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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Face to Face
An exploration of the faces that occupy the fantasy world of Bob Bralove

Opening Friday, September 7 at 5:00 p.m.
Artist Reception: Saturday, October 6 at 6:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through October 28, 2012
Gualala Arts Center

The Gualala Arts Center will present Bob Bralove's Face to Face exhibit, "An exploration of the faces that occupy the fantasy world of Bob Bralove," September 7 thru October 28. Artist reception will be on Saturday, October 6 at 6:00 p.m.

Bob Bralove - Just the Two of Us
Bob Bralove - Just the Two of Us
Bralove, who has a Masters Degree in composition, studied with Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Wayne Peterson, focusing on composing orchestral and chamber works. He perfected his skills in the digital manipulation of sound as the sound designer and computer music director for Stevie Wonder (Woman in Red, In Square Circle). After eight-year tenure with Stevie, he began working with the Grateful Dead. His first project was to help score the CBS remake of the television series, The Twilight Zone.

On October 6, the exhibit transforms in to a live performance in the Gualala Arts Center Theatre with music, video, and digital prints with Henry Kaiser and Hank Putek. Opening reception 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with the performance starting at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance and $5 more day of the show.

Bob Bralove - Just the Two of Us, detail
Bob Bralove - Just the Two of Us, detail
Bralove says, "Towards the end of the Grateful Dead, lighting designer Candace Brightman and I worked out a system where the performance information from the stage could be used by her to control the lightshow. She could make the lights dance to the actual performance of the notes. Once I saw the power of this system I began to think of how to integrate visuals within the context of my own performances."

Bralove explains further, "In collaboration with Hank Putek, I came up with a system that allows me to map still pictures and video to the actual keys of the keyboard. When you play a specific note, a specific piece of video is triggered. This solved the problem of how to play images, but left the problem of what to play. And so began my process of creating images. At first this was all done inside the computer, but I began to have ideas about line, texture and color which seemed easier to execute by hand, and so I began to draw and paint the images that were in my head. My relationship to the process grew to the point where I was motivated to paint on canvas, and that process continues to today."

Bob Bralove - Boys on Parade
Bob Bralove - Boys on Parade
Both Bralove and his parents painted and were avid museum-goers. Bralove says, "Growing up in the suburbs of Manhattan, I was exposed to the museums and art of that amazing city and the process of making art. My parents were also avid travelers and I spent most of the summers of my youth wandering around the museums of Paris, London, Madrid and Amsterdam, soaking in the art and being shushed by the museum guards. With these images burned in my brain as reference, I did not start painting until I began my serious experimentation with LSD after the death of Jerry Garcia and before the death of Owsley Stanley."

With the psychedelics influencing his "freedom of expression," Bralove explains, that he "began experimenting with various media (including live performance with video, acrylics, oils, drawing)." He found the combination of "acrylics and ink to be fruitful for him." The paintings in the Gualala show will "explore characters in relationship to each other (acrylic), as well as the multitude of characters, both human and non-human, from our past and present who help make up who we are (ink). The acrylic defines the composition while the inks show the Keith Haring inside us all."

Bob Bralove - Ladies
Bob Bralove - Ladies
As a musician, Bralove enjoyed the rewards of collaboration with other musicians for many years. Bralove says, "This staple of musical life is rarely available to the visual artist, and is why I jumped at the chance to collaborate with Sherri Morris, who is the curator of the exhibit, on the sculptures being displayed." Additionally, Bralove commented, "The inspiration for the sculptures was the space itself, and a casual mention from Sus that he encourages artists to use the high ceilings and beautiful beams to hang objects from."

Eventually they found the medium of plaster-impregnated gauze as something that would have the strength to build the sizeable structures they wanted to build, be paintable, and flexible enough in its wet state to allow them to create the facial features for the heads. Bralove comments that "One can clearly see the influences of Mardi Gras floats and Mexican Day of the Dead masks in the execution of these fantasy characters. Each of us brought different ideas to each of the characters, creating heads which are both familiar and surprising to both of us."

Friends and Misfits - plaster sculpture collaboration; Bob Bralove, Sherri Morris Friends and Misfits - plaster sculpture collaboration; Bob Bralove, Sherri Morris
"Friends and Misfits" - plaster sculpture collaboration; Bob Bralove, Sherri Morris

The video installation uses the technique he calls digital finger-painting. Using a computer, Bralove maps the drawings to the individual notes of his keyboard. Bralove plays a key that corresponds to an image which is then displayed on a video screen. Bralove will be creating audience participation by allowing them to "buy a drawing off the wall framed and ready to display at home. To encourage this I am pricing the drawings at $20 including the frame. If this works there will be a constantly shifting context of drawings that the video will live in."

Bob Bralove - Real People, Imaginary Cities
Bob Bralove - Real People, Imaginary Cities

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.