Madden Studio Blog

The Tapestry Show @ Kohler Jones
September 8, 2011, 5:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last evening, I finished hanging my work for my solo exhibition “Tapestry” at Kohler Jones (, which is at the corner of Day and Church Streets, near 29th St in SanFrancisco. My work was first introduced to Courtney Jones, one of the  principal owners, by Gail Ragains, an accomplished Bay area figurative painter, neighbor and friend (check out  Courtney has a vision for providing artists the opportunity to display their work in a more natural context, surrounded by the rich and subtle furnishings that define the personal spaces in which we live (or perhaps want to live).

Originally, Courtney was drawn by my San Francisco Tapestries, works that attempt to capture the beauty of the more low key, less celebrated parts of the city, works that focus primarily on the residential places where we live, do laundry, have sex, dine, and commute together.

The Tapestry idea is inspired in part by my 12 years of living in New York, combined with six years of teaching Plato’s Republic in the Bronx, which had given me an appreciation for the remarkable accomplishment that it is to live side by side and sometimes on top of one another, respecting if not always liking those around us.  “That none of us can do it on his or her own” is perhaps a sometimes overlooked insight.  I do not want to overdramatize my own experience, but being in NYC on 9/11 and riding the subway on a daily basis for many years subsequent to it, I often sat in wonder, enjoying that “we,” a people, could travel together, each to his or her unique destination, but each in relative peace, without (too much) ill-will, without malice, and sometimes even with care and concern for our fellow neighbors: cities are a beautiful and fragile human accomplishment.

So  don’t think I will ever tire of shooting my Tapestries because every location has its own unique history, its own topography, its own architecture and way of life.

Noe Valley Tapestry #1

I currently have three 24″ x 36″ “Tapestries” on display at Kohler Jones and will have a few others on display for the Artist’s reception on October 1st.  Another theme in my work, however, is to highlight certain aspects of specific locales, to focus on what makes them distinct or unique, and to have some fun doing so.  So, because this is a San Francisco show, and a Noe Valley show to be more specific, I have spent some time this summer exploring the local Victorian architecture and thinking of  ways to creatively reinterpret  it.  While the aesthetic sensibilities that informed Victorian architecture and interior design are in many ways in contrast to  a more modern, streamlined approach, I wanted to see to what extent I could synthesize the two aesthetics..and from this attempt was born “Victorian Mod”.   Rather than go on and on explaining myself, I would rather give examples of the work and let it speak for itself:

Victorian Mod: a sample

There is a lot of lintel showing in these pieces, for those who enjoy that kind of thing…and the colors are less than subdued

Another sample

But one could always display them against the backdrop of a perfectly beige “Stepford”-colored wall and relish in the ambiguity of an ubersexy-staid interior, one that says “Yeah…I’m a bit crazy, but it’s all totally under control”

Part 1 of a Victorian Mod Four-Square

Anyway, I invite you to come, take a look and enjoy the show.  Work will be on display from today through November 1st.  The reception is October 1st from 11-5pm at Kohler Jones, 1747 Church Street, San Francisco.


5 Comments so far
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Part 1 of a Victorian Mod Four-Square
I love this. I keep going back to look at it. Nice work!

Comment by

Thanks Sarah. Wish you guys could be out here to see it in person!!

Comment by brianmadden

We can’t wait to see the show!!

Comment by Gail Ragains

Thanks Gail!

Comment by brianmadden

[…] its beautiful range and depth of color. Brian currently has an exhibition underway, titled “Tapestry“, at Kohler Jones in San Francisco.Mendocino-based Frances Casey is a “button […]

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