Introducing: Mercedes Helnwein

East of Eden

Artist Mercedes Helnwein will be presenting new works in a solo show at Merry Karnowsky Gallery.  The title was inspired by Steinbeck (who was initially inspired by the all mighty Bible) and we believe it lends itself perfectly to the drama that exudes from each carefully rendered piece.

If you like what you see, don’t miss White Walls’ Winter Group Show opening December 12th, 2009 where Mercedes will be among the group.

Here are a few words from the lady herself:

This is my new exhibition.

I’m going to say a few quick profound things about it which you can either read or skip, but people ask all the time what things mean, so this is my attempt to counter-act the impending questions.

I’ll begin by stating the obvious: I am using a title that John Steinbeck gave to a book he wrote, which was published in 1952, and which is a work of art that I admire ridiculously and helplessly. Steinbeck in turn got it from the Bible.

But I don’t necessarily mean to make a direct reference to the Bible or even to Steinbeck’s book – although traces of it I know have lodged themselves deep into my anatomy, as they should. Rather, I’m making a reference to the quiet and startling drama those words are heavy with in my opinion.

They give me the idea of something fatally misplaced by a few inches. Transparently wrong, but maybe in such a gentle way that it can go unnoticed by millions of onlookers.

The imagery in this show is kind of hinged on that idea. The work was mostly finished when I put the title on it, but as always, the right title explains a lot of things to myself about my work.

I think it’s safe to presume that “East of Eden” is a good match. There’s probably someone out there who disagrees, but as R. Crumb said the other night, “You can’t please everyone.”

Below is all the info for you to get to the exhibition. I hope you will make it. You are excused if there is a major body of water in the way.

All the best,

New Works by Mercedes Helnwein

November 14 – December 19, 2009

Opening Reception: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 8-11pm
Hosted by Jason Lee

170 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA. 90036
tel: 323-933-4408


Paper Tigers @ Fivepoints Arthouse


Wallen Works and Fivepoints Arthouse bring you Paper Tigers, new works from two of our artists and friends, Kevin Earl Taylor and Lafe Eaves.  The show opens tomorrow November 5th  with an opening reception from 7 to 10pm.  Here’s a note from Mr. Taylor himself:

Hello earthlings,

If, by chance, you’re not too busy on Thursday, check out some works on paper made by Lafe Eaves, Bert Bergen and myself over at Fivepoints Arthouse’ new space (see map below).  If you can’t make it, however, the show will be up until Nov. 28. and you’re welcome to visit.


kevin t.


Unseen on TV by Erik Foss – Nov 14

Gallery Three presents:

Unseen on TV

by Erik Foss

Opens November 14th 2009 7-11pm

Runs through December 5th 2009

unseen on tv

Unseen on TV

Black Book Magazine Interviews Erik Foss

Spray Paint & Stencil Workshop 11/7

stencil workshop

As part of the Tenderloin’s ongoing Wonderland project, we are excited to open our doors to the community for a free, hands on workshop. Three local graffiti artists, Apex, Vulcan, and Neonski, will be hosting a street art lecture and stencil workshop at White Walls Gallery to share their love of stencil art. It will be a fun time for all and we welcome artists of every level to participate.

Saturday, November 7th 2009
White Walls Gallery
835 Larkin St.  San Francisco CA 94109
Stencil Workshop 3:00 pm-4:00pm
Street Art Lecture 4:00-5:30

Montana is donating all spray paint for the workshop and a large wood panel will be installed in Myrtle Alley (outside White Walls) to be painted on. We also encourage artists to bring their own stencils and any other surfaces they would like to stencil. For more information about this event, click here.

stencil workshop

From the stencil master, here is an excerpt from Banksy’s Wall and Piece:

Advice on painting with stencils

  • It’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission.
  • Mindless vandalism can take a bit of thought.
  • Nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent, leave the house before you find something worth staying in for.
  • Think from outside the box, collapse the box and take a fucking sharp knife to it.
  • A regular 400ml can of paint will give you up to 50 A4 sized stencils. this means you can become incredibly famous/unpopular in a small town virtually overnight for approximately ten pounds.
  • Try to avoid painting in places where they still point at aeroplanes.
  • Spray the paint sparingly onto the stencil from a distance of 8 inches.
  • When explaining yourself to the Police its worth being as reasonable as possible. Graffiti writers are not real villains. Real villains consider the idea of breaking in someplace, not stealing anything and then leaving behind a painting of your name in four foot high letters and most retarded thing they ever heard of.
  • Be aware that going on a major mission totally drunk out of your head will result in some truly spectacular artwork and at least one night in the cells.
  • The easiest way to become invisible is to wear a day-glo vest and carry a tiny transistor radio playing Heart FM very loudly. If questioned about the legitimacy of your painting simply complain about the hourly rate.
  • Crime against property is not real crime. People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access.
  • The time of getting fame for your name on its own is over. Artwork that is only about wanting to be famous will never make you famous. Fame is a by-product of doing something else. You don’t go to a restaurant and order a meal because you want to have a shit.

D Young V Brings His Vision to Life

D Young V’s drawings revolve around a narrative in which a turbulent militaristic environment calls on San Francisco youth to step up. This group of individuals seeks to rebuild the destroyed society it once knew, forming a new and better one in its place.

Untitled 23 by D Young V

From San Francisco Youth Report

Until now, D Young V has referenced existing images to draw from. But last week he took things a step further with a full blown photo shoot to get exactly what he wanted, inviting friends and strangers to participate. A warehouse space filled up with about twenty people including models, photographers, and even a military adviser.

D Young V photo shoot

Derek White is a former airborne infantry, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, who came along to direct the models. He instructed them on achieving realistic posture, stance, and action poses. Shaun Roberts, Chris Blackstock, and Thomas Landerman photographed while Julianne Yates of Gallery Heist became the star model (she can even cry on command!). Everyone contributed props such as fake guns, helmets, fatigues, and masks to assemble a convincing costume wardrobe.

D Young V photo shoot

With a background in acting, Juliane really captured the mood.

D Young V photo shoot

Amid the dramatic times, a documentarian is always key.

D Young V photo shoot

Living in San Francisco has stirred D Young V’s interest in the idea of messengers. They bear the essential task of transporting ideas, information, weapons, goods, or anything else necessary to the cause.

These photographs will be used in D Young V’s newest body of work, which is surely going to be as fantastic as the last. Click through for the full picture.

To see more drawings from D Young V, check out his September 2009 show at Gallery Three.

Also look out for him at White Walls’ Winter Group Show.

ESPO x White Walls Nov 14

White Walls presents:

New works by ESPO

Opening November 14th 2009 7-11pm

Runs through December 5th 2009



Press Release

Love Letter mural project in Philly

ESPO’s Love Letter project on

NY Times: Still Painting Messages on Buildings, but No Longer a Vandal

Tes One and the Taking Tree

For the last two weeks, we have felt a certain paranoia under the watchful eye of Tes One‘s “Taking Tree” currently hanging in The Stencil Show. The piece makes us feel as though Big Brother was constantly peeking over our shoulder. This unsettled feeling  is exactly what Tes One wanted, which we discovered by asking him a few questions about the piece. Read on for a recap from the artist.

Taking Tree

Title of the work:
Taking Tree

What sparked the idea for this piece?
Against my better judgment, I was in a dreaded Wal-Mart parking lot when I noticed the ridiculous amount of surveillance cameras placed on the edge of the building and on top of the light posts. The amount of cameras was obscene, and ominous. At least 3 cameras surveillance-ing any particular area of their property. One look up at all those cameras, and the idea found me.

Where did this image come from?
Once I had the idea for the painting, I starting taking pictures and gathering images of security cameras. I’m sure this behavior looked suspicious on all sorts of cctv systems in my area.

How did you create it from start to finish?
Very carefully.

How long did it take you?
Approximately 2 months.

What meaning do you ascribe to this image?
When I was a kid, my mother read a book to me by Shel Silverstein called The Giving Tree. It is a story about a tree that loves a little boy and will give him whatever he wants (shade to sit in, apples to eat, etc). The book marks my first comprehension of selflessness, and has resonated with me throughout my life. I named this painting “Taking Tree” because it provokes the exact opposite emotion. For me, this tree is cold, violating and an intrusive reminder of the type of reality we now live in. I think it also captures the absurd lengths companies or communities will go to appear “safer,” while collecting as much information as possible on their public.