ALAMEDA -- The show entitled, "Every_Body Figurative Art Work by Eleven Bay Area Artists" is on display by pop-up Gallery at Auto body Fine Art, 1517 Park St. in Alameda.
Artists Mi'Chelle Frederick and Gabriele Bungardt started pop-up Gallery in June. They wanted to create a professional gallery space and make it affordable and accessible to emerging and well-known artists.
"We don't charge any fees to the artists to show, and if they sell work, we only ask that they contribute a small percentage of sales to local art-related nonprofits, such as Frank Bette Center for the Arts, National Institute of Art and Disabilities and others," Frederick said. They have achieved their goals with this current exhibit.
This show is stunning and is presented in a way that allows the viewer to flow seamlessly from one artist to the next. Rob Anderson presents drawings in charcoal pencil on handmade paper. These drawings were done over a three-year period and are of sculptures from the Great Altar of Pergamon, now housed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. The frieze he has depicted is the battle between the Olympic Gods and the giants for control of the world.
"I knew of this frieze from a photo I saw as a child. Then it came as an exhibit in 1996 to San Francisco," Anderson said. His drawings capture the detail and beauty of the human form as envisioned by the Greeks.
Bungardt works in acrylic on canvas. In her new "American Working Man" series, she depicts the working class from day laborers and truck drivers to dock workers and others who must rely on their bodies and manual labor skills in order to survive. She captures their exhaustion and sense of defeat and sometimes victory at the end of each day.
"My inspiration for these paintings began with the 99 percent and all this talk about the middle class but nothing at all about the working class or the poor. I wanted to show how overworked people are," Bungardt said.
Michelle Frederick works primarily in graphite and watercolor. She creates finely detailed drawings of the human form. In her series, "Forbidden Fruit," "Fresh Fruit," and "Luscious Fruit," we see a beautifully rendered drawing in pen and ink of an arm holding a single pear. The pear is a bright yellow watercolor and the only color in this black pen and ink drawing. The contrast is at once startling and mysterious.
Irene Hendricks works in acrylic on canvas. She paints from small black and white photos from an archival library in London, as well as her own experience and stories she heard from her mother growing up in London just after World War II.
"I grew up in the projects of London, which were torn down during the 1960s because of their deteriorating condition. We had very little hot water, heat or electricity during that time, and this was normal for us, yet we were a strong community," Hendricks said. She paints domestic scenes of women working together in the home and in jobs during the 1940s.
Ceramic artist Judy Miller also creates a community with her "Townfolk" characters. These figures are reminiscent of Giacometti's elongated style. The smaller figures are textured, glazed and underglazed clay while the larger figures are created from durjit. The artist enriches the surfaces of these figures with clues and textures that reveal stories about each character.
Photographer Bob Giles documents sculptures from Victorian-era cemeteries of the United States and Europe. His focus is the mythological angel, a symbol of hope and a spiritual connection. His guitar playing graced the reception, with CD's also for sale. Bob Giles is an accomplished musician, writer and photographer.
Suzanne Lacke paints in oil on canvas. Her paintings are of dresses.
"I've always been interested in clothing, particularly dresses as one layer beyond the body, or as a shell covering the body. How they can cover yet reveal at the same time. They can also protect," Lacke said.
Diane Komater is a wiriest. She "draws in the air" using annealed steel wire. Her sculptures are three dimensional yet whimsical and have a sense of her "doodling" with the wire. These sculptures are humorous, light and stylish and are presented artfully throughout the gallery.
Painter Stephen Namara lets his finished work speak for itself. He allows the viewer to see his graphite sketches on the canvas, while completing the painting in his preferred medium. The canvas's are large, and one exquisite graphite drawing depicts a seated figure, arms stretched and wrapped around the back, contorted yet meditative.
Artist and teacher at CSU East Bay, Dickson Schneider juxtaposes supermodels in front of art work in a gallery scene. By painting these women in provocative poses with scant clothing, he asks the viewer to question this culture's commercial values and use of women to sell fashion and image for profit.
Darcy J. Sears is a ceramic sculptor whose work "reflects the inescapable cycle of life through the earth, spirit, air and back again." She is interested in expressing the spiritual and historical relationship between the human form and clay.