5 Works Of Art To See In San Diego In August – KPBS

This month, discover new works of visual art by Beliz Iristay, Jacob Rochester, Cataphant, June Edmonds and Fiona Bull — including several outdoor works and murals.

‘Where Is He?’ By Beliz Iristay

On view at Bread and Salt through Sept. 5, 2021

Part of the new civic art acquisitions through the SD Practice program, this work is a series of more than 30 painted, glossy ceramic plates, mounted on the wall in a clustered, flowing pattern by 2021 San Diego Art Prize recipient Beliz Iristay. Vivid blues and golds are paired with intricate Turkish calligraphy and a repeated QR code painted into the work.

Whether it’s from COVID uncertainty, cost-saving measures or waste reduction, art exhibitions are increasingly using QR codes on gallery walls instead of printed or silkscreened tags on the wall — including this exhibition. In some ways, it’s convenient and accessible, but it also keeps viewers on their phones. It felt disruptive and dangerous to scan a plate in Iristay’s installation only to be prompted to allow my browser to search the web for “He’s inside of you.”

Iristay, who is based in Ensenada, Mexico and San Diego, was born in Turkey. Her work draws on traditions in these three homes — and the spaces between them. “Where is he?” is currently on view at the SD Practice exhibition at Bread and Salt (the other half of the works are installed at San Diego Art Institute), but after this exhibition closes Sept. 5, the work will end up in its permanent home, still to be announced from the city.

Details: Exhibition information. “Where is he?” is on view during gallery hours at Bread and Salt, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Sept. 5. 1955 Julian Ave., Barrio Logan. Free.

‘Hope And Prayers’ by Jacob Rochester

On view at Swish Projects through Aug. 28, 2021

Jacob Rochester, an LA-based illustrator and artist, said that many of these watercolors and gouache (which lends a more slightly opaque watercolor style) works on view in “Paperworks,” his solo exhibition at Swish Projects, are studies. Whether studies of smaller things, images in his camera roll (one work is literally titled “8 Images in my Camera Roll”), or ideas for much larger canvases, there’s an underlying sense of intention nonetheless. The pairings in the works speak to Black Americana cultural expression, icons and fashion.

“Hope And Prayers” draws you in with a boy seated with a basketball in hand — it’s based on a picture Rochester found from 1993. He started this piece shortly after the death of Kobe Bryant, so on the wall behind the boy is a drawing of a poster of Bryant, plus a drawing of artist David Rudnick’s 2015 poster for a Tyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary exhibition called Rare Earth. The couch Rochester drew is from something he saw on 1stDibs, and the plant is his own. There’s something surreal about the span of time, space and culture in the piece, and Rochester’s works are somehow both aesthetically subtle and jam-packed with momentum.

Details: Exhibition information. Jacob Rochester’s “Paperworks” exhibition is on view by appointment Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Swish Projects through Aug. 28. 2903 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Free.

Untitled Mural By Cataphant

On view at Coffee And Tea Collective in North Park

Prolific San Diego artist Cataphant (Catalina Bellizzi-Itiola) recently closed her first solo show, and has been on a murals streak — in some cases traveling across the country. One you can view in town is on view now at North Park’s Coffee and Tea Collective.

Cataphant’s murals feel more complicated than just scaled-up versions of her paintings. Her works openly and honestly tackle mental illness, portrayed with curves and swaths of bright, sometimes stormy color. In this new mural, the detail inside each shape features intricate patterns and metallic, silver-leaf accents. From afar I wondered if I was looking at a series of rolling landscapes viewed through cathedral-like windows or archways, but up close it felt more alive, like something trying to emerge from its trap in a human mind. Either way, it’s something excellent to stare at while you sip your cappuccino.

Details: Coffee And Tea Collective is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

‘Ebony on Draper and Girard’ By June Edmonds

On view behind 7724 Girard Ave

The newest installation in the Murals of La Jolla project is a highly saturated abstract painting by prestigious LA-based artist June Edmonds. Edmonds completed her undergrad at San Diego State. This piece is based upon Henrietta VanHorn-DeBose, who was the first African-American woman to settle in La Jolla, beginning in the early 1900s, and ultimately Henrietta and her husband Thomas DeBose would own multiple properties along Draper Ave.

The curvature in Edmond’s mural echo the shapes of Draper and Girard, and Edmonds uses color and repetition in her works to reflect the interwoven layers of race, politics and identity. The work is massive, wrapping around two entire walls and rising approximately three stories.

The majority of the murals — more than a dozen in total — are all within relatively easy walking distance of each other across La Jolla. While looking at Edmond’s new work, another recent addition, Math Bass’ “Newz!” can be spied in the distance. You can find a map at muralsoflajolla.com.

Details: On view 24/7, visible in the parking lot behind Wells Fargo and Quint ONE, 7724 Girard Ave., La Jolla. Free.

‘Learn To Love Women’ By Fiona Bull

On view in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego outdoor breezeway

“Learn to Love Women (Aprende amar a las mujeres)” is a large panel work by Fiona Bull, who is part of MCASD’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG). TAG participants learn through workshops and study with a variety of artists, including Audrey Chan, Michelle Montjoy and Sarah Turner. The program explores the intersection of artistic expression and social issues, ranging from fast fashion to Asian hate crimes to inequality.

Banners, like the three currently installed in the breezeway between MCASD and the Santa Fe Train Depot, often serve as critical spaces for public art, and it’s a great chance for viewers to see these works outdoors, for free, while MCASD remains closed due to the pandemic.

Bull’s work is a bold, large-scale drawing of a fist clutching keys between each knuckle — a common self-defense tactic of women walking alone. The fist, which traditionally evokes solidarity, is downturned, somewhere between at-the-ready and concealed. A vivid red forms the backdrop, along with hand-drawn lettering of the powerful message: “Learn to love women.”

The full collection of works from the TAG program, including detailed process pieces, can also be viewed online here.

Details: On view 24/7 just south of MCASD at 1100 Kettner Blvd., Downtown. Free.


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Julia Dixon Evans

Arts Calendar Editor and Producer

I write the weekly KPBS Arts newsletter and edit and produce the KPBS Arts calendar. I am interested in getting San Diegans engaged with the diversity of art and culture made by the creative people who live here.

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