Featured Artist: Shoshanna Givon

Mashker I, ID #13450

A working artist with an education in archeology and geography,  Shoshanna Givon’s work has a way of tying together the ideas of geography and memory. Her art explores the influences of location and traditions on a personal level, tapping into the various patterns and motifs that vary from region to region. One theme of her art practice is the imagery of lost objects. When her mother moved from Yemen to Israel, as a way of demonstrating complete commitment to the new state, they were asked to leave absolutely everything behind —  even their jewelry and treasured possessions. The images of these objects remain a consistent symbol in Givon’s work. Images of jewelry designs, lace, and textiles—all delicate and fragile objects—are transformed into metal etchings. “I found myself drawn to dense textures—carpets and embroidery—which was influenced by the surroundings in which I flourished and lived,” said Shoshanna.

Miriam 6, ID #10971

As the years progressed, she moved into printmaking and textiles. In one series, she silkscreened images of her daughter onto fabric; in another series, trees with branches that appear as a lace pattern. Whatever the subject, the theme is always the elaborate and ornate pattern and the interwoven nature of existence.

SG is based in Israel. Her work has been exhibited internationally; from Nord Art International Exhibition to the Virtual Art Museum at the MOCA in Brooklyn.

Featured Artist: Sha Zijian

2012, ID #11152

Before traveling abroad, Sha participated in many important exhibitions. But after going abroad in 2005, most of his activities were in France. For an artist, the differences between the two countries, the social environment and culture differences, are whole new experiences. Sha said: “my creation has changed, especially when I was in France, all of a sudden I felt free, these dreams, woods and other stuff in my paintings are all coming from my old days in France. before that I also cared about the inner world, but a little bit depressing when i was in China, my thinking was not mature enough.”

Sha Zijian’s works have a kind of sadness, a sense of the passage, in place of light and shadow, in the green jungle, giving a sense of deja vu. “I think any artist would consciously or unconsciously impact by others, no matter how you draw someone would have painted already, so, how to show something special which only belongs to yourself is the most important ” Sha said.

Featured Artist: Mark Bryan

The Island of Ballerinas ID #12953

No one can describe or explain the artwork of Mark Bryan more brilliantly than the artist himself: “Given this beautiful planet, our intelligence, talent, and opposable thumbs, one would think that things for us would be a lot better than they are…As a result of this perspective, satirical work is the logical direction for me. Humor allows for comment to be made without alienating the viewer.”

Last of the Merlot ID #12356

Combining incredible technical skill with a strong point of view allows Bryan to create detailed and specific images that illustrate an idea, but give the viewer so much more to look at, and fodder for additional interpretation. His recent works are strong political commentary, ones that combine the current political “Tea Party” with the colorful and insane images of the tea party in Alice in Wonderland, swapping out the Mad Hatter with political figures.

The Clown in the Sky ID #12472

Other work is more subtle, more personal. In “If Looks Could Kill” (1997), a husband and wife are completely covered in armor, shooting missiles at each other from their eyes. In Bryan’s own writing, he explains, “My wife and I were coming out of a rough patch at the time I painted this picture. Notice even the food in this painting is engaged in warfare.”  Indeed, even the entrées and salt and pepper shakers are shooting at each other.

Bryan has exhibited his work throughout the state of California, including California State University of Pomona and the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco.  Mark Bryan’s work has been written about extensively, including a chapter in Artful Jesters: Innovators of Visual Wit and Humor by Nicholas Roukes, and an interview in Juxtapoz Magazine called “The Art of Mark Bryan.”

Featured Artist: June Li

Spirit of the Stone ID#11711

Li’s work is constantly evolving, each phase of life bringing with it new subject matter and artistic technique. Although her work demonstrates an impressive variety of subjects – from figures to cityscapes and organic abstractions – she feels that each stage represents a new phase in her artistic practice as she continually moves forward.  Her current passion is the theme of “beauty and power” through the use of mixed media and dripping techniques.  She creates shapes which invoke connotations of beauty and power being in harmony with one another, not in conflict.  “Each of my pieces expresses its life, points to a path,” she states.

Jelly Fishes ID#12771

June Li was traditionally trained in art in Guangzhou, China. Being an artist was an unfulfilled dream of her father’s, who could never have a full art practice due to the obligations of having a business and supporting a family.  She earned her BFA from Sonoma State University and moved to San Francisco in 2007, where she began to explore more expressive and abstract work.

While June is an established graphic designer, her true love is painting. However, what is interesting to explore is the level of professionalism and craftsmanship that seeps into her more creative work in fine art. Although she explores many topics and subjects, she has a style that transcends and expresses itself in each work – making both a varied yet connected body of work, a signature style that always allows Li’s work to be recognizable and stand out from the rest.

Li’s artwork is displayed in numerous San Francisco Bay Area public venues and private collections from China, Florence, and London. She is currently available for gallery exhibitions and commissioned pieces.

Featured Artist: Christopher Mir

The Falls ID 11799

Christopher Mir’s paintings invite us to experience a series of unsettling juxtapositions. Astronauts have insect wings, sleepwalking children walk barefoot in mountainous terrain, and spiderwebs extend over the sky. Futuristic machines are placed in primal and mythical settings.  Yet the ordered composition and strong technique counterbalance the poetic and irrational themes, creating a realistic dreamscape.

Triad ID 10414

To create this kind of painting, extensive planning is involved. The painting begins with a digital composite, like a “virtual collage” — but once it is recreated on the canvas in paint, the image is brought to life and becomes something entirely different.

Vanishing Point ID 11178

Mir’s work has received extensive critical acclaim, including a favorable review in Artforum, arguably the most prestigious art magazine in print. For over a decade he has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions across the globe, from Spain and Switzerland to New York City.