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7 Heron St, SF CA

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Press Release


Heron Arts Presents

Holiday POP

Exhibition Dates: December 14, 2019 - January 4, 2020
Opening Exhibition: December 14th, 7-10pm
Gallery Hours: By Appointment & Saturdays from 11am-4pm
7 Heron Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

October 5, 2019, San Francisco, CA — Heron Arts is pleased to announce the multi-disciplinary exhibition Holiday POP. The exhibition will be on view at Heron Arts through January 4th, 2020. Visitors can enjoy a group show of seven contemporary pop and pop surrealist artists exhibiting work based upon their unique interpretations of the holiday season. The show will feature work from Ben Frost, Christybomb, Eric Joyner, Isabel Samaras, Luke Chueh, Robert Burden and the “Ice Cave” installation by Scott Hove. The opening reception for Holiday POP will be on Saturday, December 14th, 2019 at 7pm and is free and open to the public.

The holiday season is both a joyous and stressful time of the year. For some, it’s a time for reflection, sharing, spending quality time with loved ones, celebration, generosity, and gifts. For others, the holidays evoke family feuds, debt and overindulgence. Beginning on November 1st (sometimes even earlier), we are bombarded with images of the holidays, provoking reactions both positive and negative. We have asked a group of contemporary pop and pop surrealist artists to create artwork based on their interpretation of the holiday season, and the feelings that come up when they reflect upon this time. Each artist will focus on a different aspect - both embracing and mocking the kitsch, nostalgia, mass consumerism, and twinkling lights.

“Art is really just communication of something and the more archetypal it is, the more communicative it is.” -Jeff Koons

Renaissance artists like Botticelli and Leonardo were not the only ones to create works inspired by Christmas. Andy Warhol, the king of pop art himself, loved to comment on the holiday season in his artworks. Jeff Koons, Salvador Dali, and Henri Matisse are a few other modern artists to have done the same. Pop art blurs the line between low and high art, while confronting themes of indulgence and death, putting an iron twist on the images of our everyday lives. The amount of consumption that has come to define the holiday season is an ideal subject to place under that critical lens.

“Ice Cave” - A site-specific installation by Scott Hove

Scott Hove will make a triumphant return to the Bay Area with a site specific installation inside the gallery. Visitors will be able to enter a decadent winter wonderland that stays true to his signature cakeland aesthetic.

Scott Hove
Scott Hove is a native born San Franciscan currently working in Los Angeles. His ongoing body of work known as “Cakeland” has been featured in many Bay Area galleries and shows including Spoke Art, Hashimoto Contemporary, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and many others. His storefront gallery was a landmark in Oakland for years and was featured in many magazines and TV features including The Cooking Channel and KQED. Hove’s work captures the viewer with beautiful, decadent,theatrical fine-art and installations that deliver a disconcerting and ultimately unforgettable experience. Although each piece appears unassumingly beautiful at first glance, upon looking closer Hove brings us into a world tinged with switchblades, fangs, bones, and gruesome soundtracks.

Robert Burden
In 2006 I began a series of large-scale oil paintings depicting the small action figures that I played with as a boy. Initially these figures were set against fabric, wallpaper, and rug patterns from my childhood home. Over the years the decorative motifs have become more complex, and often incorporating toys from various generations, but the motivation behind the work remains the same. I am inspired by the amorphous line that is drawn between imagination and reality, childhood wonder and adult practicality, and the ineffability of what can turn a cheap yet coveted piece of plastic into an almost talismanic object. I remember these figures as being magnificent. They represented power, beauty, good and evil. As an adult these toys are wonderfully nostalgic, but they're no longer amazing to me. There is an obvious irony in spending hundreds of hours to create a single painting that glorifies a cheap, mass-produced toy. And while that irony could reflect issues of commodity fetishism, consumer addiction, Peter Pan Syndrome or even shallow idolatry, I want these paintings to represent something positive in my life. Although it was sheltered and naive, there was a freedom in my childhood. It was free from the politics of race and sex and religion. It was free from the weight of history. It was free from rhetoric and paranoia, shame and regret, cynicism and despair. There is nothing profound about commenting on the minor tragedy of losing one's innocence, or the struggle to maintain one's idealism. I just want to renew my faded sense of awe.

Also known as Christy Lee is a visual artist based out of New York City and Charleston, WV. The "Christybomb" moniker was given to me by friends because of the energy and vivaciousness embodied within my art. I was born in Louisville, Kentucky and graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor's degree in biology and a minor in public health. In spite of my research biologist training, I ultimately came to the realization that creating art could be more than a hobby.

This realization occurred when I was living in Japan after the tsunami and earthquake of 2011, with the subsequent reflection and introspection that resulted from this upheaval. I was inspired to create a completely self-taught portfolio of work, which resulted in my acceptance into the prestigious MFA Fine Arts program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where I received my MFA in Fine Arts degree.

Luke Chueh
Born in Philadelphia, but raised in Fresno, Luke Chueh (pronounced CHU) studied graphic design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obipso where he earned a BS in Art & Design (Graphic Design concentration). He was employed by the Ernie Ball Company, working in-house as designer/illustrator where he created several award winning designs and was featured in the design annuals of Communication Arts and Print Magazine. Meanwhile, he also created, produced, wrote, designed, edited and published "E.X.P.", a 'zine dedicated to the "Intelligent Dance Music (IDM)" genre.

In 2003, Chueh moved to Los Angeles to further pursue a career in design. However, a lack of employment opportunities left him resorting to painting as a way to keep busy (a hobby he picked up while attending Cal Poly). He got his start when the Los Angeles underground art show, Cannibal Flower, invited him to show at their monthly events. Since then Chueh has quickly worked his way up the ranks of the LA art scene, establishing himself as an artist not to be ignored. Employing minimal color schemes, simple animal characters, and a seemingly endless list of ill-fated situations, Chueh stylistically balances cute with brute, walking the fine line between comedy and tragedy. Chueh's work has been featured in galleries around the world, and some of his paintings have also been reinterpreted into vinyl toys.

Ben Frost
Australian contemporary artist Ben Frost is best known for his bold, irreverent Pop Art. His instantly recognisable take on pop culture twists up everyday iconography from the world’s biggest brands. Subverting meaning and messages from the mainstream media, Frost’s scything commentary on advertising, entertainment and politics is both confronting and controversial.

Exhibiting internationally for the past two decades, Frost’s solo shows span London, New York, Sydney, Los Angeles, Toronto, Singapore, Berlin, Miami, Torino, Bangkok and San Francisco. His work has featured extensively across media institutions such as the BBC, Wall Street Journal, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.

Most notable fashion collaborations include working with Jeremy Scott to produce a Moschino Fall/Winter Capsule Collection 2018, launching at Milan Fashion Week, and partnering with Carolina Herrera for a limited edition release of her ‘212 Pop!’ fragrance. Exhibition highlights encompass shows at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, the MCA in Sydney, Urban Nation Contemporary Urban Art Museum, Berlin, and inclusion in an exclusive showcase of artists for Pop the Streets at Saatchi Gallery, London.

Frost is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, where he manages the self-titled Ben Frost Gallery and co-directs VS Gallery and artist studios.

Eric Joyner
Eric Joyner attended the Academy of Art and the University of San Francisco and went on to establish himself as a commercial artist, creating illustrations for Mattel Toys, Levi’s, Microsoft and Showtime. A member of San Francisco Society of Illustrators and New York Society of Illustrators, Joyner has been an instructor and speaker at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University and California College of the Arts. His work has been featured in San Jose Museum of Art’s exhibition “Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon”, and he has shown in numerous galleries and cultural institutions worldwide.

Isabel Samaras
Isabel Samaras is an artist based out of the Bay Area. Her work encaptures magical realism and the forbidden fantasies of fabled characters frolic in a world where elusive desires become reality, re-imagining ill-fated journeys that turn into enchanted honeymoons. A common thread that runs through much of Samaras’ work like a red string tied to her heart is that of love: maternal affection, romantic devotion, illicit enchantments, tender yearnings, unrequited passion, and the idea that everyone, even monsters or disembodied hands can find someone to love them.


Heron Arts was founded in 2013 by Mark Slee, an active member of San Francisco's creative community, organizing events since the mid-2000s. Prior to Heron Arts, Slee was a member of Facebook's product design and development team. He is joined in 2015 by director Tova Lobatz, who is pursuing ambitious programming that encompasses installations and experiential interactive environments, alongside traditional gallery exhibitions. Collectively they hope to provide San Francisco with a fresh outlook on contemporary beauty in the arts.