Grainy season


Bill Daniel hangs a piece from his exhibit at the Holland Project.

Bill Daniel hangs a piece from his exhibit at the Holland Project.

Photo By amy beck

Tri-X-Noise is on display at the Holland Project Gallery, 140 Vesta St., through Nov. 4. For more information, call 742-1852 or visit

The Holland Project, a nonprofit organization aimed at providing young people access to the arts, recently relocated from its old location on Cheney Avenue to a bigger venue.

“We were looking for a place where we could have all of the programs in one place,” says Sarah Lillegard, Holland’s director of arts and programming. The new location is big enough to provide a venue for the many concerts and art shows the Holland Project hosts every month. The space contains an art gallery, stage and concert area, a small library, and a room for monthly workshops on everything from building skate ramps to applying makeup.

The Holland Project opened its new doors on Friday, with the exhibit Tri-X-Noise, a compilation of artwork by California-based street and skate photographers Bill Daniel, Ray Potes of the magazine Hamburger Eyes and Jai Tanju, founder of the photography initiative Film Por Vida.

Growing up in Texas at the birth of the punk rock movement, Bill Daniel left the University of Texas and moved to San Francisco. There, he became involved in film and documentary, fell in love with freight train graffiti, and devoted 16 years of his life to tracking down old railroad workers and hobos to find the origin of a mysterious boxcar moniker. The result was what he calls his “life project,” a film called Who Is Bozo Texino? The film has screened in an estimated 400 venues including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and in 2008 it earned Daniel a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Daniel’s work in Tri-X-Noise spans 31 years, starting around 1980. He has photographed countless punk bands, including The Misfits, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Minor Threat, the Butthole Surfers and the Big Boys, as well as street scenes in his harsh, flash-lit style. The name of the exhibit comes from Daniel’s favorite type of film, Kodak Tri-X, which creates a very grainy photograph. In photography terms, film grain is called “noise.” The exhibit also features mainly his photographs of loud, rowdy punk bands, thus the term noise takes on a double meaning.

Hamburger Eyes is a photography magazine published by photographer Ray Potes. He started his photography career in high school, worked professionally at a magazine, quit to become a freelance photographer and instead found himself working at Kinko’s, printing his own photos, and stapling them into little books called zines. The Tri-X-Noise exhibit displays some of the best pictures from Hamburger Eyes.

Film Por Vida is a print exchange program, where people share photographs with each other through the mail. Mail may seem old-school, but since street and skate photographer Jai Tanju started the project about six years ago, it has turned into an international phenomenon. Tanju started sending his own photographs to his friends and family through the mail in the footsteps of 1960s mail artist Ray Johnson. He put the words “Print Exchange” on the back to see if he would get any mail in return. He soon found that people loved the idea of exchanging photos with him, and with each other. Six years after the project started, Tanju continues to send and receive up to five pictures a day.

In the Tri-X-Noise exhibit, Tanju has created an interactive display of a few of the photos he has received in the mail. The photos can be turned around to show the decorations and names on the backs, as well as the eclectic material of the pictures.

“I love the backs and the stamps and things as much as I love the photographs,” says Tanju. “I wanted people to see both.”

“It’s come together really well,” says Lillegard. “I’m really excited to see so many images in one spot, but there’s so much variety that it will interest a lot of people. It’s definitely visually representing what we’re about.”