featuring mixed media work, installation and painting by:
Erlin Geffrard, Robin David, Spencer Keeton Cunningham, Jaque Fragua and Dont Fret – Curated by Yarrow Slaps
Opening: February 6, 2016 (6-9pm)
Dates of Exhibition: February 6, 2016 – March `12, 2016 – extended
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 12 to 5 and by appointment.
These young artists will be reflecting upon life in the inner city, struggles of earning and getting by, keeping pace and staying focused; street life, encountered objects and environments they have interacted with, the daily stop and grind of bodegas/marketplaces. Body exploration within these spaces between objects, people, animal and plant life of the inner city will be explored. The vulnerability of inner city life through the manifestation of gentrification is another topic implored. Highly interactive intricate installations will be used in the show.
Tired of adulthood, where life consists of work, sleep, eat and repeat, Robin Birdd continues her quest to transform physical spaces in the hopes of changing a person’s day to day routine. Through installation and painting, Birdd’s work evokes experiences of discovery, play and sarcasm, and her critique of ‘why people sometimes behave like sheep.’
As a Bay Area artist, the culture of collaboration continues to be an integral component of Birdd’s work. In her most recent exhibition in May of 2015 , Terra Incognita, Birdd and artist, Jeffrey Yip and rap group, The Trillions created a transformative atmosphere at the Luggage Store Gallery ‘s Tenderloin National Forest creating a mystical experience that challenged the relationships between people and the use of space. The Terra Incognita exhibition was featured on KQED’s The Do List. Prior to this project, Birdd transported viewers into an alternate realm, where the spirit of the bird world and the real world collide in her exhibition, Mythological Birdd. The exhibition was featured SF Gate’s and the Chronicles Top Arts Pick of the Week Aug 7-10 2014.
Born, raised, and currently working in Chicago. In addition to his wheat pasting, his practice includes drawing, painting, sculpture, performance, and installation-based work both on the street and in the gallery space. He has produced large-scale public murals in a number of American cities including New York, Miami, Grand Rapids, and Denver as well as internationally in cities like São Paulo and Berlin. His work has been in a number of gallery exhibitions nationally and internationally, with shows in Chicago, New York, London, and Oakland. Most recently, he presented his second solo exhibition at Chicago’s Johalla Projects entitled “Signs Of The Times”. In 2014, he was included in Paint Paste Sticker — a large Chicago street art survey at the Chicago Cultural Center. Dont Fret was voted “Best Visual Artist” in the 2015 iteration of the Chicago Reader’s “Best of Chicago” list and was also a featured artist at the SCOPE Art Show Miami Beach.
His work uses the city as a medium focusing on text, signage, inner public spaces and outside public spaces and the space between is explored. Flat pop color typical to window or paper adds and small flashy icons typical of digital media can be seen in his work.
An acclaimed multi-media artist from New Mexico. From his cultural background, he has developed a yearning for creativity and for the intrinsic process that is Art. Experimenting with various mediums, such as aerosol, found-objects, earthworks, poetry, & music, messages of civil unrest, social justice, emotional introspection, and personal healing have heartened his unique perspective on life through art.
Fragua has studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and in turn, has taught many community-based workshops, such as mural projects/public-art studies, and studio classes for figure drawing & painting. Fragua has worked with fine establishments such as Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, & Museum of Indian Arts & Culture to produce progressive/innovative exhibits concerning the plight of Native America.
Spencer Keeton Cunningham
Had been based in San Francisco for the past 10 years but during the past year and a half has been on the road painting and exhibiting works in various parts of North America, from Alaska to the southernmost tip of Mexico. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, from the Wenying Hyland Art Museum in Guangzhou China to the, small hallway shaped, Antisocial Gallery of Vancouver bc. His work has been featured on college textbooks and art magazines in the United Kingdom and the streets of every city he touches down in.
At times his work takes on a humorous aspect of serious subject matter, using cross-cultural examinations of the world we live in while maintaining an unsettling vibe and approaching subjects and themes that have a deep context ingrained in them.Whether he’s donating skateboards to skateboarders in need in Cuba or painting walls in Northern British Columbia , Cunningham’s work leaves an impact on the viewer and can be described as reminiscent to that of a bold almost hieroglyphic marking style with a new contemporary twist. With his painting colleague and fellow collaborator Erlin Geffrard they seem to radiate in the art world of today like a modern day Warhol/Basquiat. Teaming up to create “video paintings” (Acrylic on Video) and actual paintings in large quantities over the past 7 years.
Born and raised in West Palm Beach FL, (into a Haitian American family of Baptist and Voudoun religion) His childhood was confronted by an identity crisis, largely made up of environmental and spiritual conflicts.The racist identity of the south combined with the violence in his neighborhood made him “just another black person.” However at home he was taught to stand with perfect posture and have pride in his motherland which was the first black-led republic of the world. This gave him experiences unique to West Palm Beach and exposed him to an idiosyncratic vantage of ethnicity, human beings and cultures from around the world. Geffrard sees the world as a rainbow that needs constant balance.
Artist Erlin Geffrard illuminating the inner workings of one painter’s mind. Ordained at age 19, this fifth generation Haitian Vodou priest struggles to understand his divine title. Dealing with issues such as Hollywood’s depiction of zombies, their creation of race culture, and dumb fat Americans. By re-appropriating religious, cultural, political and historical allegories and symbolism, I draw in my audience. The representations that are given to the public are meant to be understood in the context of art. Known for experimental installations which ask us to contemplate and re evaluate our roles in the dystopian society in which we are born into. Encouraging the viewer and participant to activate and embrace their own divine birthrights. His performance as Kool Kid Kreyola, offers a new context through the power of parody, which combats contemporary hypocrisy and historical ignorance.Under the guise of community and growth, he explores positive conceptions of identity, and ethnicity.A group show at the MAPI will highlight simplicity and love building bodies of work that are more so recorders of life’s, energy, happiness, hope, and the positive side of humanity. By asking hard questions such as “who am I, in song in dance we deconstruction social constructions and we are able to acknowledging the existence of the oneness of our human family offering optimism as a result.