November 1 – November 29, 2017
Tana Quincy Arcega has a BFA in painting and sculpture from the University of Nebraska and an MFA in figurative painting from the New York Academy of Art. She has had several solo exhibitions at venues including the Foundry Art Center in Missouri and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Nebraska. She has shown locally at CounterPulse, Root Division, and Adobe Books Backroom Gallery amongst others. Her story “Overcoming Obstacles” along with her mouth paintings were featured in Her Living magazine in 2013. Tana has worked professionally as a children’s book illustrator, muralist, portrait artist, and educator. She is currently busy being Ramona’s mother, teaching in the Public Education Department at SFAI, and making art at her 1890 Bryant Street studio.
For the past four years I have set aside my practice as a figurative oil painter to explore alternate materials and mark-making processes. I have co-opted utilitarian products from hardware and industrial fabric stores in order to develop new vernaculars in my painting repertoire. These items are mass-produced for maintenance work and not intended to draw attention to themselves. They play a functionally supportive role and almost always operate in the the background. These paintings, however, bring them to the center of the viewer’s gaze.
I work intuitively to allow the materials to dictate my direction. I look for visual rhymes (correlations in texture, color, pattern, or luminosity) between disparate materials and pair them together. Subtle painterly variations direct the flow of the work. Compositional choices are made in order to emphasize dialogues between substrate and surface. In my search for new mark-making vernaculars, I have developed a process in which viscous paint-like media are extruded through porous, gridded substrates.
As a new mom who’s taken on the role of managing the household and caring for my daughter, I am doing a lot of maintenance work that layers into the background–unseen. My art practice is the inverse of my daily life. Through this new body of paintings I am exploring the dichotomy between our culture’s lack of esteem for these maintenance roles and their inherent worth.
Elena Mencarelli moved to San Francisco after concluding her Master Degree in Visual Arts at the University of Bologna, Italy. Previously, she was the artistic director of the Make Your Mark Art Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to her artistic practice and curatorial background, she is also engaged in art criticism. Elena is the co-writer of the catalogue of the double exhibition Maria Rebecca Ballestra – Alan Sonfist, a better landscape (Unimedia Modern Contemporary Art, Genova, Italy) and is the author of Maria Rebecca Ballestra, a phenomenology of posthumanism, soon to be published in both Italian and English.
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