we're back from much romping and stomping to tell you that we're stoked about this:
PRESS RELEASE – February 2, 2008
Varnish Fine Art presents: Rob Reger: Change of Strange
February 17 – March 28, 2009
Opening Reception Friday February 20, 7-10pm
[press contact below]
Change of Strange emerges from Emily the Strange creator Rob Reger
San Francisco, CA, February 2, 2009. This dynamic and interactive solo painting exhibition of interlocking characters and whimsical design opens at Varnish Fine Art on February 20 from 7 – 10 pm. The opening party will feature a wee bit of ‘Vampa White’ spectacle with a secret special guest directing the 360 degree rotation of the paintings. On the heels of opening an Emily store in Greece and completing the first novel for his character Emily the Strange, this is Reger’s first solo painting show without Emily in five years. Change of Strange demonstrates a change of heart. The show will run through March 27, 2009.
In this new body of work, Reger strays from Emily’s palette of red, white and black with bright, uninhibited colors. His trademark bold yet whimsical design is repurposed to reveal a world of new friends and beasts. Subtle narratives emerge, playfully tapping into mysticism, optical illusions, and hallucinations of the heart. Coming from the love of word play, hidden messages, and backward masking, Reger utilizes a yin yang approach with this work. He demonstrates a balance of many opposing forces, in order to show us that for every evil there is good around the corner.
With a tip of the hat to MC Escher and his interlocking beasts and a nod to Dr. Seuss, parallels are also drawn with the vibrant geometric shapes and bold folk art colors of Alexander Girard’s design. There is truly no such thing as upside-down in Change of Strange --- incorporating a patent-pending device designed for this show, the artwork is viewable 2-ways without removal from the wall. In this rotation new characters emerge, continuing the narrative and psychedelic fantasy.
Rob Reger is the founder, owner, creative director and president of Cosmic Debris - a design house based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rob and Cosmic introduced the world to Emily the Strange, now the international icon for empowering young alternative girls. Rob has been designing Emily for over a decade and has generated millions of fans of the character. Emily’s voice and image can be found in at least 26 countries, through the outlets of Chronicle books, a series of Dark Horse comics, a limited edition of Jones Soda, an Epiphone guitar, a line of Manic Panic hair products, an upcoming Harper Collins novel, and an upcoming Emily the Strange film from the producer of the Hell Boy series, 30 Days of Night, and The Mask.
Reger and Cosmic Debris grew out of the DIY punk and guerrilla art aesthetic of the eighties, and a fondness for the surrealist art movement. He continues to mix sophisticatedly simple graphic design with a pop culture surrealist sensibility. Reger has an extensive fine arts background, with a B.F.A from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a M.F.A in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. His oil paintings, printmaking, watercolors, and collage have been shown in galleries around the world: Tokyo, Paris, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, Milan, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Santa Cruz.
Outside of Emily and painting, Reger plays music with bands Beno + Minnie and This Isn’t It and co-directs Gallery Extraña, which exhibits contemporary eccentric artwork, located in the Emily the Strange headquarters in Berkeley, California.
Gallery Directors Jennifer Rogers and Kerri Stephens opened Varnish Fine Art on April 19, 2003. Beginning with the remains of a brewery built just after the 1906 earthquake, Rogers and Stephens designed and rebuilt the space, including a main gallery, mezzanine gallery and wine bar, combining gallery with community.
VARNISH Fine Art Press Contact:
77 Natoma Street, San Francisco, CA 94105