Tagged: Julia Solis

42 Years of strange doings in SF/Oakland/Bay Area & Beyond. Please help me raise some $ for my once in a lifetime show

This November 17th. – general fundraiser at Pro Arts. Open to the public. Tickets available at:  Eventbright tix to fundraiser.

Limited Curated experience. 10 people max – Tour of artist studio and limited edition of 10 signed prints of Golden Gate Bridge 50th Anniversary : Tickets here: Eventbright tix to curated experience.

Link to Pro Arts FB page

 

Billboard Liberation Front action 1980. Collaboration between “Jack Napier” (John Law) & “Simon Wagstaff” nome de guerre for a well known local SF character.

JL neon piece for SRL “Doom”show 1994.

Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland is presenting a retrospective sampling of 42 years of pranks, neon art, “theater” performance art, stories, writings, and conversations with key collaborators of mine culled from me entire time here in Oakland, San Francisco and the outside world.

JL photo Golden Gate Bridge 1986

Natalia Mount, Executive Director of this landmark gallery in the very heart of Oakland, is curating the show and has been working with me to burrow and wade through my massive pile of poorly organized photos, video/film, documents, neon pieces and all sorts of material produce during my four decades of trouble making, experience design, artifact making, collaborative work and explorations.

JL as “Vito Lawtoni” in Don Herron’s The Fatty Arbuckle caper, 1980.

We need to raise a substantial amount of money in order to print huge photos, produce several finished videos out of mountains of raw footage, restore some neon sculptures and make some new, finance travel and accommodations for five (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 as of now, maybe more) of my collaborators (unindicted co-conspirators as they say) from over the years and to cover any number of other expenses. As usual, I am broke and in a hurry. I don’t drink, drug, gamble, womanize or waste money; it is just tough financially these days. Pro-Arts is experiencing the typical travails of most smaller cultural institutions and is underfunded as well. Moneys raised will all go directly to producing this show and to support this wonderful community based, yet influential gallery.

Kodachrome Magazine 2017 article on neon artists featuring JL

“Detroit” 2016. 28′ x 14″ x 10″ metal, glass, distressed matchbox cars, astro-turf, neon, opaque crystal ball. Like most of my work, this is a ham fisted metaphor! Various neon installations and sculpture here.

Please pass this link along and spread the word. If you have worked with me or enjoyed any of the products of the collaborations and (occasionally incognito) creative projects I have driven or contributed to or any of the transgressive cabals (my neon piece is at 1:44 & 2:00) or ridiculous pranks that may have benefited from my efforts, I really need the help and feedback now. I am not done yet; this show is just a retrospective of my first four decades here. With luck, we’ll have another one when I am 100 in 2058……

Oh, almost forgot, this is also my 60th B-day party.

 

LINK TO 42 YEAR ONE MAN RETROSPECTIVE AT PRO ARTS GALLERY JUNE 7TH TIL AUGUST 24TH, 2019

Seafoam Palace Detroit MI.

My comrades, associates and dear friends have launched a kickstarter campaign to fund a fabulous dream project in the mysterious and vibrant land of Detroit. Curious objects, totemic figurines, elaborately and lovingly produced tableaus, strange icons and bizarre tchotchekas: these are the things that have been collected from the furthest corners of the world and will appoint and adorn Detroit’s Seafoam Palace.

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Me in front of Seafoam. Hacket “tweeting” in the background

 

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Julia Solis, Pere La Chaise Cemetery, Paris

The avatar for this project, Julia Solis is one of the early pioneers of the world of Urban ExplorationHer book New York Underground is a primary text for explorers. She was a friend of and inspiration for Ninjalicious the fellow that grounded and popularized UE  with the zine Infiltration and book Access all Areas. Julia’s NYC based exploration and event group Dark Passage founded in 1999 holds a near mythic status and has inspired adventurers around the world.

Julia’s many projects over the years have radiated an essence of purity and authenticity that is rare to find. Her singular aesthetic is deep, dark and beautiful. She attracts collaborators of high caliber.

To peruse the histories of folks involved in SeaFoam is to open many doors to rare, exotic and obsessive worlds.

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Bryan Papciak lighting the way into the realm of Cthulhu….

Filmmaker and educator Bryan Papciak has documented surreal yet very real worlds in his uniquely disturbing style. Bryan continues to warp impressionable young minds as a prof at RISD.  Bryan’s work as an animator and creator of images is pretty disturbing. He LOOKS normal, but watch out when delving into the worlds he creates in his feverish imagination. Watch his oddly mesmerizing video below!

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Julia Solis & Tom Kirsch observing.

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Julia Solis & Tom Kirsch in action!

Photographer, fearless explorer and web designer Tom Kirsch has captured some of the most haunting images ever. A small sampling of his work can be found here. His work has been featured on PBS’s American Experience, in Digital Photographer Magazine and other publications. Tom likes to fish – a lot – his nautical sensibilities have and will continue to influence Seafoam.

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the only photo ever taken of Hackett while he was smiling. photo credit J.Law!!!

Madagascar Institute founder and international art Star Chris Hackett helps out in Detroit in between stints blowing things up, sometimes on teeveeand instructing the kids on how they can “do this at home!” for Popular Science Magazine.  Hackett is deeply dedicated to making the world a more interesting (and dangerous) place. Madagascar has turned out hundreds of maladjusted young artists (with some actual real world skills) after Chris turned chose to open the place in 1999.

 

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Christos Pathiakis in the Paris catacombs. Evil gargoyle above to the left. To Christos right is Rahan, a German guy we met after being underground for five hours & several miles from the entrance. Rahan said he lived there….

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Christos, Julia & mysterious European guy in the tunnels under the Paris Opera House. We didn’t see “Eric”. Maybe he saw us, though….

Globetrotting film professional Christos Pathiakis explores ruins for fun between exotic location shoots. Before teaming up with others as the internet began to connect explorers Christos spent thousands of hours roaming through much of the NYC subway system in the 90’s disguised as an MTA worker.

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Badass Kim Couchet

 

 

 

 

 

 

When not hammering away on Seafoam, swashbuckling pyrotecnician Kim Couchet installs and ignites the largest fireworks displays in the world.

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Shel Kimmen – things grow around her.                              photo credit: http://www.thestar.com

 

Social engineer Shel Kimmen has dedicated her life to the revitalization of her beloved City of Detroit.  Shel’s counsel has been invaluable for the Seafoam crew.

Italian explorer and aesthete Alessandro Toffoli adds a compelling European flavor to the Detroit mix. Alessandro compares Detroit favorably with Rome (for the eventual importance of it’s fast disappearing colossal abandoned edifices). Alessandro has published both fiction and nonfiction, and is now an ongoing researcher at Casa della Memoria, the official oral history society in Rome. He is also a co-founder of Arcadia, a Roman art and restoration laboratory that specializes in antiques and objects of curiosity.

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Alessandro Toffoli not long after mowing the lawn at Seafoam. The most handsome member of the crew, Al is also an accomplished artist and has excellent taste in music.

 

 

 

 

Paul Oarkhill & Julia Solis

Paul Parkhill and Julia Solis. Paul seems to be very grounded and adult-like. I wonder if he’s researched the liability of being involved with……..

Paul Parkhill is the Executive Director of Spaceworks, Between 1999 and 2012, Paul served as the Director of Planning and Development at the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center. Paul worked as a housing developer for Common Ground Community. In 1997 Paul co-founded Place in History,  and in 2004 he co-founded Furnace Press with Julia Solis and Ars Subterranea.

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Monica Canilao just being herself. photo credit: tadashiphoto.blogspot.com

Installation and performance artist Monica Canilao creates exquisite, dream inspired worlds from the detritus sloughed off from the mundane world around her. Her involvement in Seafoam has introduced the project to a younger risk-taking group of collaborators. That’s a nice way to say “watch out for these crazy kids!”

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Vness Wolfchild has never gone to a party where another woman was wearing the same dress.

Other key personnel and associates include artist/performer Vness Wolfchild  a musician and interactive ritual healing performance artist. Her work explores the complexity of the physical, spiritual and emotional body existing within urban industry and architecture. soundcloud.com/vnesswolfchild

Dorothy Trojanowski

Dorothy Trojanowski with her horses at a corporate outing. photo by Harrod Blank

 

 

Designer Dorothy Trojanowski whose work includes the lovely lay-out for Julia Solis’ recent book Stages of Decay. 

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Colin McIntyre. Serious dude.

 

 

metal sculptor Colin McIntyre, Inspired by creatures from the oceans and all plant life, Colin creates sculptures using hot metal forging and fabrication. His work is featured as a permanent public art piece at the Austin Nature & Science Center.

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Ryan Carmichael & friend, Detroit MI.

Detroit homesteader Ryan Carmichael  is a functional artist and was one of the lead fabricators on Gon Kirin. In recent years he has specialized in architectural installations around Detroit.

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Aram Polster making things. We’ll be doing that a lot at Seafoam.

Using found materials, Aram Polster is a multimedia artist, coffee brewer, and also involved in NYC/Detroit arts groups like Dark Passage and Madagascar Institute.

 

 

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Maggie Sisco beta testing some nature for possible inclusion into Seafoam.

Maggie Sisco lives in Detroit and works in public relations for a small firm in the metro area. Her expertise is in media and content strategy.

 

Seafoam Palace is made up of artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, sociologists, engineers, historians, travelers, explorers, and a few varieties of alchemists. Some have been collaborating on projects for over twenty years, some are brand new – drawn together by a love of the absurd, the profound, and the curious.

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Me & Julia Solis in Paris last year tracking down weird stuff. We both read and presented from our respective books, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society and Stages of Decay.