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Black Book Gallery presents Sandi Calistro “The World Forgetting By The World Forgot”


As we head into our third year of exhibits we welcome back Sandi Calistro, one of Denver’s most recognizable and hardest working artists. Whether it is her tattoo artistry or fine art, there is no mistaking the unique style and attention to detail in all of her work. “The World Forgetting By The World Forgot” portrays these distinctive characteristics familiar to Sandi Calistro’s work. From intentional line and acrylic washes; mysterious female figures with bedroom eyes emerge. Many of the subjects are adorned with distinguishing symbols steeped in tattoo tradition. This imagery is then literally intertwined with Calistro’s signature botanic illustration style that contains a nouveau quality.

“Beauty is never simple in the work of Sandi Calistro, and for all the strength she infuses her usually-female subjects with there is also danger, vulnerability, and pain beneath the alluring veneer. Her examination of femininity is fearless, a sharp contrast to the false positivism found in some circles, and incorporates a galaxy of open symbols and metaphors to contrast and heighten the assured line work. Calistro works tendrils of paint and ink into the growing chasms between expectation and reality, and in addition to her explorations of gender she exposes the disconnect between the modern consciousness and the natural world, where living creatures and the earth itself are but afterthoughts to trivial things we imbue with absurd importance. Somewhere between the menaced and the menacing, the tragic and the wonderful, the art of Sandi Calistro presents itself to the viewer as both open-ended riddle and self-contained fairy tale. That, and it fucking rocks.” Jesse Bullington author of Tale of the Brothers Grossbart and The Enterprise of Death

Sandi has created 20 new pieces for this exhibit and we will also have 2 exclusive prints.

OPENING RECEPTION
July 5th, 2013
6-11pm
Free & open to the public
Artist in attendance

AVAILABLE ARTWORK

Black Book Gallery presents Mear One “Sketches of Babylon”

Denver, CO – May 30, 2013 – Los Angeles based artist MEAR ONE begins a weeklong stint in Colorado on June 10th. Internationally hailed as “The Michelangelo of Graffiti” and “The Salvador Dali of Hip-Hop”, MEAR ONE begins his time in Denver with a 3-day mural painting at Izakaya Den (South 1518 Pearl St.) June 10th – 12th. Following this will be a gallery show at Black Book Gallery (555 Santa Fe Dr.) from 5:30 – 8 pm on June 13th. This week of activities culminates on Friday, June 14th with MEAR ONE joining DeVotchKa and the Colorado Symphony on stage for live painting under the stars of Red Rocks.

Gallery Exhibit
We will have 11 framed ‘Mono Distortions’ on display and for sale. Images coming soon

‘Mono Distortions’ are an entirely unique creation of Mear’s, an invention by the artist that displays hand-painted repetitions of like pieces resulting in one-off paintings. Essentially, Mear becomes a human printer! In the artist’s own words:
“Several years ago I was pondering my Live Art juxtaposed with my print work and wanted to find a bridge. I experimented and came up with the Mono Distortion and called it “M1” and it was a phoenix on top of a distressed hand done buff job like walls on the streets. I added a lot of sketch work and juicy tags with thick oil base Dalo Markers. The end result was like nothing I’ve ever done and I felt altered from the experience.

My philosophy on the distortions is as we head into these easy times to create art from photoshopping internet flicks, learning graffiti in an art school, that there seems to be a lax attitude in things that take time or effort, things that mean something other than compensation or simple fame. My endeavor would consist as a challenge to myself to re-create my relationship to art and my relationship to the experience of doing it. I pull from my live painting experiences styles that I developed through hundreds of live art nights.

‘Sketches Of Babylon’ is a pictorial montage of the deterioration of the Western World, post-apocalyptic cityscape under destruction or construction. A void space full of emptiness and history, a place of ideas and dreams.”


In addition to being able to see MEAR ONE’s work in an intimate setting at Black Book Gallery (MEAR ONE’s first ever showing in Denver), fans will be able to pick up an exclusive screen-print of DeVotchKa’s Red Rocks show poster, designed by MEAR ONE. These posters, printed on foil paper, will be hand numbered and signed by both MEAR ONE and DeVotchKa. They are extremely limited, and will only be available at Black Book on June 13th.

MEAR ONE will then join DeVotchKa on-stage for their performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 14th. Come see MEAR ONE live paint to the eclectic style of DeVotchKa, and the punk cabaret sounds of Amanda Palmer, along with a full 60-piece orchestra. Also appearing will be local favorites Paper Bird. Tickets are on-sale now and start at $25. They are available online, by phone, 303-623-7876, or in person at the Box Office in Boettcher Concert Hall, Monday through Saturday, 10 am-6 pm.

About MEAR ONE
MEAR ONE (Kalen Ockerman, b. 1971, Santa Cruz, CA) is a contemporary American artist and public muralist based in Los Angeles.

MEAR ONE began his career in 1986 as a graffiti artist living in Los Angeles, often hailed internationally as “The Michelangelo of Graffiti” and “The Salvador Dali of Hip-Hop.” He is considered by many to be Los Angeles’ most prolific artist because of the way he revolutionized graffiti with his fine-art realism, breaking out of traditional 2D letter forms, and using perspective to develop complex characters with dynamic backgrounds in epic scale.

By the early 1990’s, MEAR ONE had established a large fan base through his notorious work on the streets, underground hip-hop album covers featuring his iconic imagery, and his involvement in pioneering early street wear clothing and graffiti culture. In 1993, MEAR ONE was the first graffiti artist from Los Angeles invited by writers in Tokyo, Japan, to paint in front of a live public audience at the height of the graffiti movement in East Asia.
In the mid-90’s, hip-hop imagery and cultural icons in his work were replaced with a deeper, more introspective conversation based around a politically disillusioned reality that the artist felt hip-hop had ceased to address. At this point, MEAR ONE began his transition from street graffiti to works on canvas, resulting in his first and much lauded body of acrylic and airbrushed paintings. He continued developing his original style throughout the 90’s, and in 1996 coined the term “Live Art” to describe the spontaneous, performative, and interactive act of painting in front of a live audience, which he considered akin to freestyle poetry and music.

Over the next two decades of his career, MEAR ONE’s public murals and works on canvas have won over audiences locally, nationally, and internationally. His work is inspired by ancient technology, science, philosophy, mythology and mysticism, along with political and cultural revolution, and notions of the apocalypse. Using art as a tool to express his feelings of frustration with what he feels is a broken system, the artist uses visual language to provide a critical viewpoint that exposes the history of corruption in America and the world at large. The diversity in his work often depicts an experience of transcendence in sharp contrast with depictions of the horrors of humanity, war, and oppression.

MEAR ONE’s current body of work can be described as a series of allegorical oil paintings that draw upon history, mythology, political theory, conspiracy theory, modern myths, and current events. Stylistically he has been described as “urban psychedelic surreal,” and is perhaps best known for his climactic battle scenes taking place under broad expansive cityscapes with billowing cumulous clouds.

About DeVotchKa
For more than a decade, DeVotchKa has been melting its sweeping collection of influences into an authentic and totally original blend of rock ‘n’ roll. Like many bands, DeVotchKa spent much of their early years traveling the highways and byways. One day world-renowned KCRW DJ Nic Harcourt introduced LA listeners to DeVotchKa on his daily radio show, Morning Becomes Eclectic. The directors of “Little Miss Sunshine” happened to be listening this fateful day, loved what they heard, and hired the band to write the score for their film. A critical and box office smash, the film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and, for DeVotchKa’s soundtrack, a Grammy®. The little band from Denver was suddenly internationally admired, headlining large venues and performing at practically every major music festival, from Coachella to Lollapalooza. The love spread to Europe, which has become a regular destination for the band. For more information on DeVotchKa, please visit www.devotchka.net

About the Colorado Symphony
The region’s only full-time professional orchestra, the Colorado Symphony embraces a tradition of musical excellence by presenting a diverse array of symphonic performances throughout the year. Originally established in 1989 as the successor to the Denver Symphony, the Colorado Symphony thrives on a spirit of collaboration among musicians, staff, trustees and the community. The Colorado Symphony performs in Boettcher Concert Hall and On Location throughout the state and region utilizing small ensembles to the full-sized orchestra. Programs include expanded education and outreach initiatives, as well as Masterworks, Pops, Holiday, Family, Inside the Score and Symphony on the Rocks series that have attracted an ever-increasing level of concertgoers. By presenting music that is both timeless and inspiring, while taking risks with new musical collaborations and interactive concerts, the Colorado Symphony is committed to reaching global audiences with the use of state-of-the-art digital media via live streaming and concert downloads. www.coloradosymphony.org

For additional information regarding MEAR ONE, please contact:
Candice Lee at Candice@cl-projects.com

For additional information regarding DeVotchKa, please contact:
Rob Thomas at rt@enditmanagement.com


Mear One
Devotchka with The Colorado Symphony and special guest Amanda Palmer at Red Rocks
Regular Edition
Signed by Mear One
Available at concert

Black Book Gallery presents Borf “They Made A Desert And Called It Peace”

Borf “They Made A Desert And Called It Peace”

Opening Reception:
Friday, June 7th, 2013
6pm-11pm
Free & Open to the public
June 2013 marks our 3rd Anniversary!

Summer has arrived in Colorado and with it comes beautiful blue skies, long nights and the return of Borf. One of America’s most infamous and ingenious young artists; Borf is a part of all of us whether we like it or not. Borf represents for the rebellious and mischievous nature inherent in everyone yet expressed by few. Rarely will you find somebody with the ability to communicate in a visual context a message inside a message as effortlessly as Borf does.

In his solo show “They Made A Desert And Called It Peace” Borf will be exhibiting pieces from his critically lauded “Rothko’s Modern Life” series, as well as a new series of jokes painted on salvaged wood panels imported from Detroit. Both parts of the show reveal the artist’s wry humor as he grapples with some existential and societal qualms.

The “Rothko’s Modern Life” series pantomimes Mark Rothko’s famous color field paintings, much like a class clown behind a teacher’s back. Borf associates these multi-million dollar masterpieces to the way property owners and city officials censor his peers on the streets around the world; with large squares of mis-tinted color overlaid on each other to form a layered composition of silence. Borf: “When Mark Rothko painted his pieces he was also looking for these “pockets of silence,” as he referred to it. He put all worldly signifiers to the side and solely worked with colors to express his ideal spaces where he could ‘root and grow’ and become a better person. However, today, the most accessible form of this style of painting is done by those in control (when they paint over graffiti), and is meant to smash any emergent opposition or disregard to the laws of the arid land. The same monied forces that made Rothko’s later work so beloved by most; also ensure the truly alienated sectors of society may only speak up in the boxes designated for them to do so.” Borf touches on these points simultaneously and, seemingly, effortlessly in this series.

The joke series started on the streets of Athens, Greece in 2009 during an extended stay by Borf in which he was witnessing the beginnings of the Greek economic collapse and the subsequent austerity measures. “Austerity will always lose in the face of laughter” Borf says. That’s why he started writing one-line jokes on the walls of cities around the world since 2009. Here at Black Book Gallery, Borf displays his jokes indoors for the first time spray-painted on the familiar surfaces of Detroit’s unkept buildings. “Detroit itself has struggled with massive debt (and the usual and customary budget cuts associated with that) for many years and these surfaces are the visual imprint of ‘austere’ circumstances without the maintenance of the ever-present forces of control,” says Borf.

AVAILABLE ARTWORK

New Belgium Brewery x Pedro Barrios x Jaime Molina x Black Book Gallery Mural


Pedro Barrios and Jaime Molina recently completed their mural located at 34th & Larimer. As you can see from the pictures not even the tiniest details were left out and the result brings both artists’ work alive on the street. Friend and local artist Joseph Martinez stopped by and added a geometric pattern to the mix to top it off. If you are on the north side of town make the trip to check it out – you won’t be disappointed! Thanks to Pedro, Jaime and Joseph for their hard work and to New Belgium Brewery for the support.

Black Book Gallery presents John Fellows “Every Here Has A There”


John Fellows
Every Here Has A There

AVAILABLE ARTWORK
http://www.theblackbookgallery.com/artists/john-fellows/

Black Book Gallery is pleased to announce “Every Here Has A There”, new works by Colorado-based artist John Fellows, in what will be his second solo exhibition at the gallery. Fellows’ signature “contemporary folk” style weaves together layers of found paper, graphic block prints and handwritten text to create an old time, hands-on feel. The artist collects a variety of found paper, maps and books dating from the 1880’s to the present to create unique linoleum carving collages that while at the very base reflect his personal experiences, are more like a brief glimpse into another person’s story.

For this new body of work, John once again draws inspiration from his recent travels to the Swiss and French Alps, Sayulita and Baja, Mexico as well as the mountains of his home state of Colorado. Grizzled mountain men, salty sailors, stormy seas and rugged mountains layered on used nautical charts and topographic maps draw the viewer in and hopefully trigger memories of their own past travels and experiences.

John Fellows currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. He travels constantly and spends much of his time in the outdoors, both of which impact his work. John has shown work in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, and around the US. Recently his worked has been used on t-shirts for Element Skateboards, Vail Resorts and Shaun White for Target, wine labels, and featured on the cover of BombFlow magazine.