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Japanese Contemporary Artist – SHINICHI SUGIMOTO

By Anjela Piccard

Visiting Artist SHINICHI SUGIMOTO “City of Gravity”

One of the oldest and most famous metropolises in Japan, Kyoto, undoubtedly inspires the work of artist Shinichi Sugimoto. This international exhibition titled “City of Gravity” transcends its literal translation, “movement of energy”, and guides us toward a fragmented and dystopic urban chaos.

This series of paintings questions everything — not only the notions of up and down, color, and space, but the consideration of the humanity’s survival.  The painted layers, with strategic and often seemingly lawless depth, remind us of the parasitic nature of our human existence. Cyborgs float through the colorful landscapes. Beautiful figures engage in both trivial and then fascinating activities, cityscapes float endless into the sky.  Through form, object placement, recognizable and yet puzzling figures, these meticulous layers draw us toward either validation or denial of The Future.

The artists’ extreme attention to detail and to the coveted “New Imperial” mark reveals hours of  painstaking sacrifice. Each canvas is saturated with a vivid street art-kultural voice and is layered with notions of traditional color theory. These mixed-use techniques link this psychographic geography and with an ever daunting fear of aging — aging as an individual and falling apart, aging as a society and being replaced, aging as a culture and becoming obsolete. Subjects of time, place, history, lifestyle preferences, and an uncertain future show up again and again.

Quandary or conundrum, what is the possibility of transitioning into the unknown? One thing is for sure, gravity and reality remain uncertain in Sugimoto’s futures. The portrayal of this public abyss, of what may be ahead — not only for a vast changing global identity but for an individual human entity, is at the same time beautiful and haunting.

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STALL30 at White Box Contemporary, THIS FRIDAY, July 20th, 7-10pm

Downtown Art Scene

Reported by Katherine Sweetman

What happens in public restrooms? An even more intimate question is, what happens in public restroom stalls?

The usual: unloading, regrouping, relaxing, laughing, tears, sex, drugs… what else?

Anjela Piccard probes these questions with her partners in crime, Kla-bada Roberson and Niki King. The particular bathroom stall in question is located at Ms. Piccard’s studio headquarters AKA Coup d’État PICCARD. And the subjects of the photographs are “30 Women of Influence” photographed over 30 consecutive days during the month of June.


The Women of Influence include ladies with titles like, first African American flight attendant, Fox News producer, Filmmaker for Scumbag Movies, and former Arts and Culture Editor for San Diego City Beat. Each of the “models” is regarded by the artists (Piccard, Roberson, King) as a woman with a significant influence in her particular world, influence in her particular niche –influence in her particular stall.

Piccard’s fascination of the public/private duality that’s located within a public restroom is wrapped in the idea that the restroom is a place of significant events in a woman’s life. It’s a location where she might deal with her first period, where she may learn she’s pregnant, and most commonly, it’s a private place of sanctuary where she will go to deal with a challenge. She may leave a situation in tears, dispirited, dirty, bloody, unhinged, but when she returns from the restroom, she will be composed.

Concept for the project came from Anjela Piccard, Women of Influence decisions were made by all three of the artists, and photographer Niki King was the one doing the actual shooting. One conceptual and aesthetic decision for the project was to shoot all the women on film– analogue black and white film. King, who has a particular affection for film, chose this workflow because it emphasizes The Real, the un-digitized, and the untouched.

Kla-Bada Roberson, the incredible model and stylist, is not only the #1 photograph in the series, she’s also the daughter of the first African American flight attendant (#15 in the series), and the grand daughter of the oldest women in the series –as her 100 year old grandmother is #30.

Each of the artists is also a subject for the project, as I might disclose, am I (#2). You can see us and the women listed below in a vulnerable, sometimes undressed state, this Friday at STALL30 at White Box Contemporary, 1040 7th Avenue, San Diego, California 92101

Women of Influence include:
Kla-Bada Roberson, Katherine Sweetman, Niki King, Rebekah Sager, Danielle Yoder, Erika Davies, Bea Pesenti, Elizabeth Martinez, Margeaux Maledon, Jessica Hunt, Nicole Novak, Alisha Marie Brandenburg, Anjela Piccard, Lynda Martin, Mary J. Roberson, Janice Dodge, Leia Gadow, Erica McCampbell (AKA Genghis), Michele Arthur, Greta Proctor, Kinsee Morlan, Jahvanna Audrian, Kayla Galasso, Lea Caughlan, Lindsey Nobel, Leslie Marcus, Sarah Flamm, Diana Cavagnaro, Mavreen Jimenez, and Beatrice Jones