Funk Ain't Dead

Santiago Insignares

Joey Enos

Marshall Elliott

Hadar Kleiman

Hadar Kleiman

Kuo Chen (Kacy) Jung

Blu Voelker

Blu Voelker

Matthew Usinowicz

Matthew Usinowicz

Elisabeth Kohnke

Charmaine Koh

Ian Mackay

Katie Chin

Jose Figueroa

Lee Lavy

Katie Chin

Cait Petersen

Ben Vilmain

Ben Vilmain

David Lasley

Flo Pizzarello

Stephanie Rohlfs

Lee Lavy

Description

Funk Ain’t Dead is an exhibition that revisits an artistic legacy of the Bay Area and how it has evolved – existing in the peripheries of the contemporary canon, Funk has spawned a generation of artists working with similar attitudes, materials, and styles.
Funk is a term that is both organic and invented, a category that has been reviled and agreed-upon since the very moment of its inception. The seminal ‘Funk’ show – curated by Peter Selz in 1967 at the Berkeley Art Museum – put its finger into the midst of a significant, if goopy, West Coast movement. Funk art reinstated a measure of realism into the art scene – that art must be in and of this world, not an escape from it.
Funk artists exhibit a greater moral outrage, a fusion of high art with craft, notes of humor, a variety of materials distinguished by both sensuality and the grotesque. Funk’s foundation is in attitude rather than unity of form – eschewing theory for inner vision through a vernacular visual language, intended to connect with the viewer rather than setting art at an intellectual remove.
The attempt to integrate one’s own values is what guides Bay Area traditions –resulting in the proliferation of private, eccentric styles which often carry an artist from medium to medium. Funk Ain’t Dead is a celebration of the studio practices forging ahead on individual paths. These artists create from the core of their creative spirits, and the results are unfiltered, experimental, and more-often-than-not, funky.
‘Funk’ has become a reductive shortcut and national signpost for the art of Northern California for decades, often rejected even by artists who found themselves labeled within the movement. Nevertheless, Funk has been cemented into the Bay Area’s artistic history. With that history comes a new generation of artists echoing Funk attitudes and styles –a dedication to craft, a curiosity of color, unique attention to material. Irreverent, ambiguous, and absurd. Self-guided and experimental. Additive. Funk art reflects the deeply held personal, political, and spiritual beliefs of its maker.
I want to examine what Funk looks like today. How has it refined, what are the attitudes of our artists? This show is for the makers-of-things. The colorful, the weird, and the nasty. The politically outraged, the sidewalk scavenger, and the hoarder. The prolific and the psychedelic. The funky ones who are still kickin’ around the Bay Area.

Exhibiting Artists:
Katie Chin
Marshall Elliott
Joey Enos
Jose Figueroa
Santiago Insignares
Kuo-Chen (Kacy) Jung
Hadar Kleiman
Charmaine Koh
Elisabeth Kohnke
Heesoo Kwon
David Lasley
Lee Lavy
Ian Mackay
Nick Makanna
Cait Petersen
Flo Pizzarello
Stephanie Rohlfs
T2R
Matthew Usinowicz
Benjamin Vilmain
Blu Voelker

Role

Curator

Date

7/11/18-8/11/18