Archive for the Gail Potocki Category

CEREMONY in Los Angeles: Gail Potocki, Clive Barker, Matthew Bone, Michael Hussar, Olivia, Shepard Fairey, Jeremy Lipking and more…

Posted in Century Guild Contemporary, Century Guild Events, Clive Barker, Gail Potocki, Matthew Bone, Michael Hussar, Stephanie Inagaki on 16 June, 2014 by Thomas Negovan

Painter Matthew Bone and chef Craig Thornton (aka Wolvesmouth) have created a culinary oasis with their elegant and artistic private Wolf+Bone dinners, and the second run of their series concluded with a group art exhibition titled CEREMONY.  Curated by Matthew Bone, we at Century Guild were honored to be asked to handle the business operations of the exhibition.

Ceremony.

Ceremony

Thank you so much to everyone who came out!  We were so busy that I didn’t do a very good job of taking photos, but do a search for this online and I’m sure a ton of images will come up!  It was a beautiful immersive forest experience- with an art gallery built right in the middle!  I did manage to take photos of some of the artists and performers, here are my favorites.  Click on them to enlarge.

Thomas Negovan and Gail Potocki at Ceremony

Thomas Negovan and Gail Potocki at Ceremony

The Art of Being Numb by Matthew Bone SOLD

The Art of Being Numb by Matthew Bone SOLD

Painter Gail Potocki, fashion designer Giuliana Mayo, and Yee Lam

Painter Gail Potocki, fashion designer Giuliana Mayo, and Yee Lam

Nesting - Karasu by Stephanie Inagaki $1400

Nesting – Karasu by Stephanie Inagaki $1400

Exhibiting artists Gail Potocki, Stephanie Inagaki, and Jason Shawn Alexander

Exhibiting artists Gail Potocki, Stephanie Inagaki, and Jason Shawn Alexander

Pelican band members studying Shepard Fairey's This New Wave is a Little Slick For My Taste

Pelican band members studying Shepard Fairey’s This New Wave is a Little Slick For My Taste

Exhibiting artists Michael Hussar, Gail Potocki, and Matthew Bone

Exhibiting artists Michael Hussar, Gail Potocki, and Matthew Bone

Flowers For Fun by Michael Hussar $32000

Flowers For Fun by Michael Hussar $32,000

Artist Matthew Bone and Chef Craig Thornton

Artist Matthew Bone and Chef Craig Thornton

Dalilah in Pink by Jeremy Lipking $16,000

Dalilah in Pink by Jeremy Lipking $16,000

Guests at the exhibition

Craig looking things over as the doors open; Thomas greets early guests at the exhibition

Skull Tree by Clive Barker $13,000

Skull Tree by Clive Barker $13,000

Craig and Matthew interviewed

Craig and Matthew interviewed

The Flora and Fauna of Ceremony

The Flora and Fauna of Ceremony

 

 

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You wanted ’em? We got ’em! Come see the amazing FREAKS!

Posted in Century Guild Contemporary, Gail Potocki, San Diego Comic Con, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 8 April, 2013 by SeanChase

The days of circuses, carnivals, vaudeville, cabarets, and early cinema have always held a hypnotic sway over me and I’ve been obsessed with them since my childhood.  Of particular interest are the sideshow attractions and freak shows.  The wondrously bizarre, beautiful, and grotesque world of sideshow freaks has been a source of fascination and controversy from the time of their inception in the 19th Century, though circuses themselves date back to ancient Graeco-Roman traditions.  While today we may not have direct access to the theatrical spectacle of circus sideshows, at least not the ones that proliferated in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and which focused on physical abnormalities, we do have certain portals into that world of entertainment that existed in the dark shadows of The Big Top.  Aside from modern sideshow attractions, which focus more on physical performance than physical deformity, there have been numerous films and works of art that have attempted to pay homage or preserve the atmospheric ambiance, the eccentric characters, and unbelievable world of circuses and their inhabitants.  Perhaps the strange allure of the sideshow can be reduced to the simple dynamics of exhibition and exploitation, but then again, most forms of art and expression can.  What is it that makes carnivals and circuses so tantalizingly mysterious to the outside world?

Perhaps the circus is the exaggerated reality that lies just beyond the periphery of our accepted social sphere.  It at once allows us a glimpse into an environment where everything is heightened, pushed to the limit (and sometimes far surpasses it), and while things may be familiar, nothing is really the same as in the lives that we know.  Though it isn’t feasible to escape our frustratingly mundane personal realities and simply “run away to join the circus”, it is possible to seek inspiration and escapism within the world of freaks and carnies.  Taking inspiration from this spectacular world is exactly what Gail Potocki has done.  Begun in 2009, the Freaks portraits series is an ongoing project for Gail, and only a few of her amazing portraits have been revealed and even more have yet to be created.  The brilliant portraits are like a peephole into the circus tents of the past.  Not only do they shine the spotlight on some truly unusual characters, but they also expose their humanity in a way that is both profound and endearing.  Each portrait embraces its subject as an individual, both celebrating their differences and acknowledging their humanity, and all the while doing so in a playfully creative manner that is fitting of Gail’s symbolist style.

The first five "Freaks" paintings by Gail Potocki!

The first five “Freaks” paintings by Gail Potocki!

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Clinging to Life: An Examination of Gail Potocki’s “The Raft of the Medusa”

Posted in Century Guild Contemporary, Gail Potocki, Uncategorized with tags , , on 18 October, 2012 by SeanChase

Amongst humans there is an inherent fascination with the sea and with the water from which we once sprang.  Over the years we have come to understand not only the life-giving and life-sustaining necessity of our oceans, but also the primal beauty of them.  Because of water’s inconstancy and ability to adapt to its environment, it has been used as a representation of the human emotional condition, but also as a symbol for the vast cosmos with its many changes and unknowns.  We have imbued water with symbolic importance, as we have observed the connection between the tides and the cycle of the moon, and how those cycles reflect the very changes of human and animal life on Earth.  We have created myths and fables: of seductive water nymphs and sirens who lure sailors to their dooms; of indomitable gods and goddesses who were borne of and ruled over the seas; of heroes whose mightiest weapons were plucked from mystic waters; and of babies sent in rafts either to meet their demise or to seek sanctuary by divine providence in new lands.

The image of the shipwreck has permeated all cultures as a cautionary metaphor for what happens when we drive ourselves too far, ignorant of the many consequences, or when we allow ourselves to be seduced by convenience and comfort rather than rationality.  Where once the shipwreck was a symbol of human failure or death, today, with the advances of technology allowing for mass transportation of passengers and cargo, the shipwreck is frequently a disaster not only for those immediately affected.  It is also a disaster for the environment and for the thousands of different forms of aquatic life that must survive, or do not survive as so often is the case, through the aftermath.  So, it should come as no surprise that there must be a cautious equilibrium between ourselves and the oceans lest we wish to face catastrophe.

“The Raft of the Medusa” by Gail Potocki (2012, Oil on linen, custom frame).   Taking her title from Théodore Géricault’s 19th Century painting of the same name, Gail Potocki has created another masterpiece of environmental symbolism.  This particular painting is both a lament for the destruction of nature in the past and warning of the inevitable effects should such destruction continue unchecked.

 

The idea that a man-made tragedy can now take a great toll on non-human life as well and wreak havoc upon the environment and ecosystems is the predominant theme in Gail Potocki‘s 2012 painting, “The Raft of the Medusa“.  The painting is a stark work of environmental symbolism that summons up an unforgettable image of a catastrophic shipwreck, which leaves in its wake a fire and plumes of smoke, a slick of oil on the ocean, and various birds and animals desperately clinging onto a woman, who represents all of humankind, for survival.  While the proverbial rats leave the sinking ship and turn the woman’s collar into a makeshift raft, birds doused in thick oil panic and struggle to survive as they flail their wings trying to free themselves from the crude.  The woman, who is garbed in an opulent dress and seemingly oblivious to the destruction and turmoil around her, discards a partially eaten apple with insouciance.  Upon that apple is a sticker with a bar code, a further reminder of humanity’s attempt to control and capitalize upon nature at nature’s expense.  In Gail’s own words, “I’ve often used the apple as a symbol of the Earth.”

Detail from “The Raft of the Medusa” by Gail Potocki (2012, Oil on linen).  The woman’s hand lets go of the apple from which she has bitten into, letting it fall into the sea.  The apple, which represents the Earth or the environment, has been used as a resource, a mere commodity, harnessed by humankind to suit their purposes and then unlovingly discarded.  Meanwhile, the oil-soaked birds flail in distress around the woman.

Detail from Gail Potocki’s “The Raft of the Medusa” (2012, Oil on linen). Here, we can see the rats as they become dependent upon the woman, clinging to her collar for survival from the wreck which her species was responsible for.  Standing on the back of her collar is a Vacanti mouse.  The Vacanti mouse or “earmouse” as it has commonly been referred, was a SCID mouse (severe combined immunodeficiency), which are frequently used for research in biology.  The Vacanti mouse had bovine cartilage grown under its skin, which then developed into the shape of an ear.  Experimentation on rats and other rodents is yet another example of how humans have benefited from nature and from creatures for our own gain.

 

The title of Gail’s painting is an appropriation of and homage to Théodore Géricault‘s 1819 painting Le Radeau de la Méduse, which was one of his best known works and is a cornerstone of 19th Century French Romantic movement in art.  Géricault’s painting was an ambitious work by which the French artist hoped to secure his place among the great Romantic painters of his day.  Inspired by the 1816 wreck of the naval frigate, the Méduse, off the coast of what is now modern-day Mauritania.  This wreck was attributed primarily to the inexperience and incompetence of its captain, the Viscount Hugues Duroy de Chaumereys.  The ship was poorly navigated and had drifted a hundred miles off of its charted course, which lead to it running aground on a sandbank in West Africa.  The ship carried over 400 people, of which 160 were crew members, but the capacity of the life boats was only 250 people.  Those who could not be afforded room in the lifeboats built a makeshift raft, which was intended to be towed by the lifeboats, but the 147 people upon the raft was too great a number and almost immediately the raft began to take on water, so the raft was cut loose and the people on it left to their own devices.  Within the first day, they had eaten the only food they had and their drinking water was lost amidst an on-board scuffle.  The survivors were driven mad by exposure to the elements and starvation.  Weak, malnourished, and mutinous, they began to turn on each other, eventually resorting to murder and cannibalism.  By the time a rescue crew attempted to save those on the raft, only fifteen of the 147 people were still alive.  The rest had perished by starvation, by sickness, by being consumed as food, or by being thrown into the sea and some of those did so of their own volition.  The resulting press surrounding the tragedy became a scandal and an embarrassment for the French monarchy.

“Le Radeau de la Méduse” by Théodore Géricault (Oil on canvas, 1819).  In selecting the subject matter for what he hoped would be the painting that brought him acclaim, Géricault chose to depict the harrowing moment in which the fifteen survivors of 147 upon the raft see in the distance an approaching vessel sent to rescue them.  Géricault had thought that he could rise to prominence by featuring the wreck of the Méduse and its survivors as his theme, however, the painting became controversial during its 1819 unveiling at the Paris Salon in part due to its aesthetic departure from the serenity of the Neo-Classical, but also due to the sensitive subject matter and the heightened emotional response it elicited.

Gail Potocki‘s painting echoes some of the same themes as Géricault’s, such as the struggle to survive in the wake of disaster and the incompetence and arrogance of mankind.  While Géricault’s painting was inspired by the wreck of the Méduse, Gail took her inspiration from more recent disasters such as the Exxon Valdez in 1989.  The analogy is there and basically the same, but the great difference is that over the years we have better developed our ability to save human lives through safety precautions and rescue efforts, however, so often lessening the devastation wrought upon nature and wildlife isn’t made a priority until it’s too late.

An oil-soaked bird from the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989.

A detail from “The Raft of the Medusa” by Gail Potocki (2012, Oil on linen).  All too true to life, Gail’s meticulously detailed and emotionally wrought depiction of the birds covered in oil is representative of the thousands of birds who have been affected by oil spills and similar man-made calamities.  Through her art, we are allowed to experience their anguish, to empathize with them, and to accept that there must be change.

 

Eventually we must ask ourselves:  What happens when we overestimate our own abilities and underestimate nature?  Any conflict which arises from such a circumstance almost invariably sees a drastic loss in life, though not always human, and yet there are often consequences of horrendous proportions which some of us choose to see while others do not.  We have a responsibility to ensure that the planet we depend on, and that all systems of life depends on, is taken seriously and respected.  Nature is not to be trifled with.  This theme, this reverential treatment of nature has oft been expressed in poetry and the arts, as has the warning for humankind not to let their ambitions outreach their grasp.  Gail’s environmental paintings are a bold, always beautiful yet often unsettling, and essential reminder that we are a part of nature, that our actions do carry with them an effect (be it for good or bad), so there must be an attempt to protect the natural world around us or accept that its demise will also be our own.

– Sean

GAIL POTOCKI’S FIRST CHICAGO EXHIBITION; CENTURY GUILD’S LAST

Posted in Century Guild Contemporary, Gail Potocki with tags , , , , on 29 September, 2012 by Thomas Negovan

It’s been a long time coming.  Exhibitions at museums and galleries around the world, but never a major show in Chicago.  Tonight, Chicago is rewarded for its patience and support with the most comprehensive exhibition of Gail Potocki paintings to date.  Many of these paintings have never before been offered for sale as Gail culled them aside as her favorite works from each exhibition.

The most comprehensive exhibition of Gail Potocki’s paintings to date, with important works never before offered for sale. Contact thomas@centuryguild.net for details on individual paintings.  CLICK on image for substantial enlargement.

Something else that has been a long time coming: tonight, after the gallery closes its doors, the keys will be handed over to our technical division and the art and staff will start packing up.  Yes, tonight is the last exhibition in our gorgeous loft in Chicago… because we are opening a retail location in Los Angeles!  I don’t want to take away from the importance of Gail’s art, so more details on that will be forthcoming.
But tonight, come celebrate thirteen years in Chicago at our final exhibition!  Please dress nicely, your date will thank you.

CENTURY GUILD

2041 WEST CARROLL

CHICAGO, IL

Saturday 29 September 2012

6-9 pm Exhibition, 10pm performances.

Doors open from 6-9.

Acclaimed modern Symbolist painter and Century Guild exclusive Gail Potocki will be featured in her very first Chicago solo exhibition later this month. The exhibition will feature a large assortment of Potocki’s latest works exploring her criticisms and concerns over mankind’s relationship with the environment. Gail Potocki is a graduate of Chicago’s School of Representational Art and has been featured in Juxtapoz Magazine and The Huffington Post. A monograph of her work was published in 2006 by Olympian Publishing entitled The Union of Hope and Sadness: The Art of Gail Potocki, with text by Thomas Negovan and contributions from Disinformation’s Richard Metzger and author Grant Morrison. She has exhibited globally, including The H.R. Giger Museum, the Laguna Art Museum, and seminal Los Angeles art gallery La Luz de Jesus; she was also one of a select few artists hand picked to provide an original work to the Metallica tribute exhibition “OBEY YOUR MASTER” at Los Angeles’ Exhibit A Gallery. A solo exhibition of her work was held in Culver City, CA at Billy Shire Fine Arts.

The Raft of the Medusa

The Raft of the Medusa. Oil on linen in handmade frame, 2012.

Wear Cutting Edge Art with Pride – New Shirts Now Available!

Posted in Comic Conventions, Gail Potocki, Jeremy Bastian, Malleus Rock Art Lab, Merchandise, San Diego Comic Con, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 12 July, 2012 by SeanChase

Step right up and see what wonders we have for you!

Just in time for the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, the Century Guild booth (Booth # 2845) is debuting new t-shirts featuring the extraordinary work of Jeremy A. Bastian, the Malleus Rock Art Lab, and Gail Potocki!  These new graphic t-shirts, aside from being fashionable and extremely comfortable, showcase the work of diverse and immensely talented artists at the height of their creative apex.  Now, why should you buy one (or all) of these very cool shirts?  Because they are amazing!  Let’s take a closer look at each one and you’ll see why.

 

First off, let’s see the exceptionally cool shirt done by Malleus

Thomas Negovan ‘The Divine Eye’ t-shirt (MALLEUS, 2012)

Available in sizes small, medium, large, and extra large, and produced in a limited edition number of 80, this deep v-neck, fitted t-shirt exclusively for the ladies (sorry, guys) is made of highest quality 100% cotton, features gold foil details, and the graphic was screened using high resolution to create the best possible image.  The design appearing on the t-shirt was originally created for a poster to help promote the release of  Thomas Negovan‘s historical 2011 debut single “The Divine Eye“, which was recorded on a Thomas Edison phonograph and released as a limited edition wax cylinder.  Certainly such a feat is worthy of recognition, and indeed commemoration, but no mere work of commercial art would suffice, so naturally Thomas turned to Malleus Rock Art Lab and what they created is simply spectacular.

Thomas Negovan ‘The Divine Eye’ poster (Malleus, 2011)

Malleus is an artist collective comprised of three unique and talented individuals.  Their work is inspired by Art Nouveau, Expressionism, Surrealism, Psychedelic Art, and Pop Art.  They’ve created works for everyone from Queens of the Stone Age and the Mars Volta to The Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer.  When it comes to creating indelible and iconic imagery to accompany and promote the releases and tours of today’s best music acts, Malleus is already a legend.

 

And from Gail Potocki‘s fantastic Freaks series…

Freaks t-shirts collection (Gail Potocki, 2012)

Also available in BOTH men’s and women’s sizes small, medium, large, and extra large, and produced in a limited edition number of 85 each gender, these ultra-comfortable and timeless, dark grey, crew-neck shirts are made of 100% cotton and screened from high resolution to best capture the masterful work of modern symbolist Gail Potocki‘s brilliant paintings.  The imagery for these two shirts is derived from  Gail’s Freaks series  done in 2009, which lovingly pays homage to the world of circus and carnival sideshow figures from the early part of the 20th Century.  These detailed and nuanced portraits manage to not only capture the essence of their subjects, but also the imaginations of all those who see them.  Imagine the look of intrigue on your friends’ faces as you proudly wear your own shirt featuring Annie Jones the Bearded Lady or Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy!

Annie Jones the Bearded Lady (Gail Potocki, 2009)

‘Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy’ (Gail Potocki, 2009)

Of her fascination with the freaks, Gail says, “I think part of it is that they had to blaze their own trail whether they wanted to or not.  Because they are so unique and rare, they stand out like diamonds in a sea of glass.
So too will the wearers of these awe-inspiring t-shirts, which are sure to become cult favorites and collector’s items, so be sure to pick yours up soon because they will disappear fast!

 

And from the imagination of Jeremy A. Bastian

Cursed Pirate Girl t-shirts (Jeremy A. Bastian, 2012)

Available in BOTH men’s and women’s sizes small, medium, large, and extra large, and produced in an extremely limited edition number of only 70, these stylish, grey crew-neck t-shirts are made from 100% cotton and feature a slick wrap-around design which was screened from high resolution and allows for the insane amount of detail of Jeremy Bastian‘s work to display itself.  The exclusive design features the Cursed Pirate Girl herself as she heroically leaps out of the reach of the clutches of her vile nemeses.  Whether you’re a fan of comic books, pirates, illustration, or just want to wear a really handsome shirt, we have your needs covered thanks to Jeremy’s remarkable work.

Cursed Pirate Girl: The Collected Edition, Volume 1 (Archaia Publishing, 2012)

Jeremy’s astonishingly illustrated and darkly, whimsical comic book for children has been acclaimed by some of the comics industry’s most respected names and the first three epic issues were recently collected in a single volume by Archaia Publishing.  The title has been on the rise in popularity and there’s even a radio-dramedy in the works featuring Stephanie Leonidas (the star of Dave McKean‘s films MirrorMask and the upcoming Luna) as the title heroine and swashbuckling adventurer.  Jeremy will be appearing at Comic-Con with Archaia at Booth # 2635 and Stephanie will also be making an appearance at our Comic-Con booth along with some other guest surprises, so keep an eye out, matey!

 

All of these shirts, both in style and sizes, are available in very LIMITED QUANTITIES only at Comic-Con and they will go fast, so you will want to be sure to purchase yours while you can.  Stop by Century Guild at Booth # 2845 and pick up yours!

– Sean

Gail Potocki Brings Beauty to Artifice

Posted in Century Guild Contemporary, Gail Potocki, Uncategorized with tags , , on 19 May, 2012 by SeanChase

I’ve grown up loving art of all different eras and aesthetic movements, however, with that said, I rarely find a piece of artwork that genuinely moves me so deeply that it becomes forever emblazoned in my mind and heart.  There are paintings from the Italian Renaissance, the Romanticists, the Pre-Raphaelites, the Symbolists, and then later from the Expressionists, which have managed to do this, yet most modern art seems to be so concerned with style and conceptualization, that it becomes emotionally devoid in its presentation.  So, it is a very special feeling when a contemporary artist creates a piece of work that speaks to the mind, as well as to the heart, can evoke emotion, and provoke thought.  Gail Potocki‘s painting, “The Repositioning of Artifice” is such a piece of work.

“The Repositioning of Artifice” by Gail Potocki (2012, oil on linen).

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SPRING IS SPRUNG: Featuring Gail Potocki studio sale!

Posted in Century Guild Contemporary, Century Guild Events, Gail Potocki on 7 April, 2012 by Thomas Negovan

Here are some room snapshots of the gallery before tomorrow’s event!  If anything catches your eye, please email us at GALLERY at CENTURYGUILD dot NET and we’ll do what we can to help you feel like you’re in Chicago at the sale!

Spring Sale: Dave McKean, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Alphonse Mucha

Spring Sale: Dave McKean, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Alphonse Mucha CLICK TO ENLARGE

McKean, Schiele, Klimt, Mucha and more

McKean, Schiele, Klimt, Mucha and more CLICK TO ENLARGE

Hans Christiansen, Silent Movie posters, Arts+Crafts, and 1950s exhibition lithographs

Hans Christiansen, Silent Movie posters, Arts+Crafts, and 1950s exhibition lithographs CLICK TO ENLARGE

Gail Potocki, studio sale artworks

Gail Potocki, studio sale artworks CLICK TO ENLARGE

Angela with Veil, special price $1500

Angela with Veil, SOLD

Gail Potocki studio sale: all sold!  CLICK TO ENLARGE

Gail Potocki studio sale: all sold! Thank you! CLICK TO ENLARGE