canvas created with collage and acrylic paints, the new pieces from the Los Angeles-based artist features semi-abstracted figures surrounded with textures and colors from the natural world. Drop by FFDG on August 14th for the opening reception if you are in the area, you won’t be disappointed.
'Impassable Terrain': Ryan De La Hoz works to put together the pieces of fragile cultural puzzles
Via San Francisco Chronicle - June 3, 2015
Talk to San Francisco artist Ryan De La Hoz about his solo show, “Impassable Terrain,” at FFDG, and you’ll find that the seemingly insurmountable evils of greed are front and center in his mind. Yet somehow the children’s art teacher was able to transform his activist inclinations and art making into a kind of playtime, mashing together, say, appropriated photos of ancient statuary and antic, abstract foliage via puzzle pieces.
“I’m just trying to blow the doors off what is considered art,” the artist, 29, says unself-consciously. “Why not rework images? It’s a strange game I play with myself: There are only a couple of rules — can you make an image out of it?” We talked to De La Hoz, who also designs clothing and accessories as Cool Try, from Disneyland.
Q: What were you thinking about while putting together “Impassable Terrain”?
A: The past and present at the same time. I was thinking about conquest and people’s search for power, and the civilizations that rise and fall, and how we’re in this cyclical thing of trying to gain power and how it doesn’t really work for anyone in history. I try not to be preachy in the actual work, but that’s where the title came from. It’s something you can’t pass through.
Q: Can you describe your process?
A: In my mind, it’s all collage, but in a modern way. I’m either taking a book page and cutting it up or taking scans of an image and making it into a puzzle and using the puzzle pieces to manipulate an image. I’m trying to make things appear to be manipulated by computer, but I’m doing it all by hand. I’ll warp an image by moving it on a scanner. The truth is I’m not good at computers at all. A lot of people think my cutouts are made with Illustrator, but it’s literally me just trying to build a puzzle.
Q: In some pieces, objects seem on the verge of destruction.
A: It’s sort of me addressing how fragile how everything is, but at the same time just how hard it really is for us to be unified. For me, it’s a positive thing to reflect on how our mistakes have brought us here, as a society.
Q: Do you have a connection with plant life or still life?
A: A lot of ancient ruins have overgrowth, but it’s also a beautiful metaphor in that, intertwined with statues, it almost seems to be consuming the faces. A few pieces have a foliage pattern — I wanted them to be exotic, beautiful, welcoming and foreboding at the same time. It’s what’s left behind when something crumbles.
Ryan De La Hoz Shows Greek-Inspired Illustrations in “Impassible Terrain”
Via Hi Fructose - June 5, 2015
San Francisco based artist Ryan De La Hoz (previously covered here) recently opened his new solo show, “Impassible Terrain” at FFDG. Consisting of new mixed media works and illustration, De La Hoz’s new body of work seeks to highlight our collective experiences through antiquity and traditional iconography. Using historical references to execute this personal ideology, De La Hoz’s new show rests on impactful yet simple motifs to convey broad concepts.
With a bold, graphic approach, De La Hoz utilizes Greek and Roman symbols to show his viewers the temporal nature of our existence. Imagery of antique vases edging on the precipice of destruction and figures trapped in endless static isolation only further solidify this inherent link between the past and present. By situating these precious antique objects in harms way, De La Hoz is reminding us the impermanence and fragility of all things, no matter their origin.
To realize this concept in full form, De La Hoz approaches “Impassible Terrain” with incredible simplicity. Through mixed media, textile and even puzzles, De La Hoz conveys his highly-stylized world by way of minimalism. Incorporating commonplace materials with his signature post-internet aesthetic, De La Hoz’s new series communicates a direct message to his viewers, akin to a screen. Visually striking and steadfastly uncomplicated, De La Hoz integrates our past and present so to have us reflect on our current condition with a critical eye. “Impassible Terrain” is on view at FFDG through June 27th in San Francisco.
RYAN DE LA HOZ “IMPASSABLE TERRAIN” @ FFDG, SF
Via Juxtapoz - May 29,1015
FFDG is pleased to present San Francisco-based artist Ryan De La Hoz (who has been featured by Juxtapoz in both our print and online editions) in his first solo show with the gallery entitled “Impassible Terrain” including cut paper works, textiles, puzzles, drawings, works on canvas, and a watercolor painting on wood. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, May 29 (6-9pm).
Through a conflation of past and present, Ryan De La Hoz utilizes periodic icons of history to visually and metaphorically excavate emotions such as apathy, fear, hope, joy, and misery. Employing a broad variety of media and objects, he analyzes our current era using ancient signifiers. Objects of antiquity reoccur in his work and take the form of hand cut paper compositions with vases and bold graphic imagery relying on Greek sculpture as a central figure. Due to his belief that collective experience ties humans together throughout history, he is able to distill broad and epic ideas through simple objects like patches and puzzles.
Highly simplistic in their aesthetic execution, the central objects and figures in De La Hoz’s works are often destroyed or teeter on the edge of ruin, evoking a sense of dissent, rather than as precious art objects. As a maker in our currently over-saturated technological environment, hand cut paper goes against the historically-weighted exquisite work of art. Highlighting this tension, he guides us through an “Impassable Terrain” through depictions of dense foliage that are both welcoming and foreboding. This overgrowth reminds us of civilizations that have crumbled under their quest for power revealing that the never-ending cycle of order always ends in chaos, revolution, and enlightenment. By conflating this time into a single image, he allows us to reflect on our current condition through our historical experiences.
Hi Fructose - On View: Curiot's "Down the Rabbit Hole With Neon Lights" at FFDG and New Mural in San Francisco
Via Hi Fructose - March 31, 2015
Based in Mexico City, Curiot (featured in HF Vol. 29) creates phantasmagoric paintings where deity-like monsters traverse the clouds. The silhouettes of tiny people floating in their wake reveal that human beings look like mere playthings in comparison. Last weekend, Curiot debuted his latest solo show, “Down the Rabbit Hole with Neon Lights,” at San Francisco’s FFDG, as well as a downtown mural curated by Fifty24SF, another local gallery. According to FFDG, the new paintings in Curiot’s exhibition allude to the rapid pace of technology and the consequential environmental pollution. His creatures travel through a mysterious continuum to attempt to reach the “vortex of souls,” only to get sucked into the past where they must confront their previous wrongdoing.
SF Art Enthusiast-Photo Feature: Curiot, “Down the Rabbit Hole with Neon Lights” at FFDG
Via SF Art Enthusiast - March 30, 2015
"Down the Rabbit Hole with Neon Lights now on view at FFDG includes an all-new series of colorful and vibrant acrylic paintings by Mexico City-based artist Favio Martinez, perhaps better known as Curiot. The artist’s second show at FFDG is in many ways a continuing chapter a convoluted narrative that reveals a surreal world of the artist’s own inspired creation. In this solo show audiences are invited along the visceral journey of one particular creature, whose curiosity and subsequent search for the source of the raining souls takes him through a reality-bending vortex to an at once familiar and unfamiliar land.
Featuring mythical half-human figures and fantastical environments, Curiot’s paintings are strongly inspired by and allude to Mesoamerican and Mexican visual cultures and traditions, while their detailed, geometric abstraction and bright colors are perhaps also reminiscent of Art Deco and Cubist designs of early Modernism. Curiot is also a prolific muralist. To complement this exhibition he is painting a large-scale, three-story mural on the external walls of Hotel des Arts in the French Quarter of downtown San Francisco.
Curiot explores the natural order of things versus urban systems of progress and expansion by prodigious juxtaposition of them in allegorical tales. The artist’s practice also seems to respond to universal contemporary concerns: the seemingly endless pervasion of technology into everyday lives, and many pertinent social and environmental issues. His body of work, and the narrative it suggests, can also be read to relate with deeply personal, introspective ideas. In periods of great transition, only a small portion of the future can be known. Faith must be placed in that which is unknown to pursue of a greater awareness of the world and one’s place within it." - Monique Delaunay
We Heart - Boulder Than Ever: Ink maestro Mike Giant shares the delights of Colorado living in new drawing collection...
The city of Boulder, Colorado has got it all. The ultra-liberal former hippie hangout is surrounded by sweeping plains and nature reserves, with the Rocky Mountains on the doorstep, a thriving arts scene, an excellent college campus, snow and skate culture, legalised marijuana, and an outlawed Hallowe’en event in which participants run around the city’s streets dressed only in shoes and a hollowed-out pumpkin on their heads. Any or all of these reasons might have led Mike Giant to set up home in Boulder, but whatever it was, he’s been inspired by his two years there; Giant’s creative output during his ongoing Boulder stay is currently on show under the title Colorado at FFDG in San Francisco.
A graffiti artist, illustrator and tattooist, New York-born, New Mexico-raised Giant’s work is unified by his use of black ink, influenced by Mexican folk art and Japanese illustration. The artist gives us clues as to what makes him tick through personalised messages, random thoughts and diaristic flashes of his day-to-day life running around the sides of his drawings. While we marvel at his skills as an illustrator we often find out what he had for lunch while completing the piece, what music he was listening to, and even what he was wearing, giving the viewer a palpable connection to the work. The show will run from 13 February to 14 March.
The Hundreds - Back In The Bay :: A Preview Of Mike Giant’s “Colorado” @ FFDG Gallery
Via The Hundreds - February 13, 2015
Text and photos by Brock Brake
“Colorado,” by the illustrious Mike Giant, is set to open today, Friday, February 13th, at one of San Francisco’s reputable galleries, FFDG. Back in familiar territory of the Mission District, Giant delivers more than 60 new pieces for his latest body of work. There are even a few collaborative prints with Colorado photographer, Jason Siegel, both of whom will be present at the opening.
Some of the most unique features of the new work are the personal captions, handwritten in pencil, that outline each of the 60 one-of-a-kind flash sets. There are shout outs to homies that have passed away, mental wanderings, and notes to ex-girlfriends who still hold a place in Giant’s heart.
A few side notes are in-the-moment commentary such as to what he’s listening to, what inspired a caricature or font-style, or funny ideas like “Oprah for President” or “69 on the first date?” as a question. Or “69 on the first date.” – as a definite decision.
Giant dates each unique illustration with the month, day, and year that gives you an accurate timeline of the work and a diary-like vibe. The installation of these works at the gallery adds to the intimate feel of the work: Each piece is un-framed and pinned to the wall.
While opening night will be a great opportunity to see some faces at the gallery and support a much-loved artist, I’d suggest to make sure to go back and view the work without the crowd if you find yourself in SF. The intricacies of these pieces need a lot of your time and some space. You’ll be very happy you took the second look and definitely see some things that you perhaps didn’t catch the first time around, trying to peek over people’s heads. For those planning to attend the opening, get there early. It’s going to be packed.
Fecal Face (FFDG) has recently undergone new changes since the start of this year. A young and vibrant Rachel Ralph, has taken over the space as the new Director and Curator. It’s safe to say John Trippe, the founder and advisor at FFDG, has left the gallery in the right hands. She’s started the exhibition year off right by introducing new artists to the roster and is still showing the staples that put the gallery on the map.
Thanks to Mike Giant for continuing to love this city and continuing to come back no matter where his journeys take him. San Francisco will always love you. Welcome back.
Hi-Fructose - Mike Giant's "Colorado" at FFDG
Via Hi Fructose - February 10, 2015
"With a new piece dated every few days between November 2014 and January 2015, Mike Giant’s latest series of drawings serves as a map of the current state of the artist’s life. Though Giant is originally from New Mexico, his name is synonymous with the San Francisco graffiti and tattoo scenes, where he developed himself as an artist in the 1990s and 2000s. With rapid gentrification squeezing out many of San Francisco’s creative enclaves, Giant relocated to Boulder, Colorado two years ago. His upcoming solo show, “Colorado,” opens at FFDG in San Francisco on February 13, meditates on various transitions in Giant’s life — his move halfway across the country, the end of a relationship, and various shifts in his lifestyle choices.
“Colorado” offers an honest look at Giant’s psyche during a time of change. His drawings are filled with cheeky observations, vulnerable confessions, and documentation of his daily activities. Tiny, penciled text frames the central figures in each piece, giving glimpses into Giant’s stream of consciousness while he worked on this show. The artist lays his doubts, fears, triumphs, dietary habits, music choices, and sexual proclivities bare for all to see, giving viewers an intimate look at the well-known artist as a human being. “Colorado” will include over 40 of these drawings, as well as photo prints on canvas made in collaboration with Jason Siegel. Take a look at our preview of the show below". -Nastia Voynovskaya
The San Francisco Chronicle - "'Sanjay and Craig' co-creator Jay Howell always driven to draw"
Via The San Francisco Chronicle - November 5, 2014
The sketch life has been good to Pleasanton-bred artist Jay Howell. Now residing in Los Angeles, where the zine maker designed the characters of Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers” and executive-produces and art-directs Nickelodeon’s “Sanjay and Craig,” which he created with James Dirschberger, Howell can consider his FFDG exhibit a sort of busman’s holiday: an excuse to get back to the drawing board, eat decent Mexican food — “Dude, I go right to La Taqueria and gorge myself on super-crispy tacos” — and test his emerging tattoo skills on S.F. chums. Of the ink world, he says, “there’s a real hierarchy in that scene. You have to be an apprentice, and I respect that, but I have no time for that s—! I’m 40 in February. It’s a midlife crisis, for sure.” We talked to Howell from L.A. during a “freak moment of calm.”
The San Francisco Chronicle - "Jeremy Fish: North Beach artist celebrates 20 years in S.F." 8/14
Via The San Francisco Chronicle - August 14, 2014
Anyone who has lived through the last two tempestuous decades in the Bay Area knows they bear remembering. So it somehow makes perfect, surreal sense that, in honor of North Beach artist Jeremy Fish's 20th anniversary in San Francisco, he would resuscitate his anthropomorphized familiars - this rapping grizzly and that skateboarding doggie - mashed up with the bay's enduring and ephemeral sights and signs. "I'm not a generally communicative man," Fish confesses by phone. "I have a small circle of friends. I'm not as social as I was. So it's the equivalent of a guy who bitches or cheers about stuff he loves or hates. I've found this is my voice. This is the way I can stand up and say, 'This is what I love or hate.' " We talked to Fish about "Yesterdays and Tomorrows."
Q: What made you want to revisit these images?
A: Everything I make starts out as an 11-by-14 pen-and-ink drawing on Bristol board since I've been living here. At some point, when I had thousands of them, I thought it would be cool to fill a room with these. I moved here in August 1994 to go the Art Institute, and (FFDG's director and curator John Trippe and I) both worked at the same skateboard magazine ("Slap"). Why not do it at my friend's gallery after 20 years in this city?
The San Francisco Chronicle - Jim Houser - 7/14
"Jim Houser: Fairey studio alum's work now more autobiographical" - July 2014
Jim Houser may not have stepped away from his experience as a "worker bee" at Shepard Fairey's Providence, R.I,, print shop in the mid-'90s with a drive to make wheat-pasteable agitprop À la the latter's Obama "Hope" poster, but the self-taught Philadelphia artist did get a firsthand glimpse at how to carve out a living as an artist.
"When you're younger, being an artist doesn't compute as a job," Houser, 40, says from his hometown. "Yeah, I guess I could luck out and be Picasso - or one of the million people who aren't him. But to meet Shepard, working his ass off and making a living of it, I credit him with being the first person I met who made art and had a roof over his head.
"I learned a lot from him, definitely, not just from a technical standpoint but from a work-ethic standpoint."
Since then, Houser has taken a more personal tack in art-making than his old mentor. The iconography and symbolism loosely connected to street imagery and graphic design are conjoined with more autobiographical concerns in the Houser works on display at his Fecal Face Dot Gallery solo show.
"Back when most art aficionados were still scratching their heads over the whole concept of the internet, a skateboard fanatic named John Trippe moved to San Francisco and taught himself to code. Fecal Face, Trippe's 12-year-old website, is now an internationally renowed art forum that gets about 13,000 visitors a day."
"Fecal Face falls under the New Mission School category, which defines a movement of lowbrow artists inspired by urban and street culture in making their graffiti art, comic art and folk art with nontraditional materials such as spray paint, house paint, scrap wood and found objects."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"Mission Street from 16th to 24th is a unique stretch of the city. The streets are too rough to skateboard on, the 14 rushes by every few minutes, and the storefronts are a jumble of the historical and the new. Among the taquerias and discount stores, John and Jessica Trippe recently opened the latest location of their FFDG. It's something of a link between the old and contemporary versions of the neighborhood, a voice for the next generation of artists and thinkers based on old-school ideals of hard work. On a block not exactly known for contemporary art galleries, they have planted their flag."
It’s the third spot for the gallery in a year. John and Jessica moved FFDG from its original space in Hayes Valley into Lower Haight, only to have to relocate again due to the fire at Haight and Fillmore last fall. After temporarily setting up shop on Clement Street in the Inner Richmond, John and Jessica have a permanent home now at 2277 Mission St. It’s a simple, cozy space that formerly housed a travel agency and now welcomes guests to explore something a little different.
In a city that hosts gallery receptions practically every weekend, it’s tough to stand out. Half the time people show up just to drink and hang out, and barely even look at the art. The FFDG shows I’ve been lucky enough to attend have always been top-notch, though. It showcases new work by heavy hitters, people who’ve inspired me like Tobin Yelland and Boogie.
-The Bold Italic 4/19/12
"Fecal Face is one of the most influential online art magazines on the West Coast – hell, all over the world for that matter. It's the site that people go to get their news about upcoming and current art openings, artist interviews, studio visits, and so much more. It really gives you a chance at an insider's look at what the art world has been up to (you know, while you're stuck picking your nose and staring at your computer screen, wishing you could draw...)."
"Although his paintings express a self-assuredness and skill level beyond his years, Gunderson's youth shows in explanations that are sometimes vague, perhaps still forming."
-SF Examiner 7/23/09
"The yucca trees of the San Francisco artist's San Juan Capistrano youth have been propagating in his stark black-and-white sumi ink paintings, organic oddities amid his drawings of two-faced monsters, snaggletoothed cretins and dark, interplanetary goonscapes oozing with creepy, crawly grotesques."
-SF Chronicle 7/9/09
"Materializing space into a simple geometry, Damon Soule works in the fissure between pop surrealism, neo cubism and fractalism."
"A young gallerist with international ambitions, the story goes, is doomed in San Francisco. The artists don't struggle. The collectors are in hiding. The counterculture associations won't die. But that was then. Now, the risk takers are here."
-San Francisco Magazine 4/10/09
"Fish has created album covers, signature shoe designs, skateboard decks and even beaver-shaped vibrators, but has never used a two and three dimension combination in this fashion."
-X Press 2/24/09
"I applaud Urich's nimble gouache application here, the monochromatic touches so subtle and fused to the page they appear like ghostly photo transfers."
-Art Slant 1/13/09
"Urich haunts his viewers with faint sketches of anonymous folk culled from old family albums. "
"This is memento mori with hope - that you might be memorialized so tenderly."
-SF Weekly 1/7/09
"We own two of her works and they are just stunning in person, highly suggest checking her work out if you are able." -Sour Harvest 10/24/08
"Satva Leung visits the founder and curator of Fecal Face and gets the inside scoop." -VIMBY 10/15/2008
"These artists, their westward expansion notwithstanding, are definitely on the way to somewhere promising." -Flavorpill 10/4/08
"This show leaves you with quite a bit to think about and a sense of the inexplicable. Are we somehow stuck building a stairway to nowhere, our rifles all the while trained on the last vestiges of our natural world?" -Art Slant 6/16/08
"It's this imaginative hyperesthesia that makes Foley's work so heart-rending, and so exquisite." -SF Weekly 6/11/08
"With Fecal Face Dot Gallery on the case, the art scene is likely to get much more interesting, and the parties much more fun." -SF Weekly 5/28/08
"Today, with the Web site's continuing popularity and the positive buzz surrounding the gallery's first two shows, Fecal Face's future as a Web site and as a gallery looks much brighter." -San Francisco Chronicle 5/4/08
"Scoff at the name all you want, Fecal Face Dot Gallery is the newest local spot for art that appeals to snot-nosed kids and grown-up art snobs alike. It's got a gross name, but it can be a family place." -KQED Radio 5/25/08
"These drawings are meant to be crude and rough, which is how these people look or act in real life." -SF Bay Guardian 4/24/08
"As the site's editor John Trippe told us last week, the name Fecal Face is something that sounded funny when he was 22, and