January 2014

Matthias Duwel: "Spindrift" at Mirus Gallery Via Art Ltd

"Spindrift," an exhibition of paintings by Matthias Duwel, initially presents viewers with a unified front of visual noise that slowly reveals itself to be much more. In oil, acrylic, and graphite on canvas, panel, and paper, Duwel creates rendered representations of metaphysical spaces, a tactic drawn more from Surrealism than from Expressionism, but combining the methods of both. Airstream 2 (2013), features a complete vista packed with almost identifiable objects, some looping and organic, some rectilinear and stacked upon themselves. The effect is a visual negotiation between chaos and pattern, dark and light, and clarity and opacity. These marks have a similar visual aesthetic as ... Read more click the link.

November 2013

REVIEW: Matthias Düwel’s solo exhibition “Spindrift” at Mirus Gallery, San Francisco

I was intrigued when I first came across the paintings and drawings of Matthias Düwel. They reminded me of one of my favorite artists, Roberto Matta, the Chilean Surrealist painter, who breaks up the painting surface like a science fiction writer on psilocybin. When I went to the opening and mentioned this to Düwel, he acknowledged Matta, but said Mark Tobey was a greater influence. Not a bad choice, as far as I’m concerned.

Opening Night: Damon Soule’s “Quintessence” at Mirus Gallery

Each painting in Damon Soule’s “Quintessence” (which opened at San Francisco’s Mirus Gallery last Saturday, November 23) is its own microcosm. In several of the pieces, colors radiate from a luminous, star-like center; their kinetic energy gives way to neon explosions punctuated by starkly-contrasting black and white lines. Earlier this month, when we visited Soule’s studio, he discussed apprehending the imperceptible elements of the universe with this show. By pushing the human eye to its edge with his extreme color combinations, Soule seeks to craft an otherworldly essence that runs through his body of work.

October 2013

On View: Matthias Duwel’s “Spindrift” at Mirus Gallery

Matthias Duwel’s high-velocity abstract work is the artist’s response to a world that seems to change before his eyes. “No sooner is a thing brand new, it is used up, dispensable,” says Duwel in his artist statement. In his paintings, geometric forms explode and coalesce before one’s eyes like an endless cycle of fission and fusion. Duwel recently opened a solo show at San Francisco’s Mirus Gallery titled “Spindrift.” The title of the show refers to the spray of an ocean wave. The cresting wave, says Duwel, is a metaphor for the human impulse to colonize and expand, our technological advances crashing down with environmental destruction.

December 2013

Damon Soule, “Quintessence” at Mirus Gallery

Just months after receiving a large commission at Hyatt Hotel on Stockton Street with fellow local artists like Eric Otto and Mars-1, San Francisco-based artist Damon Soule’s solo exhibit “Quintessence,” curated by Brian Chambers at Mirus Gallery features new large paintings and an interactive sculptural sound installation in a collaboration with the Existential Action Teams Information Technologies Department (E.A.T.I.T) comprised of artists D23 Electron, Sparkles Positron and Cool Story. Soule also debuts his first limited edition bronze sculpture, Infinitree with this exhibition.

June 2013

SFAQ - "Dreamtime: New Surrealism"

On June 8th “Dreamtime: New Surrealism” opens at Mirus Gallery, San Francisco. “Dreamtime: New Surrealism” is a group exhibition featuring work by Scott Anderson, NoMe Edonna, Joseba Eskubi, Christine Gray, Joe Hengst, Marcus Jansen, Ebenezer Archer Kling, D’Metrius Rice, Kate Shaw, Erling Sjovold, Marlene Steyn, Alex Stursberg, Michael Zansy, and Zio Ziegler. Dreamtime: New Surrealism will examine the use of surrealistic imagery within contemporary art practices.

“Dreamtime: New Surrealism” considers how this approach has developed over time, changing to meet the aesthetic tastes of contemporary artists, yet rooted in an essentially similar practice of delving into the subconscious to reinterpret perceptions of reality. The artists featured in the show represent a range of artists working in the Surrealist tradition, from Pop Surrealism to Postmodern appropriation of surrealistic imagery.

STHETIK - Dreamtime: New Surrealism at Mirus

There’s an exciting New Surrealism exhibit at Mirus Gallery curated by Paul Hemming, opening Saturday, June 8th, and, taking part in the Yerba Buena Gallery Walk this weekend. Paul has put together really quite a superb group of contemporary artists working in the surreal genre for this show. Dreamtime: New Surrealism considers how how concepts about the unimagined and the fantastic have developed over time, and the artists featured in the show represent a range of artists working in the Surrealist tradition, from Pop Surrealism to Postmodern appropriation of surrealistic imagery. april bowlby plastic surgery photospril bowlby plastic surgery photos april bowlby plastic surgery photospril bowlby plastic surgery photos baseball lineup template excel baseball lineup template excel funny argumentative essay funny argumentative essay "short shorts" boys "short shorts" boys dad and son jerking off together dad and son jerking off together husbands first sissy makeover husbands first sissy makeover
Coining the term “surrealism,” almost 100 years ago, the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, named “surrealism” as realism beyond reality, “sur – real.” And after the turn of the last century, Surrealism was officially founded, when André Breton wrote Le Manifeste du Surréalisme. In it, he defined Surrealism as “Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express – verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner – the actual functioning of thought.” In this, he proposed that artists should seek access to their unconscious mind in order to make art inspired by this realm.

The original Surrealists were seeking a reprieve from the violence of war and investigating the psychological theories of Sigmund Freud – many themselves underwent psychoanalysis, seeking to access their subconscious in order to make art inspired and unlocked by the imagined and the unreal. A century later many artists continue to use fantastical imagery rooted in dreamscapes to relate to the realities of the increasingly fragmented, global, and at times senseless world we live in.

I wonder, are journeys into surrealism today that much more fertile for artists with the world itself so much more fantastic? Or do you believe that we as humans have the same potential for imagination as we always did?

July 2013

Geometry of Chance - SF Weekly

August 2013

Photo Recap Group Exhibition “Geometry of Chance” Mirus Gallery

I was able to attend Mirus Gallery’s group exhibition “Geometry of Chance” a couple of weeks ago. The newly established gallery curated a excellent body of work focusing on new and rising contemporaries. It was also to see some familiar names on the exhibition list that we have have been part of graffuturism for awhile now. Below is a more detailed show summary and we suggest if you are in San Francisco you make the time to see the work in person. Excellent body of work from some great artists.


Mirus Gallery
Jul 27th 2013 to Aug 31st 2013

July 9, 2013 (San Francisco, CA) — Mirus Gallery is pleased to announce Geometry of Chance, a group show featuring work by Morten Andersen, Claudio Drë, Gilbert1, Felipe Goncalves, Brian Guidry, Francesco Lo Castro, Mary McCarthy, Darren McManus, Grant Miller, Christine Morla, Robert Moya, Adrian Navarro, Nawer, LX One, Joshua Reames, Mark Schoening, Vesod, and Leah Wolff. Geometry of Chance will examine the use of mathematical principles as applied through these artists’ distinct bodies of work.

Geometry has long held an important role in art history, with the two fields sharing the same foundational principles of line, shape, balance, symmetry, scale and proportion. It was through the application of these elements that the artists of the Renaissance devised the technique of perspective. The application of perspective was the game-changer that defined Western art movements for centuries to come, and for which even the most abstract artists are held accountable to when choosing to either embrace or challenge it in their practices.

The artists in Geometry of Chance embrace geometry’s application through a variety of mediums and to varying effects, using geometric functions and understanding to communicate universal ideas that transcend individual knowledge or taste. Our understanding of geometry is hardwired into our evolution, for example studies have found that we view symmetrical features as more beautiful. This exhibition offers viewers the opportunity to see the application of these principles in their full spectrum; the binaries of art and math, emotion and intellect lose their duplicity and become two sides of the same coin.

Our current era of information overload and constant technological demand offers little opportunity to consider the physical world as we once did; these artists strive to depict a world we can lose ourselves in and come out the other side more in touch with our physical selves. Geometry of Chance offers the viewer the chance to re-examine the inner self, and reconnect with the inner explorer in all of us; the explorer that sought out the science of geometry in the first place.

Grant Miller’s artistic process mirrors the construction of history, recognizing the complexities that exist due to the multiple viewpoints that make up the sum of experience. As individual paintings, they represent a moment of clarity and a link in a chain of actions and events. Using a combination of structural elements, he achieves a formally defined space that speaks to the on-going internal cycle of information and processing that make up the human experience.

In her two-dimensional paper construction paintings Christine Morla explores cultural signifiers through her use of Filipino packaging, giving new meaning to what had formerly been considered trash. The weaving techniques she learned from her father are transformed through her use of these unconventional materials and geometric patterns, building upon her own cultural identity while commenting on the idea as a whole.

Mark Schoening’s vivid paintings speak to the overload and constant processing required in the information age. Embracing the barrage and reflecting on it, presenting an intellectual environment of synapses firing on all pistons, reacting to the constantly changing input surrounding us. His work acts as a product of the times, individual to the unique circumstances of lifestyle in the 21st century, and investigating our ever expanding ability to take in a multitude of simultaneous experiences.

Leah Wolff addresses this technology induced disconnect from one’s surroundings with her mixed media works made from organic materials. Her practice seeks to extract meaning from the process of making, as our world becomes less inhabited by objects, and increasingly digitized and fleeting. Her art often resembles utilitarian objects such as tools, which act as an anchor to another, more tactile and physical era. Her rough hewed geometric shapes nod at the role of the natural order in technology, reminding the viewer that the origin and root of scientific pursuit lies in the natural realm, an area from which we increasingly detach ourselves.

Mirus Gallery is a dynamic exhibition space established by entrepreneur, Paul Hemming. The gallery features a program of contemporary artwork by emerging and mid-career artists in both solo and thematically organized group shows. Mirus Gallery highlights work that emphasizes skill and process and aims to engage viewers on a sentient, emotional and evocative level.

In 2013, the initiation of an artist-in-residency program will pursue the gallery’s values of
community and collaboration by providing a live-in/on-site studio space for artists to make and exhibit work in a supportive environment, conducive to creativity.

Steve Budington "Lines of Vision Re-Drawn"

Mirus Gallery is pleased to present Lines of Vision Re-Drawn, an exhibition of new work by Steve Budington. The show, which marks the artist’s first solo exhibition at Mirus, examines correlations among painting, image-making, and the human body as an interface between culture and the environment.

Lines of Vision Re-Drawn will showcase the artist’s newest body of work, including new paintings, drawings, and prints. Expanding upon his previous work, Budington takes the human body, landscape, and technology as points of departure to re-draw viewers’ lines of vision by emphasizing the tactility of the world around us. In his system of visual synesthesia the artist uses the painting’s surface as an equivalent to skin, fashion, landscape surfaces, and technological surfaces to ask such questions as: What happens when humans evolve at the rate of culture? How do they compensate? What do they become?

In responding to these questions, the artist’s work explores a vast array of issues and ideas originating in the sciences, history, and art, from neuroscience and sensory theory to classical anatomical geometry vis-à-vis Da Vinci and contemporary anatomical imaging. Here, skin, sense organs, and psychedelic optical illusions become metaphors for human existence and consciousness. Illustrating that we are not just bodies of organs, blood, and bones, but bodies of cultural and illusionary senses that dictate our tastes and aversions, Budington paints, draws, and records our ongoing evolution as we transform and adapt to our ever-shifting environments.

Explaining how a painting can evoke a sense of this evolution, Budington states:

My paintings and other works are invested in the project of ‘making sense.’ My aim is not to provide literal answers to these questions but to respond to them with physically realized forms that reflect on the more inchoate, psychic, and difficult-to-describe qualities of being a human, in a culture, with a body.

Steve Budington (b. 1978) received his M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art in 2004 and his B.F.A. in Painting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2000. In addition to group shows at artMRKT, SF, and the Mirus Gallery, Budington’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in New York, at Exit Art, the Misc. Gallery, and the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs; in Austria, at Schrattenberg’s “Hotel Pupik”; and in Italy, at the Fondazione Ambrosetti Arte Contemporanea. His work has been reviewed and featured in local, national, and internationally recognized publications such as Frieze Magazine, New American Paintings, and Art in America. The artist lives in Vermont, where he is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Vermont.

Mirus Gallery is a dynamic exhibition space established by entrepreneur Paul Hemming. The gallery features a program of contemporary artwork by emerging and mid-career artists in both solo and thematically organized group shows. Mirus Gallery highlights work that emphasizes skill and process and aims to engage viewers on a sentient, emotional, and evocative level.

In 2013, the initiation of an artist-in-residency program will pursue the gallery’s values of community and collaboration by providing a live-in/on-site studio space for artists to make and exhibit work in a supportive environment, conducive to creativity.

Mirus Gallery
540 Howard Street
San Francisco (CA) 94105 United States
Tel. +1 (415) 5433440

Opening hours
Tuesday – Saturday
From 10am to 6pm

March 2013

516 Arts - Flatlanders & Surface Dwellers

Flatlanders & Surface Dwellers is a group exhibition featuring diverse visual art media that explore the intimate and exotic realm of surface texture which evokes visceral, multi-sensory responses. Throughout the history of art making, the artist’s relationship with surface has been a serious consideration. Renaissance artists, striving for illusion, expected the viewer to ignore the surface. Modernists embraced the surface and made it a primary consideration.

We Heart - Sugar and Spice

Welcome to the bonkers Wonka world of Allison Renshaw, who is currently exhibiting a collection of work under the umbrella title Better Than Candy which shares the sweet, sickly and sharp flavours and vivid colours found in the factory of Dahl’s homicidal eccentric. Her mixed-media creations are a bit like a packet of Dolly Mixtures that have been left in the glove compartment all summer, incongruous ingredients fusing together to form chaotic clustered bon-bons.

Folio Weekly - Hope Amid the Ruins

Through a colorful rendition of a dark reality, Sarah Emerson became an expert on a place she’s never been. Emerson’s mural installation, based on her imaginary interpretation of Japan’s suicide forest Aokigahara, is on display at the Haskell Atrium Gallery in the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. Her “Underland” is a continuation of a series of paintings she’s created based on her imaginings of the forest.

SF Examiner - Allison Renshaw's Colorful Collages Put Sweetness in Chaos

Beautiful, colorful fragments inspired by modern living and nature compose abstract collages and mixed-media pieces by Allison Renshaw in the exhibition “Better than Candy.” On view at Mirus Gallery (in the South of Market space’s first solo exhibit since it opened in November), the show includes about 20 works made in the past four years, from small untitled collages with white and neon backgrounds to massive, chaotic paintings like “Fever.”

Examiner - Weekend picks for March 7th -10th

Chaotic fragments of color and texture define their own internal rhythm in the mixed-media images of Southern California artist Allison Renshaw. Her first Bay Area solo show, "Better Than Candy," features her recent work on a theme of convergence. As in our day-to-day reality, genres, cultures and styles collide, and new stories emerge.

SF Gate - Bay Area Weekend Picks, March 7-10

Chaotic fragments of color and texture define their own internal rhythm in the mixed-media images of Southern California artist Allison Renshaw. Her first Bay Area solo show, "Better Than Candy," features her recent work on a theme of convergence. As in our day-to-day reality, genres, cultures and styles collide, and new stories emerge.

Juxtapoz - Issue Preview: April 2013 w/ Ralph Steadman, Erik Parker, Parra, and Hunter S. Thomson

Yes, it was a quick month (no Leap Year here), and we are here again to announce another new issue of Juxtapoz. In our April 2013 issue, we are proud to feature legendary fine artist Ralph Steadman and his longtime collaborations with friend Hunter S. Thompson. With contributions from former Rolling Stone editor, Ben Fong-Torres, X-Files creator Chris Carter, and Jux writer Nathan Spoor, we are proud to help usher in a year of celebrating one of the most iconic artists of our times, Mr Ralph Steadman.
The April issue also features:
Jaime Brett Treadwell and the new Pop Surrealism

San Francisco Bay Guardian - Happy Women's History Month, dammit let's celebrate

Mirus Gallery is in the final days of “The Looking Glass: Refraction Through the Female Gaze”, in which 17 female artists interpret the female form, messing with the art world's standard depictions of woman as vessel for whatever the hell conceit the painter/illustrator/sculptor is trying to get across. Kimberly Brooks, Rachel Walker, Mercedes Helnwein, Claire Pestaille, and Casey O'Connell all have pieces in the show.

February 2013

Encinitas Patch - Locals Only: Allison Renshaw

It’s easy to feel sensory overload in a tech-savvy, pop culture-heavy world that inundates us with a wealth of information and experiences. That chaos is given vivid life in Allison Renshaw’s art. The local artist creates mixed-media works with acrylics, oils, spray paint, and collage, with the content combining the natural landscape, urban elements, fashion, and architecture.

Hi Fructose - Preview: Allison Renshaw’s “Better than Candy” at Mirus Gallery

Southern California-based artist Allison Renshaw will open a solo show titled “Better than Candy” at San Francisco’s Mirus Gallery on March 9. Mixing collage with painting, Renshaw’s artworks take explosive forms with material sourced from fashion and surfer magazines, classic cartoons and early 20th-century abstract painting spinning in galactic orbits. “Currently, I am attracted to how different ‘histories’ of painting can co-exist in a single image: hard-edge, Abstract Expressionism, figurative and street art,” said Renshaw. “I am really interested in how different cultures collide and how this reflects our current environment. My work is formed of particles of the urban landscape and our everyday culture.” Take a look at our preview of “Better than Candy,” images courtesy of Mirus Gallery, and check out the show March 9-April 6.

Galerie Roccia - Alexandra Levasseur

Over the past few weeks, Alexandra Levasseur has been holed up in her studio to prepare for her next exhibition. She’ll present her first solo showing at the gallery in June 2013. Needless to say we are utterly thrilled! But just for the pleasure of it, we offer you a sneak peek. She put the finishing touches to this work… today!!!

Hi Fructose - Opening Night: “The Looking Glass” at Mirus Gallery

Last weekend, San Francisco’s Mirus Gallery opened their group show, “The Looking Glass: Refraction through the Female Gaze.” Focused on female painters who create figurative works featuring primarily female subjects, the show demonstrated a diverse array of perspectives on the portrayal of femininity in the art world. Stand-out pieces included Alexandra Levasseur’s mixed-media works that reflect wintertime solitude and Sandra Chevrier’s colorful, expressive portraits. The complete roster of artists includes Kimberly Brooks, Sandra Chevrier, Naja Conrad-Hansen, Mercedes Helnwein, Alexandra Levasseur, Jen Mann, Sari Maxfield, Alyssa Monks, Jennifer Nehrbass, Casey O’Connell, Claire Pestaille, Rachel Walker, Janelle Wisehart and Christine Wu. Take a look at our exclusive opening night photos below and check out the show before it closes on March 2.

Huffington Post- The Looking Glass: Refraction Through The Female Gaze' Comes To San Francisco's Mirus Gallery

Who knows how to portray the female form better than a renowned group of female artists?

For the next three weeks, SoMa's new Mirus Gallery will attempt to answer that question with its third exhibit, "The Looking Glass: Refracton Through the Female Gaze." The group show, featuring works by Sandra Chevrier, Naja Conrad-Hansen, Mercedes Helnwein, Alexandra Levasseur, Kimberly Brooks and more, showcases women's bodies through a variety of unexpected mediums.

But don't expect a bundle of dainty flowers.

"The artists featured in the The Looking Glass challenge the preconceived notion that the female form in art represents a sense of delicacy and untouchable beauty," a statement announcing the exhibit explains. "Creating a new discourse and exploring the woman's role in artistic context, The Looking Glass is a celebration of the female form that ultimately transcends objectification."

Take a look at some of the pieces featured below, and be sure to stop by Mirus Gallery before Saturday, March 2 to view the stunning collection in person.

Hi Fructose- Preview: “The Looking Glass” Group Show at Mirus Gallery

While the percentage of female subjects depicted by male artists is disproportionately high in art history, Mirus Gallery aims to subvert the ever-present male gaze in Western art for the next exhibition, “The Looking Glass: Refraction through the Female Gaze.” Opening February 9, this group exhibition features female painters who depict female subjects in their work. The line-up of exhibiting artists include Kimberly Brooks, Sandra Chevrier, Naja Conrad-Hansen, Mercedes Helnwein, Alexandra Levasseur, Jen Mann, Sari Maxfield, Alyssa Monks, Jennifer Nehrbass, Casey O’Connell, Claire Pestaille, Rachel Walker, Janelle Wisehart and Christine Wu. Rather than portraying the female form as merely delicate or seductive, these artists challenge the norms of depicting the female body, using portraits of the so-called fairer sex to explore both cultural and personal themes. Take a look at our preview of “The Looking Glass,” images courtesy of Mirus Gallery.

Artists' Breakfast Group- Sari Maxfield
ArtistADay- Jaime Brett Treadwell

Jaime Treadwell was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia. Treadwell completed his formal art education at the State University of New York at Cortland, and went on to earn his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Treadwell’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad including New York, Miami, Boston, South Korea, Vancouver, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Publications and reviews include New American Paintings, Direct Art Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Times, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper, and Saatchi Online TV Magazine. Jaime Treadwell lives and works in Philadelphia where he is a full-time Assistant Professor of Art at Delaware County Community College.

Jaime describes his work by saying, “I am intrigued by my social surroundings ranging from small neighborhood cultural identities to grander differences among rural, urban, and suburban life. I find pleasure merging conflicting imagery, design, and color. I often use vivid cheerful colors to masquerade or obscure the realities within my paintings. Recent paintings suggest gypsy-like carnival communities isolated from others, prepared to travel, re-settle, and re-create their own versions of utopia. I fuse imagery from various time periods and cultures to construct a communal habitat for religious icons, fairies, cherubs, nymphs, dancers, and prostitutes that appear to live in a world of harmony”.

January 2013

Blue Canvas Interviews Jaime Treadwell

Jaime Brett Treadwell was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia. He completed his formal art education at the State University of New York at Cortland, and went on to earn his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Treadwell’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, including New York, Miami, Boston, South Korea, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Chicago. Publications and reviews include Juxtapoz books, JPeople magazine, Who’s Jack magazine, New American Paintings, Direct Art magazine, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Miami New Times. Treadwell lives and works in Philadelphia, where he is a fulltime assistant professor of art at Delaware County Community College.

It is difficult not to see your work as a commentary on contemporary American kitsch. Would you say your work is explicitly about this or are there other themes at play?

American kitsch is definitely a consistent major theme throughout my work. I use American kitsch as a vehicle to touch on various themes.  My work tends to become visually overstimulating, incorporating multiple elements such as religion, high art, low art, historical art, contemporary art, ideal beauty, sex, sexuality, gender roles, and social identity, among other things.  I like to dig around these issues and playfully experiment by merging abnormal relationships.  Recently I have been incorporating these ideas into pop-up or tent city–like communities.  I imagine a subculture evolving from various American cultures where lowbrow and highbrow appear to exist as one.  To achieve this, for example, I sometimes place a religious fi gure or a Greek statue on top of a camper or mobile home.  Although these types of shrines, by way of lawn ornaments and such, exist throughout America, I enjoy taking it a step or two further.  Americans have the freedom to display what is important to their identities, and I am fascinated to see how humans go about showcasing what defines them.

Many of your pieces depict towers of people, trailers, and various objects assembled like neon monuments on a black void. Can you explain the reasoning behind your aesthetic choices here?

I usually find myself painting two-dimensional versions of a sculptural assemblage of “found objects” that can also be used as a livable habitat for carnival or gypsylike communities.  Each element of the assemblage is a deliberate decision both formally and conceptually.  I find myself adding, changing, and adding again, to the point where I often put myself in a problematic situation with regard to composition and concept.  Most of my decisions are not predetermined, but in the end everything must work together like a well-oiled machine. I was once told by the artist Pepon Osorio in graduate school that “when you have a perfect marriage of form and concept, you have success." Since that point, I have been attempting to meet those standards within each painting.  In This Place Does Not Exist, I used the TransAm phoenix symbol for what it represents.  When I was younger, this symbol represented everything that was cool, awesome, and darkly mysterious. The image of the Trans-Am exuded unapologetic beauty, sex, and power. However, symbols can change meaning over time. One group of people may now view it as proudly showcasing masculine freedom, whereas another group views it as trashy, ostentatious, and embarrassing.  These different points of view are what I enjoy mixing together.  I love the dichotomy between meanings of imagery or symbols. When I am painting, I have the most fun when I can transcend the perceived limits of imagery and meaning into one glorious happy homogeneous place. I get a sense of personal victory if I can pull that off.

Do you think teaching art to others has infl uenced your work in any way?

Absolutely… I have not taught painting very much, which may sound odd being that I am a painter. I teach mostly drawing, color and design, and 3-D design. I now realize that teaching, researching, and working with those three courses has defi nitely made me a better painter. I try to include more in my paintings than just the conversation of painting relating only to its history. Good painting, good photography, good sculpture, or just good art is all the same thing to me. I think art is more successful when it moves beyond the discipline and relates to much more.   I believe that teaching subjects like 3-D design has helped me to consider more than just issues in painting.

What is the art scene like in Philly right now?

I think the Philly art scene is doing pretty good. We definitely have an abundance of artists, youth, and energy; however, the support from contemporary collectors is another story. I don’t think we compare to NYC and LA in that regard, but times are changing and I see more and more interest. There have been various articles about Philadelphia being the sixth borough of New York City. I have met several “creatives” who have moved down here from NYC because it is a happening and aff ordable city to live in, and is still close to NYC. We also have amazing art schools here that pump out very talented MFA graduates each year. I also have met a few graduates from other blue-chip programs, such as RISD and Yale, who have decided to reside here. We have the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Vox Populi Gallery, the Artblog, and so many more amazing establishments for the arts. Philadelphia is becoming a hot spot…

December 2012

Hi-Fructose - Opening Night: “Escape Velocity” Group Show at Mirus Gallery

San Francisco’s Mirus Gallery opened a new show last Saturday titled “Escape Velocity” (previewed here). Titled after a physical concept that describes matter traveling at a speed fast enough to escape the Earth’s gravitational pull, the show featured some cutting-edge abstract artworks that give a taste of what’s to come at the new gallery for the coming year. The participating artists approach abstraction in numerous ways, from works that seem to throttle through space with dynamic motion to contemplative studies of quiet scenes.

Hi-Fructose - Preview: “Escape Velocity” at Mirus Gallery

This Saturday, the new San Francisco space Mirus Gallery (where we last saw the spectacular group show “Crucible” featuring Mars-1, Oliver Vernon, NoMe Edonna, David Choong Lee and Damon Soule) will open another group show, “Escape Velocity,” featuring a wide array of artists working in innovative modes of abstraction. From highly distorted figurative works to refined linework and forms that appear to hurl through space, the show presents an eclectic array of styles and gives a taste of what’s to come for the gallery. The complete line-up includes: Tom Berenz, Steve Budington, John Deardourff, Joshua Dildine, Michael Dotosn, Julian Duron, Mattiahs Duwel, Sarah Emerson, Clark Goolsby, Daniel Healey, Dean Monogenis, Kenji Nakayama & Dana Woulfe, Pepa Prieto, Allison Renshaw, James Roper, Jaime Treadwell and Bas Zoonjens.

Juxtapoz: Clark Goolsby @ Mirus Gallery, SF

NYC-based Clark Goolsby has a big-ass spread in our January 2013 issue (that was fun to write). Just in time, Goolsby will have a few new pieces in a group show at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco, that opens Saturday, December 15. The second show at Mirus, Escape Velocity will feature works that are surreal, abstract, philosophical, but also feature figurative, familiar shapes and personas.

Along with Goolsby, James Roper, Kenji Nakayama, Jaime Treadwell and other great selections will be in Escape Velocity. Definitely worth a stop-through.

November 2012

SFStation: Spectrum

The foundation, vision, and future of Mirus Gallery through Paul's own words in a great interview by SFStation's arts & culture blog...

Paul Hemming is a nightclub owner, DJ, record producer and restaurateur who most recently has been working on a new venture—an art gallery, Mirus, recently opened in the SoMA that features the work of emerging and established artists and aims to foster a spirit of collaboration.

When did you first get the idea to open up the art gallery?

I got the idea three years ago and it’s taken three years of planning. We’ve remodeled the entire building.

When did you start collecting art? What made you want to collect contemporary art?

I’ve been collecting art for 10 years. These artists, I’ve had personal relationships with for 10 years, some longer than others. Damon actually did a commission for my record store—I have a record store over on Valencia called Zen City Records—and he did a piece for me in 2001. Through him I met a lot of these other guys.

I like art that speaks to me instantaneously. With this art [that I've chosen for the first exhibition Crucible] there are so many levels and dimensions that it truly is contemplative and contains elements of many past art forms—realism, surrealism, abstractionism.

Tell me a little about the artist-in-residency program set to launch in 2013.

Beginning in 2013, we are going to fly them in and put them up and clothe them and feed them while they work on a body of work and then promote them. Finding upcoming artists is something I’m really passionate about.

How did you come up with the name Mirus Gallery?

I was searching endlessly for a name that could embody the work. I wasn’t interested in putting my own name, but I didn’t need that. I wanted something that reflected the art so I thought, how could I describe the work? I came across Mirus which is Latin for astonishing and strange—it had a nice ring to it, and it just kinda struck me.

You are know for your sustainable business practices—how will these be applied to the new art gallery?

I’m going to be curating certain shows that are going to be built around reclaimed items. I love when you have those artists that basically just go around gathering trash—one man’s trash is another man’s treasure—putting that together and composing it into art.

Do you have any future shows planned?

Escape Velocity—the speed which you need to reach to escape the gravitational pull of the planet. That’s just a metaphor for the work. The work to me from these artists is really that next level, almost other worldly, powerful kind of style–there’s 15 to 20 different artists but what ties them together…there is a cohesive thread through the style of work.

And how does the opening of Mirus fit in with your overall creative vision?

This is the jewel on top of all of these things because I love to inspire people and I love to be inspired and to be able to share that passion with people. You can tell people are really moved. Some people will walk by and not really register it and others will walk by and ask what is this.

I truly believe in these guys–maybe in five years or 10 years or 20 years–people will look back and recognize what these guys are doing. Reviews "Crucible" Opening

Mirus Gallery: Crucible - Collaborative Works by Damon Soule, David Choong Lee, Mars-1, NoMe Edonna and Oliver Vernon.

Review by RWM: Wild. Freeform. Collaborative works still in motion. Grab onto something before you do fall into these paintings which display a life of their own. Cool but disconcerting for those who are looking for connections been the disparate parts. Fervent.

Comment by AB: The "Convergence" and "Further" artists are at it again, inviting us to bask in their dynamic utopian wonderlands, visions so uplifting and sumptuous, you just want to dive right in (for those of you playing the home version, "Convergence" and "Further" are the two books that survey the collaborative works of these five artists). The future doesn't always have to be apocalyptic, foreboding, violent and degenerate, does it? Lord knows we have way more than enough art about that. Positivity and potentiality beat gloom & doom any day of the week-- as they certainly do here. So come on down, leave life's travails at the door and glimpse the promised land. Well worth a visit.

Arrested Motion Reviews "Crucible"

Mirus Gallery, an exhibition space in downtown San Francisco founded and established by art collector/entrepreneur Paul Hemming, opens with a group show consisting of collaborative and individually created works by a dynamic collection of artists (that are also long-time friends), including Damon Soule, David Choong Lee, Mars-1, NoMe Edonna, and Oliver Vernon. The kinetic works in the exhibition burst with energy and sharp colors and represent the fine technical skill and expressive cosmic imagination of each artist. Check out some of the pieces in the show here and make it to the gallery to see the monumental pieces for yourself.

Hi-Fructose - Mars-1, David Choong Lee, Oliver Vernon, Damon Soule and NoMe Edonna at Mirus Gallery

Last Saturday, the new San Francisco art space Mirus Gallery opened its inaugural show, “Crucible,” a collection of collaborative and individual works by Mars-1, David Choong Lee, Oliver Vernon, Damon Soule and NoMe Edonna. Impressive, mural-scale paintings spanned entire walls, swallowing the viewers with their dazzling patterns and psychedelic forms. The three center-pieces of the show were created at Burning Man when gallery owner Paul Hemming invited the artists to paint live at the festival for its past three iterations. Smaller-scale individual works surrounded the large pieces, demonstrating each artist’s distinct hallucinatory visions.

October 2012

Hi-Fructose - Preview: Mars-1, David Choong Lee, Oliver Vernon, Damon Soule and NoMe Edonna at Mirus Gallery

Each working with a different mode of psychedelic painting, members of the art collective Furtherrr strive to create harmony within their individual paintings and with one another in their collaborative process. Mars-1, David Choong Lee, Oliver Vernon, Damon Soule and NoMe Edonna, all long-time friends that comprise the collective, will open a group show at the new San Francisco art space, Mirus Gallery. Opening on November 10, “Crucible” will showcase the artists’ individual works as well as impressive, large-scale collaborative canvases (the centerpiece of the show spans 7 x 16 feet). Full of abstract imagery, the works in the show appear full of fluid motion, reigning chaotic elements into a standstill.