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By Rebecca Wallace

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About this blog: I grew up in Menlo Park and have long been involved with both local journalism and local theater. After starting my career as an editorial intern with The Almanac, I was a staff reporter for the Almanac and the San Mateo County Ti...  (More)

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Ad Libs: Unforgettable face

Uploaded: Jun 7, 2013
Quick. Who do you see?

I focused on the glasses lens and saw Lennon right away, but peer in and McCartney's there too. Mountain View artist Jay Hill likes to shake things up, and not just with his cans of spray paint. He calls his works "Dangerous Paintings," shooting them with blasts of color.

This week, Hill's work makes a welcome return to Palo Alto (I wrote about his show at Gallery House last year). He's teaming up with another of my favorites, sculptor Ryan Carrington, who teaches at San Jose State. Their exhibit, "Gravity Ltd.," is at New Coast Studios, which just announced it would stop hosting exhibits and focus on providing services to artists. Fortunately, another show made it in, and the New Coast folks say that other artists will also be able to self-curate exhibits in the future.

Hill always had art aspirations but started painting seriously only in the last couple of years. His garage studio is a vivid place, with slabs of wood and face masks and cans of paint. Paintings are filled with stylized letters and faces that are hard to look away from. As a longtime Pink Floyd fan, I especially enjoyed his tribute to Syd Barrett.

Carrington and I also had a great chat last year when he was showing work at CSMA. Construction materials such as work gloves, sledgehammers and electrical wire make powerful statements throughout his art; Carrington has a background in construction and likes to tip his artist's hat to the working man.

"Gravity Ltd." has an opening reception tomorrow, June 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at New Coast at 935 Industrial Ave., and then is up until June 22, Tuesday through Saturday. Check it out.

Pictured: "Beatle Reduction #1, Come Together," a 2013 digital morph-mashup of Lennon and McCartney, by Jay Hill.

To read the full blog, go to Ad Libs.

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