Last night, Anna and some of her "gang of artists" came to visit both Sandy Yagi and my studio. I've written about Sandy in the past - her work is gloriously macabre with a delightfully fiendish attention to detail and a unique imagination.
"I met Sandy though Anna and have become intrigued by her Gothic visions, part medieval, part post-apocalypse, but always uniquely hers. She brings an impressive level of skill to her work - a rare facility with oil and imagery, a sense of humor and an imaginative vision of unknown worlds that almost, but not quite, seem like ours. It's as if we are a parallel time line to the worlds that Sandy imagines, a different evolutionary track but one which seems quite plausible until you look more closely. With Sandy's work, it's always important to look more closely. "
Sandy showed us some of her new work in progress and screened videos for us. The videos were amazing - two skeletons dancing like Fred and Ginger, a claymation piece with snakes (!) and a monologue about working for corporate America, something that a lot of us can relate to.
Then, the whole gang trooped over to my studio at 689 Bryant. I didn't have Sandy's sophisticated videos or her chocolate cookies either (didn't want to ruin my dinner) but people didn't seem to care. It was a thrill for me to show work that hadn't surfaced in ages, including drawings that dated back to my SFAI days.
Dale, one of the crew, remembered Norman Stiegelmeyer who was a great influence on me in my early days in SF. I pulled out my small books which I am very protective about showing, due to some nightmare experiences of theft in the past. They are also very fragile and I watch over them like they were my children - which, in a sense they are. I've done some of my most personal work in these small books, the best of which are in a couple of university library collections - done before the days of digital photography! But Anna came up with a great idea for me to make them into books for sale, by scanning them and using computer software.
The night ended with a dinner at Bill's, a local dive that serves inexpensive but decent food. The conversation ranged from life to art to dealing with parents, meandering past tidbits of wisdom on the way to silly fun. It was an amazing evening. Thanks to all who came and thanks to Anna for organizing this.
More photos of the evening here (all photos @ Anna Conti, 2011. I'm not sure how a link to FB works if you aren't "friended" by me or the other gazillion people on my page but give it a try. )