Left, “The Angel of Sorrow and the Angel of Victory.” (detail) 80″x40″. Middle, “The Faces of the Protectors of the Soul of the Hand of the Earth.” (detail) 40″x 90″. Right, “The Child made of Stone.” (detail) 80″ x 40″

“I never had religion. On one level I equate religion with science fiction, then again I see the deep-psychological forces at work that drive us to describe a narrative to connect meaning to a void that stands as a miraculous contrast to all of existence. The character of an angel or a demon are the same to me; equally capable of violence, jealousy and working tirelessly for their own existential agendas. Is this a Buddhist idea? maybe. I love the terrible Dhakini’s depicted in so many Tibetan Tankhas, who defend Buddha’s truth with big swords and vicious relentlessness. All of this is a mirror of my heart and ultimately, only metaphorically connotative of a larger truth, not the truth itself. I believe this is the core dysfunction of fundamentalism. I am an artist because it is fearless in the face of God and makes worthy the efforts of angels and demons both. At Levende, I will be exhibiting the largest works I have yet to display in a gallery and the late night, First Friday Oakland setting will be just the crazy context for these works that have meant so much for me to create, and then of course, set free on my home town.” -Obi Kaufmann


827 Washington Street

Oakland, CA 94607


Show: “ANGELDRIVER” by Obi Kaufmann

Reception date: March 4th, 2011, 9pm to midnight

Show dates: Mar 4th to April 1st, 2011

Gallery/Restaurant hours: 3pm to midnight, 7 days

Levende is pleased to announce that it will now be hosting First Friday art receptions to begin at nine o’clock. Levende, already the host of the successful Live Art Wednesdays, is opening up its walls to the large scale art works of a roster of national artists. Positioning itself as the place to go at the end of your First Friday Tour of Oakland Art Murmur by offering a full bar and Happy Hour prices after nine o’clock, Levende will be rotating art works every four weeks throughout 2011.

The first artist in the line-up is also the co-coordinator of arts events at Levende, Obi Kaufmann. Along with August Varlack of Bay Area August Promotions and Dirk Kahl, the owner of Levende, Kaufmann has been running Live Art Wednesdays from 5 to 8pm at Levende for nearly six months. Before that, Kaufmann was the curator of the Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery and the Visual Arts Editor of the Berkeley Times.

Obi Kaufmann now brings his large scale paintings to Levende in a show called “ANGELDRIVER”. Obi’s provocative figurative paintings are a stylized hybrid of cave painting and street painting, where mythological forces wrestle with issues such as sex, violence, beauty and power. From the Berkeley Times, in reference to his recent successful show at Five Points Art House in San Francisco, “If anything, his paintings were primal and pure…so raw and so pure, begging the question, Does it get any more real?”

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  • Moises Aragon

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