Clowns Take Over Mina Dresden Gallery in San Francisco

Hungry, thirsty bridge and tunnel crowds flocking to the Mission Saturday night had to slow down while they drove down Valencia street to see what was happening as crowds of people spilled onto the sidewalk for the Portrayals group art show opening reception. Artists Kevin Earl Taylor, Lee Harvey Roswell, Arlo Jamrog, and Mr. Ben Venom were showing about six paintings each, mostly portraits, in this show that will be hanging at the Mina Dresden Gallery until March 21, 2009. The art wasn't the only thing to take in, with the reception being filled with a bit of a who's who of the local scene with members of local rock band Black Fiction in the house, as well Flaming Lotus Girls, performance artist Matt Armstrong and K.S.W.'s Zach Rukstela and Bree Hylkema (also featured in one of the paintings). Lee Harvey Roswell, an SF painter who's subjects have slowly been shying away from silent film imagery while crawling closer to modern day clowning, was in full face paint with a bevy of beauties also done up in full clown regalia. At one point, the ladies of the clown took Roswell down to the ground in a mocked Rodney King style beating. The show is a great mix of very different styles and approaches to portraits and can be seen by making an appointment with Mina Dresden Gallery gallery.

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Josh Keppel
Artwork of Lee Harvey Roswell gets a once over by peruser.
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A peak Inside the Mina Dresden Gallery Saturday night.
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Portrait of Angela Mae by Lee Harvey Roswell.
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Valencia and 14th, crowd spilling into the street, often a tell tale sign of something fun going on.
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Portrait by Kevin E. Taylor.
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Angel Mae Thomspon, subject of painting by Lee Harvey Roswell hanging behind her over her right shoulder.
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Piece by Mr. Ben Venom titled, "The General."
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An onlooker checks out Mr. Ben Venom's other works.
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"A Lil' Business with Pleasure" by Lee Harvey Roswell on the left.
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"See No, Speak No, Hear No," three portraits of Buster Keaton by Lee Harvey Roswell.
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Life imitading art, with Dion (woman in hat) standing with a friend in a similar pose next to her painting "Obviously Waiting For a Friend".
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Kevin E. Taylor said on his website that he doesn't normally paint portraits, so this show was an opportunity to have a little fun.
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Three Kevin E. Taylor pieces.
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"A Lil' Business with Pleasure" by Lee Harvey Roswell.
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A clown checks out the show.
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Two of Arlo Jamrog's pieces, "Nick in Half-Shirt" on left.
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As the opening drew to a close, the crowd started to thin, which made looking at the art (and taking pictures of it), much easier.
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Kevin E. Taylor's work gets examined.
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Robin Hood, in the black and white hat with blond hair, was the subject of the painting behind her, Three Graces, by Lee Harvey Roswell.
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Artist Lee Harvey Roswell with Bree Hylkema who is featured in one of his pieces hanging on the wall behind them.
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Clowns, you either love 'em or hate 'em.
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Outside Mina Dresden gallery with Zachary Rukstela from Kinetic Steam Works on the right.
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Artist Lee Harvey Roswell in middle with white face and large shoe in the air. (At first, the shoe kind of looks like the lower torso of Roswell's fiance Anne-Marie Goco to his right, but closer attention to detail will reveal that it is really his big clown shoe sole).
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The ladies of Clown take Lee Harvey Roswell down.
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