Archive for August, 2010

BK Studio Visit with Damian Stamer

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Damian Stamer is an artist I have always admired, though it is not easy for me to articulate why I am drawn to his work, besides the obvious that he is a very gifted painter and colorist who at a very young age has mastered his technical skill and has experimented with several styles and is finally coming into his own and creating a unique Damian elegance. Damian is not your typical artist, he doesn’t wear things to stand out and judging him on looks, you would assume he works an average job. He is incredibly humble and his muted intelligence and intuition takes you by complete surprise. Having spent a year in Germany and a year in Hungary, it is amazing to see the evolution of his painting and how all his experiences have embedded themselves into this work, especially after two years of living in New York and being surrounded by the center of the US art world. His Williamsburg studio is filled with light pouring in from the windows as well as the energy that can of the BQE that can be viewed from these windows.

Damian Stamer Haymaker

His paintings take hold of you and are hidden with meaning, the viewer discovers new elements at every, subtle turn. This hide-and-seek effect stems from the painting process. He enjoys adding images and then painting over them, so that only fragments of the original object/identity remain. Damian seeks to create a similar effect of layered billboards when the old posters are peeling away, a way of documenting time. I found myself looking and looking again at his paintings and as someone I have known for a while now, I still have the same reaction when I look at his paintings as I did the first time I saw them and when a new work in unveiled, even if it is not “finished”, I am speechless and find myself looking at the work for hours, revisiting different components and trying to dissect the canvas that truly seems alive. Stamer is able to capture movement, dynamism, ocean, still life, and landscapes (most widely used in his most recent works) and has clearly been influenced by Gerhard Richter, Neo Rauch, among many other East German artists, specifically of the Leipzig School. Damian often deals with the subject of twins and doubles since he has a twin brother who he is extremely close to and lives with, though they are very alike in some ways, Damian is a painter and Dylan is an investment banker, so Damian thinks about their relationship and the science behind being a twin and it often finds its way into his work.

Damian Stamer South Lowell Dusk

His most current paintings deal with the juxtaposition of seemingly disparate elements and painting techniques. In attempts to marry pastoral landscape with both abstracted and non-objective forms, he constructs a new space, unique to the medium of painting. In addition to providing an opportunity for more realistic rendering, the landscapes push the depth of the painting, and therefore give the abstracted forms more space to inhabit.

Damian’s current process involves a great deal of trial and error, as he is letting the painting work itself out on the canvas. Compositional thumbnail sketches are used only in the most initial phases of the painting, afterward he tries to allow the uncontrollable drips and more freely painted marks to inform his next moves or aesthetic decisions. The end results are paintings that create almost dream-like worlds where dichotomous elements can live together and explore the painted spaces of their own creation.

However abstracted, there exists a visual world in which someone or something could live. Instead of a house on a flattened picture plane, the house rests in an environment. Even the stroke of color or geometric forms are applied in such a way as one can imagine moving around them. The abstraction is grounded by the physical laws of the natural world, and therefore lends itself to the possibility that someone has navigated these unexplained surroundings.

Damian Stamer Barnyard Brawl

After leaving the studio, Damian was headed to North Carolina and Europe for the next month in hopes of travel, inspiration, adventure and completing his next series.


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Buy and sell original art online. Showcases CAO Artist Carina Lomeli

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

My DIY Heroes Part 4: Carina Lomeli

August 9, 2010 by Tom Boyle

Welcome to my ongoing series celebrating the people I know that embody the Do It Yourself spirit, “My DIY Heroes”: Part 4: Carina Lomeli, artist and activist. And my first - though not last - DIY Heroine.

Carina Lomeli - Artist, Activist, Poor Magazine

I first met Carina Lomeli (pictured to the left in her self-portrait) one sunny afternoon as she toted her drawing pad and small easel across Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park. She recounts countless bike rides around the San Francisco’s notorious hills with turpentine and 30 pounds of paint on her back. The young artist started her career as a child, inspired by drawings her father had done for her mother during their courtship.

“I laugh at how many times I have had to endure long walks with drawing pads bigger than myself.” She reflects on one particular sojourn, “I tried to cross through the path of fierce wind in between buildings that showed no mercy and tossed (my drawing pad) into the street.”

Lomeli utilizes many forms of media to create her art - pretty much any available to her! Paintings, pencil sketches (like the portrait to the right of my favorite Bond, Sean Connery), printing, mixed media, photography, sculpture (like the figure shown to the left) - she’s equally skilled in each.

While looking for a place that she could speak Spanish as a means to help her people, her friend Guillermo Gonzales introduced her to the POOR News Network, a non-profit, grass-roots organization which provides tools for media, healing, education, publishing and other services for the homeless, disabled, abused, immigrants and other underprivileged groups and individuals. She began volunteering in 2008 and currently her roles have expanded to include those of teacher, translator, artist, film chronicler, photographer, editor and administrator to help ensuring funding for POOR Magazine.

An avid bike rider and activist, she is naturally involved with Critical Mass, a group of bicyclers that meets the last Friday of every month to ride across San Francisco to bring attention to our need to decrease our carbon footprint. She has also been involved with the American Indian Movement, Immigrant Rights marches, and many other causes.

I attended the Tattoo and Art Show last year at Dermafilia Tattoo and Piercing Tribus Vivas in San Francisco’s Mission District. In addition to featuring Carina’s mixed media ode to the morning after a night of partying “Me Pase un Poco / A little too much” (shown at the top left corner of the picture of Lomeli shown on the left - the piece is featured below and at Dermafilia), and countless paintings, sculptures, crucifixes, and mixed media pieces, the building’s alley was filled with people dancing to a bilingual hip-hop slam. Carina met Wilson, the owner of Dermafilia, in a similarly random encounter as when I met her. “One day when walking around the Mission, I stumbled into his shop and ended up talking to him about having art sessions. He then called later (asking) to share my art in his Gallery Hallway. Two pieces are still up today.”

Carina’s work is evocative in both theme and imagery, focusing on causes, concerns and fears - joys, hopes, and elations.

Here she explains some of my favorites from her impressive collection…

The Bomb

Medium: Oil & India Ink.
47″ x 60″

This composition represents to me the fear of what technology could cause if used against Mother Earth.

At the same time it shows the grace and elegance of woman throughout time and space as she simply accepts her fate and chooses to spend her last moments enjoying the Beautiful view.

Not to confuse her actions with lack of concern it actually implies our current social environment where men still are in charge of what happens in our world.


Medium: Oil on Canvas
24″ x 18″

Hope is a scene from an Immigrant Rights march that took place just down the street from my art class in San Francisco. Instead of taking my lunch I joined the march. I captured what came to be one of my favorite paintings. “Hope” on her father’s broken shoulders fighting for his rights.

The Future

Medium: Mixed Media
11″ x 14″

I had this image for a while. I drew it while thinking of all the death that happens everyday, and I realized that the worst way to die was being trapped. I fear those who need to control how I think, so much that I believe the future will be like this if I don’t try to do something about it. I also start to wonder why we let these people do such horrid things to those different and weak.

Three years later I grabbed the image to finish the piece by adding an experiment of color with acrylic, die, ink, color pencils, and markers on paper.

Me Pase un Poco /
A little too much

Medium: Mixed Media
11″ x 14″

This was inspired by partying a little too hard some days. The hunched over figure is accompanied by her best friend, the Bunny, who could also represent a Guardian Angel, somebody watching her constantly even though she’s not being a good girl. A mixed media on paper, I enjoyed adding different layers of paint as I let it get wet then dry between glass, it created a rusted appreciation for the textured paper.

Modern Aztec / Azteca Moderno

Medium: Acrylic on Paper
24.00″ x 18.00″

This creation was painted live at a Fundraiser for AIM WEST, the San Francisco chapter of the American Indian Movement. It’s usually administrated by either Mark or Arthur, but can be used by any member of AIM West. For more info, please visit

Dancer 1

Medium: Oil on canvas
14″ x 11″

Michoacan, Mexico. Santiago Tangamandapio. Just a sneak peak at the start of my Mexico Resist Series. Still working on the title. 2010 July 13-28 I visited my parents’ home town on a trip to Michoacan where, fortunately, the 2010 Fiesta de Santiago was going on. Every night for 6 days the central plaza was full of marked days performances, fireworks, parades, night shopping, disco or art… (I was able to exhibit my work inside the Presidential palace of my town). Even if it was raining the crowds would come every day. I took at least 500 pictures of the dancers which I will have to narrow to six or maybe more.

With over 15 commissions; features in publications such as the Mission District bilingual newspaper El Tecolote, ARTslant SF, and the City Lights Press book “Los Viajes / The Journeys“; and showings at Berkeley’s Seed Corn Gallery, the Academy of Art University Online Auction, and the aforementioned Dermafilia Tattoo and Art Show, Lomeli is well on her way to achieving her dream of being a professional artist.

“This is my profession - something I want to be appreciated for. For me nothing else means more and I expect to be the master. Doing it myself and taking it to the limit everyday!”

Though focused on self-mastery, she sees the importance of apprenticeship to the lessons of life. “I keep in mind that there is much to learn. Education through (one’s) own world, this is what Do It Yourself means.” She counts herself lucky so far, but adds, “I must everyday be aware of new opportunities and make smart choices. It is all up to me in the end.”

Buy and sell original art online.