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  • October13th

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    Elephant's Graveyard

    Elephant's Graveyard

    October 20 – December 10, 2011
    Reception: Thursday, November 3, 2011 5:30 – 7:30

    Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 to 5:30; Saturdays 11:00 to 5:00. For more information, please visit www.renabranstengallery.com or contact the gallery directly at (415-982-3292).

    The paintings in Don Ed Hardy’s upcoming show at Rena Bransten Gallery evolved from the monumental 4 x 500 foot work 2000 Dragons, executed in the millennial year (a Dragon Year in the Asian zodiac). This was a decisive turning point for the artist in its scale and expansive gesture, as he had spent the previous four decades in near-daily practice with the obsessive precision of intaglio printmaking, lithography, tattooing, and careful watercolors. The mission goal of making two thousand dragons with no preplanned composition freed Hardy up to explore pure abstract elements along with recognizable forms. The spontaneous works since then continue to develop intuitively at the moment of painting.

    The big scroll was executed with acrylic on archival synthetic paper, which was available in huge rolls. Featherweight and durable, it was the most practical solution for a work of immense scale. The saturation of pigment into paper as an instantaneous indelible record—with little or no over painting—continues and amplifies Hardy’s works with metal plates, sumi ink, and skin. The current works further explore pure autographic expressive gesture.

    Immersed in Western as well as Asian art history, aesthetics, and theories of brushwork, Hardy has a long relationship with living and working in Japan. Along with the paintings are a new series of small porcelain sculptures. Made in collaboration with ceramist Trevor Ewald, these extend Hardy’s work done during several visits to Arita, Japan. There, at the invitation of a traditional kiln, he glazed production wares with unexpected themes, extending and subverting venerable tradition. The new ceramics are inspired by a series of his late ’90s paintings featuring garment forms from 15th and 16th century Northern European engravings (first studied in his undergraduate days at the San Francisco Art Institute) to which he added components of tattoo and pop themes.

  • October11th

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    3 of a kind
    Upcoming art show in the windy city of Chicago featuring Don Ed Hardy, Nick Bubash and the legendary Thom deVita

    October 28 – November 26, 2011 Opening Reception October 28, 7 to 10 p.m.
    Firecat Projects
    2124 N. Damen Ave., Chicago IL 60647
    Beer by Three Floyds
    Wines by Red and White Wines in Chicago

  • July20th

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    Our GangThe team at Squarecylinder just published their take on The Unruly Art of Don Ed Hardy, on display at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery through August 25.

    The show opens with a series of cast-resin works layered with vintage Hardy acetate tattoo stencils. While their slick surfaces work against the raw sensibility Hardy strives for, certain works stand out. Shattering Tiger, to take but one example, is an exceptional “painting”. In it, triangular shapes converge to build a cubist-like ground and an almost vertiginous aerial view of the big cat, rendered in wavy, broad strokes. Near the animal’s shoulder, Hardy drops representation and allows his brush to spin a series of arabesques that resemble a face. It’s a beautiful moment in a beautiful piece, one that embodies the freedom Hardy sought when he quit tattooing to make personal work.

    The full review is online here.

  • June3rd

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    Just as the installation for the site specific Artists Gallery exhibition The Unruly Art of Don Ed Hardy begins for the opening June 9, the SFMOMA team caught up with Don and asked him a few questions about his work.

    EXCERPT from the full interview:
    AG: You got your start at SFAI in printmaking. There is an obvious connection between tattooing and etching in both technique and the permanence of their marks. How does painting differ for you? By comparison does it feel more expressive or ephemeral?

    DEH: All the mediums are expressive in different ways, primarily at the pace of execution. I’ve always worked quickly, for better or worse. With painting more ground can be covered faster. One of my primary interests or tendencies is the autographic gesture, whether with an etching tool, tattoo machine, or brush. As far as I’m concerned all art is ephemeral; tattoos have the only guaranteed expiration date but let’s not kid ourselves about “eternity”, “art for the ages”, etc. It can all go away at any time.

    You can read the full interview here.

  • May12th

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    Hardy Juxtapoz CoverJuxtapoz is pleased to announce that Don Ed Hardy, the pioneering tattoo and fine artist, is both the newsstand and subscriber cover artist for the June 2011 issue.

    Juxtapoz spoke with Hardy about his show at the Artists Gallery with SFMoMA on June 9, 2011, The Unruly Art of Don Ed Hardy.

    Hardy talks about his history as a tattoo artist, as an art school graduate with a vast knowledge of art history and tradition who bucked all trends by practicing tattoo art. After learning and studying ancient Japanese tattoo methods and styles, Hardy grew into the living legend and historian that he is today.

    More information about The Unruly Art of Don Ed Hardy is available The Unruly Art of Don Ed Hardyhere.