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144: Chris Crites at Ampersand Vintage

Went to the new Ampersand art opening last night. Holy shite there is some good work going on over there. If you have not been over to Ampersand yet you need to go and check it out. And this might be a good time to do it Chris Crites is showing his stuff. If you have not heard of him that is alright, I had not either. But I won't soon forget either.

Sex, Guns, Brass-Knuckles and Criminal Record paintings adorn the walls. An examination of violence in America? Possibly. The rendering of some objects and objectification into an artistic tribute of themselves. Also a possibility. Saying things big things that do not really make sense to you because you are talking about "art?" Busted. However these are definitely some beautiful paintings.

Big fan of the brass knuckles. And the ladies and the guns. Kyle was on hand as well to add his brand of commentary as well. "The only thing that I can see we are missing here are knives." True. But I think there were enough other vices to go around.

"To Have and To Hold."

Carey's husband Myles is Ampersand's proprietor and she was telling me today that Mr. Crites goes into a local (he is based out of Seattle) public records housing (what would that be? a courthouse? library?) and scans in ancient Criminal Records and then sets about the task of painstakingly recreating them with the most minuscule of paintbrushes. It is fairly obvious though because every line of color on each piece looks to be a deliberate and thoughtful act. Even up close all of the details hold their own.

The rest of Ampersand is pretty amazing as well. With books and prints ranging from animals and insects to Design, Fashion, Art and Photography one is sure to find something. What I always find the most fascinating though are the vintage paper ephemera that Myles' somehow finds. He finds them at things called "Paper Shows" and I love browsing through his recent finds... On the coffee table at this very moment sits a copy of Facts About Narcotics and other Dangerous Drugs. I need to know what I am dealing with right?

Maybe I should get this one?

Or one about Birds?

This is hands down the best place to find interesting gifts for people. Especially when you have exhausted the bicycling industry. I found a pin for Evil Ryan that was an old Woodworkers Union pin of two hands giving each other "bumps." There is no telling what you might find here. Especially if you know where to look....

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