I have mostly been working with digital photography and image manipulation, but have recently started branching out into drawing and painting. My graphic design background (it's how I pay the bills!) is also bleeding through into my work. I'm concentrating on a series called "Lottery" which will include digital media and mixed media (and a little painting if I can get my act together). Another artist who has signed up for Open Studios, Takashi Fukuda, will also be sharing my space to show his pieces.
Jonathan Fischer is screen print based artist living and working in San Francisco. He received degrees in engineering and philosophy of science before learning to screen print with a garden hose and a 60 Watt light bulb at a Mission District arts collective. Gradually developing a process that crosses boundaries in materials and media, Jon Fischer implements freeform screen printing techniques inspired by his experience painting and drawing. Typical pieces are made on large pieces of wood, paper, and raw textiles, with attention devoted to building up surfaces with washes, textures, and coatings before an image forms. Consequently these works end up being as much about surfaces and materials as they are about images.
Typical pieces are produced in small editions of unique variations that may be displayed together. This mode of repetition draws attention to the consequences of variation, mistakes, and random chance acting to create wildly different results from the same stencils. This speaks to a question that underlays modern printmaking: what is the meaning of reappropriating mechanical reproduction in an era when mechanical reproduction already makes almost everybody’s belongings, food, and entertainment? Can something beautiful and interesting emerge from the disruption of technological precision? These works aim to resolve into an image from afar but offer something very different as one approaches. Up close, the illusion breaks down & the image is exposed for what it is: goopy materials vigorously applied in regular patterns.
Recent projects have included a series of screen printed motion pictures and “Character Profile,” a group show Fischer curated at Root Division in San Francisco. In April, he will be exhibiting new work at Sanchez Art Center's Left Coast Annual in Pacifica CA, juried by Jenny Gheith (SFMOMA). In addition to his regular studio work, Fischer regularly pursues partnerships with community-minded organizations on public screenprint projects including signs, parklets, and murals. Fischer currently holds an appointment as Associate Professor of Engineering Technology at the California State University Maritime Academy, where he was awarded the 2014 Outstanding Teaching Award.
My Studio in San Francisco is based in an area of postindustrial decline, populated by architecture that is on the periphery of people’s vision, hidden either by design or by obsolescence, abandoned and forgotten.
My work has always been informed by my immediate environment, where I live, work and go has a direct impact on the subject matter I am drawn to. After moving from London to San Francisco in 2001, I became fascinated by structures displaying a sense of strength and energy, but ignored, threatened by the passage of time to ultimate defeat by corrosion and decay. My work is concerned with depicting how these giant structures appear, not through a sense of romantic yearning for the past, but by responding to location and documenting how they appear to me, now, in the moment.
As an artist who works primarily on paper, Printmaking is the perfect vehicle for me to explore these themes of atmosphere and corrosion. The Monoprint process enables me to create images that are clotted and heavy with dark ink. I use deeply saturated colors and textures not only to reveal the surfaces of the structures but also to permeate the emptiness around them. The physical nature of, and energy involved in making large format Monoprints imbues the work with the frank monumentality of its subject matter. Each step of the process, from drawing the image onto the plate, scouring and gouging, inking, and finally, wiping the surface for printing, suffuses the final print with a textural, tactile, physical quality difficult to achieve in other media, creating the perfect balance of color, texture and line.
Drawing is a crucial and integral part of my practice and I always carry a sketchbook, making quick pen and ink sketches or swift watercolor studies of my subject matter. This direct engagement enables me to emphasize the essence of the moment both physically and intellectually. Making use of the sketches when I make my prints allows me to stay true to that initial response, the gut feeling I experienced when I made my initial drawings. Only in that way can I hope to stay true to the emotional reaction of that specific time and place.
I believe in…facing… embracing… conquering your fears, living your best life, adventure, sport, experiencing life with all senses, flossing, dusting, rotating your mattress, growing vegetables, laughing until you cry, cleaning under the furniture, fertilizing the garden, fertilizing the mind, reading the book before you see the movie, reading the whole book, peanut butter, carbs, singing with headphones on, sewing and mending, doing it yourself, cooking from scratch, fairies, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, love, passion, exploration, something Other, the evolution of relationships, breakfast, crème brulee, pumpkin pie is a vegetable, flexibility, breathing, lattes, shaking your booty, balance, color, texture, contrast, the clarity of abstraction, the purity and wisdom of children, beauty, kindness, oatmeal, AC/DC, taking risks, knowing your heart, opening your eyes underwater, painting, perennials, traveling, letting go, trying something new, fostering independence, always exerting your best effort, the therapeutic power of chocolate, squats and lunges, downward facing dog, the glass is half full, looking on the bright side, attitude affects outcome, studying a foreign language, admitting when you are wrong, acceptance, reevaluating, focus on what you need and what you want will come...making lists… BIO: Raised in an artistic family in rural Oregon, I aspired to have a career doing "something creative". I worked as a graphic designer in the high-tech industry for several years before graduating cum laude from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in Art History and a minor in painting. Having spent the last decade traveling the country, I have settled in the glorious San Francisco bay area with my husband and three beautiful children.
I take quantitative information from the US Census and other public websites and create works of fine art. I explore pages of data that now fill the public realm relating to demographics, religion, ethnic backgrounds, hate crimes, gender issues-- topics that define our modern world-- and recompose these statistics into visual form.
I use simple materials (acrylic paint, graphite pencils, rulers and drafting film) to create complex, information-rich art. My process is labor intensive. Instead of using a computer to generate layouts and designs, I sort through the numbers and graphs, collate information, sketch out designs, and then draft and paint. This allows me to digest the information; the final product not only accurately describes the quantities, but the qualities of the new ‘map’ I have created.
My background as an architect has greatly influenced how I approach art. An architect takes information and translates it into built form. The intent is to make a functional, beautiful object. My art uses this same process, creating images that evoke discourse and insight into the world around us.
Artist Jonah Ward creates works of art that, in their most literal form, are compellingly aesthetic; in their most metaphorical, they are a testament to our always relevant interaction with the natural world.
While requiring sustained physical interaction with natural materials, Jonah’s works are also paradoxically devoid of his literal touch or imprint. He acts more as a facilitator—harnessing natural processes and phenomenon, while also according them their proper respect for their capacity for both incommensurable beauty and destruction.
Jonah's original, and most prevalent series of work is composed of panels of wood stamped with what could be tar-like paint and printed with abstract designs and meanderings. Upon closer inspection, the woods—with their different grains, colors, and textures—are scarred with burns: what is left over when Jonah drips, ladles, presses, cools, and peels molten glass from them.
Pursuing his use of natural elements, Jonah combines paper, water, fire and light to create another series of work he's titled "Burning Water". For this intense process, Jonah blasts fire at paper masked by streams of cool water, orchestrating a battle between these opposing forces. The aftermath is a composition of beautiful destruction—a moment Jonah describes as "controlled chaos frozen in time".
In his most recent series titled “Textured ‘Paintings,’” Jonah reinterprets the idea of what traditionally defines a painting or drawing. Rectangular pieces of madrone tree bark, leaves and paper from bald faced hornet's nests are separately adhered to wood canvases in a patchwork pattern, resulting in painting-like forms containing a richness and depth only matched by other natural occurring colors, textures and materials.
Jonah’s final works represent an organization of seemingly chaotic content and situations, yet are bound by a sense of structure—a common thread that has become prevalent in all of his work.