Category Archives: Artists and their brushes and palettes

Ballad of MadC: artist and visionary

Madder

Singularly brilliant. Artist MacC. She looks like a normal human. But what she puts on canvasses around the world looks like it came out of a superhuman.

The Berlin artist is doing her first West Coast show, called “Over the Edge.” I met her today as she was preparing and pulling the show together at San Francisco’s
1:AM Gallery. Here she is laying out giant pieces of signature MadC pink vinyl across the floor using the gallery as her canvas. They looked like super tight pieces of post-modern Colorforms.

Photo: Angela Frucci

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Olivia De Berardinis: Inside an artists’ head

Do you know Olivia? In the world of popular art and culture, Olivia De Berardinis one of the best  interpreters of the female form. Sure, a lot people do the same thing, it’s just that Olivia does it the best. Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, Dita Von Teese. But those are just ‘some’ of her well-known subjects.

I sat and talked with Olivia about her creative process. Olivia told me she’s more fascinated by the mess around the painting than the painting. Ultimately, she’s bored by the finished piece and hypnotized by the process strewn about her work table.

“It’s like being in a candy store,” said Olivia, “the colors swirl around your head.”

“Then you come home and there’s one piece of candy in your hand, it’s boring. I love the splashes, they have so much more life to them then the painting. And the brushes. It’s the promise. It’s like being in a chemistry lab and things are bubbling. The bubbling is exciting. But when it turns into a little pill, that’s just not the same.”

Photo: Olivia De Berardinis

At the Broken Record, a pinup is born

Just east of Mission at Geneva, lies a whiskey bar called the Broken Record. It’s sure dark in there! But the cuisine in the back room is illuminated enough to have pulled in Food Network’s Guy Fieri to check out why patrons get hysterical over the off-the-charts fare.

Jason King’s owned  the Broken Record for 5 years. And for those 5 years, he wished he had something on the dismal, entryway wall. But as he told me: “I just didn’t know what it was.”  Well, that’s where master muralist Mark Bode comes into the story.

“I chatted with him one night and told him I was a painter,” said Bode. He showed Jason his work and rest is pinup history. Jason gave Bode a wall and he decked it with a seductive redhead lounging atop the front room archway. Done in the style of pinup greats like Vargas, Elvgren and Olivia, the bar now has a righteous  piece of pinup. [And she’ll always be close to Guy Fieri’s “Guy Ate Here” stencil. Guy’s head is well situated over her lusty thigh.]

Photo: Angela Frucci

Os Gêmeos: forever the same

What’s it like on the twin ship lollipop? It’s like the Brazilian born, identical twin artists, Os Gêmeos. I watched (in awe) while Otavio and Gustavo Panfolfo worked as one unit, one brain , one dream, one heart — creating this painting in my friend’s back yard. What strikes me about this photo is each twin using their right hand to fill in, and the two arms of the painting, already filled in, are staring back. It’s a  deconstructionist’s dream.

I asked Otavio about their twin creative process and he simply said:
“We are the same.”

Photo: Angela Frucci

Mark and Vaughn Bode go heavy metal

There are moments when you should step away from a large lizard. “You’re going to get tox’d out,” Mark Bode warns me. He flips on his respirator mask, then rifles through a box overflowing with Krylons and MTNs.

The mural artist was getting ready to block out colors on a human-sized lizard. It resembled a metalic cookie cutter. The reptile’s one of 51 characters  for the show “Metalmorphosis,” opening this week (8/24) at SFrancisco’s 1:AM Gallery.

Bode collaborated with Metal Man Ed, known for making life-sized subway car cutouts to spec. MME + Bode give new, 3-D abstractions to the Bode family of characters. Mark and his father Vaughn Bode, continue to morph, side by side.

First, the lizard’s head gets blocked.

Mark works on a flat surface so there’s no paint dribble.

One of Mark’s favorite colors, cyan blue.

A metalmorphosis has fully occurred.

Photos: Angela Frucci