Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Skull Show - Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA - 2014

Do you like skulls? How about art? Do you like skulls as represented by artists from multiple disciplines across time and space? Then, make your way to delightful Walnut Creek, California where the Bedford Gallery is curating the skull show to end all skull shows. What could be more universally relevant than a skull? We've all got one, that's for sure. Celebrate your skull from June 12th to August 31st. Contemplate the artful possibilities of the cranium, while reflecting on our impending mortal plane. It's refreshing, morbid and terrifying all at once.

A sampling of skulls, most of which are for sale, but not at bargain-rate prices. Skulls are precious and don't come cheap, ya know. Here's a few skulls that caught my eye. The exhibit itself is really extensive (90 artists) and afterwards you'll feel like you just toured a freaky psychedelic mausoleum. You'll contemplate some deep issues, is my guess, and then you'll laugh it off and get yourself a chocolate milkshake or something to celebrate life. But the show will linger in your consciousness, won't it. Yes, it will.

Eye-catching, isn't it?

Laurel Skye - Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride (2014)

Derik Van Beers - Angel Headed Hipsters / Thanks Allen (2012)

Maureen Shields - a collection of ceramic plates with skulls (2014)

Molly Hatch - Spk Outa Turn and Don't Gotta Listen (2012)

Andy Stattmiller - He-Man Master of the Universe nesting dolls (2014)

Pete Hickok - I Wish This Night Would Never End (2012)

Jim Skull - Mr. Smith (2008)

Fred Einaudi - Patriot (2008)

Noah Scalin - selections from the Skull-A-Day project

Ester Hernandez - Sun Mad (1981)

Here's a detail from Enrique Chagoya's My Tattoos (2012). What I found interesting about this was that I have this particular tattoo myself, or at least a similar one. Chagoya added the skull in the dragon's mouth and played with the original image, which I found many years ago in A Coloring Book of Incas, Aztecs & Mayas and Other Precolumbian Peoples, published by Bellerophon Books in 1988.

Here's my tattoo, from the early 90s, when all us girls were starting to get them. I got mine at Lyle Tuttle's shop in San Francisco. The artist, whose name escapes me, had plenty of Precolumbian artwork going up his arm, including a very fine Olmec head. This convinced me to hire him. The image is a mystery to me because out of all the illustrations in my coloring book, it's the only one that's unlabeled. It's also tiny-sized, printed in the corner of a page of Mayan ball players, as if an after-thought. Where did it come from? Does anyone out there know? Enrique Chagoya and I want answers.

 Chagoya's My Tattoos monotype in full:

A final skull in this post.  Joshua Harker's Crania Geodesica skull installation with light-projection mapping. It really belongs in the dark at a dance party with techno music. But I put some She Mob music over it, because the song is live, it's called Party, and I think it's appropriate. Maybe this will get its proper environment during the Bedford's Arts & Craft Beer event on July 31st, 6 - 8 pm. 'Til then...

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