Quintessa Matranga is both an artist working in many mediums and a curator at Mission Comics, a gallery operating in the back room of a comic book shop in San Francisco. Matranga has forthcoming group exhibitions at Gertrude Contemporary in Victoria, Australia; Skylab in Columbus, Ohio; and Center for Style in Melbourne, Australia. Recent exhibitions in collaboration with Rafael DeLaCruz have been at City Limits, Oakland; Basement Show NY, New York; and Rot Farm at 1038, San Francisco. Her book, Drawings, was published earlier this year by Publication Studio Oakland.
There should maybe be a “spoiler alert” for Matranga’s Consumer Reports: if you have yet to watch season 3 of the Netflix original series House of Cards, you might want to stop right here. For everyone else, keep reading for a week of art shows, lectures, and preparatory work for Matranga’s forthcoming move to New York. Plus ruminations on Frasier and lots of Instagram but no Twitter. Check it out below. —John Chiaverina
Monday, March 2
I walk to Faletti’s to buy milk, on my way to the store I check my phone and look at some i.g. updates from the night before. I scroll them but don’t check the main feed. I save that until I get to work where there is a lot of downtime.
I arrive at Mission Comics, my job. My boss is there already and we chat for a few minutes. There’s a prosthetic arm taped to the “events” board. The arm is signed byChuck Palahniuk. He is releasing Fight Club 2 as a comic book. I used to read Chuck’s books but it’s been awhile. I think I dislike his books now.
I am reminded of an episode of MTV True Life called “I’m Obsessed with Brad Pitt.”
I just watched this vid a few days ago. I like the term “Pitting” for when the obsessed person does Brad Pitt things, like draw Brad Pitt, watch Brad Pitt movies, practice lines from Brad Pitt movies, practice looking like Brad Pitt.
I get an email from Spencer Longo asking for Rafael Delacruz’s email address.
I start to feel anxious.
I play MBV on YouTube at the comic book store. The woman who drew Bat Girl comes in the shop to sign Bat Girl comic books. No one else is in the shop. She signs all the covers with a black sharpie and leaves.
I post the flyer/press release for the Body by Body show at Mission Comics on Instagram. Its all text—not well suited for Instagram.
I check my email. I got an email from Chris Lux. He sent me a video he is planning to screen at Mission Comics this Wednesday for a lecture series I am putting on. It’s the first one in the series, I wonder if anyone will come.
I decide My Bloody Valentine is too “rock and roll” for right now. I switch to The Delfonics and immediately feel better.
I start reading the consumer report by Jim Drain on ARTnews.
I really like everyone’s approaches to writing these. It’s like training for the FBI by spying on yourself.
Started reading Sex Criminals Vol 1. Really dorky and pervy but the people here love it.
Started reading selections from Andrew Weatherheads Twitter selected by Mallory Whitten on the muumuu house website.
“18 May 2011. There are people in line for this Starbucks already drinking Starbucks.”
Made me laugh. I won’t read anyone’s actual Twitter though.
Wrote: “Hey Evan & Stephanie,
Just wondering, when will you have documentation of the show to give us?? Really excited to put it out there :)” in an email to City Limits.
Found the best website: “Halloween Alliance.” I can’t take it all in now, but plan to revisit tonight.
I read my horoscope on astrocenter.com and immediately forgot what it said.
Posted a drawing on Instagram by Brandon Drew Holmes that is in Mission Comics right now. It’s really wonderful.
Sold a copy of Sex Criminals Vol 1. by saying, “It is really dorky and pervy but everyone here loves it.”
Wrote: “I’m having so much fun lifecasting for ARTnews.” on my FB.
I see that someone posted on FB that Netflix set a return date for Orange Is The New Black. Apparently that date is June 12, 2015. I feel like that’s a long time to wait but I dunno.
I switch to Soulja Boy on YouTube while I print the press release/price list for the Body By Body show. The printer got jammed a few times and I managed to fix it. I notice I am wearing my hat but don’t recall putting it on.
Put on a shoegaze mix my friend Kyle made years ago.
Saw on FB that Aimee Friberg is looking to hire someone to pour wine at an opening tomorrow night. I wanted to go to Nate Boyce’s screening at YBCA for his exhibit, “Polyscroll,” but I decided I should try to make some money before I move so I took the job.
Back at home. I search airline tickets to New York. One-way tickets are $159 on United. That’s the best deal. I call Rafael and we agree we should buy our tickets tonight. I buy the tickets for both of us, and Rafael is going to pay me back for his in cash.
I feel like I need to update my LinkedIn. I feel nervous about looking for a job in New York. I look at LinkedIn. Does this site even help? Feeling overwhelmed, I realize I need to make a normal-looking website for my videography. My only marketable skill!?
I do that, then I research medieval knight cut outs on Amazon.
Then I research Halloween toys, children’s furniture, and toy castles while I Gchat with Rafael Delacruz.
I play House of Cards on Netflix. Season 3, episode 6. This season is all about Doug Stamper. I am glad they are developing his character more. He is my favorite character on the show. At this point it looks like he is helping the opponent of Frank Underwood, Heather Dunbar. But I don’t trust that Doug actually wants to drop Frank. He is too loyal to Frank. But Frank is shutting him out, I suspect he is trying to win back Frank’s attention.
Tuesday, March 3
Hard to wake up this morning. I check Instagram and Gmail from bed and fall back asleep. Before I fall asleep, I see that Melissa posted something about her show at Mission Comics. I screenshot it.
Force myself to wake up. Go into my studio to make drawings for the Skylab show in Ohio. (I end up ruining them by pouring watercolors on them).
Go to Ponoko.com because I want I make some custom picture frames.
Call Rafael to help me with Illustrator over the phone. How do I erase part of a letter/text? Oh, It’ shift “E,” duh.
I turn to KQUED on my radio and listen to a few minutes of Here & Now while I eat my Trader Joe’s cornflakes. Listening to the real news makes me miss the fake news. It makes me want to watch more House of Cards. Shows like this one are for people who are not engaged in real news to act as a substitute and fulfill the desire to be involved in politics, I think.
I look at FB and follow a link to an astrology site. I read my horoscope and then I read Rafael’s.
Search Olivia Benson in Google Images.
Back at home after working at a gallery in the outer Mission for that gig I got off a FB message board. I mostly had to call a bunch of Lyfts and go around picking up cheese and salami from Bi-Rite. Feeling a bit like that girl from The Devil Wears Prada for 20 minutes. I make an invoice for the gig using Invoice-generator.com and send it to Aimee Friberg. I had to cover the cost of the two Lyft rides and a pizza myself. I really hope she reimburses me soon. She is traveling to Hong Kong for Art Basel next week.
I put on House of Cards S3 E8 on Netflix. Doug is playing Dunbar. I knew it. Rafael texts me photos of the show at YBCA. Looks good. I google Terri Friedman. Really cool sculptures but his website is a mess.
Rafael calls me. We mostly talk about moving plans. This is our last month living in the Bay Area. In a new tab I check what people are making on Instructables.com.
Continue watching House of Cards. Doug is falling apart. I think Frank should kill him at the end of this season because he knows about Frank’s murders and is an alcoholic so he probably can’t be trusted. I think this show was better when Frank was closer to getting caught for killing those people. I notice how Doug’s eyebrows and chin are really exaggerated.
Wednesday, March 4
I turn on NPR for background noise while I eat cereal but I’m not really interested in what they are talking about today. They are talking about the Russian River from the perspective of a fish. Giving us an update on the fish-ues. I blurrily check Instagram and FB. Tonight is the first day of the lecture series at Mission Comics. I am really looking forward to Jennifer Locke’s talk on adult babies.
Post on Tumblr about the lecture series tonight.
At my other day job in downtown San Francisco. I work at a University for Accountants. I film all their online classes and events. I am sitting in an empty classroom waiting for the lecture I’m supposed to film to start. I bought an Ito En at Daiso, a Golden Oolong tea. I check my email and see some updates from LinkedIn which gives me anxiety. I almost click “connect” with all my personal contacts, but when I see who they are I start unchecking all my real friends. I think I would only send a LinkedIn invite to people I don’t really care about… After that, I just X out of the page really fast.
I also got an email from Michael Werner Gallery about a Sigmar Polke show they are having on April 2. I think I should probably send out an email like this to promote Mission Comics shows but I only have one more show to go, so it’s pretty much too late for that.
I look up tickets to L.A. on Megabus while talking on the phone with my sister, Selena. They are really cheap right now, $20. But I don’t buy.
I look at ARTBLOG ARTBLOG. I see that Josh is shutting it down at the end of the month. It’s ending at the same time Mission Comics is ending. I met Joshua Abelow last year in New York. He was really nice and gave me a copy of his book, Painter’s Journal. I wonder if he’s ending it because he is planning something big or if he is just burnt out on art. He likes publicity stunts.
Walmart shipped the custom blanket I ordered. Full photo fleece 60 x 80. It’s exactly the same as the one in the show at City Limits. Special Victims Unit but bigger. We stretched it really badly the first time. The stretch bars were too big for the “canvas.” I am going to replace the current one with the new one so we can stretch it properly this time.
Still waiting for the lecture to start. There’s free food. But I already ate a super vegetarian burrito on my way over here. I open a new tab to look at Contemporary Art Daily. Tom Humphreys show at What Pipeline looks good. It reminds me of the tile paintings around SF and in the cafeteria at Berkeley Bowl.
Somewhere in SF (near Van Ness I think).
Go to Ustream.com to film this lecture. There are 4 students here in person now, and 8 online. I chat with the ones online and ask their questions for them.
Filming a lecture called “California State Auditor Info Session.”
In a new tab, I look at my friend Ben Nizik’s blog. Klaimco.com. I read what he wrote on his blog:
Small acts of kindness through the years,
through spaces with images of provinces,
& never the less people.
Shortly we discover that the patience of
lines are tracing each other to make an image
of the viewers own face. It is real spectacular.
Forget the dark things. Don’t stay 2 neutral,
you’ll side with the powerful. Through the
scope of an exotic sniper rifle.
Someone wrote a big “NO TALKING” on the whiteboard behind the lecturer. I think that would make a good t-shirt.
After a quick stop at home to change clothes and grab my other camera, I walk down to Mission Comics to film the lectures series. A lot of people came. More than I thought would. I brought Chessmen cookies for everyone and tangerines from the corner store—35 cents each for tangerines. Michael Schoolnik brought wine. The first person to go was Nicolas Andre Sung, Nicolas’s reading:
Rafael and I stayed late after the lectures to install the Body by Body show. Lots of posters we had to measure out and level. It was hard to work late at night. We were both getting tired.
Then we walked two miles back to my house carrying five comic book boxes that I am going to use to pack up all my books in so I can move.
Thursday, March 5
Back at home.
Rafael and I are watching Friends on Netflix. Monica’s wedding plans are dominating the storyline. I liked Chandler better when he was a lonely loser.
Wake up look at my phone, see Instagram stuff. Go back to sleep. Then I do that until about 11:00 a.m.
Check my email. I see that Cameron Soren emailed me 0 minutes ago. I show Rafael. He said he never saw an email that arrived 0 minutes ago.
I start editing the videos from last night’s lectures in Final Cut Pro 7. After I export them as a .mov I use HandBreak to “bake” (if that’s the right term) the videos down to a much smaller file size. This saves me so much time uploading them.
I type in SFO to LAX in google flights. I buy round-trip tickets to L.A. for $139. I’m leaving on Thursday and getting back on Sunday.
My roommate Laura orders food from Sushi Raw on Haight over the internet. She’ll buy me a Dragon Roll if I go pick it up for us.
I realize the whole day is going by and I haven’t finished installing the B2B show. There is still a lot to do. I walk down to Mission Comics and stop at Ace Hardware on the way. I buy two 9V batteries, I forgot how much they were. I also bought sticky tape to hold up the posters in the show and dome metal grommets for a little sculpture I’m making for the show in Ohio.
I go into Whole Foods to buy a snack. I get cut-up watermelon. It’s $2.99. It’s really good. I love snacking while walking to places.
I arrive at Mission Comics. It’s always hot in there. I finish the installation and send progress pix to Melissa and Rafael. I notice a Peter Bjorn and John song is playing at Mission Comics. I think the same song was playing in Whole Foods but I can’t be sure. Then a song by M.I.A comes on.
I listen to the whole Meat Is Murder album on my iphone (thru headphones) on my walk home. I go back to Whole Foods to buy dinner supplies and more cereal for the morning.
At home my roommate Laura is watching Bridget Jones’s Diary (1) in the living room using chrome cast. Everyone in my house owns a big flat screen TV but me.
My sister sends me a link to a blog she made of all the clothes she is getting rid of and asks if I want anything. I pick out a blue hoodie and a navy peacoat. But I tell her, I would need to try them on first to see if I actually want them.
House O’ Cards on Netflix. I have 3 epi’s to go.
Friday March 6
I finish season 3. Then I watch an epi of Fraiser on Netflix before bed. The neutral color palette of that show is very soothing. I love the little intro song sung by Kelsey Grammer. Also, watching fake Seattle is so calming. Fraiser was filmed in Hollywood. I visited the real Seattle twice last year for work. I stayed in hotel rooms both times and watched Fraiser in them.
I turn on the radio, KQUED. Terry Gross is interviewing the guy who wrote A Series of Unfortunate Events. He said Paramount Pictures fired him from working on his first movie and bought everyone at the airport drinks on his way back to LAX. I think about my friend Ben who recently got fired from NBC. He said he had been developing an app for them. Then we talked about the urbanization of suburbia. Kind of interesting idea that young people are choosing to move into the suburbs because it’s cheaper than cities and you can have more space.
I am reading an e-book by Tao Lin called Today The Sky Is Blue And White With Bright Blue Spots And A Small Pale Moon And I Will Destroy Our Relationship Today.
Still reading. My roommate walks into the bathroom and pees. He pees really loudly. I use both index fingers to plug my ears so I don’t have to hear it. I get to the bottom of the screen and I have no fingers to scroll down with. I wish I could scroll with my eyes.
Almost time to go down to Mission Comics for the Body by Body show. I watch one epi of Law & Order SVU. Pretty funny episode about a vigilante superhero group who goes around trying to catch a SoHo rapist. The rapist turns out to be the leader of the vigilante group. A guy who works in a comic book store and becomes obsessed with a female customer. There was a rare Jimmy Corrigan reference in the episode that I was impressed with.
After I take a shower, I feel like listening to an art podcast. I check Soulseektv.com. I was excited to find a conversation on there with Ajay Kurian and Jon Kessler. I listen to the first half of it and then go down to the show. A funny quote from Jon Kessler: “Being an artist in New York without a gallery is like being a lobster without a shell.”
I thought the Papa Tumor show was really good. One of our best. I can’t tell how other people felt about it. Maybe a little put off? The show was 18 photo collage posters. The content was like satirical imagery of SF, lots of inside jokes about the city. Example: A big picture of the founder of critical mass, fecal face dot com, weird street fashion, death guild, Jack Hanley gallery… When my friend Michael Guidetti saw the show he said, “What is this — ‘The I hate San Francisco show?’” Or something like that.
Rafael and I left a little early to catch a performance at our show at City Limits. Our friends Teenage Chain and Florian C were going to play. On the way to Bart I bought a super baby burrito at El Torro. I ate half of it while we waited. We ran into our friend Alex Moquist on the Bart, going back to Oakland. We chatted about the show and then Alex showed us architectural models of living spaces in Japan on his phone.
Florian C and Teenage Chain were really good, the music matched the vibe of the show well.
But I was distracted by a few rude boys who were spilling their wine on the floor of the gallery and drawing with it using their feet (shoes). I felt anxious about their energy clashing with everyone else’s. Most of us were just sitting on the ground, very mellow.
One of the boys threw a beer can at Rafael’s Painting. I looked over at Rafael to see if he noticed, I didn’t think he saw. I looked at the gallerist, Evan. No reaction.
After the last song was finished I saw that one of those annoying kids took out a cigarette. I came up to him and pulled his arm. I plucked the cigarette out of his mouth and broke it in half and put it in his hand. It was un-lit. I was thinking it was lit though and if it had I been I planned to put it out in his open water bottle. I made him clean the floor of the gallery. Ralf came over and called him out for throwing a can at his painting.
We both felt good about the confrontation, even though I was really mad at the kid for being so rude.
We went home and watched this vine.