PREVIEW: HI-FRUCTOSE Group Show Invitational @ ROQ LA RUE [Seattle]

Hi-Fructose magazine is, quite possibly, my favorite hard-copy art publication in print right now.  It’s physical construction alone is worthy of admiration, feeling more like a work of art to be protected than a rag to toss carelessly in your bathroom.  My last issue was actually delivered in a carefully packed box with a free CD and a viewmaster reel (feat. designer toy art by Sam Flores, Mark Ryden, Jeremy Fish, Luke Chueh, etc.).  At first, I was a bit disappointed to discover that it was only a quarterly publication.  However, after experiencing what they deliver, the infrequency of issues has actually proven itself to be a testament to their attention to quality, more than anything.  Each issue is full of extensive spreads and/or interviews, showcasing the backstories and details of various artists.  There is very little focus on quick information or isolated imagery.  Rather, each issue is well curated and formatted with in-depth coverage and substantial articles.  Hi-Fructose was founded by artists, Attaboy (Daniel Seifert) and Annie Owens in 2005 and can claim Spoke Art founder, Ken Harman, as a writer/online editor.  In 2009, Kirsten Anderson took on the position of “editor at large” and this Friday (March 11th) Hi-Fructose magazine’s annual group invitational exhibit will be held at Anderson‘s Roq La Rue gallery right here in Seattle.

We’ve written about Kirsten in the past and addressed her tremendous contributions to both Seattle and the Pop-Surrealism/New Contemporary/low-brow art worlds as a whole.  Since opening Roq La Rue in 1998, Anderson has held similar standards for her space as the magazine that she edits for.  Both the publication and the gallery are responsive to and mindful of burgeoning artists and trends/movements, but they aren’t directed or controlled by them.  For a gallery that has received world-wide attention for it’s exhibits, it’s more than disheartening to discover that Roq La Rue often gets more recognition outside of Seattle than it does in the city where it is actually located.  However, for people like myself, who are constantly alerted to amazing exhibits in every other part of the world except for their own, Roq La Rue and, particularly this “Hi-Fructose Group Show Invitational” is a godsend.  For the rest of you local jokers that aren’t familiar with the gallery or the pop surrealism movement in general, this Friday is a great opportunity to have your ass clued in.

The following quotes/details come via the official press release and

Hi-Fructose Magazine is pleased to announce it’s 2011 group exhibition at Roq La Rue Gallery. This show is curated as an appreciation for the multi faceted nature of art in our evolving culture and features all new work from a diverse selection of world class artists highlighted in Hi-Fructose past, present and future.

...features work from artists spanning the globe from across the US, to Australia, the Netherlands, and Japan.  We hope you will join us for the party! Liquid refreshments and special treats provided!

The group of participating artists and styles are diverse.  Among those featured are cartoonist/multi-media artist Al Columbia, the throw-back childrens book psychedelia and cubism of Tim Biskup, Travis Lampe‘s eerie old-timey cartoon aesthetic, renowned matchbook illustrator Jason D’Aquino, the brightly colored portraiture of Sylvia Ji, the beautiful illustration work of Aron Wiesenfeld, the abstract geometric worlds of Dalek, and cake design/sculpture powerhouse Scott Hove.

Thanks to Kirsten Anderson, we were able to obtain preview images to a handful of the pieces which will be featured in the exhibit (posted below) and, as you’ll notice, some of the works are so visually mind-boggling that they even transcend their own mediums.  Japan‘s Kazuki Takamatsu continues to use acrylics to mimic a look much more akin to that of digital work and, with its all black backdrop, Jeremy Geddes‘ contribution features his typical cosmonautic muse with a contrast that increases it’s realism to the point of emulating  a 3-D sculpture.


Roq La Rue Gallery and Hi Fructose Magazine present

“The Hi Fructose Group Invitational”

opens Friday March 11th 6-9pm
runs through April 2nd

Roq La Rue is located at
2316 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121-1710
(206) 374-8977

Gallery is open on Wed – Sat.
From 1 – 6pm



…and a full list of the participating artists:

Al Columbia, Aron Wiesenfeld, Chris Berens, Dalek/James Marshall, Dave Cooper, Eric Fortune, Femke Hiemstra, Harma Heikens, Jason D’Aquino, Jeremy Geddes, Kazuki Takamatsu, Martin Wittfooth, Michael Page, Rob Sato, Robert Hardgrave, Scott Hove, Tim Biskup, Travis Lampe, Nicola Verlato, and Sylvia Ji


Jeremy Geddes (Australia)
oil on panel

Kazuki Takamatsu (Japan)
Prepare For The Unknown Future Enemy
acrylic on tarpauline

Chris Berens (Netherlands)
Call Me One
mixed media painting

Harma Heikens (Netherlands)
Blade Runner
mixed media sculpture

Femke Hiemstra (Netherlands)
Sophisticated Savage
Mixed Media Painting

Martin Wittfooth (Brooklyn, NY via Ontario, Canada)
Oil on Panel


Scott Hove‘s contribution to the show.


To see it’s step by step creation process, visit the Hi-Fructose site HERE.

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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