• What can I say about Brian other than I feel like he's a long lost brother. Growing up in the late '70s through the '80s, I knew lots of people that ran in his circles, but we never met until he showed up at Tourmaline in his flat black Model A hot rod with a '30s inspired kookbox board strapped to the windshield and roll bar. He's wanted all over the planet - San Clemente, San Diego, Paris, Biarritz, Japan to name a few - and he and his amazing art and music can be found all over the internet. Here, here, and here are but a few of his many outposts along the Information SuperHighway.

  • Photo by Clo Vanesco

    Dan Kramer (1942-2010) lived a life for the ages. Born and raised in the French speaking town of Lausanne, Switzerland, by his early twenties Dan had achieved an advanced degree in photography, and thanks to his impeccable eye and typically Swiss attention to detail, he soon had a bustling studio business.

    One day Dan’s impeccable eye landed on Parisian actress/artist/model/singer/socialite Clo Vanesco, who would quickly become his muse, and with her young son Laurent, the three departed on a VW bus voyage across Europe, then througout the Greek islands via sailboat, and finally to Paris for the triumphant creation of KV Studio and exciting new chapters in their acclaimed careers.

    Their sphere of influence included such renowned names in the art world as Aimé Maeght, Samuel Josefowitz, François Fiedler, Raymond Moretti, César Baldaccini, Baldwin and Guggisberg, and Albert György, to name but a few. They relocated to San Diego in the late ‘90s, bringing some much needed Parisian flavor to San Diego’s art scene.

    Though Dan and Clo are no longer with us in body, their spirits live on in the lives of those they touched. Their story truly deserves a feature length film, so hopefully this exhibition will give you a brief glimpse of life as seen through their eyes.

    To honor one of Dan's last wishes, those of us who knew him well are organizing a group exhibition of artists that he admired and worked with throughout his life. We will be showcasing his photography as well as works by Clo Vanesco, Parisian non-figurative painter François Fiedler, Hungarian scluptor Albert György, painting and sculpture by San Diego's Carolee Bodie-Williams, pen and ink works by Katherine Brannock, photography by Laurent Kramer, painting and sculpture by Linda Litteral, photos by Sean McMullen, mixed media works by Glen Gorham, and photos by yours truly.

    The exhibition will open on the 5th anniversary of his passing, Thursday evening, 7pm-10pm, March 26th, at Turquoise Cellars, 5026 Cass Street, in Pacific Beach. The art works will remain on display throughout the month of April. Scroll to the bottom for map and directions.

    View the flyer for the show in PDF here.

    Here are some images of the artists and examples of their works (though not necessarily the exact works that will be in the show): 

    March 26th, 2015:

    I just found this wonderful article entitled "The Artist is the Creator of Beautiful Things" that really sums up my view of the role of art in our lives. The main theme is that life imitates art, rather than the other way around. In other words, art sets the tone for our lives, and is therefor perhaps the single most important of all human endeavors.

    Forest Night Full of Stars by Joey Clark

    This map shows the location of Turquoise Cellars. Click the map for larger view:

  • When it comes to artistic sound and vision Mr. Ryan is truly a Jack of all trades, and quite the lady killer and wave killer to boot. Check out some of his Humble Goods.

  • Seeing left brain precision and right brain imagination come together like this is a rare, rare thing indeed, and not to be missed. Hats off to Miss Kathy for letting us inside her wild and wonderful inner world.

  • Mele is a throwback. Growing up in San Diego in the '80s, there was no shortage of beautiful young women with loads of style. Mele melds her own distinctive style with amazing artistic ability, topping it all off with cat-like athleticism and a palpable love of sliding waves. Well done, Mele!

  • Flapper will gladly tell you every single detail about every work of art he's ever made - whether you're prepared to hear it or not - and the sideburns and the 'stache and the spaghetti western demeanor will win you over all over again, and before you know it it's well past sundown, and you can't remember where you tied your horse. Cherish those who move with such fervor through this world, they are a rare breed indeed.

  • Katherine Brannock in La Jolla

    If you don't own any artworks by Katherine Brannock, you may want to buy an original while they're still within your grasp - or at least a signed and framed print. Put it on the wall, sit back, and let your mind go wherever her incredible imagination and boundless talent takes you. Try to decipher what was going through her mind during each drawing session. Was there one continual flow of inspiration based on a preconceived concept, or did the composition take new twists and turns at each sitting?

    There is a quantitative brilliance to a highly evolved technique such as Kathy's. Her best works come to life with grace, intrigue, and nuance as she wills them into existence with her dashing left hand. I know for a fact that she puts many, many hours into her art, and it shows. The results truly reflect what Mark Passio so clearly and simply defines as 'wisdom' in this video - namely, that it is the synthesis of intelligence1 and action.

    Little has been put in writing about what fuels Kathy's amazing abilities, an intelligence honed by a highly inquisitive mind and countless hours of reading, study, and practice at her craft. She draws from a deep well of knowledge of a diverse range of subjects, including ancient history, mythology, symbolism, the mathematics of attraction (fibonacci, golden ratio, so on), and the science of color theory, to name but a few. The interviews I've seen with her have (unfortunately) largely overlooked these deeper influences, and have really missed out on a golden opportunity to bring the reader inside Kathy's world and explore what makes her tick. Perhaps yours truly will pick up that ball and run with it soon.

    Regardless of subject matter, I am always engaged by art this technically brilliant. I see dedication to one's craft as essential to any true work of art. One could argue that Pollock had technical brilliance. I think that's an affront to true talent, but hey, that's just me. For an excellent exposé on this topic, watch this thought provoking 30 minute video, and be sure to support Jan Irvin's excellent website here (there is some penetrating discourse on the topic in the comments section once you have logged in).

    Kathy recently finished a nearly two year apprenticeship at Guru Tattoo in San Diego. While I'm personally not a big fan of tattooing - I find the human form to be a finely crafted work of art unto itself -  it would not surprise me in the least to see her soon become one of the most sought after tattoo artists in the world. She has also been commissioned for an upcoming fall show at La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles. Click here for more on Kathy's rising career. I understand she has a children's book planned, and it will surely be a highly prized addition to the bookshelves of many inquisitive young people with discerning parents.

    Last of all, if you found any of the above links interesting, here is another brilliant presentation by Gavan Kearney2 that covers some of these subjects in greater detail.


    Framed Duotone Triptych by Katherine Brannock

    Duotone Triptych by Katherine Brannock, part of the author's collection


    1 a byproduct of intellect and imagination, more from Passio here

    2 Kearney's synopsis:

    Part one ("State Of The Art") is largely concerned with the process by which to the "content" (the actual work of Art) has been all but dismissed at the expense of the "context" (what the work is supposedly about), contrasting content- rich work (Mallarme. Verlaine, Debussy) to that which is all but devoid of content (Martin Creed, Michael Craig Martin). I believe the Symbolist movement to be of crucial importance to the development of Modern Art (though it has largely been overshadowed by the "realist" line; Impressionism, Expressionism, Abstraction etc) and how, through it's use of Nuance and suggestion, and it's concerns with the mythological, spiritual and even occult (Huysmans, Wilde), provided a final, if majestic, resistance to the cult of utilitarianism, materialism  and, essentially- anti imaginative. I also examine how the cult of personality has been employed (with Van Gogh as an example) to present a notion of Great Art (and "true" expression) as being almost entirely painful and alienating and how this has lead to the sham anti- Art of The Turner prize fiasco and the insults of Tate Modern.