With spring in full swing and summer fast approaching I figured it was about time for an update announcing my plans for the coming months. I have some very exciting projects in the works that'll be coming unveiled very soon and they begin with the master himself, Ralph Steadman. Without getting into too many details, I am proud to say that it is the most exciting, and massive, print project that I've ever been a part of and that they will certainly be the centerpiece in any serious Gonzo collection. While on the topic of prints and editions, I am also very excited about a handful of projects that I am currently working on with the Rick Griffin estate that will be coming to life beginning this summer and peaking at the TRPS festival with some very special collaborations with master artists Aaron Horkey, Chuck Sperry, and Zoltron.
Exhibition wise, I am taking the "quality over quantity" approach and focusing heavily on the work of Justin Lovato and Leans. For Justin Lovato, I am very excited to announce that we will be doing a two stop mini tour that will open in Denver in August with our great friends at the Crown Collection and move to a pop-up space in San Francisco in September. Both stops will see a wide range of work in many different mediums and site specific installations will be a major focus in both locations.
I am very honored and excited to announce that I will be curating the US debut of the 23 year old Australian artist Leans. Leans got his start in 2011 by doing large scale public murals and plenty of tagging in the streets down under. Only moving to the canvas in the last couple of years, his style has changed and developed quickly and his work has resonated greatly with me since first glance. A debut show in the US is something that only happens once so I aim to make this a very special welcoming party for this young and exciting talent!
Concluding, I am very excited to put the heartbreaking failure of my gallery dreams in Denver behind me and to get back to curating pop-up shows with the artists that I love. I have always enjoyed the excitement and challenges that come by doing pop-up exhibits and this is the model that I'll be working with into the future. There are many benefits of doing pop-up events and one of my favorites is the freedom of doing shows in the locations where they will be most enjoyed by our loyal and amazing fanbase. I would like to expand my network in 2018 and beyond and my intention is to travel to many new locations that I've not yet shown in so please let me know if you think your city would be a nice fit for something in the future in the realm of next level psychedelic wizardry. Stay tuned for many more details and news that will be released in the coming weeks and summer ahead of us!
March 2017 - Official Announcement
Today I write with a heavy heart and sincere sorrow to announce that Alexander Chambers Gallery will no longer be opening a physical gallery in Denver this year.
Due to unforeseen problems with the zoning department and personal issues of health that have recently surfaced, I am sad to say that our dreams have been put on hold for the time being. We have done everything within our power to remedy the issues that have been problematic, to no avail. We must accept the sad reality that the building we purchased will not work for us. Our intention was pure as we sought to build a sanctuary to showcase the art that we love and share it with the city of Denver. Unfortunately in this case, our ambition and intention did not align with our reality.
I promise this did not result from a lack of effort or loss of focus and motivation. Though our dreams of a gallery space are on hold for the time being, we are still committed to the arts and the artists we love and will absolutely be moving forward on that path. We will take this time to regroup, focus on our health, and move forward by applying all of the lessons learned through this project that unfortunately didn't materialize. We sincerely appreciate your support and understanding and give you our word that we will continue to remain as active as possible in this world of arts that we love so much.
September 2016- oliver vernon INterview
Denver welcomed Oliver Vernon to Denver to paint a mural for the Denver Urban Arts Fund, located on the Cherry Creek Bike Path, near Colfax and Speer. We had the opportunity to talk to Oliver about the new mural, his inspiration and what's coming up next. Big thanks to Ben Wilson for the photography.
ACG: Is this is your first solo mural in Denver?
OV: This was my first solo mural in Denver, and the first solo mural I have done since 2005 (NYC).
ACG: What was it like working with the Denver Urban Arts Fund on this project?
OV: Working with Mary Valdez of the Denver Urban Arts Fund was a breeze. Everything went smoothly...their organization of the project was on point.
ACG: Did you have specific inspiration for this piece?
OV: I approached this piece differently than how I approach most of my work. I usually work improvisationally, jumping into the process and allowing it to dictate the direction, with a strong emphasis on complexity in small details. For the mural on the Cherry Creek Trail located in a central downtown location, I knew it had to be engaging from a distance for the viewers in their passing cars on the busy street. Commuters on bikes also speed past the wall in great numbers. I worked out a composition beforehand (digitally) using elements from existing work collaged together into a format to fit the wall. Then using the mock-up I scaled up the composition and executed the work as close to the mock-up as possible. This allowed me to work quickly without the usual intervals of time required to figure things out, enabling me to cover an 80 ft stretch of wall in 8 days.
ACG: Did working on location influence the way the mural came together? did anything change or how did it interact with the environment?
OV: In creating a piece for this location I took into consideration the urban surroundings, most notably the architecture of the Convention Center which is in sight when viewing the mural. Its extreme angled cantilevered roof was certainly an inspiration. The original plan for the width of the piece was around 50 ft, but after being on the Trail it became apparent that a much wider format would better activate the environment.
ACG: How is the process of painting of painting murals different than studio work and what do you like about it?
OV: In the studio paintings develop over time. They get put away, taken out, put away. This process allows for shifting temperaments to be layered in. When working on a mural, there is an imperative to finish as quick as possible, there is a finite amount of time to produce. This welcomes the imposition of restrictions and simplifies the whole process. In the studio there is only the self as the doer and the spectator. On the mural site there where hundreds of people each day passing by or stopping to witness. It was constant feedback. The overwhelming positive public response thwarts the usual creative blocks which periodically pop up in the studio.
ACG: What’s coming up next for you?
OV: I have collaborative mural for Colorado in the planning stages, and also two murals in my hometown of Grass Valley, CA this fall, one solo and one collaborative. A large body of studio work is underway for a solo exhibition at Alexander Chambers Gallery in 2017.
july 2016- mars-1 molecule ARRIVES IN BOULDER, CO
TACTILE TORUS sculpture by Mario Martinez (MARS-1) on exhibit in Boulder’s Civic Area
The City of Boulder is excited to partner with Alexander Chambers Gallery to host TACTILE TORUS, one of three sculptures included in Mario Martinez’s Mars Molecule Project. The artwork was installed on July 8th and will remain on view through October 2016.
Made in Berkeley, California at the Artworks Foundry, Martinez utilized a mixture of modern and ancient techniques in order to create TACTILE TORUS, a 9-foot, 1,500 lb., bronze sculpture that takes on the shape of a Torus energy field. The work of art took nearly four months to build and was first designed using 3D printing technology. Martinez then rendered the final version using the ancient “lost wax” technique, which pre-dates the Bronze Age (3,700 B.C.E.).
TACTILE TORUS has a very detailed design inspired by sacred geometry and the ancient language of hieroglyphics. The patterns are meant to invite the viewer to look inside the hollow structure and connect with ancient worlds while taking time for self-reflection. The juxtaposition of old and new informs the object experientially, which appears simultaneously couched in the past and present. Playfully straddling the mental and material realms, the piece calls upon ancient artifacts and civilizations for inspiration.
Mario Martinez was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1977. Exhibitions of his work have been hosted at venues in San Francisco, New York, Detroit, Toronto, Lisbon, Italy and Brazil. He participated in The Vader Project (2009) at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA and has been a part of several group exhibitions including Robots: An Evolution of a Cultural Icon (2008) at the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA and Natural and Unnatural: Imagining Landscape (2006) at Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ.