On March 29, 19 artists from Bay Area’s art scene, who come from disparate experiences, careers, and backgrounds and who work in different styles, subject matters, and mediums gathered at Loakal to participate in the second annual “Carpe Diem” group show. Invited artists Brett Amory, Zoltron, Jessica Hess, John Casey, Marcos LaFarga, Jet Martinez, Cannon Dill, Lauren YS, Max Kauffman, John Wentz, Eddie Colla, Ian Ross, Hueman, Nite Owl, Lisa Pisa, Chris Granillo, Reggie Warlock, Daryll Peirce and Cameron Thompson were each given a 4′ by 8′ panel, a space within Loakal Gallery, and 24 hours beginning March 29 8am to complete an artwork for the upcoming group exhibit. The following Friday, April 4, the paintings debuted at the opening reception during the popular once-monthly Oakland Art Murmur event.
One unique difference from the first year’s process was the gallery’s public-viewing hours during the day so audiences could engage with the artists and observe the creative process. In this way, much of the intent of the group exhibition dramatically shifted from perhaps the rapidity to which an artwork could be completed and the kind of works able to be completed within the time frame, to a more focused view upon the artistic process, both demystifying the it by allowing audiences to peek in and the potential for artists to converse, engage, perhaps sharing ideas and techniques. While this was one of the positive points of the process, it could also be argued many artists were challenged by these conditions: street artists like Nite Owl, Cannon Dill, and Eddie Colla (who may also prefer to remain faceless) were asked to work within the gallery space, among onlookers. Similarly, artists who may prefer to make work solitary were likely tested by the close quarters in which they were painting.
What did remain impressively apparent however, was the wide breadth of work created within such a short span of time. Thought-provoking abstracted works by Ian Ross, Max Kaufman, Daryll Peirce and Hueman were complemented by the figurative, surrealist subject matter of John Casey, Cannon Dill, Jessica Hess, and Jet Martinez. Moving portraits in oil on panel by Brett Amory and delicate care taken to the human figure by Jon Wentz’s painterly style were on view alongside artists like Eddie Colla, Nite Owl, Chris Granillo, Reggie Warlock, and Zoltron whose iconic characters brought some of the very best street art styles to the show.
“Carpe Diem” will be on view at Loakal Gallery, 560 2nd Street through April 29, 2014