By Frank Forte
Fifty24SF Gallery in association with Upper Playground is proud to present, “Devolution”, a themed group show featuring new works by Smithe, Tina Lugo, Lauren YS and Benjamin Constantine. In “Devolution” the artists explore their unique creation of characters presented in surreal dream-realms where the human visage takes on a bizarre new form.
The “Devolution” group show explores new depths of cartoon surrealism by exploring the inner id of the mind. Each artist takes the art form one step deeper into the realms of fear, horror, nightmares, dreams and sex. Twisted mutant images, ghost-like children and and morbid cross-cuts permeate this one of a kind art show. If you are in San Francisco for the next month, be sure to stop by and check it out.
218 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
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About The Artists:
Benjamin is a predominantly self taught artist living and working in Brisbane, Australia. In his pieces, casts of anonymous characters interact, in states of anxiety or elation, elements within or around them often becoming involved and synonymous. Constantine’s work has appeared in VICE comics, the Fantagraphics’s publication ‘Beasts!2’ and in ‘Secret Prison’ amongst others.
Tina’s work expresses a sexual and often tongue-in-cheek humor fueled by cartoons, animation and early 90’s television. The use of enamel and plexiglass in her work is to suggest that the smooth, hyper-gloss finishing of a world that allures us will always be beneath a transparent barrier we can touch but never enter-a replication of the voyeuristic qualities we all posses. Her style references and pays homage to her variety of modern influences which include: Takashi Murakami, Toshio Saeki, Hanna Barbera, Japanese animation, and Henry Darger. Tina Lugo was born and raised in the Bronx and recently moved to Portland. She studied at the School of Visual Arts.
Born and raise in Mexico City, Smithe begain drawing around age 12. Influenced by the local graffiti artists in his neighborhood, Smithe would walk the city and look at the graffiti on the walls. He was intrigued by how quick you could get a message out. Smithe’s art has opened many doors for him as he has traveled the world showing his work, with shows in England, Belgium and Germany.
Lauren YS is a Bay Area based fine artist, illustrator and muralist. For “Devolution,” Lauren has collected a host of her characters in states that play off her interpretation of the word: entanglement, malaise or playful struggle. YS graduated from Stanford in 2013 and showed her first artworks at FIFTY24SF. She has since completed a residency in Vienna at Rabbit Eye Movement and painted at several international mural festivals.
Upper Playground is an art and fashion company founded in San Francisco in 1999. Recognized as an independent lifestyle brand and promoter of progressive, creative lifestyles, Upper Playground is well known for its active collaborations with renown artists and illustrators from around the world. In addition to retail locations in San Francisco, Berkeley and Portland, Upper Playground has founded multiple fine art galleries such as Fifty24SF Gallery in San Francisco, Fifty24PDX Gallery in Portland and Fifty24MX Gallery in Mexico City, Mexico.
Fifty24SF Gallery, opened its doors in association with Upper Playground, in 2002 with the aim to curate 50 shows in 24 months. After 50+ shows and well over a decade of support from the creative community, its legacy continues beyond San Francisco. With additional galleries in Mexico City, Mexico (Fifty24MX) and Portland, Oregon (Fifty24PDX), the Gallery’s wide network of artists and supporters continue to grow. With a focus on Contemporary Artists of all mediums and backgrounds, Fifty24SF is dedicated to discovering and elevating some of the most influential artists of our time.
Located at 218 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, the gallery is open Wed.–Sat. 12-6 p.m. or Mon.–Tue. by appointment. More info at http://www.fifty24sf.com