Behind the Scenes at White Walls/Shooting Gallery’s Latest

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Kristin Farr

I was treated to a sneak preview of the new White Walls and Shooting Gallery exhibitions a couple days before opening night, which gave me a rare glimpse at the installation process for four artists. The night that I visited, the mood was chill and arty, and everyone was in the early stages of hanging their work.

Artist duo KEFE -- Kelly Tunstall,  Ferris Plock and their child
Artist duo KEFE — Kelly Tunstall, Ferris Plock and their child

Ferris Plock and Kelly Tunstall (AKA KEFE) are an S.F. power couple, and their signature styles and characters mesh well in their current collaborative paintings, which are inspired by recent travels to Japan.

Tunstall was fascinated by Kimono traditions and Japanese bondage, as evidenced by the styles her ultra-feminine characters are wearing in the new paintings. Plock was clearly influenced by the architecture and regalia as well. Their unreasonably cute ginger baby was helping with the installation, and I couldn’t help but think what a lucky kid he is to grow up with these artist parents. You can tell he’s pretty stoked about it.

Meryl Pataky works on one of her new pieces
Meryl Pataky works on one of her new pieces

Nearby, Meryl Pataky was setting up her neon-lit works against fields of succulents and pyrite. Her new pieces are an ode to stars, their explosive deaths, and the precious metals that result. Pataky is incredibly knowledgeable about the elements, which she uses in countless ways in her show. The pieces that cause the most visceral effects are the cowhides (carbon) with neon pieces attached, and a short hallway space turned into a neon tunnel with pink and orange tubes. (Check out Pataky’s feature on Art School to learn more about her work and practice.)

Niels 'Shoe' Meulman
A new piece from Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman

In a cosmic connection, Niels Meulman (Shoe) was also inspired by the universe for his current set of paintings, and on the day I visited he talked about the endless unknown that even scientists are still baffled by. His “Calligraffiti” words have personal significance and are subtle comments about lingering universal questions.

Meulman used an exciting new kind of paint on these pieces, which are meant to be painted on black backgrounds and succeed in taking iridescence to another level. From one direction, the paint is green; from another angle, it’s purple — you have to see it to believe it. Meulman also uses paint with other morphing color combos. When I stopped by the gallery, he was painting a new suit to wear to the opening.

All of this new work opened for your viewing pleasure on July 12, 2014 and will be up through various August dates. Check out the White Walls and Shooting Gallery sites for more info.

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Kristin Farr

Kristin Farr is the creator and producer of KQED's Emmy Award-winning web video series, Art School, and she is also a contributing editor for Juxtapoz magazine. Her artwork has been exhibited at galleries around the Bay Area including YBCA, Fifty24SF, Anno Domini and The Bedford Gallery. Her FarrOut art app for iOS was released in 2013. She lives in the East Bay and her favorite color is all of them.

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