Tag Archive: Lowbrow Art

  1. It Might Be

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    Featuring: Alex Kuno, Briana Hertzog, Chuck U, Evan Weselmann, Ewok, Jennifer Davis, John Sauer, Michael Koehler, Riiisa Boogie, Rodrigo Oñate, Swartz Brothers, Tim Molloy, Vivian Le, WingChow.

    You may find yourself asking, “What is Lowbrow Art?” Lowbrow emerged in the 1960’s in California as an extension of Surrealism, Fauvism, and Dadaism. Recognized as an illustrative street style, lowbrow works traditionally invoke humor and whimsy with imaginative compositions that tell a story. During the 1980’s, Minneapolis had a thriving punk and alternative music scene that fostered lowbrow styles incorporated by local artists. Tom Halzelmeyer, owner of Amphetamine Reptile Records was a pioneer in the movement in the Twin Cities with his former gallery Ox-Op, which featured the works of Shepard Fairy, Camille Rose Garcia, Shag, Delak, and more! By the 1990’s when Robert Williams (“the godfather of lowbrow art”) founded Juxtapoz Art & Culture magazine, lowbrow art had intersected with other subcultures such as street art, tattoo art, and illustration, heavily influencing and cross-pollinating commercial art and fine art.

    Originally, this artistic approach was highly criticized, however, it began to gain popularity due to its stark contrast to “traditional” art. Rejecting “high art” and instead celebrating popular culture inspired by comic books, B-movies, hot rods and kitsch, the lowbrow movement established a platform for artists to create works with fantasy, surreal, and cartoon elements.  “It Might Be” curator, Chuck U’s interpretation will be aesthetically represented in the roster of international, national, and local artists he has assembled whose illustrative lowbrow styles are expanding the definition of fine art, story, and fantasy, continuing this narrative.

    ”I hope to embolden people to explore the inclination to seek narrative and meaning within illustrative art and how this commonality is shared between both viewer and artist whether making or digesting artworks. This exploration is a part of the natural human experience of encountering and digesting art. It is important to me to curate and participate in a show that encourages viewers to find meaning in art that resonates with them and to facilitate opportunities for people to connect with art on a personal level regardless of the intent of the artist. The world-building artists involved each creates illustrative works that are accessible to artists and non-artists alike, evolving the idea of what fine art is, what kind of art is valid in gallery spaces, and how anyone can interpret what they see and know they aren’t “wrong”. – Chuck U

    Opening Night:
    Friday, September 8th // 7-10pm
    Featuring Alex Kuno, Briana Hertzog, Chuck U, Evan Weselmann, Ewok, Jennifer Davis, John Sauer, Michael Koehler, Riiisa Boogie, Rodrigo Oñate, Swartz Brothers, Tim Molloy, Vivian Le, WingChow. 
    • $10 presales available until Midnight on Sept 7th
    • $15 day of the event
    • FREE for members
    • Tunes by DJ Superbrush & Mike 2600
    • Sponsored by Indeed Brewing
    – Not a Gamut Gallery member? Become one today!

    Extended Open Hours:
    Saturday, September 9th // 11am-6pm
    This will be a relaxed setting compared to the “It Might Be” opening party the previous night. Chuck U will be hanging out all day too!
    • 15 Guest per hour
    RSVP for FREE

    It Might Be – Curator Talk
    Thursday, September 21st // 7pm
    Cass Garner for a conversation and Chuck U. Join us to learn about Chuck’s processes, ideations, and perspectives on his body of work and lowbrow art as a whole.
    • $5 presales available
    • $10 day of the event
    • Limited capacity event
    • Free for Gamut Gallery Members, RSVP required

    FREE open hours: Wednesday – Friday, 11am – 6pm; Saturday 11am – 4pm. We are available by appointment, please request an appointment 48 hours in advance.

    All artworks are available for purchase in person or visit us online today!

    Chuck U is an illustrator, painter, and muralist from Minneapolis MN. He has been making and exhibiting work professionally for over 15 years and is known for his signature intensive line work and imaginative subjects, color palettes, and compositions. With “It Might Be” Chuck U adds his influence to his first curatorial debut and hopes to embolden people to explore the viewers inclination to seek narrative and meaning within illustrative art and how this commonality is shared between both viewer and artist whether making or digesting artworks.

    Alex Kuno is a full-time artist and illustrator living and working in the Lowertown Arts District of Saint Paul, Minnesota. His work has been exhibited in galleries around the United States, Europe and Australia, and he maintains a growing list of commission clients and customers around the world.

    Ewok is an Orange County-based artist who began writing graffiti in Minneapolis in the early 90’s. Since then, he has solidified his status as an internationally known Graffiti artist, traveling extensively and painting in several countries, including exhibiting artwork and mural projects with the Seventh Letter artist collective, in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Taiwan, Barcelona, and Seoul. More recently Ewok was one of several artists who completed the Guinness Book of World Records’ longest continuous graffiti scroll in Dubai which was part of their UAE day celebration. His fine art has been exhibited at LA’s Known gallery, and his solo exhibitions ‘Revisionist History’ and ‘Pageantry’ have been featured on Hypebeast and in Juxtapoz magazine.

    Michael Koehler (b. 1983) studied graphic design, graduating in 2006. Working as an in-house and freelance designer for several years, he eventually found his interests turn to painting. Since then Michael’s work has been shown in galleries across the U.S. including Seattle, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and Philadelphia in group and solo shows. He has been featured in publications such as Widewalls, Brut Magazine, Dish Rag Magazine, and Supersonic Art. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his partner and studio-mate, Masha. Michael’s work, which is brought to life by acrylic paint, is inspired by our shifting relationship to nature in an increasingly technologically dependent world. Many pieces attempt to strike a delicate balance between the enchanting allure and latent peril of both the natural and unnatural worlds.

    Tim Molloy was born and raised in New Zealand, he now lives in regional Queensland, Australia with his Wife and Son. Tim makes ridiculous apocalyptic psychedelic art mostly in the form of surrealist comic books, paintings and digital art. ”My work is an ever expanding and interconnected web of dreamlike and nightmarish storylines soaked heavily in delusion, confusion and a general sense of unease. I draw heavily on surrealist techniques, symbolist ideas, synchronicity and dreams to construct my stories. Recurring themes include (but are not exclusive to) death, rebirth, the nature and expansion of consciousness, self-destruction and discovery… There is a kind of pre- apocalyptic tension throughout, balanced (I hope) with a sense of humor that stops it all from getting too serious…”

    As a Northern Virginia native, Briana Hertzog’s interest in art began at a young age and motivated her to pursue a career in illustration and fine art. She received her BFA in Communication Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and has since created illustrations for Richmond Magazine, North American Review, and Evolved Publishing. Her paintings have been displayed in multiple galleries, including international exhibitions. The majority of her time is dedicated to creating and exploring narratives of characters from her ongoing body of work.

    John Sauer is Minneapolis based painter whose background in illustration has instilled a great sense of freedom to approach painting via a wide variety of themes and interests both highbrow and lowbrow. His goal is to capture the emotional and psychological aspects of modern life through narrative and a bit of mystery. John’s hope is that viewers are drawn to the work and find personal meaning.

    Jennifer Davis is a Minneapolis-based artist known for her colorful, imaginative paintings of surreal and whimsical characters. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at venues such as The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, MN); The DeVos Art Museum (Marquette, MI); Foster Museum (Eau Claire, WI); Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (Santa Cruz, CA); The Lesher Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA); ArtSpace (Raleigh, NC); Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (Boone, NC), as well as several galleries in major cities across the United States, Canada and Europe. Davis is a recipient of the 2013 Next Step Fund Grant from the Minnesota Regional Arts Council/McKnight Foundation. She holds a BFA from the University of Minnesota.

    Evan Weselmann is a Minneapolis-based artist and designer working primarily in illustration, animation, and painting. He has worked with clients ranging from local mutual aid funds to international advertising agencies. Evan has recently produced ilustration works for Chet Faker, Kid Cudi, and the MN Twins.

    Risa Tochigi, aka Riiisa Boogie, is one half of the dynamic duo boogieREZ. Boogie is a Japanese Ameri-can artist who crafts detailed imaginary through textile, nature, portraits, flowing abstractions and uniquely creative characters. Her body of work taps into the flow of the streets, nature and the vibrations of dance and culture. Her creative spirit blends the technical mastery of traditional Japanese prints with urban imagery, materials and locations. She is an illustrator, painter, maker and a muralist who truly lives life to the fullest. She can’t stop, won’t stop creating! She works on a wide range of projects in a number of mediums. Recently, she has been deeply involved in using ply-wood to bring her illustrations to life. Her imagination and love of nature and design has led her to create many organically inspired pieces.

    TC Weaver aka REZONES aka one half of the dynamic duo known as BOOGIEREZ is a self taught visual artist. Starting out in the early 80’s with graffiti art… The platform eventually brought him to graphic design, which transitioned to graphic design which eventually led him to photography.his primary sources of inspiration are his life’s experiences as well as his environment. pulling heavily from his trials and tribulations as a youth growing up in Long Island, Brooklyn, New Jersey and Poughkeepsie. Then folding in his love for hip hop as well as it’s connecting elements (sci-fi anime, martial arts and comic books) he’s been able to craft works that are oddly familiar but at the same time strikingly different. As a team, WE ARE BoogieREZ!!! A Dynamic duo that TRULY lives life to the fullest, and we CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP CREATING! HEAVILY inspired by the culture of HIP HOP and all the incredible people that cross our path on a daily basis.

    The creation of characters and fantastic worlds are the universe that defines the work of Rodrigo Oñate (Roco Drilo). Originally from the city of Queretaro, Mexico, Roco embarked on his career as a self-taught plastic and graphic artist, influenced by the pop culture of the 80s, comics, graffiti and various artists representing Mexican art. By extracting himself from his context and looking at it from the outside, he found a better appreciation and understanding of Latin American culture, thus conceiving a style with a contemporary and modern vision of Latino folklore, mixing techniques that since his career have gained great relevance as in graffiti or pop art.

    Swartz Brothers Art is the partnership between Colorado-based artists Jon and David Swartz. The brothers have always been drawing and painting. Both went to the Creative and Performing Arts high school in Philadelphia and went on to graduate from Tyler School of Art with degrees in Graphic Design. After college, they decided graphic design wasn’t the best fit for them. They found their love for painting again and have been working as full-time artists ever since. Heavily inspired by the natural world, emotional experiences, and the creative process; the Swartz Brothers work in mixed media to create surreal worlds, where the only limit is their imagination.

    Vivan Le’s work explores my fascination with how history and contemporary media continue to portray children in art as romantic symbols. The characters she depicts collectively inhabit a single dystopia Vivian continuously develops in her imagery. Through using dolls as metaphors, she is raising questions about the adult gaze and what it means to have agency as an adolescent.

    Wingchow is a muralist and fine artist who began her career in Richmond, VA, and is now based in Washington, DC. Her work is often recognized by her use of distinct abstract forms. These flowing bubbly shapes were originally inspired by human viscera- symbols of the unconscious inner workings shared among us all. These shapes can remain abstract, or they can create a playful and surreal world where themes such as self discovery and creation are explored. She is influenced by nature, color, good feelings, and magical thinking.