Yarrow Slaps, Holla, Airbrush, acrylic, dried pigments, oil pen, marker and pencil on panel, 17 x 17 in., 2018
state is pleased to present More Water, a solo exhibition by Yarrow Lazer-Smith a.ka. Yarrow Slaps. This will be the artist’s debut solo show in his hometown of San Francisco.More Water comprises three separate but interrelated segments: two series of paintings and installation, Couples Therapy and Game of Life, and a selection of works by Yarrow’s favorite artists who he’s temporarily dubbed The Art Figaz. The title “More Water” offers a counterpoint to using fire or heat as a recognition of greatness and instead proposes that the element of water, a precious resource, should be used to denote things that are good and “of the moment”. This title points to a paradigm in the artist’s work where he both challenges and complies with different aspects of urban youth culture. The exhibition will be on view from May 5 - June 16, 2018 with an opening on May 5 from 6-8 that is free and open to the public.
Yarrow Slaps was born into the San Francisco art scene. He’s the son of Darryl Smith and Laurie Lazer, the founders of the Luggage Store Gallery—the well respected multidisciplinary arts organization that has been a staple of the city for nearly 30 years. Yarrow’s unique childhood exposed him to constant visual and literal dialogue with the artist’s around him. His paintings present complex and intricate narratives about daily urban life—peering into both the mundane and sometimes surreal. The artist does not shy away from placing his characters in fantastical situations—juxtaposing homies in farm or desert scenes, as well as finding them in the intimate settings of their home quietly dining. The resulting images mix a compelling naivete with painting and a sophisticated understanding of storytelling and cultural nuance to create works that are emotional, existential and ironic.
More Water features the series Couples Therapy, a group of paintings that depicts the artist’s friends eating with their significant others. In an exploration of relationship and communication, these works picture the human commonality and intimacy that comes with dining together. The works on panel are created with an intricate application of multiple materials including acrylic, aluminum foil, pencil, dried pigments and oil pen. In the main gallery, larger works from the Game of Life series will be on view. This painting and installation explores the hustle of life during late capitalism. What does chasing the dollar look like and what does it mean that we all participate in the game, whether we want to or not? The metaphor employs typical Yarrow Slaps characters, but asks big questions about contemporary life. Of his first solo show, Yarrow states:
This show is about love, food, relationships and the game of life. Just like our emotions and emotional states, we can be as powerful and or vulnerable as our resources. Like water, they are something to protect. MORE WATER PLEASE!
In addition to his artistic practice, Yarrow has established himself as an insightful and productive curator. Under the SWIM moniker with collaborator Auguste Somers he has curated 12 shows with approximately 100 artists and recently opened the eponymous SWIM Gallery in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. Because his artistic practice is inextricably linked to his curatorial intent, More Water will look at both disciplines in one space. The backroom of state will present a group of artists Yarrow has dubbed The Art Figaz, an ode to Bay Area rap legend, Jacka who dubbed his crew Jacka and the Mob Figaz. This is a group of artists whose work he admires and has made an impact on his practice. The artists are: Marcela Pardo Ariza, Alex Gardner, Monica Kim Garza, Kat Geng, Erlin-Adones Geffard, Mariah GW, Justin Hager, Kezia Harrell, Sean Newport andAnthony Torrano.
About Yarrow Slaps
Yarrow Slaps is a Bay Area-based artist and curator. He recently completed a residency in Bed Stuy, New York and was an artist-in-residence at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. He also recently received an individual artist grant from the city of San Francisco and is co-curator of the artist collective SWIM. His work has been shown at New Image in Los Angeles, Galerie Wolfsen in Denmark and in Austin, Texas. He is currently working on an ambitious cookbook with illustrated recipes of over 100 artist’s favorite recipes.
**More Water is supported in part by the San Francisco Arts Commission.**