[View Part 2 about the new Steve Brule show/mural HERE]
Last Friday, April 16th, I jumped on a bus and headed out to the Upper Playground store/gallery in Seattle‘s University District. I was on my way to catch the opening reception for an exhibit entitled, “Oh Mischevious Me” by local artist 179. This post isn’t going to delve too far into the background of 179 as an artist. It’s mostly just going to be some very loose photo documentation of the event, while Part 2 covers an unrelated mural that was created about 10 blocks away on the same night. It will, hopefully, also function as an opportunity for me to drop some names and for you to find out about some local Seattle artists that are involved in a movement that’s on the verge of breaking through and gaining the attention that it deserves. As far as 179 is concerned, the real story isn’t on this site at all. In fact, this isn’t even the beginning of my coverage of her work or even of this specific event. Earlier this month, I was asked to conduct an interview with her for the site, The Citrus Report and, for all intents and purposes, you should probably be reading that interview first and utilizing this post as a follow up. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with looking at the photos first and then venturing off to discover more about the person who created them. Do whatever the fuck you want. Make your own decisions. We’re all adults here and, if not, maybe your parents should be paying a lot more attention to what type of emotionally detrimental hijinx you are likely getting into on a regular basis.
Regardless of what you decide…
here’s the link to the 179 Interview on The Citrus Report
I had originally arrived way to early to Upper Playground, before the exhibit had even begun, so I went to meet up with my girlfriend and headed back later, when it was already in full swing. The moment that I walked through the door I noticed Angelina Villalobos (aka: 179) standing over by artist Sam Walls, (aka: Solace Wonder). She waved at me and, as we walked over to her, she pulled out a burned CD-R of the American Splendor soundtrack. She was telling me about it after our interview and was thoughtful enough to remember to bring me a copy. Unfortunately, her voice was all but gone, as she had recently gotten sick. Solace was handling the beverage table, so my lady and I got a couple of PBR‘s and walked with Angelina over to the gallery area where all of the artwork was being displayed.
All of the pieces in the exhibit were made with acrylic and gouache. This wall backdrop/mural, which reads “One Seven Nine“, was painted by the artist the day of the show. 179 actually told me that it was her favorite out of all of the work in the entire exhibit. Later, when speaking to her boyfriend, Corey, he spoke of how remarkably quick she was able to create this piece.
The little pictures that surrounding the main work are actually stickers with monsters drawn on them. Attendees were encouraged to take them for free.
The pencil marks read “Chicken Feet“.
“…when I paint, if you look closely, you can see pencil lines and eraser marks, because I just like process. I like seeing that in other people’s work and I like it when people see it in my work. It’s just kind of how my mind works.” -179 [from our interview].
“Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing”
“Non Armored Bear”
“Yin and Yang”
“Wolfcub” (collaboration with Solace)
Orange Juice? Mango Nectar? Metamucil?
“Benjamin and Peter Rabbit”
“Trees of Peter Rabbit”
These prints were signed and only numbered to 18. 179 gave me one as a thank you for conducting the interview with her. It is as appreciated as it was unnecessary.
The actual picture looks great; it’s just the photo that I took of it that’s blurry as shit.
Only a couple of stickers left on the wall.
SOLACE rocking the new 179 shirt from his own company/art collective, Family Fortune. These were made available at the opening reception.
[Solace doesn't actually have dragon wings; that's just part of the N8 Van Dyke painting behind him]
The pieces are incredibly affordable and go for as low as $50, with the highest price hitting a mere $400. Obviously, the photo of the price list can be used for reference, as well as contact information, for anyone that wishes to inquire about purchasing any of the pieces. With artists as prominent, respected, and legendary as Galo”Make One” Canote championing 179 as one of his “favorite” artists, you can be sure Villalobos‘ work will only continue to increase in value. The show will be running until the middle of next month and, if you are in the Seattle area, I recommend checking it out in person. Everything looks better up close.
The opening itself, was fairly successful and I had a great time. The best part for me was the sense of community. Jen Vertz, who curated the event and set up the interview for me and 179, was there and her boyfriend, Jeff “WEIRDO” Jacobson showed up later, even after working for hours on an amazing mural with fellow aerosol artist, Joey Nix. I ran into fantastic local artists that I already knew, like Joe Vollan, and even met some for the first time, who’s work I was already aware of, like EGO. This local community is close knit and everyone that was in attendance were people that are extremely supportive of each others work. There was a great sense of pride and encouragement towards each other and absolutely no elitist clashes of self-importance. I’ve had an interest in the local art scene but, until this opening, I can honestly say that I didn’t have enough of one. Keep your eyes peeled, because these kids are doing some big things and, although many speculations can be made about why they aren’t more well known on a wider scale, none of those reasons have anything to do with talent or ability.
Next month’s artist is Augie Pagan, who you may remember as the creator of the Sanford and Son painting, “5 Across the Lips“, from the IDIOT BOX TV-themed exhibit in L.A. that we posted about last year. Some of the shit that he paints is ridiculous.