The Art of a Good Time
No hating here, it’s just an inevitable fact that I’m generally more interested in the social aspect of the shows. Maybe I wasn't held enough as a baby. But then there are those exhibits that really floor me, that inspire going on and creating something magical of your own. I'm gonna be honest, I am on one of those highs right now after solidifying a friendship with the people behind Will Brown.
News flash! Triple Base Gallery is now Will Brown. At the helm of the new space is a trio of intelligent, charismatic, and contemporary thinkers. There’s Lindsey White (artist and visiting faculty member of photography and new genres at SFAI), Jordan Stein (artist, coordinator of the Artist-in-Residence program at the Exploratorium, and founder of Glass, house), and David Kasprzak (curatorial fellow for the Wattis Institute and the Kadist Foundation, and gentlemen's fashion adviser at Freemans Sporting Club). They are a group of creative predators that have summoned a new life force at 3041 24th St. In my hanging with these people I danced, laughed, and did some deep investigating over burgers and pizza.
It all started when I had the wicked pleasure of attending Will Brown’s Goth Hellraiser dance party. The gallery's exhibition at the time was Untitled (Black Painting), "a history of black monochromatic painting in the form of a present tense negation” – basically, a big black room. These clever little heathens program thematically, so to bring the exhibition to life, it was only appropriate to host the smallest and sweatiest goth club night. I stayed out past my normal bedtime for this one and it really paid off. I danced, drank questionably clear gelatin shots, got hit on by 18-year-old taggers, and made inappropriate small talk about the decline of the natural phenomena in contemporary squirt porn. I called that night a success!
The next evening, hung over and bedraggled, I managed to haul myself over to the Exploratorium where Jordan hosted a Will-Brown-exclusive after-hours tour of the Tactile Dome. He had all the keys to all the doors, all the facts to all the figures, and a super sweet discounted ticket for us all. David and I were a tour de force in there. The obvious conclusion for the night was a trip to In-N-Out burger where we ferociously dined while mourning the loss of the beloved Hooters on the wharf.
Back before I really knew these guys, I went to their inaugural exhibition Illegitimate Business. It was a collection of illegitimately acquired art, be it stolen, found, repossessed, or otherwise manifested. The installation appropriately took place in Will Brown’s basement, where high-valued ephemera was shown by big name artists such as Sol LeWitt, Nayland Blake, and Catherine Opie, to name a few. The pieces came with anonymous stories of how they were obtained. (In solemnity with the theme, I attempted to steal the one I liked most, but then remembered that I had biked to the gallery, so put the Kippenberger back.) I also had the pleasure of stopping by Will Brown’s card counting class and have since struck it big in Reno on a few different occasions.
Basketball coach? Structural engineer? Mayor? The most relevant Will Brown, who provided the impetus for the peculiar space in question, is a 25-year-old CCA curatorial practice master’s student and past codirector of Triple Base Gallery. The owners call him a “sweetheart of a dude.”
Lindsey had her art studio in the back of the Triple Base Gallery for two years, so it was a natural transition once Triple Base closed down. Once she inherited the lease, Lindsey conspired with friends Jordan and David to think-tank on how the space might be used. Initial ideas about what they could do together included a bookshop, a newsstand, a pet portrait studio, and a D&D dungeon.
Instead, they wanted to create a place that hosted events that would otherwise have no home. An orphanage for experimental ideas and programming.
In my final meeting with the Will Brown team before writing this piece, I arrived at the gallery late one evening where I was greeted with pizza and a warm calf rub by dog-in-residence Lolly. The owners welcomed me into their activation chamber in the midst of hanging their Manitoba Museum of Finds Art show. Stepping into the room with all the kitsch and memorabilia surrounding us really lifted me to a level of awe. This show was such a wonderful example of what these folks are focusing on: Not a gallery showing art, but rather an artful showcase of curated experiences.
So far Will Brown has been running on donations and fundraising. They created a killer Supportfolio #1 that not only assists in subsidizing the programs but also provides donors with signed edition prints by four significant emerging San Francisco artists. If you can't afford that, you can still get involved and support these guys by going to any of their upcoming events. I am told that the Comedy Figure Drawing class will be back, and you can expect even more wild happenings to take place. Look at their website, follow their Twitter, go to an event, and meet these people.