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Archived Exhibition

San Francisco, CA. MMGalleries is proud to present the newest metal sculptures by David Buckingham.  In our Salon we are excited to introduce the artist duo Eva & Franco Mattes to the Bay Area.  The exhibitions open on March 15 and run through May 3, 2008.
Reception: Saturday, March 15, 2008, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

David Buckingham, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People.

Buckingham’s inspiration -- graffiti, snippets of dialogue overheard in office hallways, advertising, guns and their effect on the American psyche, the culture of celebrity (and celebrity guns), cartoons, movies -- have all sunk into his consciousness over the years and they are starting to make their way back out.  In his first solo show at MMGalleries, David Buckingham reiterates all of it, together with his inclination for anything with a history.  First he appropriates the title of Lenny Bruce’s autobiography (who took it from a famous self-help book by Dale Carnegie:  How to Win Friends and Influence People).  Secondly, all of his raw materials come from old trucks, road signs, school buses, car doors, all metal junk that he finds in the desert of Southern California. He states: "What I look for are old, battered, colorful metal things that have had a previous life and have the scars to prove it.  I want to make art from things that have a story to tell."  Lastly, his subject matter, from his “celebrity guns,” to his slogans and mottoes, have often an historical pertinence to the city where they are shown.  In the past for his San Francisco audience, he made a “Dirty Harry” Smith & Wesson.38 Chief’s Special (connected with the San Francisco serial killer “Zodiac”), as well as a “Dan White” gun, used to kill San Francisco’s former Mayor Moscone.  He also reproduced in stenciled metal letters the Bay Area based Symbionese Liberation Army’s broad slogan, "Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people."

Famous movie lines are among Buckingham’s constant fascination, which he cuts and welds in beautiful old metal’s muted colors and rusty frames.  This is a brilliant case of paradoxical semiotics, where the iconic movie line slowly but surely degrades in its rusted appearance, as a parallel with the American culture.  But Buckingham also aims to elicit a reaction with his profane phrases, culled out of context from popular culture.

A New Orleans native currently working in Los Angeles, Buckingham is associated with the Rivington School in New York City, and is shown in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.  His work has been included in an exhibition at the Riverside Art Museum, and in several private collections throughout the United States.

The artist will be present at a reception held at MMGalleries on Saturday, March 15, 2008, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

Eva and Franco Mattes, Portraits.

During 2006 and 2007, Eva and Franco Mattes created portraits of Avatars--alternate identities that people create and inhabit in the popular online virtual world Second Life. 

The series,  exhibited for the first time in a show staged in Ars Virtua, a venue inside Second Life, captures the most visually dynamic and celebrated "stars" of Second Life.  

The Avatars portraits are taken in glamourous poses, reminiscent of fashion photographs, and rendered with flat surfaces and block colors similar to the Internet esthetic.  In their seductive depictions they are not only representative of contemporary beauty canons, but they also provide a new convention of portrait style.  The Matteses’ work opens new issues about the relationships between high art and subculture, and between art and life itself. 

Born in 1976, Eva and Franco Mattes, have been pioneers in the net.art movement.

In the last decade they have created mass-scale performances staged outside the traditional art venues and involving an unaware audience.  They created and released the code for a computer virus, run media campaigns for non-existent action movies (United We Stand), and convinced the entire populace of Vienna that Nike had purchased the city's historic Karlsplatz and was about to rename it "Nikeplatz".  Their works have been shown internationally, including: New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; ICC, Tokyo; Manifesta 4, Frankfurt; and the Venice Biennale. The Matteses are the recipients of 2006 New York Prize for most promising young Italian Artists.

Portraits is their first show with MMGalleries and on the West Coast.

Exquisitely printed by Jean Yves Noblet Contemporary Prints in New York, Portraits will be exhibited in our Salon.

Blue Kinky Grind

David Buckingham in action.

Sarah Asturius

Eva & Franco Mattes,
Sarah Asturias, 2006
Digital print on Somerset Velvet
Image Size: 29-1/4 x 39 inches
Paper Size: 35 x 44 inches