Monica Gunderson and Henry Gunderson ~ Support Your (non)Local Artists!

My friends Casey and Erica Gunderson have two kids – Monica and Henry – both of whom are very talented artists. The Gunderson Four (accompanied by their mascot dog Duchess The MegaDachsund) are SuperHeroes as well as SuperBright and SuperFun peeps! Always a laugh-a-thon to visit with them.

Anyway, since both Monica and Henry have show openings this week, I thought I’d write up a little something to profile their work and post it for The World to know. And here they are …

MONICA G. – Dallas (for now)

The older Gunderson artist is Monica (early 20s). “Mo” engages in a range of production and performance arts. (Her Fauve acrylics are among my favorites.) She’s an award-winning art school graduate (2008) who trained at Boston University, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, with minors in printmaking and art history. Monica has a delightfully wondrous sense of slightly subversive humor that reminds me of “happenings” from the 1960s – a sort of Dada Goes GaGa, if you will.

Also, Mo is a great word-art-smith. She designed and made the very cool “No Bread” wallet that I sent along to the Global Roundtable this past summer. You can see various wallets she’s made at her Flickr site and order them from there. Be sure to check out all the pages on her Flickr site to see her very creative compositings. Her “Continuous Painting” strikes me as particular fun!

Monica is currently in Dallas, Texas, and she has an art opening for “Give Me A Break” on Thursday, November 19, with a reception from 7-9 PM at the Guerilla Arts gallery (1900 North Haskell). If you’re in the area, be sure to check out her show and this new gallery!

Monica Gunderson "Give Me A Break" at Guerilla Arts ~ Opening November 19, 2009

And for a delightful interview and Texas-appropriate mini-performance video, check out this post at The Coolest Art Thing In Texas. (Having resided for a year in Texas ~ a state where you can find party-ready cheddar cheese blocks cut into the shape of Texas ~ I find her video performance piece absolutely outrageous!) This interview shows several other kinds of art Mo does, including some of those intriguing word-art pieces. Not bad for a 20-something, eh?

HENRY G. – San Francisco, Toronto, Baltimore

The younger Gunderson artist is Henry (age 19). He paints in sort of a hybrid between the Goth of Bosch and surrealism of Dali and nativistic semi-primitivist … maybe a sort of Henronimus Gunder-Surreali-Native-Son. Or something like that. Actually, it’s his own unique styling, and I find his work fascinating. Much of his artwork is exquisitely detailed, with layers of hidden humor and drama, for those willing to search and see. His acrylics are amazing, and his pen-and-inkwork/cartoons are utterly absorbing!

Henry currently is in his second year at the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute. He had his first one-man show earlier this year – yes … when he was only 18. Henry – who by nature seems to be a minimalist as a conversationalist – gave an interview to Fecal Face Dot Gallery prior to his “White Hole” one-man show in July. (Yup, that famous Gunderson humor, protruding again. White hole … the theoretical astrophysical opposite of a black hole, whereas a white hole pukes forth new matter instead of the black hole which sucks in the old.) Check it out. See some more of Henry’s art.

For upcoming events, Henry has an opening for the “We Haven’t Felt This Way In Years” at DoublePunch gallery on Saturday, November 21, from 7 PM til late (1821 Powell Street at Filbert, San Francisco). This group showing runs through December 10. The invitation card below shows one of his pieces. (Casey was arguing with Erica and me as to whether there is a spaceman hidden as an image within an image. Casey voted no, while The Rest Of Us voted yes. Click on the DoublePunch Flyer for a mega-view and see what you think …)

Henry Gunderson at DoublePunch Gallery ~ Opening November 21, 2009

Henry also has an opening for the Winter Group show at White Walls Gallery on Saturday, December 12, from 7 PM to 11 PM (835 Larkin Street, San Francisco). This show runs through January 2, 2010.

But wait! There’s more! Henry opens at the Show and Tell Gallery in Toronto in the “From Me To You” group showing on Saturday, December 12, as well (1161 Dundas Street West). That show runs through January 29, 2010. And another gallery in Baltimore, Maryland, will show his work in December. (Details forthcoming.) Not bad for a 19-year-old, eh?

And thanks for your support of your local artists!

~ Brad Sargent ~ “futuristguy” ~

UPDATE: The Baltimore group showing, “Heady Mugs,” opens December 11 and runs through January 1 at the Nudashank gallery (405 W. Franklin Street, 3rd Floor, Baltimore). Check out Henry’s piece called “Hands Face” … another of my favorite on his oft-riffed theme of hidden (and not-so-hidden) hands.

And now – a bonus feature!

Funnest Mo-moments: While in high school, when she painted the ceiling the ENTIRE ceiling and upper walls of her room in gigantic letters with favorite Scripture passages, and Erica thought that was creative and cool. (Could that have been a prophetic moment for knowing she was aimed at word art?) And the crazy chat-a-thons and jokin’ around with me, Mo, EJ, and Christina.

Funnest Henry-moments: Seeing *Napolean Dynamite* with Henry and Casey at the Lark. And all three of us laughing at exactly the same stuff. And when Henry and Casey turned a NASCAR memorabilia tire into a most excellently cool (and working!) clock which still hangs proudly in their house somewhere – the attic, I think.