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Volume 3, Issue 5 • March 4-17, 2011 • San Diego Uptown News

Schonhoff’s debut at Park Gallery lures art-seeking Uptowners

Drawing influences from the likes of Banksy, Shepard Fairey while using a startling originality, this San Diego artist soars

By John Philip Wyllie SDUN Reporter

Courtesy of John Phillip Wyllie/SDUN The

SOHO Annual

More than 100 art lovers braved a rainy Friday night on the third weekend of February to view the work of freelance artist and illustrator David Schonhoff at the Park Gallery located at 4319 Park Blvd. in University Heights. More than 100 of his paintings and a half dozen of his T-shirt designs were on public display in San Diego for the first time. Schonhoff’s work draws from many influences. It is easy to see elements of Rene Magritte, Salva- dor Dali, Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee and the Psychedelic Era in his whimsical designs, but his style is uniquely his own. “I try to incorporate their styles with my style, but I give them a little twist,” Schonhoff said, a third year art student at Channel Islands University. “I call it urban surreal- ism. It’s a mix of graffiti street art and surrealism. I’ve learned a lot from my college painting classes and I have tried to incorporate a lot of what I have learned about col-

ors, values and shading while stay- ing within my own urban style.” Inspired by Banksy’s recent film, “Exit Through the Giftshop,” Schonhoff has also explored the current rage of public art with posi- tive results.

“Banksy’s film inspired me and my friend [and Rocier Art Col- lective business partner] Justin [Thomas] to go out and do some wheat pasting pieces. People really liked it. We got a lot of positive feedback from it.” The concept of freeing one’s mind is central to Schonhoff’s work. That theme is present in many of his pieces. “My art tends to be spontane- ous. I draw upon things that have happened to me in the last day or two, pick up on that and then start drawing from my head. It all flows together and takes on meaning. I think it is important that people expand their minds. On some of my art I have the German transla- tion of the phrase ‘free your mind’ included somewhere on it. I like to do work that people can think about so that they wonder what is

going on,” he said.

In addition to painting on can- vases and other surfaces, Schon- hoff is producing T-shirts with similar hand-drawn designs. Schonhoff’s opening was enhanced by the music of the San Diego psychedelic rock band, The Pilots. The Pilots are part of the fledgling Rocier Art Collective that plans to one day to include many musicians and visual artists. Schonhoff’s initial San Diego art show coincided with The Pilots’ launch of its first EP. The non-profit Park Gallery,

which serves the local community and brings together musicians and visual artists, turned out to be the ideal venue. “We are trying to get as many

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Weekend March 26-27, 2011

different types of (visual) artists and musicians together in the Rocier Art Collective in order to throw more events like this one. I’m creating the art and Justin is handling the business side of things. He is the manager and does the marketing. He takes care of ev- erything from the website to all the technical stuff that I just don’t have time to do. Without him, I wouldn’t have anything,” Schonhoff said. “We are shooting a T-shirt catalogue right now that should be ready in the spring for our summer line,” Thomas said. “We would like to take what we [presented] last night on a tour of California if we can find a way to do it affordably and so that it will make sense.” Schonhoff’s art and T-shirts are

currently available online at Rocier. com. Several of his paintings will remain on display at The Park Gallery located at 4319 Park Blvd. throughout the month. For additional information about the gallery and exhibit, visit

FinFinancial support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

ancial support is provided by the City of San Die o Commission for Arts and Culture. Courtesy John Phillip Wyllie

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