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Press Release: “Elite Rebels,” a Solo Show by Chad Hasegawa

White Walls Presents:

Elite Rebels

White Walls is pleased to present Elite Rebels, a solo show by San Francisco-based artist Chad Hasegawa. Join us for the opening reception Saturday, March 15, from 7-11pm. The exhibit will be open to the public for viewing through April 5, 2014 .

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Chad Hasegawa is well known for, perhaps surprisingly, taking California’s state animal, the grizzly bear, as his primary subject. These powerful animals were known for their fearlessness; early pioneers told tales of the grizzlies’ prowess in battles with charging longhorn bulls and of their refusal to retreat  from the onslaught of new settlers that characterized the 1800s. Less than 75 years after the  gold rush of 1849, the brave and wild bears which had roamed the state for 300 years were extinct.

In Elite Rebels, Hasegawa depicts his trademark grizzlies with repeating blocks of black, building their shapes as if mimicking a haphazardly-balanced pile of bricks.The forms appear (with eyes, nose and mouth painted in realistic detail) atop empty spaces of stark white set apart from backgrounds of flat color, some of which are stamped with the same rectangles used to make the bear’s bodies. Each bear was painted as a portrait of sorts, with most titled after the names of personal friends that, like Hasegawa, moved from Hawaii to San Francisco. The exception is the 8 x 8 foot showpiece, created in tribute to the artist’s father, who is a continuous source of inspiration to the artist.

With this show, Hasegawa communicates his desire to paint with a less structured approach than his previous show ABSTRACTS FROM, which involved the artist recreating a portion of an exhibition highlighting the New York School  from the SFMOMA. Among the 23 paintings are four abstract pieces, which act as the culmination of the artist’s intention to bring more spontaneity to his artistic practice.


White Walls Gallery has worked for nearly a decade to exist as the premiere destination for urban art in the Bay Area. Combined with the Shooting Gallery just next door, this 4,000 sq ft space is one of the largest galleries on the west coast. Justin Giarla founded the gallery in 2005 with a commitment to furthering the urban art movement, drawing directly from street art and graffiti culture. Named for its plain white walls, the gallery takes a backseat to the real focus: the work of our artists.

Media Opportunities:
Interview with Chad Hasegawa
Interview with owner/founder/curator Justin Giarla
High-resolution images available upon request

Event Information:
Elite Rebels
Opening Reception – Saturday, March 15 , 7-11 pm
On View Through April 5 , 2014
@ White Walls (www.whitewallssf.com)
886 Geary, San Francisco, CA

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