Opening: 'Platinum Blend 2' @ Modern Eden Gallery
Stephanie Chefas was delighted to be back with Modern Eden for a second time to resurrect her moniker and unveil Platinum Blend 2. In contrast to last year's exhibit, this 'blend' featured less work and as the vibe was markedly different as a result. If the first Platinum Blend was about overwhelming the senses, the recent exhibit gave each work its own breathing room. In this regard the pieces didn't so much compliment each other as much as they flowed according to their own relaxed vibe of distinction while being unified in spirit through the curator's passion.
As before the show was a veritable treasure trove of great art, each piece with its own unique aesthetic. A viewer could circulate and go back to the beginning and find something new to observe or cherish with every round. Being a fan of the odd, dark and curious, my personal favorites included "Chica Desnuda en la Playa" by Lola Dupre. The surreal piece--which utilizes mixed media based on found images--is a masterwork of restrained weirdness. CILER's "Playful Girls" gives off a beautifully unsettling, exotic vibe as it features to female figures speckled in paint with black painted bird's masks over their faces. While it's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes "Playful Girls" so alluring, the dark palette and sexual overtones almost conjure up associations with Eyes Wide Shut in the best way possible. Speaking of sexual overtones, "Ppfffh" by Elizabeth Winnel featured a lush, red canvas with no imagery except for the lips and tongue of a closed mouth dripping in wetness--we'll let the reader take it from there. Lastly, Sam Wolfe Connelly's "Black Tide" is a horror movie wrapped into one expertly crafted image that goes heavy on its use of shadow and simply oozes terror.
Since the show was in and of itself a highlight reel, it's nearly impossible to mention one artist or work without feeling obliged to mention them all. A mere sampling of the show includes: Brian Donnelly's exploration of defaced portraiture, Meegan Barnes' ongoing love affair with brilliant booty-based sculptures, Erin M. Riley's completely distinct tapestries based on real social media photos, Bradley Platz's marriage of classical and industrial imagery, Jana Brike's amazingly vivid porcelain-like figures, and Lola Gil's charming surreal portraiture. All and more are currently on display for your viewing pleasure.
Platinum Blend 2 curated by Stephanie Chefas runs through February 6th, 2016 at Modern Eden Gallery, 801 Greenwich St., San Francisco, CA 94133, www.moderneden.com