I always look forward to seeing a new show by San Francisco artist Ferris Plock. On the one hand, I know what to expect because his signature style of modernized mischievous characters depicted in the style of traditional Japanese ukiyo-e woodblocks is so unique. On the other hand, Plock always manages to add enough twists and turns to his new work that it always appears fresh and alive.
Currently Plock has his third solo exhibition at the Shooting Gallery open for viewing. Using house paint, wood stains, gouache, and gold foil, the artist creates the highly detailed paintings with eccentric energetic characters gesturing, growling or madly staring into the distance. A distinctive feature in these new paintings is the spiritual aura which derives from the gold leaf halos that adorn the figures.
When asked in an interview with the Shooting Gallery about the new pious quality of his latest work, Plock responded, “The halos are on placed on characters who are transitioning from one state to another. The halos symbolize the religious family I was born into and had to come to terms with. As a child, my family had this strange metamorphosis of sorts where everyone of us kind of fell out of our Christian belief system… music really became the soul of our household. In these paintings you still see the figures holding things dear to them in their arms as their personal totems and icons. Traditionally, icons are staring at the viewer and I chose to have each of these characters distracted and searching…listening. So they are traditional pious characters who are transitioning to another form of spirituality.”
“Carry On” by Ferris Plock will be showing at the Shooting Gallery in San Francisco through November 3rd, 2012.