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Seattle Squared Now Available

Squared Cover

If you missed the opening and book launch, you did not miss out on getting a limited edition copy of Seattle Squared.

Buy It Now

Seattle Squared is the culmination of eight years of running a gallery and curating shows and events. Our mission was always to promote and further the beauty, talent, and thoughtfulness of the Seattle art scene. With this in mind we asked each artist participating to create a square piece of work for this exhibit, which would also be featured in a limited edition collectible book designed by Sarra Scherb of Brass Archer Media.

Featuring the talents of: Adam One, Amanda Stalter, Braden Duncan, Brian White, CASH, Christopher J. Olson, Chris Sheridan, David Francis, Dkoy, Ego, Gabriel Marquez, Jeff Jacobson, Jeff Mihalyo, Jeremy Gregory, Joe Vollan, John Osgood, Justin Hilgrove, Kari-Lise Alexander, Kate Protage, Kellie Talbot, Megon Shoreclay, Michelle Anderst, Miguel Edwards, Nichole DeMent, Robert Hardgrave, Roy Powell, Seb Barnett, Sensei23, Siolo Thompson, Stephen Rock, Troy Gua and Zachary Bohnenkamp.

Why Seattle Squared?

It’s what we believe brought us the valued community that we have been so grateful to have been a part of and to have called our family. When you square something in math you multiply a number by itself. This is truly how you create a revolution. Whatever your cause, you cannot do it by yourself, you must square yourself to make a difference. While we are leaving our community, we know that others have been working on the same mission and the Seattle art scene is rich with talented artists and art promoters.

Seattle Squared Exhibit: August 4th at AXIS | Pioneer Square

FB-Cover2Featured artists left to right: Joe Vollan, Seb Barnett, Jeff Mihalyo, Amanda Stalter and Robert Hardgrave.

Seattle Squared is the culmination of eight years of running a gallery, curating shows and events, and wanting to promote and further the beauty, talent, and thoughtfulness of the Seattle art scene. Each artist participating received a square panel to create a new piece of work for this exhibit, which will also be featured in a limited edition collectible book designed by Sarra Scherb of Brass Archer Media.

Featuring the talents of: Adam 1, Amanda Stalter, Braden Duncan, Brian White, CASH, Christopher J. Olson, Chris Sheridan, David Francis, DKOY, Ego, Gabriel Marquez, Jeff Jacobson, Jeff Mihalyo, Jeremy Gregory, Joe Vollan, John Osgood, Justin Hilgrove, Kari-Lise Alexander, Kate Protage, Kellie Talbot, Megon Shoreclay, Michelle Anderst, Miguel Edwards, Nichole DeMent, Robert Hardgrave, Roy Powell, Seb Barnett, Sensei23, Siolo Thompson, Stephen Rock, Troy Gua and Zachary Bohnenkamp.

Why Seattle Squared?

It’s what we believe brought us the valued community that we have been so grateful to have been a part of and to have called our family. When you square something in math you multiply a number by itself. This is truly how you create a revolution. Whatever your cause, you cannot do it by yourself, you must square yourself to make a difference. While we are leaving our community, we know that others have been working on the same mission and the Seattle art scene is rich with talented artists and art promoters.

Thurs, Aug 4th from 6-9pm
AXIS | Pioneer Square
308 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

Art For Your Ass: Bombsheller Isn’t Wearing Any Pants

Written Exclusively For and Published By WEAVE Magazine – Volume 2, May 2014.

by Sarra Scherb

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A dramatic metal staircase sweeps down through the center of the Bombshelter, mirrored in the high gloss of the dark concrete floors. A parade of ankle-breaking high heels and spiked wedges marches down the steps, glittering wickedly in the overhead lights. Down one side of the ground floor space are spartan standing desks studded with shiny swivel monitors, all powered down for the moment, but brimming with potential energy. Sharp corners, hard surfaces, high shine, and that waterfall of killer neon shoes: it looks like the lair of a chic and deadly supervillainess.

I’m met by Pablos Holman, CEO of Bombsheller, who—despite his glasses that look cobbled together from chrome robot bones—is no villain. But he’s certainly as diabolically clever and ambitious as one. His plan? To get you, and everyone you know, in a pair of custom-fit, artist-designed, one-of-a-kind, sustainably and locally produced leggings. All while changing the way that clothing is conceived, ordered and produced.

“Bombsheller is renegade fashion. We’re going to get in, throw our bombs into the industry, and it won’t be long before everyone gets to wear whatever they really, truly want.” -Holman

The fashion industry won’t know what hit it.

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This pop-punk edgy fashion company is headed up by co-founders Holman, Marissa Monteiro and Nick Vu. It moved into its lair in January of 2014, and turns a year old this summer. Bombsheller’s ethic revolves around collaboration and customization. Artists from around the world are encouraged to virtually submit designs to be made into leggings, and they set their own royalties to receive for each online sale. Customers order their favorite shells (the preferred term for leggings), and their choice is printed, cut, sewn, and shipped from the Seattle headquarters within 24 hours. The print-on-demand model saves the company the cost and waste of making five hundred pairs of S, M and L of each design, keeping them in inventory, and then dumping them in a landfill when they don’t sell. This streamlined approach means Bombsheller can accept hundreds—even thousands—of designs to add to their catalogue, which grows every day.

Bombsheller_2014_Solstice_00587Bombsheller prides itself on being a fully Seattle-based company. That means that its marketing, production, printing, and shipping all happen under the same roof, with employees paid in USD. The only part of creating their shells that’s outsourced is the design itself: the patterns are submitted by artists using Bombsheller’s tech specs on their website. Traditional media artists, graphic designers, or photographers can save their images in Illustrator, upload their designs to a template, and Bombsheller staff either approve the design or work with them to improve it.
As Bombsheller began to prototype their shells, they reached out to Boom aka taskboom, an arts director with ties to the local artistic community. She contacted Seattle artist John Osgood, muralist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer, and the female graffiti collective Few&Far to be early contributors.

Would it have been quicker and easier to hire an in-house team to design the shells? Sure. But Bombsheller isn’t interested in easy; they’re committed to involving people who wouldn’t normally be able to bring their work to the fashion world. They’re also artist advocates: along with being able to set their own royalties for shells sold, the artists retain all rights to their images.

“As an artist, being able to say that your art was used for fashion is huge. normally, they’d need to devote themselves 1000% to make a line happen.” – Holman

“We intentionally engaged with a variety of artists with varying skill sets,’ says Boom. “Some had fashion experience, and they were familiar with designing for the body and vector design. Others were stepping into the fashion industry for the first time. We want artists from all levels to feel empowered to invent their own fashion.”

Though the learning curve was steep for some, the outcome was knock-out: the scanning and printing are of such high quality that every crackle of paint and whisper of charcoal comes through. Even the texture of the canvas or panel can be seen.

Boom also spearheaded inaugural public art events geared to showcase Bombsheller to the wider community, including curating the Bombsheller Art Labs, a temporary maker gallery that hosts performances, exhibits and installations right in the Bombshelter itself.

“Pablos is a hacker-inventor-futurist, always asking the question, what can I make this do?’ says Boom. “I stem from the arts and non-profit sector, so the question on my mind when Bombsheller moved into the headquarters on Queen Anne was, what can we make this space do?”

The hacks come in the form of community-focused projects, roping in local talent and sponsors. Eleven local businesses sponsored graffiti artists Osgood, Wakuda Fischer and Few&Far members to paint the mural Piece of the Sky (below) during the Uptown ArtWalk, while non-profit The Vera Project presented art activities, and Skate Like A Girl! did a skate demo-clinic.

An exhibit of Few&Far’s work also debuted at the UptownArtwalk, with an art review party featuring hip-hop vocalist MADLines. The next hack is a glam “rockway” with School of Rock’s “Best of Bowie” tribute concert at Hale’s Palladium (September 27th), and an intergalactic exhibit Alliance = Rebellion takes off October 15th.

 

Few&Far members and friend at Bombsheller Art Labs for the reception of Hi-Technique : beyond the glass wall art show. Dime, Marry, 179, Claire (a friend), and Deity.
Few&Far members at Bombsheller Art Labs for the reception of Hi-Technique: beyond the glass wall. (L to r: Dime, Marry, 179, Claire (a friend), and Deity.)

 

Holman is a veteran of 2000s era Silicon Valley and the modern tech sector, where flexibility, feedback and DIY is the order of the day. Inventor, hacker, TED Talker, and omni-curious problem-solver, he’s used to looking at clunky systems and making them beautiful. The fashion industry should quake: it’s square in his sights.

“We’re not going to be welcome in the fashion world. The industry as it is now is not for common people, it’s for designers to push their own agendas and visions on you. We’re flipping that. You’re making the decisions.”
-Holman

He sees the current mode as wasteful, inaccessible and rigid.

“I’m used to dreaming up an app, writing the code over breakfast, launching version 1.0 by lunch, receiving bug reports before dinner, and releasing 2.0 at midnight.”

By that standard, every industry is rigid. But modern computing and networking have begun to level the playing field, allowing newcomers and the rise of rapid iteration, customization and personal choice. Holman sees other industries where it’s already under way.

“Want to be a musician? Get a Mac with GarageBand—you’re a musician. You don’t have to have six years of training, or a recording contract. This kind of revolution has yet to happen in the realm of physical objects, but it’s going to. We’re going to be there first.”

Holman’s original idea for the shells was that each pattern would be completely unique, and only printed once. One concept was to have customers send in their Pinterest boards, which would be fed into an algorithm that would produce a one-of-a-kind design based on its shapes and colors. A crowd-source of one.

We’re standing by a rack of shells in bewildering patterns and colors: there are mermaid-tail fish scales, harlequin primary colors, unicorn princess pastels, old maps of Brooklyn and Chicago, spinning fractals, and photographs of crystalline structures. I leaf through them, the sleek—yet thick—material sliding through my fingers. Each is printed on Fabric Fatale, a close-woven stretch polyester/spandex blend. On the waistbands are the titles of the artwork, the artist’s name, and the name of the designer. I ask Holman who their fashion expert on staff is. How do they know what colors are in this year? Which designs make the cut, and which ones are just too weird or ugly?

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“We try to get out of the way and let the artists decide what they think is cool. We’re not fashion designers: I wouldn’t hire anyone from the fashion world. They’d have a list of a million things we’re not supposed to do, or shouldn’t be able to do.”

“Doesn’t that lack quality control?” I wonder. Holman seems unconcerned; unless it’s blatantly offensive, or a copyright infringement, someone will like it and decide to print themselves a pair. And if it doesn’t look quite right, a staff-member can point out ways to better flatter the body and make seams match up.

Donna-Prima-Imam-Mosque-Isfahan-Prayer-Room-v2mosque-back-662x1024That part is harder than you might think. Holman shows me a few images and asks how I think they’ll look wrapped around butt, thighs and hips—then he displays the results. It’s
not easy: a texture of rough wooden slats looks elegant when printed horizontally, but flip it vertically and it’s nearly pornographic. A photo of the interior of a tiled mosque (left) looks gorgeous when rendered up the side of the legs, but somehow connives to create a granny-panty white void right across the butt.

And then there are the crotch explosions. (Don’t ask.)

I select a shell that looks like an ice cream cone exploded across it, and check the waistband for the artist name. Artwork by NASA, #OrionGalaxy. I shimmy into them. They fit so tightly and constrictively to my skin that I immediately want to peel them off — but, I take them for a spin out in the offices.

“Awesome, I’ve never seen those before,’ says Holman. “There are so many designs coming in that I can’t even keep track.”
“NASA?” I ask.
“Public domain. We can use anything on their website.”

Friends in very high places.

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If you visit Bombsheller’s website you’ll be confronted by a veritable wall of butts. Their primary models (one of whom is company co-founder Marissa Monteiro) assume yoga poses, Rockette high-kicks, fighting stances, and come-hither looks to demonstrate the variety and adaptability of the shells. But though the models on the site don’t conform to the outlandish standards of the fashion industry, they are nonetheless homogeneously slender and toned as they preen on sky-high wedges. Are their shells only for certain bodies?

“It’s Bombsheller’s intention to represent a diversity of body types,’ says Boom, “so everyone knows they can design and wear shells.” She stresses that they want to show a range of body types in addition to the ones in their online catalog, and that other venues–such as a spread in ShockValue magazine and their Facebook albums–feature the shells on men, transgender models, and larger bodies.

Holman replies that because the company has only been up and running formally since January 2014 they are focusing on perfecting their mid-range sizing before expanding to larger sizes. But they’ve recently held their first round of fitting parties for people in the XXL range, so it’s on the radar.

Holman wraps up the tour of the Bombshelter, and I begin to gather my things. I’m heading for the door when I realize: I’m still wearing the Orion shell from the dressing room. That sensation of the material being too tight and too close to my body has transformed into some serious comfort, a feeling of having a durable second skin. Unlike the other leggings in my closet, the waistband hasn’t moved a millimeter in all the walking around, and the ankles haven’t ridden up. I want to wear them to the rock climbing gym, a cocktail party, and to bed, simultaneously. I give my galactic gams a last longing look in the mirror, which Holman catches.
He laughs.

“They’re yours.”

Now, twenty four hours later, I’m wearing them in a cafe as I write this article. A man at the next table has just leaned over:

“My daughters would love your tights. Where did you get them?”

Local. Sustainable. Unique. Artist-supportive. Ground-breaking. Bombsheller.

I give him the scoop, and another shell has just been fired at the fashion industry.

 

All photography courtesy and copyright of Bombsheller. 

Face Off @Seattle Erotic Art Festival Opening Night: April 23rd

Artist will be battling artist in the first edition of “Face Off” presented by Bherd Studios! Artists will have 15 minutes to create work in each battle. Winner of each match will be determined by who generated the most for their piece in the live auction which happens after each match.

Get your tickets: http://www.seattleerotic.org/

Nude Model Round

Alan Fulle
: I am a Maximalist and materials oriented abstract artist. I am excited by the alchemical, physical, and emotive nature of paint itself as a subject, and its interplay with other materials I use in my work – resin, glass, wood, metals and concrete.  My work documents and expresses emotional states through forms within structures or zones of abstraction. Since narrative exists within the material context, it is the exploration of physical interplay of materials that allows me to express emotion, spirituality, impermanence, and other human conditions.

I consider maximalism a product of minimalism and abstract expressionism, with a focus on architecture, materials, process of transformation, decay and change, influenced by the depth of a human experience.  Working with paint as a sculptural tool, I enjoy experiencing its viscosity and gravity.  Each type of paint and artistic material is an alchemical ingredient that transforms when brought into concert with another.

I use oil paints and washes, oil and water based polyurethanes, resins, acrylics and enamels to suggest change and decay.  These organic processes married with architectural forms and subtle pallets of color create a moving, restive balance of forms.

I try to present a global perspective on contemporary abstract art, blending together art and industry, and minimalism with passion as they relate to the emotional perception of color, texture and light. By using varied materials and deep optical juxtapositions, I give the viewer a reason to pause, consider different points of contrast, and bond with the surroundings.

Seb Barnett
: Some say that Seb was not born, but came out of a tree.
Seb grew up on the edge of the Olympic National Forest in the Pacific Northwest, on a farm but spent most of the time in the forest; climbing trees, tracking, building forts. fishing and exploring. Botany, entomology, ecology and the natural world in general was a great source of fascination, and is tightly woven into Seb’s art. As an adult Seb left the forest and went to the “Emerald City” of Seattle and became a student at Cornish College of the arts. After graduating in 2006, Seb crept back out to the valleys and woodlands of the Snoqualmie Valley to reside, and to continue playing in wooded places, foraging, climbing trees and practicing archery.
Close enough to the city to interact with the art community of Seattle and yet out in the country far enough to fuel the love of the wild, Seb continues to forge a connection between the human condition and the natural world through art.

Lady Parts Round

Anderst-VestigeMichelle Anderst
: Anderst’s oil paintings feature biological structures which serve as both works of art as well as aesthetic statements on ecological consciousness in the modern world. Through her vibrant use of color and organic subject matter Anderst continues to symbolize decomposition, and the inter-species, cross-domain symbioses that recycle all of life’s sculpture and ornament back to the palette of organic materials, ready to paint life anew.
Anderst studied classical painting and drawing at Southern Oregon Art Academy and Gage Academy and continues to utilize her Scientific Illustration education from the University of Washington to illustrate the evolution and unseen energy which exists between all organisms.

Zach Bohnenkamp
: Zach was born beside the railroad tracks in Iowa City. He spent most of his childhood in a tunnel beneath the very tracks upon which his first blood spilled. An adventurer by birth rite, he first reached the Gulf of Mexico at age 7 on a raft he fashioned from lilac branches. For the last 14 years he has called Seattle home but the rich black soil of his homeland still remains between his toes, where morel mushrooms grow to this day. He remains committed to putting art in public for everyone to share and is currently making murals with the crew Matamuros in Seattle.

Still Life with Sex Toys Round

Sensei 23
: I am a self taught artist born and raised on Cape Cod Massachusetts. Cartoons, comics, graffiti, movies, music and sports were some of my many inspirations growing up. I received my Associates degree in Fine Art and continued my education at the School of Museum of Fine Arts Boston. I now reside in Seattle, WA with my lovely wife and our beautiful daughter while mastering my mutant artistic abilities in my art dojo.

Adam Valmassoi
: Valmassoi’s work derives from a deep understanding of form and function, and an active interest in the questions of human existence and spiritual evolution.  His pieces are born from the subconscious and are extremely chaotic amalgamations of subjects and stories.  Meant to be ever changing and revealing, these pieces beckon one’s mind to question the world around them, and to look at everything with a new perspective. Professionally trained and currently working in Product Design, Adam’s expansive skill set spans from Digital Imaging and 3d Modeling / Manufacturing to traditional Fine Art with a focus on Illustration.

Fetish Wildcard Round

Osgood-SelfEJohn Osgood
: My current work features multi-faceted interpretations of emotion and perception by utilizing shared lines, forms and color. I worked diligently to create pieces that the viewer can study and be able to see new perspectives each time they go back. I purposefully play with the subconscious mind, attempting to direct the audience both literally and figuratively. A lot of my work features a complex level of layering colors, strokes and drips to create what I like to think of visual sound representing a myriad of atmospheres from that of nature to the noise of city life.

Braden Duncan
: Braden Duncan is an artist and curator by trade, imperfect by choice, and a cog in the machine of human mythology by default. She draws her inspiration from the peculiar cockworkart-The_Missing_Pieceminutiae of the human form, symbolism and mythology, the empty spaces left by missing friends, and the intricate elegance created by the convergence of biological and mechanical elements. She is the co-founder of the Seattle Arts Coalition, writer of Art Scene Seattle, a resident artist at Echo Echo Gallery, and a member of the international Red Siren Artist Collective. She lives and works in Seattle; and regularly assists with curating, art installation, event coordination, and marketing for a number of art spaces around the Northwest.