Michael Yochum, the gallery owner, originated the idea of a grid to give the chosen artist a challenge, a flexible boundary within which they could play. Each artist shows sixteen works in a format that can't exceed 12" x 12". The works should be thematically cohesive but yet, distinctively different. Plus, any potential viewer should be able to buy one without feeling that he or she had to buy a set, thus making the art work more affordable. Prices are also under $500 each and many items are priced much lower.
The first show that I saw in 2010 had stellar works by Sandi Yagi, among others and was a huge success.
"Love Story" by RubySpam. The complete series in process.
Photo by Michael Yochum, image used with permission.
This year, Michael was nice enough to invite me along while he made studio visits to three artists that are going to be exhibited in the show. I had a fantastic time, being driven around San Francisco (!) in a Mercedes. That's quite a change from hustling around town on MUNI.
Listening to Michael was a treat as he has years of expertise, both in the financial sector and in SF's crazy, chaotic and sometimes pugnacious art world.
The first space we visited was Ruby Spam's art studio at Art Explosion in the Mission. We were greeted at the door by her lively and very sociable Jack Russell terrier mix, Hadley, who was definitely a princess. Playing around with Hadley made the visit even more fun. Ruby was equally personable and generous with her time.
Ruby originally immigrated from Canada where she earned her BFA from the Ontario Collage of Art and Design and her business certificate through St. Clair College.
Melancholy but the broken heart is mending..
I am always impressed by how much work artists can make and how much they can pack into a small space; Ruby is no exception. She's a mixed media artist and for the show, created works on paper with the most amazing materials - wine, whiskey, coffee, balsamic vinegar and, in this case, blueberries for that "I'm blue" look.
Narcissistic looking in the mirror
The series that she is going to show is about the rise and fall of a love affair, a love story, shown in 16 panels going from intense infatuation to disillusionment to heart break and finally, reconciliation as friends. The guy is called "Ego Narcissist" or words to that effect so you know where she is coming from.
She ended her series of small drawings with "lets be friends." That shows her generous heart; I'm not sure I would be so nice.
The first step is always the hardest.
Her drawings are difficult to explain; they are deceptively simple but the more you look - and give yourself to the story - the more they say.
The work will be shown in order and in it's entirety at ARC's "4Square" show, opening next Saturday (August 25th).
Ruby's website: http://www.rubyspamart.com/p/drawings.html
Next: Studio Visit with Molly Mullins
All photos, unless otherwise indicated, are by Nancy Ewart. Images used with permission of the artist.