John Casey, Swarm Gallery, April 3

Pics and reviews by Obi Kaufmann, from John Casey’s Solo Show at Swarm Gallery, Oakland, April 3, 2009 With the sun still up and the champagne uncorked, John Casey contemplates his latest to-scale figurative piece…

Casey’s latest work does not suffer from punches pulled. He dives in to the shadow-side unflinchingly and because of it, we don’t feel uninvited to follow. There is a hint of humor behind the overtly grotesque in Casey’s illustrative style.

I’ve been following Casey’s work for some time now and am pleased to see new motifs in his arsenal of emotional biomorphology, including pokey sticks and jetting carrot-like root- structures that extend where no appendage should be.

From right to left, Mary Kalin-Casey, John Casey, Oakland artist Josh Keyes and me, Obi Kaufmann.

could be the most important piece in the show…

If you ever wondered whether John Casey makes self portraits or not, take a look at this candid pic at the afterparty at the Trappist later that night.


John Casey

Project Space
Don Porcella

April 3 – May 10, 2009
Exhibit Opening

Friday, April 3, 2009, 6-9PM

560 Second Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Swee(t)Art artists Interviews.
Nov. 2008

1. What is the next project you are working on?

I have a solo coming up at Swarm Gallery in Oakland in April ’09 so I’m trying to focus on that puppy. I’m also working on a new sticker and pimpin’ my book of drawings called “Scarecrow.”

2. Where do you live and do you want to live there?

I live in Oakland in a 1950’s apartment building a block off Lake Merritt. My wife and I manage the building and because that job offers me flexible hours, I like living here. Plus, we get to walk around the lake and look at ducks!

3. Who is your favorite artist right now?

I just sat the Martin Puryear show at the SFMOMA so I’m totally feeling his vibe. His sculptures are huge, elegant, and abstract though subject-wise, they conjure many references to everyday objects but remain abstract. Truly compelling work.

4. What is the best show you have been to lately?

The above mentioned.

5. What is your favorite thing about the Oakland Art Scene?

I love the energy and diversity. Drinking beer and talking the arty at the Art Murmur is one of my favorite pastimes.

6. What is your least favorite thing about the Oakland Art Scene?

The tedious and unnecessary politics is my least favorite.

7. If you could label a movement taking place in the Oakland Art Scene right now, what would you label it? Who are your examples?­

There is no specific movement in Oakland that isn’t being practiced in other cities. The city is unique but the art styles, if trending, are not exclusive to Oakland. Attending most group shows of Oakland artists will support that theory I think.


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