“The Midnight Picnic Boys” at Rock Paper Scissors Collective includes artwork by three young women, each putting time in both the studio and on the streets. Rooted in character-based graffiti, Yenta and Alrad’s work are scattered across the streets of Oakland in multiple manifestations from stickers and tags to throw ups of their characters. Alrad’s signature characters are of a coffin that reads “R.I.P. Alrad,” and an image of a girl playfully sticking her tongue out. Yenta’s character is of a girl with interchanging patterns within her hair, a subtle smile, and sometimes with an undertone of sadness and mystery, as though she is searching for something, lost in the night. Most of my work is about memories of places from my past that I long to be, often inspired by growing up in the southwest. Viewing the stars in New Mexico is something I miss often, and so when I paint I set out to create something dark and beautiful that can take me to those places when I cannot physically go there. As a result, I am creating abstract and surreal space landscapes, or midnight landscapes if you will.
The name of the show, “Midnight Picnic Boys” was inspired by Alrad’s Instagram in which she refers to herself as a picnic boy. Yenta and I just thought it had a quirky ring to it, and thematically each of our work includes nighttime scenes so it seemed appropriate to add midnight to it. When Yenta and I originally discussed a vision for the show, we imagined an environment that was dark, whimsical, mysterious and maybe even a little mischievous, as much of the work we do is just that. I think the title encompasses a bit of each of these.
Although we were not opposed to having a male artist participate, (we entertained the idea of inviting a couple more artists, one of which is male) an all-women’s show ended up being very empowering for each of us. During install, it became very clear the wonderful creative chemistry we have, and it was a pleasure sharing a space with Alrad and Yenta for a week. The great thing about Rock Paper Scissors Collective, aside from them just be awesome in general, was that they are very open to experimentation. There were very few restrictions in terms of what we could do, and thus we were fully able to realize our creative vision within that space. We send a big thank you to all the kind people running the collective.
“The Midnight Picnic Boys” will be at Rock Paper Scissors Collective 2278 Telegraph Ave through March 2014.