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Dibujo Jam at the Casa Presa

18 May

Outside the street is a dead end, killed by a fence closing train tracks on the other side. Parked bicycles fill the front yard of the old-looking eclectic building. Pay thirty pesos argentinos (a few dollars equivalent) at the door of the house and in the next room a bearded man sits nude under a spotlight on a couch with legs crossed and holding an invisible ice-cream cone to his forehead.

The place is Casa Presa, a communal living space a little off the ritzier neighborhood of Belgrano in northern Buenos Aires not far from a warehouse or studio equivalent in Echo Park or Silverlake. The event is held monthly, called Dibujo Jam. In the corner a standup bassist and a drummer improvise abstract jazz.

In the other room a dark-skinned girl holding her head of black hair back and making an imaginary letter in the air with her arms in front of a wall of artist prints. Both spaces are filled by a crowd of people observing silently, drawing and nodding their heads back and forth from paper to subject while a dog wanders sniffing around jealous for attention.

The price of entry pays the models who hold the contorted, daring, and seemingly uncomfortable nude poses for five to ten minutes at a time in a few sessions of about 40 minutes. Then walk through the photo-covered hallway by the line to the bathroom to get to the backyard where a bar serves reasonably cheap beer, wine and fernetcolas and makes pizzas.

Outside in the yard odd tables and chairs sprawl on the lawn, Christmas lights dimly light the space, murals and paintings cover the surrounding. A couple guys hit a steel drum making UFO noises while glasses are tipped and joints passed.

The drawing jam ends and people graze around inside to get a better look at the art and people come out for another beer and a smoke and stick around till the wee hours, finish the booze, pass around some guitars, play some songs, and we take off back to the other side of the city satisfied and well inebriated.

It makes me think, more kids should be doing this in the States. There must be someone doing it somewhere but in my years of hanging out in the Bay Area and LA DIY scene I have yet to witness it outside of University art programs.

Perhaps it`s the idea of standing in the same room as a naked peer that could raise issues. I know laws prohibit bars in LA and SF from showing complete nudity in the same place you serve alcohol, but here we’re not talking about a stripclub, the crowd was young eclectic and eccentric and there was relaxed concentration.

The human body should be appreciated more often in this way outside the classroom and in a relaxed atmosphere. The west coast boasts some of the most open sexual liberty in the world and nude modeling is hardly explicitly sexual. In the live model setting the human body takes another role as an anatomical form to study.

It’s not just for those who draw. I can find it parallelable to those hip house poetry readings slash parties we had around in Berkeley except that it involves the audience in an opposite way. The performance becomes the subject of the crowd’s doings and not the other way around. It’s like everybody is writing poetry where the model is a muse for the audience to create.

I didn’t go with the intention of drawing but the band and the wine put up a good mood. It’s that the live sketch creates something that photographs can’t capture. It raises questions about the difference between a shutter and the eyes, between snapping a moment with a camera and capturing it with your eyes, your hands, and a piece of paper.

Check out Jam de Dibujo at

and Casa Presa at



5 Oct

This may be the event we’ve put most heart into. Rather, it certainly is. It’s happening October 13th and 14th. This mindblower is thrown to the cause of artist Maren Preson’s art-adventure to Buenos Aires, Argentina. If the event turns out to be as swell as we anticipate, the ARTMUSIC CLUSTERFUCK may be an idea to be repeated in the future. To art and all else that is healthily thought-altering.

Enjoy the awesome flyers. The first flyer was drawn by the hand of Maren Preston and then worked on digitally by Daniele Violi.

The second flyer was made by the awesome Sean Vranizan.


Here’s the weekend program:


=============THE PARTY===========

HARDWOOD STUDIOS is hosting an epic fundraiser on October 13th and 14th for artist Maren Preston’s art residency opportunity in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in March of 2013.

We’re calling it ARGENTINA OR BUST, because we’re helping her get there with all our moral support (and some monetary support).

$4-10 Donations will be accepted at the door, if you wish to support the cause of art and music be generous! We’ll still let you in if you’re broke (because we’re that cool and we know that you’re poor as well) just try to bring a couple bucks.

=============THE GALLERY==========

The gallery opens Saturday October 13th at noon till midnight and will also be open Sunday October 14th from noon till about 8pm.

Art will be on display and some will be on SALE with proceeds to the artist. There will be prints, photos, paintings and other art by:

Sean Vranizan:
Elizabeth Hibbard
Maren Preston:
Daniele Violi
Amanda Pence Hopkins
Vivian Fu:
Katie Barretta:
Emily Lalande

Some stuff will be really cheap (like prints and t-shirts) so rack up the change from the couch and you’ll likely go home with something awesome.


Some projections will be held throughout the day, by:

Marina Fini
Jeff Sleeper
Ryan Tekulve


There will also be a MUMMIFIED CAT and a RACCOON UTERUS exhibit, SALVADOR DALI will be there in person, in all the glory of his late mustache phase, to assist in the mind blowing. Pay $3 to see the CAT and RACCOON and you will receive a free drink.

=============THE MUSIC==========

Music will be playing throughout the day. The schedule and description is subject to change, but more or less here goes:

Two Pretty Girls
Kelsey Lynd


Whiskey Pageant


Nouveau Abstruse
Tesla’s Eyeball (MUSIC AND VIDEOART)



Penis Envy
Raijan Fujin


Hardwood Studios
816 27th Avenue
94601 Oakland CA

$4-10 DONATIONS at the DOOR

Contact us at:


The Angry Ex-Girl

31 May

The angry ex-girlfriend series has seemed to spark some questions amongst some people so I’ll make a statement.  It’s an image of an ex-girlfriend who will remain unnamed. It’s a particularly underexposed photo of her nude body holding a sassy pose. I’ve made several pieces using this image. For me these pieces present the depersonification of a mental image, the objectification of a memory. It’s a detachment from reality. These pieces are not a person, but a depiction of a nude woman’s body.

These are the first two pieces I did with the photo. For the first one I used blue paper with red-tinted PVA glue, for the second I used red paper with blue-tinted PVA glue. On cardboard. At a certain point the printer ran out of ink, as you can see on the bottom right of the left one.

These three are images framed behind glass. I first printed them out black and white then ran them through the printer again to add the color.

This is my latest. It’s a larger version of the poster on wood. Printed out at the local Office Max. Done with PVA glue, red tint, and house paint. The pic is a little overexposed.

Manship Makes Rats

29 May

Today I’ll post a piece done here on the warehouse walls by the lovely and solar Maren Preston. She’s an artist and student over at UC Santa Cruz. We met for the first time at a party where she tattooed my head, the good ol’ stick-and-poke way. I tend to concede much to interesting strangers.

She works with a variety of mediums on canvases, wood, found items, and from what I understand anything she can get her hands on. I hear she’s fiddling with sculpture lately. I can’t say too much about her art because I’ve only seen it through pictures. I know her art was recently featured at the Leeds Gallery on Locust Street in Santa Cruz. I regret missing it. I’ll post a link to some of her stuff when I get one.

This is a piece she painted on the warehouse walls a few weeks ago with some old house paint, India Ink, and a toothbrush. It was a spontaneous decision to paint, as was the choice of subject. The expression on the face and the features of the ship are grieving and crying. They feel like the mediums look — dripping down the wall undisturbed. Misery plagues the Maship’s eye. But the rats crawl happily out from the piece, polluting the air like smoke pluming out of an industrious smokestack or locomotive. The rats give purpose to the struggle of the manship and its idol sailor.


Don’t mind the piece on canvas above it.