White Walls Gallery Presents
New Works by
Hugh Leeman and Michael Holman
White Walls is proud to present “Recognition”, new works by Hugh Leeman and Michael Holman. The artists bring together pointed criticisms of American society tinged with personal history. Please join us for the opening reception on August 8th 2009, from 7-11 pm.
Hugh Leeman is a self-taught artist based in San Francisco. Emerging from within his layers of graffiti text and dripping paint are realistic portraits of his subjects. Outside, Hugh’s larger than life wheat paste portraits as well as his original, graphite drawings on “borrowed” street signs illegally adorn walls from Bogota to Bethlehem and New York to London.
Hugh Leeman is not a thief. He simply borrows street signs, transferring them from one place to another. His wheat paste and graphite portraits are an attempt to communicate the displacement that homelessness is defined by. It is not meant as “street art” but rather a lower form of advertising. The real street art exists when Leeman meets his subjects and gathers the material from which he works by giving away food, clothing, and cigarettes to those living and working on our streets.
His works carry stories of people hoping to be heard and acknowledged. However, painting them also convey imperfections illuminating his subject’s lives as well as his own, reminding us of society’s deficiencies.
Michael Holman is a screenwriter, director and artist based in New York City. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of San Francisco, and a Master’s degree from New York University’s Graduate School of Film. This will be his first show in San Francisco although he’s had solo exhibits in Atlanta, GA. and Columbia, SC. as well as group shows around the globe.
Michael Holman is a man haunted by American Confederate history. The confederate flag is a commonly used symbol whose contemporary purpose is to oppress and intimidate; however Holman deconstructs the flag and takes ownership of it. Thus, creating a revitalized image that embraces its contradiction. He explains, “From the beginning, I’ve always wanted to explore the contradictions and dualities we Americans are forced to live with daily, so it occurred to me that my family, a long line of mixed-race Blacks on both my mother’s side and father’s side, embodies and displays that contradiction perfectly.”
His great-great grandfather, Dick Holman, was a mulatto, a slave and a confederate soldier. He believed he’d fight the Yankees atop a great white horse and wield a saber like his father, but the only metal he would wield was a shovel, digging military ditches for the Confederate Army of Texas. In response, Micheal Holman alters the confederate flag in an effort to re-write history, turning symbols of mass influence, control and oppression into tools of individual power, enlightenment and personal sanctuary.
Please join us for the opening reception of “Recognition”, new works by High Leeman and Michael Holman on August 8th 2009, from 7-11pm. This show will be on exhibit from August 8th through September 7th, 2009 and is open to the public.
Please visit the media page for more information on the artist.