Art of a warrior
A couple dozen younger scenesters tote beers in brown bags and chain smoke outside an art gallery in San Francisco’s gritty Tenderloin district. It seems like everyone’s wearing handmade screen-print T-shirts, vintage summer dresses or retro rimmed glasses. No matter, the fashion-sense quotient definitely exceeds that of Sacramento.
Consider Sacramento artist Skinner: It’s his art-show opening—the most important of his career so far—and he’s waltzing about inside the spacious gallery in a ratty white T-shirt and pants, beaming like he just won the The Price Is Right, embracing visitors and friends at every turn.
You might argue that the biggest Sacramento art event this past Second Saturday didn’t actually take place in Sacramento. In fact, Skinner’s exhibition at well-known S.F. gallery White Walls—where collectors such as comedian Robin Williams shop, Skinner says—could never happen in Sacto, and not just because there’s no 4,000-square-foot art space.
There just isn’t a large enough Sacramento art scene.
Anyway, back to Skinner’s big deal. The man has been cranking out a painting a week for six months, some as tall as 5 feet, so as to live up to expectations at Justin Giarla’s popular gallery. If you suck at math, that’s more than two dozen ink, acrylic and airbrush paintings—not to mention installations, such as a life-sized sasquatch made from nearly 100 weaves (purchased at Diva’s Hair Boutique on Broadway and 24th Street).
Skinner’s new work does not deviate from his established oeuvre, which he says is influenced by’70s heavy-metal magazines and old-school comics. The paintings’ imagery varies from cosmic battles and monsterish warrior renderings to good-and-evil crusades embellished with orgy scenes and even touching netherworld portraitures (see photo).
Unfortunately, even the price points are from a galaxy far, far away; up to $8,000 for larger pieces.
At least when you buy Skinner’s art, though, you can be certain that the money spent will trickle back to Sacto’s economy. The artist frames all his work at Del Paso Boulevard’s Archival Framing, ships all pieces via Box Brothers and makes a concerted effort to shop at locally owned businesses.
That is, of course, when he’s in town. In the past year, Skinner has exhibited in Amsterdam, Rome, Austin and Santa Cruz. And, in the coming months, he’ll travel to Russia, with fellow local artist Justin Lovato, to paint buildings.
Who knew the Kremlin had a penchant for apocalyptic alien-sex murals?