Alumni News

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 by Samantha Braman

Todd Hido, Untitled #9197, 2010

Todd Hido (MFA 1996, and currently a Photography faculty member) has built several remarkable and highly recognizable bodies of work over the two decades of his career thus far. He is best known for his night shots of suburban houses, desolate landscapes obscured by rain and snow, and uneasy, haunting portraits.

"Photographing people and places -- and putting them together to create narratives and suggest stories -- has consistently been my focus," says Hido. "It never ceases to amaze me what happens when you combine a portrait and a place. Your mind can't help filling in the gaps between them."

Hido's latest solo exhibition, Excerpts from Silver Meadows, is on view now through February 25 at Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco. Sequenced to form an almost cinematic narrative, its main "characters" are atmospheric, uninhabited wintertime landscapes and somewhat spooky portraits of beautiful, dramatic-looking women. Silver Meadows is a real place -- a suburban development that sprang up around 1970 on the outskirts of Kent, Ohio, where Hido grew up, which makes the development and the artist about the same age.

While shooting the pictures, he wandered around Silver Meadows and its adjacent areas deliberately, yet randomly, in search of scenes that would connect with his recollections. The exhibition presents both Hido's reckoning with his own past and a summation of the suburban childhood experience in general, in which communities are constructed from whole cloth, and "ticky tacky" homes, built similarly to convey stability, actually conceal lives seething with sexual and psychological instability. The pictures feel simultaneously familiar, yet imaginary and dreamlike, transcending any specific time and place.

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Pantone: The 20th Century in Color
Chronicle Books, 2011
Hardcover, 208 pages, $40

Pantone, the worldwide color authority, invites you on a rich visual tour of 100 transformative years. The book is designed by Brooke Johnson, who is a 2003 alumna of CCA's Graphic Design Program and now a member of our faculty and a senior designer at Chronicle Books. From the Pale Gold (15-0927 TPX) and Almost Mauve (12-2103 TPX) of the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris to the Rust (18-1248 TPX) and Midnight Navy (19-4110 TPX) of the countdown to the millennium, the 20th century brimmed with color. The authors -- longtime Pantone collaborators and color gurus Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker -- identify more than 200 touchstone works of art, products, decor, and fashion, and carefully match them with 80 different official PANTONE color palettes to reveal the trends, radical shifts, and resurgences of various hues.

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Steidl, 2012
Hardcover, 152 pages, $125

DIRTY BABY presents a provocative trialogue between the paintings of Ed Ruscha, the music of Nels Cline, and the poetry of David Breskin. The book is designed by Graphic Design faculty Angie Wang (who is also an MFA alumna of CCA) and Mark Fox of the San Francisco firm DesignIsPlay and the package includes two full-length music CDs. The title refers to the fact that when different art forms mate, there is never a purebred offspring, but rather a muttish and raunchy one: gloriously dirty. The 66 pictures in the book are drawn from two of Ruscha's bodies of work, the Silhouettes and the Cityscapes. In these works, Ruscha uses censor strips in place of the words or phrases that characteristically occupy a prominent place in his pictures. Their obfuscation gives the missing words a powerfully subversive presence: Language is emphasized even as it is obscured.

The book is in two "sides" in the manner of a vinyl record. Side A presents a kind of "time-lapse" history of Western civilization. Side B returns to the cradle of that civilization, charting the American misadventure in Iraq. For his poetic form, Breskin uses the ancient Arabic ghazal, a perfect foil and fencing partner for Ruscha's language-sensitive strategies. To this mix, Cline adds music for a large ensemble.

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Pisco Book
ClearGrape, 2011
Paperback, 138 pages, $19.99

For the modern American cocktail enthusiast, The Pisco Book, designed by Graphic Design faculty Tom Ingalls with Kseniya Makarova (Graphic Design alumna) reveals pisco's long and colorful history through pictures and stories capturing the diverse range of approaches and styles that go into producing it, the legendary personalities who craft it, and the excitement for it among today's leading mixologists. Renowned pisco producers and industry experts share their personal ruminations about their connections to pisco. Also featured is the rich historic connection between Peruvian pisco and San Francisco that began during the Gold Rush and which is undergoing a Renaissance today. The book includes nearly 50 pisco cocktail recipes from leading bar chefs and mixologists in the U.S. and Peru.

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Amanda Simons

Rise above the competition by attending "Fiscal Sponsorship and Fundraising for Individual Artists" [photo: Jim Norrena]

Career artists depend on grants for survival and exhibition of their artwork. Grants are essentially loans that don’t need to be paid back. Anyone who meets certain specified criteria can receive a grant for just about anything. Proposers simply have to meet the organization, company, or institution’s award guidelines and terms.

Posted on Friday, February 10, 2012 by Allison Byers

Born in Sacramento, CA, Rob Sato is a painter, illustrator, and comic book artist. He has a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His richly colored and highly detailed imagery mixes elements of horror, beauty, and humor to create a uniquely dream-like universe that is both extremely terrifying and utterly seductive.

Visit source »

Posted on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Issuu, 2012
Digital, 20 pages, free

This catalogue documents the work done in Sasha Duerr's (Textiles and Fine Arts faculty and MFA 2003) fall 2011 Craft Lab course, a cross-pollination of textile, fashion, and environmental systems thinking, inspired by ecological principles found in permaculture and regenerative design applied to restoration, repair, and its inherent connection to "craft."

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Bedwetter Books, 2011
Hardcover, 208 pages, $40

Sniper takes a loose and imaginary look at the Baltimore Snipers, examining the relationships of paired serial killers as an ultimate expression of repressed desire. Christopher Russell (Photography 1998) writes a perverse version of the classic American love story told through the narrative chaos of nameless characters, past-life flashbacks, false recollection, and parental and bureaucratic influences that define the psychological space of the outsider. The text’s 200 full-color pages are heavily illustrated, reproducing Russell’s drawings scratched into photographic emulsion. The release of Sniper revives the Bedwetter brand, which achieved notoriety during its 12-issue existence with a destroy-to-enjoy design strategy and an embrace of difficult literary and visual material.

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Gregory Halpern: A
J&L Books, 2011
Hardcover, 96 pages, $40

In A, American photographer Gregory Halpern (MFA 2004) leads us on a ramble through the beautiful and ruined streets of the American Rust Belt. The cast of characters, both human and animal, are portrayed with compassion and respect by this native son of Buffalo (now a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology). The cities he is drawn to -- Baltimore, Cincinnati, Omaha, Detroit -- share similar histories with his hometown, and in this postapocalyptic springtime all forms of life emerge and run riot. Halpern's two previous books, Harvard Works Because We Do (a portrait of Harvard University through the eyes of the school's service employees) and Omaha Sketchbook (a lyrical artist's book portrait of the titular city), were also investigations of locations and persons that fly under the radar.

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

More American Photographs
CCA Wattis Institute, 2012
Paperback, 106 pages, $28

As the United States slowly emerges from its most significant economic downturn since the Great Depression, the [CCA Wattis Institute] reexamines the well-known photography program of the Farm Security Administration (1935-44). In More American Photographs, 12 contemporary photographers were commissioned to travel the United States, documenting its land and people. These new works are presented alongside historical images by original FSA photographers such as Dorothea Lange in a catalogue whose design was inspired by Walker Evans's seminal book American Photographs. The featured photographers include Walead Beshty, Esther Bubley, Larry Clark, Roe Ethridge, Walker Evans, Katy Grannan, William E. Jones, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Sharon Lockhart, Catherine Opie, Gordon Parks, Martha Rosler, Collier Schorr, Ben Shahn, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Hank Willis Thomas (MFA and MA Visual Criticism 2004), and Marion Post Wolcott. The exhibition was curated by Wattis director Jens Hoffmann, who contributes an essay, and the book is designed by Graphic Design faculty Jon Sueda.