Reception Nov 14th 6 – 10 pm
November 14th – December 16th
FOOD: El Tonayense Taco Truck
BEER: Magnolia Brewing
The Great Highway Gallery in the Outer Sunset is please to present:
The paintings of:
Alex Schaffer Czech
Aleks “Petro” Petrovitch growing up in the San Juan Islands and Hawaii stumbled upon many icons and symbols of a different time. His paintings lead us through an emotional journey of tradition, high seas, stormy weather, passion and courage. Aleks received his Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from the University of Hawaii, and his Masters of Illustration from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. An accomplished artist and illustrator, his work may be seen in San Francisco Bay area museums and galleries. He is perhaps best known for his colorful creations designed to educate children about nature, such as the best-selling and award-winning Redwood and Lighthouse Stacking Block sets produced for the Golden Gate National Parks Association, and the children’s board books based on them. Co-author with David Brower on the children’s book Reading the Earth, currently he is working on a new book, and on various things at Aqua Surf shop on Sloat street.
Alex Schaffer Czech
Water, in all of its forms, is one of the balancing life forces for all living things. Of these forms of water, it is the liquid state that has influenced my life more than any. Being a fisherman and wave rider, I have spent an infinite number of hours staring at the ocean, lakes, streams, which later led to looking at puddles and unnatural bodies of water. The surface of water can be activated and influenced by so many different forces causing to be a continuous canvas of change. As the sun slides across the horizon in its path of rejuvenation and life dispensing forces, its light travels through an ever-changing atmosphere to finally arrive upon a kinetic landscape. As light reaches its destination, it penetrates the molecular movement, and forms a dance hall of color and rhythm. Every moment of time projects a new face that is never similar to the last. In my artwork I work to communicate this natural phenomenon. I reference my feelings that I felt with my experiences of the past like sitting on my board staring at the vast Pacific Ocean in Rapa Nui. Other experiences like fishing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca as the gray sky blanketed the blackened emerald green water for days at a time, move me to share these powerful meditative experiences. I do not attempt to create realistic snap shots of these events. Only painted remembered heart poundings and imaginative movements of color can attempt to duplicate that which can never be duplicated.
This is not an artist’s statement, it’s an artist’s confession. I’ve painted too many waves. They’ve grown old. Not the waves themselves, the act of painting them and the feeling that no matter how I treat them they contribute little in any meaningful sense to our collective conversation about them. Maybe that’s OK, they’re just waves. But what’s a wave after all? Nature is full of them: light, sound, music, heartbeats, breathing, tides, seasons, labor pains, birth, life, death, and back again, all built on the perfect mathematical backbone of Sine wave forms. Each of these we experience profoundly, yet passively, with the exception of the most obvious wave of all, the ones that move in water. Only these are scaled for our full bodied enjoyment. No other wave can be ridden the same way, no other can propel us along with its own energy as our bodies glide, tumble or get dragged along by this movement of water. It’s ridiculous. After a bit of thought they are no longer old or tired subject matter, they are the ultimate summation of existence. If it took looking at waves without looking at them in the ocean to fully appreciate them, I thought a series of paintings where the subject of each was a wave without revealing the wave itself would be appropriate. The Insinuation Series is an experiment attempting to convey the presence of waves without revealing them directly, but rather only suggesting, or insinuating, their presence by subtle clues of light, shadow and their effects on the water preceding them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.