Drawing Magazine Fall 2016

I am so grateful to be included in Drawing Magazine's Fall 2016 issue in the New and Notable section!

Museum curator goes on Miami art safari

Minton’s hunt for wild animals amid the wildness of the contemporary art world is an adventure in and of itself...

... Minton discovered a lot of interesting artists at Art Basel Miami Beach, three of whose works were purchased at the inaugural Blacktail Gala: A kaleidoscopic video piece by Leslie Thornton, a pixelated wooden finch by Shawn Smith and a meticulously drawn meditation on flight by Christina Empedocles.

Jack Fischer Gallery at Art Market San Francisco

I'll have several pieces on display with the Jack Fischer Gallery at Art Market San Francisco. This year's fair is certain to be spectacle, so I hope you can stop by!

Jack Fischer Gallery | Booth 615

Art Market San Francisco: Fort Mason Festival Pavilion May 15-18th, 2014

SPACE // SQUARED Curated by Sven Davis at White Walls May 10 - June 7

There is an impressive selection of artists in this show. Please come by White Walls to check it out! May 10 - June 7, 2014 White Walls 886 Geary Street (between Hyde and Larkin) San Francisco, CA 94109 Phone: (415) 931-1500

Notes from the Studio: February 19th, 4pm at California College of the Arts

I'll be giving a talk at California College of the Arts at the Francisco Campus, as part of the Notes from the Studio series, February 19th at 4pm in the Drawing Room (formerly known as PLAySPACE).  This is a casual event, where I'll be talking about my recent work, and I'd love to see you there!

Christina Empedocles’s Drawings Resurrect Outmoded Ideals. By Roxanne Goldberg

San Francisco-based artist Christina Empedocles uses wax pencil on paper to capture details in crumpled fabrics and papers, evoking a sense of nostalgia the simple, carefree life of past decades. The convincingly lifelike drawings appear as photographs and play with the viewer’s yearning to smooth out the ripples and even out the wrinkles. Magicfeatures the faces of two doll-like young women and appears as a 1950s advertisement for “Perma-lift Brassieres.” The slogan “The lift that never lets you down,” is ironic considering the advertisement looks trampled and forgotten. Similarly, Nova 400 shows posh, smiling mid-century men and women laughing, kissing and driving in a brand new Chevy. The crumpled bulletin reminds the viewer this previous time of carefree joy is long gone.Other recent works like Mélange and Mockingbirds convey a message of strangled nature, as the drawings of birds perched on branches are crushed so that no one figure is seen in full. Just like the men and women in the vintage advertisements, their beauty and bliss has been destroyed in modern times. One can only hope he may one-day steamroll the bumps to create an undisturbed picture.

Detailed Focus, in Dirty Laundry Magazine

Over the years of making art I’ve told myself many stories about why I do this. But at this point in my life I find there’s one small story I wander back to more than any of the others...

SF Art Enthusiast Review of Two Pencils

Jack Fischer Gallery’s current two-person show, culminating its exhibition programming for the year, “Two Pencils,” brings together two local artists, Kevin Chen and Christina Empedocles, who engage with exacting work of pencil and paper, and reveal multifarious approaches and prospect new methods and practices towards the foundational artistic medium and material.

Many of Christina Empedocles’ incredibly detailed images on wax pencil on paper, which are at once painstakingly detailed, done with great care and also appear crumpled and discarded, explore the convoluted relationship of paper and pencil. ”Through a practice of realism I am trying to monumentalize or archive an event, or memory, or create a relationship to something or someone I’ve never encountered,” she says in a recent interview with In The Make.  At Jack Fischer Gallery, Empedocles presents works from two series: one is an ongoing documentation of natural biology, and the other borrows imagery from 1950s advertisements and comic strips– their crumpled quality seemingly highlights the cultural distances of past and present. ”Together,” Empedocles says of these two seemingly disparate series, “they are at best a fragmented record: evidence of dates, locations, events and pseudo science, forming a portrait of an individual absorbing the world through popular culture.”

Two Pencils Opens at the Jack Fischer Gallery

My work will be on view along side Kevin B. Chen, in an exhibition titled Two Pencils. It opens on November 23rd at Jack Fischer's new gallery location on Potrero Avenue at 16th Street in San Francisco. I couldn't be more thrilled to have my work shown with the incredible drawings of Kevin B. Chen, whose mind-bendingly detailed cityscapes will leave you hypnotized. If you are in town between November 23rd and December 31st I hope you will take a look!

Two Pencils

November 23 - December 31, 2013

Opening Reception: November 23, 4-7 pm

Jack Fischer Gallery311 Potrero Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94103

(415) 522-1178 www.jackfischergallery.com

Twitter Acquisition!

The Twitter Corporate Collection just purchased Cranes and Crows from the David B. Smith Gallery

Common Objects Opens June 8th at SCAPE

SCAPE is pleased to announce “Common Objects”, an exhibition of new works by artists Christina Empedocles, Dave Lefner, and Robert Townsend. Originally conceived as an homage to the 1962 show, “New Paintings of Common Objects”, this show will feature images of all things common, banal, maybe even humorous… household products, food items, advertising and comic books.

 Now just past its 50th anniversary, the landmark show “New Paintings of Common Objects” was hosted at the Pasadena Art Museum, now the Norton Simon Museum, and was the first museum survey exhibition of Pop Art in America, featuring the likes of Ed Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The influence this show and these artists had upon the art world, as well as the world at large, is undeniable. Pop Art posed the question of “What is Art?” like never before. Everyday objects isolated on a gallery wall suddenly proved to have a power all their own. The intentional fun, tongue-in-cheek irreverence of subject matter, context, and even execution was the point.

It is in this spirit that SCAPE is showcasing these three contemporary artists, who pay tribute to their art heroes in their own individual style with their own takes and twists on the subject of everyday objects.  But, unlike most of their heroes, Empedocles, Lefner and Townsend, above all, hold a sincere respect for the technical execution of their chosen mediums.

Empedocles’ intricate, hyper-realistic wax pencil drawings of pages torn from magazines of 1962, show the slickness, style, and humor of advertisements and iconic images of everyday life of the “Joneses”…

Lefner uses the graphic medium of linocuts to capture the hard edges of consumer products: logos, wrappers, etc., originally printed through mass-commercial processes and now brought home to the world of fine art through his labor-intensive, hand-carved, very limited-edition linoleum block prints.

Townsend’s detailed, photo-realistic watercolors use an enlarged scale of everyday objects from the 1950s, a golden age to many, giving a historical reference to the beauty of design, as well as the attention to detail through the packaging of even the most simple household items.

'Landing' and 'Flickers' find their way into Fashion

Anne van Den Boogaard, a 4th year Fashion and Design student at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute saw images of 'Landing' and 'Flickers' online and appropriated them into her latest collection titled 'Sonic Youth'. She developed the fabric and constructed this art deco styled garment  for a recent runway show in Amsterdam. I was surprised and thrilled when she shared photos of her efforts with me.

PUBLIC ART: New Art on Market Street Poster Series Celebrates S.F. in Film

On view through April 8, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, January 23, 2013 – Who can forget seeing an 80-year-old woman fall into the ocean through a crack in the ruins of Sutro Baths in Harold and Maude or Clint Eastwood chasing criminals over roof tops in Dirty Harry. The latest Art on Market Street Poster series by San Francisco-based artist Christina Empedocles celebrates the City’s rich history as an iconic cinematic backdrop. On view through April 8, 2013 in the bus kiosks along Market Street between the Embarcadero and Van Ness, The City on Film features photorealistic drawings of the original movie posters for six classic San Francisco films: Dirty Harry (1971), Harold and Maude (1971), What’s Up Doc?(1972), THX 1138 (1971), So I Married an Axe Murderer(1990), and The Times of Harvey Milk (1984).

According to the artist, “The hills and vistas, like cinematic characters, have fueled the legend of the Bay Area for decades, inspiring scores of people to journey west to see it for themselves. This project creates an intense nostalgia surrounding these films, and instills a great sense of pride in seeing the backdrop of San Francisco.”

Empedocles’s trompe l’oeil drawings of the movie posters are accompanied by collage elements that relate to the movies’ stories. For example, The Times of Harvey Milk poster includes a bouquet of burned candles and a wreath of flowers in reference to the memorials that were held after his murder. Additionally, each poster in the series includes historical and contextual information about the film illustrating how these films have become part of San Francisco’s cultural fabric.

“Christina Empedocles’s posters are wonderfully detailed,” said Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission Tom DeCaigny. “Viewers will have just as much fun remembering scenes from these classic films as they will marveling at her virtuosity.”

Drawn to Detail

Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Article by: ART REVIEW MARY ABBE

Burnet Gallery

MINNEAPOLIS, September 28, 2012: Even under the closest scrutiny, the crumpled movie posters look like photos in Christina Empedocles' hyper-realistic pencil drawings. The San Francisco artist spends weeks -- even months -- creating her illusions, which include a scrap of a Brenda Starr cartoon taped to a slab of wood, a crumpled Alfred Hitchcock film poster, a discarded love note and bird illustrations. Her enthusiasm for pop culture detritus goes hand in hand with very impressive Old Master skill.

Through Nov. 11. Free. Le Meridien Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-767-6900 or www.burnetgallery.com.


Wine and Bowties

SAN FRANCISCO, August, 2012 – Making it as an artist isn’t easy. Patience, dedication, talent, and perseverance are just a few of the qualities necessary for those looking to live off their creativity, and not go broke or starve in the process. Fortunately, Christina Empedocles has managed to navigate those challenges, finding her own niche in the ever-evolving San Francisco art scene, thanks to a talent for striking photographic realism. The body of work she’s amassed shows her evolution as an artist over time, channeling childhood memories and fleeting moments, turning the temporary and the transient into something more permanent. Now, having added a daughter to her growing list of creations, Christina’s evolution as an artist is ongoing. We had a chance to chat with Christina recently, where she shared some valuable insight on her creative influences, balancing art and family, and what it’s like to make ends meet doing what you love...

Read the whole interview here 

Interview with IN THE MAKE

SAN FRANCISCO, June, 2011 – On the day of our visit Christina met up with us at a bakery near her Bernal Heights home, arriving with a warm smile and a very cute pregnant belly. We each got a treat, and then all together we walked the block or so to her house. On our way there we talked about her pregnancy and how exciting it was that she would soon be welcoming her first child into the world. Christina’s studio is in a front room of the house with three big windows that look out onto the street, so it gets quite a lot of light. Her space is occupied by the essentials: an expansive drawing desk against one wall, a computer desk against another wall, and a large and incredibly well organized shelving unit against the third wall. Her studio instantly conveyed a clean and practical sensibility, everything was in a state of order— photos for a project were neatly stacked, pieces of beach glass she has been collecting were in tidy little containers, rows and rows of books were lined up so that each title was clearly visible, and nothing was out on her drawing desk but the piece she was working on. Christina is an animated and impassioned conversationalist who answered each question with a great deal of honesty and thoughtfulness. She seems driven by an unrelenting and almost obsessive curiosity and has a penchant for finding significance and meaning in all the impermanent and minute details of daily life— a fact that is obvious not only in her art, but also in how wholeheartedly she engages in both the worlds of living beings and inanimate objects...

Read more here

Christina Empedocles knows her way with a pencil


SAN FRANCISCO, October 14, 2012 – Christina Empedocles’ wax pencil on paper drawings show a mastery of lighting, depth, and the limitations of a simple pencil. 

Empedocles studied both art and geology at Oberlin College in Ohio, and though she considered a career in geology she followed her heart to art. It’s clear her science background informs many of her drawings – pristine birds and deer are beautiful ‘pictures of pictures.’ Her choice of wax pencil allows her deep black hues and a smooth finish.

Now based in san Francisco, her latest series titled As Evidenced... shows an artist obsessed with memorabilia and the challenge of exact replication.

Studio Visit with Christina Empedocles


SAN FRANCISCO, September 24, 2010 – Hi-Fructose recently paid a visit to the San Francisco, Mission St. studio of Christina Empedocles as the artist puts the finishing touches on her latest body of work to debut soon at David B. Smith Gallery in Denver, CO. Empedocles stunning photorealistic wax pencil renderings of mirrored birds and found ephemera resonate deeply, her imagery a juxtaposition of grim foreboding, the beauty of nature and childhood memories. View a piece in progress as well as a preview of the upcoming show, here on Hi-Fructose.

See the rest here

Design Credit

SF Station

SAN FRANCISCO, 2009 – Christina Empedocles, a San Francisco local and MFA graduate from California College of the Arts, employs realist and trompe-oeil (optical three-dimensional) techniques.

Christina Empedocles' wax pencil drawings make use of obsessive realism as a means to explore the nature of memory, nostalgia and perception. Her work accumulates and assembles found objects and images, and creates a series of representations of representations. The images stand in for the things she has lost touch with over time and reveals the great distance from artist to source. By painting what is obviously a facsimile, she monumentalize this distance between herself and the original, using the intense act of looking as a futile means of getting closer to the things she represents.

The truth that emerges in Christina Empedocles work comes from an innate passion and a freedom to experiment and perfect this style. Also, San Francisco has everything to do with her work. It is where she became an artist, where she was educated, and where she started her adult life. In a recent showing at the spectacular new Alphonse Berber Gallery in Berkeley her work was hailed as stunning both technically and intellectually. Keep an eye out for this incredible local artist or try strolling through the UCSF campus looking for her joyful "flock" mural. 

- Giuseppe A. Alagna

The art of the Eagle men's room: "Walls of Glory"'s one-night stand

A portrait of Queen Elizabeth by Christina Empedocles was stolen from its perch over a toilet just before the bar opened for the show.

San Francisco Bay Guardian

By Stacy Martin

SAN FRANCISCO, December 12, 2007 – For one night only, the three bathrooms at one of San Francisco’s all-time favorite leather bars were multipurposed into mini-fine-art galleries. “Walls of Glory,” a temporary, site-specific installation at the Eagle Tavern debuted at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, and closed that same night at 10. Curated by California College of the Arts graduate student Luke Butler, the show included works by 18 artists.

Butler’s idea for the event came from his desire to stage an exhibition in an undesirable location, a place that's the complete opposite of a gallery and its white, pristine walls. He also wanted to bring artworks to a place everyone eventually has to go to, and one of the great equalizers of humanity is, indeed, the toilet.

After much convincing, skeptical Eagle bartender Doug agreed to let Butler stage the event, though the show was kept to its brief viewing hours due to potential environmental hazards. But some work was designed to handle the rough environment.

Muddy waters: Danny Keith showed paintings of dudes getting down and dirty.

Take Erik Scollon’s series of tiny porcelain figurines of nude men lewdly posing in the urinals, all begging to be pissed on - and pissed on they were. Jason Kalogiros’s sneaky and rusty tin tea box sat on a shelf above another urinal, with its image of King Edward sporting a black bar of tape over the monarch’s eyes. The object is actually a pinhole camera, and removing the tape lets Edward get a peek and take an image of the visitors to the loo.

Danny Keith’s paintings of guys wrestling in the mud shared stall-wall space with Travis Meinolf’s homey embroidered motto piece, while a photograph by Larry Sultan adorned one wall across from a sink sporting Elisheva Biernoff’s specially molded hand soap in the shape of a nude male reclining on a bed.

One unfortunate consequence of this fun, but risky installation came just an hour or so before the official opening time when a painting of Queen Elizabeth hung over one of the toilets was stolen. The artist Christina Empedocles, realizing that the show must go on, quickly fashioned a response piece for the thief. She embroidered “Hello Teeny” in pink thread onto black fabric and hung it in place of the missing work. Works by Butler, James Gobel, Erin Allen, Jordan Kantor, Keith Boadewee, Jason Hanasik, John Jenkins, Brian Murphy, Jessica Rosen, Patrick Hillman, and Guardian critic Glen Helfand rounded out the show.

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