Last weekend, Jeremy Fish‘s Listen and Learn solo exhibition at Joshua Liner Gallery drew to a close. Initially, I was bummed that Fish, a San Francisco resident who has been called “The Mayor of North Beach” and voted “Best Artist in SF” was bringing this awesome array of storytelling art to New York. But in a really excellent move, Joshua Liner posted the visuals and their audio accompaniment on the gallery’s website. If my plugins are working, you should be watching a slideshow above. However, if the gallery keeps its link active, I really encourage you to click over here to view and listen to the show in the way Fish intended.
Fecal Face has great coverage of the show’s set up and opening night. The Internet is so crazy, right? With high-caliber and plentiful digital photos and embedded audio, I’m practically there. Arrested Motion was actually there though, and they have even more photos. Click through to see the 3D wood statues from the show’s installation.
Jeremy Fish’s style is so graphic and so clean. It’s readily identifiable when you see it. He’s also an artist who is very clearly interested in stories. From the press release:
In an unabashed celebration of this folk art form, Listen and Learn puts stories and storytellers front and center as Fish demonstrates the enduring appeal of storytelling in popular culture. The exhibition features assorted tales from a wide swath of contemporary life—including from artists, skateboarders, rappers, athletes, a stripper, a cop, and a historian—which Fish has reinterpreted in lovingly realized painted works. Rendered in acrylic on hand-cut wood panels, these thirty “story paintings” are accompanied by audio recordings of the source tales recounted by the original storytellers.
Those original storytellers include: Snoop Dog, Aesop Rock, Mars-1, Mike Giant, Travis Millard, Morning Breath, Ron English and Alex Pardee, among others.
One of Fish’s concerns that he’s expressing through this body of work is the loss of the oral tradition in these times of text messages. Fish, who only recently joined Twitter, said:
In this era of email, texting, and blogging, we are losing a grasp on the concept of sitting around the campfire and exchanging life experience through the telling of tall tales. I want to remind people of the importance of storytelling.
While I didn’t get to put on the headphones and sit among the astroturf and hand-carved wood campfire, ironically, it’s through blogging that I got to hear the stories and enjoy the show. So there you go.
Three years ago, I did get to see an amazing Jeremy Fish installation for his Ghosts of Barbary Coast show in San Francisco. I’ll close this post with his gorgeous wood statues from Listen and Learn.