2nd Opening - April 7th, 6pm
Show runs through April 30th.
Celebrated Oakland artist Schultz, the “Grandfather of Steampunk” known for his fantastical salvaged vehicles and absurdist sense of visual humor, will bring eleven of his storied creations to the Classic Cars West Gallery from March 3 to April 28th. An energetic, experimental tinkerer, Schultz’ work plays with the modern reverence for machines, unabashedly mixing together the functional and decorative, the kinetic and the supernatural, historical tidbits and timeless feeling.
The eleven works chosen for this exhibit are all wheeled vehicles, equipped with hilarious anecdotal backstories and illustrated by Oakland cartoonist Krusty Wheatfield. Epically absurd accidents, thwarted innovations, and odd moments of tenderness populate these stories and cover each machine with a quasi-historical patina and unavoidable sense of humor and elevate them from objects to subjects.
About the Artist: Schultz has been an active member of the Bay Area arts community for several decades. A graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts and former aircraft mechanic for the Navy, Schultz moved his toolbox from the warfield to the playground, designing the sets of Children’s Fairyland along Lake Merritt in Oakland and doing design work for the (in)famous and ultra-exclusive Bohemian Club. He later played a foundational role in what would become a working artist’s playground along 5th Avenue Marina in the Oakland Estuary.
His whimsical, hodgepodge style has gotten him shows at the Oakland Museum of California and Shakey Hand Gallery, but his most important work has been right in his workshop, where for over 30 years he has turned the once-crumbling alley into a colorful, exuberant arts community. His work al- most always engages with movement, the idea of innovation, and an impish delight in blurring boundaries.
Schultz’ irreverence for strict divisions means that visitors will be invited to interact with and play with his creations. This playfulness paired with his love of salvaging, recycling and re-orienting machines will provide a striking and humorous visual counterpoint to the pedigreed vehicles of the Classic Cars West showroom.