SFR Picks

SFR Picks—Week of May 1

Printmaster Grady Gordon drops a few new ones, plus painter Timothy Nero, bike-swapping and the return of Mozart Gabriel

Addition by Subtraction

Monoprint enthusiast Grady Gordon gives us the heebie-jeebies

As a kid, monoprint artist Grady Gordon found himself attracted to the spookier things in life: horror film posters, the Stephen Gammell illustrations from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and similar ephemera. Later, while pursuing a degree in illustration at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, a helpful professor taught Gordon that monoprint might be a better fit for the fledgling artist.

Gordon never looked back. By doubling down on the ethos that each print be a singular, 1-of-1 creation, Gordon discovered his love of careful consideration and negative space—not to mention the creepier side of art like skulls, the grim reaper and, for lack of a better term, totally bitchin’ metal-esque design—had plenty of room to grow. Take pieces from the upcoming Halfway Halloween opening at new art space/curiosity shop The Crow’s Nest, which Gordon culled from some of his favorite major arcana tarot cards. Not only are they a prime vessel for his practice of taking black ink and creating the image by removing certain sections with wooden, rubber and metal tools, they follow in the footsteps of folks like Albrecht Dürer and Käthe Kollwitz, both of whom are known for engaging with darker themes.

“This is the first time, too, where I’ve just been like, ‘OK, I’m going to struggle and I’m going to be an artist full-time,’” Gordon tells SFR. “I don’t know what it is about Santa Fe. I think it’s just the air, or that there’s tons of sky…it’s quiet.”

Otherwise, he says, much of the idea might be about finding the humanity within our classic ideas of monsters.

“I love the negative space,” he continues, “and that’s why there aren’t a lot of backgrounds in my work; I mean, I can do them, but it seems fuzzy. I just like to have the initial gut-punch.”

The darker scope of Gordon’s work should not dissuade viewers from a good long look. As a printmaker, his technique is flawless, and the bizarre beauty he can extract from borderline ugly elements reminds one of Giger or, in a way, Bosch. Light and dark are the elements of our oldest stories, of course, though they needn’t be at odds. (Alex De Vore)

Grady Gordon: Halfway Halloween: 6-8 pm Friday May 3. Free. The Crow’s Nest, 518 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 416-7049

A Seasonal Temperament

Painter Timothy Nero’s 4th grade declaration that he would become a professional artist totally panned out, and he’ll prove it this week with his new show Transcendental Pessimism at Santa Fe gallery FOMA. An Ohio native with a degree in interior design and architecture, Nero’s childhood dream brought him to New Mexico 33 years ago, where he has evolved into the artist he is today. In his upcoming exhibition, Nero brings viewers into his world of “unrecognizable figurative forms,” as he portrays what he calls “a season of madness” across a strange slate of figurative yet abstract paintings and sculptures. Says Nero, “There’s a darkness, a grittiness and an edginess—but there’s also equally a humor…it’s like laughing at ourselves.” (Adam Ferguson)

Timothy Nero: Transcendental Pessimism: 4-6 pm Saturday, May 4. Free. FOMA. 333 Montezuma Ave., (505) 661-0121

You Want to Ride Your Bicycle

Sometimes people you know will just casually be all like, “Riding bikes is cool,” while you sit there, poor, wondering how you’ll ever break into the world of the velocipede. Enter Bike Santa Fe’s 12th Annual Bike Swap at Betterday Vintage in the Casa Solana Shopping Center. Attendees will find discounted bikes for streets, mountains and all points between; plus clothing items, trail maps and plenty of bicycling pros to help even the newest n00b get down with the ol’ two-foot shuffle. OK, no one calls it that, but it’s still cool to have an event for discounted bikes and such. (ADV)

Bike Santa Fe 12th Annual Bike Swap: 9 am-12:30 pm Sunday, May 5. Free. Betterday Vintage, 905 W Alameda St.,

Rock Me, Amadeus

If you’ve yet to hear tell of nomadic musician Mozart Gabriel (Taos Pueblo), you might want to get while the getting’s good. A member of the increasingly popular Native Guitars Tour, as well as a standout solo musician in his own right, Gabriel’s blend of rock, pop, indie, blues (and even a little emo) have taken him across the country and then some—like to Spain, no big. Luckily, Gabriel loves his New Mexico roots and plays in Santa Fe whenever he gets the chance. Find him this week at La Reina bar within the El Rey Court alongside local troubadour Westin McDowell and singer-songwriter Dachuneeh Martin (Diné/Dakota Sioux). (ADV)

Mozart Gabriel with Westin McDowell and Dachuneeh Martin: 7 pm Sunday, May 5. Free. La Reina, 1862 Cerrillos Road, (505) 982-1931

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