Varnish is pleased to present the 2 man show, “SEDITIONS: The Art of Frank Kozik & Winston Smith” opening on February 2nd with an Artists Reception at 6pm. The seditious editions in the show are works of “rebellious disorder” that act as an intellectual call to arms to the public at large to stand against complacency. Each artist repurposes the pop cultural zeitgeist of the 50’s postwar era with punk rock bones to create sometimes complex sometimes bone chillingly simple messages challenging us to look harder at the politics and governments we take for granted are working in our best interests. On exhibit will be original works and limited editions.
Kozik and Smith share the experience of having lived in postwar Europe in the early to mid 70’s, a period of intense upheaval. Kozik’s childhood in Franco Era Spain was full of visually influential authoritarian acts and imagery, evidenced by his use of the propaganda poster format. By contrast Winston Smith’s time in Italy as a teenager was full of class struggle and socio-political turmoil turned to violence that one writer claims “amounted to anarchy.” This state of chaos mixed with a 50’s childhood in a “flyover” state comes into stark relief in his politically tinged collage-montages.
Using imagery of the 50’s and beyond as his starting point, Smith “kidnaps” them from their original contexts, re-purposing them into politically charged tableaus that confront the viewer with the paradoxes and incongruities occurring in front of our eyes. With a sublime humor, Smith talks to us of deep and troubling issues with friendly imagery. Kozik uses the template of the propaganda poster prevalent during and post WWII in the US and Europe to create art print and music poster editions full of visually gripping and supremely graphic scenarios rife with cultural messages of challenge. He has recently turned his graphically keen eye to the world of sculpture, creating limited edition works of some of his most well known images.
About Frank Kozik
Frank Kozik is an entirely self-taught artist whose artistic career rose largely out of his enthusiasm for Austin’s growing undeground punk rock scene in the early 80’s. He transitioned to silkscreening large colorful concert posters, creating artwork for a diverse array of musicians such as Pearl Jam, The White Stripes, The Beastie Boys, Green Day, Neil Young and Nirvana. He moved to San Francisco in the 1990’s where he started his own music label. In 2001 he transitioned full time to creating fine art, design and art toys. He currently lives and works in San Francisco with his wife, Sharon, and their four cats.
About Winston Smith
Smith first became known (and later beloved) for his collaborations with punk legends Dead Kennedys and his numerous album covers, inserts and flyers for the band in their formative years. His technique of cutting out by hand and gluing each individual element has inspired a generation of artists. He is classically trained in Renaissance art, having left the U.S. in 1969 to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, where he lived for several years before moving to Rome. Over the last 35 years, Winston has had numerous one-man shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, London, Berlin, Antwerp, Rome and Tokyo, as well as group shows through out the United States and Europe. He lives and works in San Francisco.
About Varnish Fine Art
Jen Rogers and Kerri Stephens believe that Art makes the world a better place. Since founding Varnish Fine Art in 2003, the gallery has become known for showing provocative and skillfully executed contemporary artwork. True to its original mission, Varnish Fine Art continues to be a lively and vital part of the Yerba Buena Arts District in downtown San Francisco.