Tara’s Organic Ice Cream in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots to see local art. It doesn’t hurt that they showcase affordable artwork along with black sesame ice cream in poppy seed waffle cones either.
Their last show featured the street-art inspired drawings of 12-year old Elias Duchowny. In Duchowny’s characters and assemblage, I see a hint of influence by another local hero, Barry McGee. What really got me was Duchowny’s artist statement:
“My name is Elias Duchowny, I am 12 years old and go to middle school. Art is my passion. I couldn’t imagine a day where I couldn’t at least draw. I love my surroundings, those are the things that inspire me, especially people and animals. I love my dogs and my family and my friends.
I go to a school without any art classes for kids my age. My school district doesn’t think that art is a priority. I do.”
“These are images of people in the East Bay who are poor or having a hard time, but who are also feeling hopeful because people are starting to wake up and see the inequality in America and wanting to do something about it together.
As an artist, I have grown up in the East Bay seeing with my own eyes the inequalities in my community and it has made me feel bad. I feel compassion for all the people I see who are struggling and I hope things get easier for them. The occupy movement has made me feel hope that things could get better and more people will be happy and feeling safe in the East Bay.”
What a rad kid! If only I’d known about Duchowny when I was curating EARTH MOVEMENT with another awesome 12-year old artist, Super Cooper! Click through for some more of Duchowny’s art and his cute “first” pricelist.