Porterville College

Famed watercolor artist and alumnus returns to PC

Artist's works: "Crossings"

The public is invited to see the exhibition of the watercolors of Shane Guffogg Feb. 8 -25 at the Porterville College Art Gallery. A reception for the artist will be held Tuesday, February 9, from 5-7 p.m. Guffogg, a former Porterville College art student, has made a name for himself in the art world. He has just had a major 27 year retrospective of his work at the Imperial Academia National Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, featuring 73 paintings and three glass sculptures. Now he has come back to Porterville College to mount an exhibition of his watercolors at the PC gallery.

Guffogg was raised on an exotic bird farm near Lindsay, California. His interest in painting stems back to his teenage years, when he traveled to Europe and the former Soviet Union and was exposed to the “Masters.” He was an art student at Porterville College before transferring to Cal Arts where he earned his B.F.A. During his studies at Cal Arts, he interned with Gary Stephan.

After college, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he lived in Venice Beach and worked as a studio assistant for Ed Ruscha from 1989 until 1995. His work began exploring the iconography of Ancient, Classical, Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary cultures, and the relationships among the various times and peoples. During this exploration he found that painting is one of the few art forms that may express what language cannot. The resulting work contains its own language of sign and symbol, and in its patterning, visual depth and light, simultaneously seems to refer emotion, to the human spirit and to the unseen worlds of Quantum Physics and Super String Theory.

The series of watercolors in this show are titled, “Crossings.” Guffogg described the process of creating the watercolors for this series in depth. 

“Beginning in 2001, I would start each day by entering my studio in downtown Los Angeles after driving from Hollywood and walk around the room, saying everything that was on my mind out loud until I didn’t have anything else to say,” Guffogg said. “Then I would lay out a piece of paper, sometimes two or three and begin working. I would have a spray bottle filled with water and bottles of watercolor lined up, then pick a color and load up the eye dropper and draw a line. The first mark was without forethought,” he continued. “It was spontaneous, starting at the top and moving toward the bottom. Every mark after that became a conscious duplicate of the first until the page was full and the process would begin again with mark after mark crossing over the first series of lines. Chance always seems to be a factor in life and it played an equal role in these watercolors.” 

Pastels from his series “Lumen Lapsus” will also be a part of the show.

The exhibition will run from Feb. 8-25. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. The reception, where the public can meet the artist, is Tuesday, February 9, from 5-7 p.m. Parking is unrestricted during the time of the reception. For other times, contact the front desk when you arrive to visit the show for a free temporary parking permit.

The Porterville College Art Gallery is located on campus at 100 East College Avenue in Porterville. Please contact Jim Entz at 791-2257 for more information.

Kern Community College District