THE LIVING CITY at Manifesto

A vision:

When driving on Skyline Road and looking down Oakland from the hills, it doesn’t take much to imagine a time not so long ago when the East Bay was radically and sublimely empty. Before Euro-history invaded the California mind, how was life defined? How was population measured? Where might one spirit end and the other begin when spheres of influence overlap and identity remains in infancy. An infancy made from a consciously innocent mind although actually personal narrative may extend backward indefinitely.

The reach of human imagination to make connection to community, through artistic expression or otherwise, moves easily beyond the real into an infinite place of fancy products where commodity is transcended: object becomes property becomes gift becomes communication becomes relationship. All relationships are forged here out of some luminous stuff that reveals shadows made of nostalgia, where animals in the spotlight wear makeup and toy fetishes merge with drowned cars becoming recent memories of Tuesday mornings close by.

What is in five paintings? With such exceptional talent, a large wave of expression can be distilled from a (not so) humble exhibit. Dave Higgins: toy-maker and illustrator, Jaime Lakatos: Art-mad scientist and quasi-taxidermist, Nathaniel Parsons: Wood carver and narrative-painter, Task1: Street artist and sculptor and Jake Watling: Folk-like painter and iconographic artist.

I am indebted to these five local artists for trusting me to collect their work in this show. I also want to acknowledge what a great local business Manifesto is. Bicycles are the future, and speaking of the future, welcome little Henry! Congrats Sam and Mackay and thank you.

Support Oakland Arts.

“We Make our Situation” by Nathaniel Parsons. Wall mural by Obi Kaufmann

Jake Watling. Scroll Below to see detail.

“Strange Co.” By Task 1

Jaime Lakatos and Dave Higgins. Scroll Down to view details.
Jaime Lakatos, scroll down to see detail.

“Tuesday Morning, 7:30am” by Dave Higgins.

“Winged Hessien” By Jaime Lakatos

“On the Fence” by Jake Watling.

Click here to view video which mentions Living City at

Click here to catch more pictures by John Casey at Bunnywax


Group Art Show

Dave Higgins, Artist,
Jaime Lakatos, Artist,
Nathaniel Parsons, Artist,
Task1, Artist,
Jake Watling, Artist,

Obi Kaufmann, Curator,

Manifesto Bicycles and Gallery
421 40th Street
Oakland, CA 94609
contact, Obi: 925-951-7501

Show dates: February 21 2009-March 21, 2009
Reception: February 21, 2009 6-9pm

Manifesto Bicycles and Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition “The Living City” a new body of work by Oakland artists Dave Higgins, Jaime Lakatos, Nathaniel Parsons, Task1, and Jake Watling.

Chosen from the work of five exemplary Oakland Artists, curator Obi Kaufmann presents a concise show in Manifesto’s back room Gallery. The show, entitled THE LIVING CITY, presents a unique perspective where the urban experience itself is isolated and contextualized as an entity itself.

Dave Higgins: toy-maker and illustrator presents work in THE LIVING CITY as whimsical, slightly creepy and expertly rendered.

Jaime Lakatos: Art-mad scientist and quasi-taxidermist presents work in THE LIVING CITY which alludes to a connection between the animal kingdom and Norwegian Black Metal.

Nathaniel Parsons: Wood carver and narrative-painter presents work in THE LIVING CITY which makes reference to a nostalgic, dream-like environment of a flooded America.

Task1: Street artist and sculptor presents work in THE LIVING CITY which blurs the lines between disciplines of Graffitti and Fine Art.

Jake Watling: Folk-like painter and iconographic artist presents work in THE LIVING CITY which uses deceptively simple rendering to elevate the ordinary to something akin to sacred.

Obi Kaufmann: curator and local artist is the creator and publisher of Swee(t)Art magazine ( and the art curator at Zza’s Wine Bar and Gallery (550 Grand ave., Oakland).

Reception for THE LIVING CITY will be part of the 40th STREET CORRIDOR ARTQUEST taking place Feb 21 from 6-9pm.

  1. 1 Jaime Lakatos, The Beastial World « OAKLAND SWEE(t)ART

    […] now. I am more proud to say that she and I have worked together on some art shows before; including Living City at Manifesto. I am even more proud to say that we met first at the Hive, when she had her studio […]

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