Video by Kenji Okamura Wong
Oakstop launched its newest gallery space to the public in conjunction with First Fridays/Oakland Art Murmur festivities on Friday, May 2. The solo exhibit features the work of abstract artist and recent Oakland transplant Bryan Boutwell. The show includes 15 paintings, 4 sculptures and interactive features such as white boards/boxes and a spoken word album.
Boutwell’s artistic range is wide, although this exhibit focuses mostly on his recent paintings. Still, the artist’s sculptural talent is clearly in evidence throughout, as many of the paintings take on complex sculptural and tactile qualities.
“Almost all of my pieces in this show were born out of a place of sensitive introspection. The topics revolved around fatherhood, addiction, relationships, innocence, and the fear and love that we all encounter when pursuing our dreams. I was honored to have had the opportunity to showcase all of the 20 pieces I made over my first year in Oakland at Oakstop, and I am extremely excited for the up and coming (re-)opening show on Friday, June 6th” (another Oakstop/First Fridays event – mark your calendars!).
A steady stream of art enthusiasts flowed in from Telegraph Avenue through the late evening hours and were treated to a live band in the gallery space as well as a DJ in Oakstop’s main coworking space, vegan soul food to eat and plenty of drinks to complete the celebration. Tea lights spread around the gallery cast an emotive glow, contributing to the intimate yet festive atmosphere.
Reflecting on the opening event, Boutwell said:
“The evening was a success! The gallery looked beautiful, and inviting. The band and DJ sounded amazing. The Vegan soul food that was made for the show was exquisite. I met new and talented artists, sold an original painting, and watched my beautiful (now 5-year-old) son get the chance to watch his sober dad do what I love to do most in life.”