Ray Beldner and Fernando Reyes
April 11-May 18 2019
Thursday, April 11 6PM-8PM
Featuring Bay Area artists Ray Beldner and Fernando Reyes. Both artists have an extensive body of work in printmaking, sculpture, collage and painting. Accomplished Bay Area artists, featured in museum collections and exhibitions, Reyes and Beldner both excel in the art of collage. I met them around 5 years ago after opening my gallery, and have remained a follower and fan of theirs ever since.
Kolaj brings us a view of assembled and arranged color from art history and original prints from the artists. Both artists are using collage in a way that relates to some of the earliest forms of the medium dating back to Georges Bracque and Pablo Picasso. Ray’s work is sometimes cut out and floating away from the wall. Fernando’s collages often form figures or abstract kaleidoscopes of color.
We will ask the artists to give us a tour of the works during the reception. See you there!
Ray Beldner is a sculptor and new media artist whose work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and can be found in many public and private collections including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C., the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Oakland Museum of California, the San Jose Museum of Art, the diRosa Preserve in Napa, California, among others.
Born in San Francisco, Beldner received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from Mills College. He has received numerous awards and fellowships including a California Arts Council Fellowship in New Genres, a Creative Work Fund Grant from the Haas Foundations, and a Potrero Nuevo environmental art grant. He has taught sculpture, interdisciplinary studies, and Professional Practices at the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, San Francisco State University, and University of California, Santa Cruz.
His work has been reviewed in publications including Art in America, Arte, Art On Paper, Artweek, Wired, Playboy, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. A profile of him and his work can be found in the book: Epicenter, San Francisco Bay Area Art Now, by Chronicle Books.
Like many artists, I make art from the stuff of everyday life: clothing, cash, stolen items, porn. My work takes the form of sculpture, installation, print, digital media, text-based work, and applied arts. It is frequently derived from conceptual ideas that deconstruct hierarchical systems “high art” versus “low art,” “intrinsic value” versus “commercial value,” and so on with ironic humor.
Most recently, I have making celebrity and other portraits. Each were created from the first 101 images I found on Google when searching each subject’s name. I convert individual jpegs to 1% opacity and layer them one upon the until an abstract, “meta-portrait” emerges. The portraits are time-based since each Google search, done on a certain day, will always yield a unique result. The titles of the works include the date when I accessed the images that comprise each portrait.
Fernando Reyes has evolved from a San Francisco banker to a full-time artist, from a self-taught artist to a formally trained one, and from a purely representational artist to one whose broad portfolio now includes abstract art.
Born in 1954 and raised in Fresno, California, Reyes developed a love for art at a young age, often drawing his sisters, cultural icons, and imaginary female fashion models. In the summers he would pick grapes in the local fields with his family. He used the paper that the grapes were laid out on for drawing paper, as his family could not afford art supplies. Reyes worked as a banker in Fresno and then San Francisco for 17 years. His talent for art lay dormant during those years, but re-emerged in the late 1980s.
Reyes began as a self-taught artist, then decided to pursue formal art education. He graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. He then returned to the Bay Area and has lived in Oakland since 1998. In 1999 he opened his current art studio, located in the Jingletown neighborhood of Oakland’s Fruitvale district.
Throughout the years Reyes has produced a large and diverse portfolio. Until recently his work has been primarily representational and includes oil paintings, drawings, and prints.
Reyes has regularly drawn from live models which allow him to depict the beauty, strength, and sensuality of the human form. His goal has been to create contemporary work using traditional methodology.
Thematically his figurative work is very much about body language, the conscious and unconscious ways in which our bodies communicate, typically with greater eloquence than verbal language allows.
In the past few years Reyes has created both representational and abstract works using paper cut-outs made with his own handprinted paper. Though he has produced mono prints for many years, the idea of cutting and collaging them arose in late 2014 after seeing “The Cut-Outs” exhibition of Matisse’s work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There he has an epiphany of sorts which took his work in an entirely new direction.
Fernando has an extensive resume of solo and group exhibitions on a regional and national basis. His work has been acquired for the art collections of Stanford University Medical Center, Alameda County Arts Collection, Amoco Corporation, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Tom of Finland Foundation, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, and George and Cynthia Miller Wellness Center and numerous private collections.