Riley Mcferrin
Psychic Deluge @ Together Gallery, Portland Oregon. September-December, 2010
Dan Ness and Riley McFerrin collaborate on a 40 ft. tall driftwood sculpture and video installation at the Together Gallery Annex. Both artists also have a number of works hanging on the walls of the newly opened space.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi Hosts Art Opening Of Riley McFerrin’s Work
On Friday, April 21, 2006, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi hosts the monthly
Third Friday’s Art Reception in his City Hall office, Room 282. In honor of the 35th Anniversary of Earth Day taking place on April 22, this month’s featured artist is Riley McFerrin.

In this new body of work titled "Let Outside Inside", San Francisco artist
Riley McFerrin takes a closer look at the growing divide between people and nature by combining both naturally occurring and synthetic materials in unexpected and symbolic ways.

This body of work evokes our awkward and often helpless interactions with nature, and contemplates life in an age where our tools of survival are no longer as closely connected to the natural world as they used to be.

Riley McFerrin's studio is located in Hayes Valley. His works have been
featured at the Bucheon Gallery, the Low Gallery and the Tinhorn Gallery, in San Francisco.

Please join Supervisor Mirkarimi in celebrating Earth Day with San
Francisco artist Riley McFerrin.
Tinhorn Public Works: He Remembereth That We Are Dust - Works by Grady and Riley McFerrin

ArtBusiness' take on the exhibition:

"Comment: Something happened to Tinhorn. Suddenly it's really interesting. I haven't covered a show here before though I've been to several. That's about to change because brothers Grady and Riley McFerrin, collaborating as "The Mechanical Press," transform Tinhorn Public Works into a walk-through survivalist frontier man-against-the-elements diorama with guns and woods and snow and game and cabins and beards and mountains and a wigged out Satyr-esque buck-bottom hunter-top rifle-weiding contraption that greets you as you walk through the front door. As the McFerrin brothers know, all good backcountry dioramas need art, so they've festooned the walls with plenty of that. Extra added bonus-- the whole shootin' match waxes festive-- perfect for The Holidays.

Read the full post here.
Riley McFerrin Interview

Anthony Skirvin interviews Riley for FecalFace.

"A great SF based artist working on wood. I first met Riley after seeing a group show that he was involved in, at the short-lived Army St Art Space around 1997-8. I got a chance today to catch up with him out at his Hunter Point Studio to talk about art, woodworking, and The Frank. - Anthony Skirvin.

Standard Stuff First
Name? Riley McFerrin
Born? July 18, 1975
Grew up where? Long Beach, CA
Moved to Sf? Summer of ‘97
Artschool? University of Oregon
Domestic Partner? The best children’s book designer ever, Sara Gillingham (wife)

So you have your third solo coming up at the Bucheon. What’s this show all about?
Basically after having become infatuated with wood working via construction job sites, I couldn’t stop thinking about wood, trees, lumber jacks, forests, old school wood working tools etc. This led to a thought process about nature and where materials come from. Because of modern technology, we get stuff completely differently then those before us. This started to make me sad.

Like strip-mining?
I think strip-mining sucks. Mostly, I get bummed out about reading about how loggers used to chop and whipsaw trees into lumber by hand. Now, massive diesel machineries split trees in half with the ease of a steel claw. There is no beauty in that. Technology, in general, has cut man off from nature.

Recycled goods and Natural materials seem to play an important role in your artwork. Is that nichs nichs or octknee’oct?
I don’t know what those words mean, but I think nichs nichs? Yeah, I really like weathered materials, like rust, stains, dirt and other examples of the ‘elements’ taking their toll on things man has made.

You are a craftsman by trade. How does that reflect in your art works?
I learnt to painting and design in school only to realize that it’s wack. If you want to see real craftsmanship become a tradesmen’s apprentice. I don’t feel like I am very good, but wood and woodworking has become a never-ending source of entertainment & education for me. Tile setting is pretty tough too.

So I am not going to see you strolling down the aisles of Ikea?
Their wooden furniture is pretty much crap….it hardly lasts the drive home from Emeryville. So even though it’s super cheap and looks alright, it’s really just a lot more landfill. The thing that blows me away….. a five dollar lamp? How can they pull that off? I don’t want to know.

What’s your take on dickies (the mini turtlenecks)?
Dickies are rockin, I could just never find the right time of day to wear one, but in clothing related news, Gem sweater be thine is hardcore.

What’s the story on that Letter Press over there?
I got into letterpress printing in school after another student saw me trying to write text on a painting. I was carving letters into a wood panel. He saw the connection between this and the letterpress. It’s the tactile quality of lead type and the de-bossing on paper that I love…..I’ve using it ever since.

Using it for what?
Basically, I print small jobs, artsy post cards, and a few fine art books. Although binding really kills me. Anyway, the bay area is really a hub for letterpress printing, in the last 5 years or so a lot of small presses companies have started up. Tons of well-printed ephemera are pretty available now. It puts a smile on my face, but in a way it, saddens me too.

Art is a three-letter word, but if it were a four-letter word, what would it be?

Read the full interview from April 18, 2005 on FecalFace.

The Art of Grady & Riley McFerrin

Matt Perry from the San Francisco Chronicle writes about "He Remembereth That We are Dust," at the Tinhorn Gallery.

"My weekend was a little crazy and I didn't manage to make it over to the opening of |Grady|| and Riley McFerrin at Tinhorn Public Workshop. I did however, manage to swing by on Sunday to check out the show, and it's a lot of fun. Gallery owner and artist Terry Chastain was sitting shop and said I wouldn't have been able to see the show anyway cause the place was so packed on opening night.

"The McFerrin brothers each have specialized skills, Grady has a painting and illustration background and Riley has focused on installation work. For this show they combined their skills to create, what they call, 'The Mechanical Press.' There's lots of moving parts in the show, great wood work and loads of critters. Definitely worth checking out."

Read the full article, The Art of Grady & Riley McFerrin, from November 14, 2005.
Riley McFerrin: Even Though
The San Francisco Bay Guardian's take:

"Two years ago, Riley McFerrin shared an exhibition at Bucheon Gallery with another artist and managed to crowd more than 100 pieces on his share of the wall space. This time, for "Riley McFerrin: Even Though," he has the gallery all to himself but has only installed just over a dozen pieces most of them quite large, including an imposing wood-and-rope suspension bridge that stretches from one side of the room to the other! You wouldn't want to walk on it – it looks pretty creaky and unreliable – but it perfectly embodies McFerrin's work: weathered, worn, natural materials that convey in one way or another a subtle feeling of tenuousness and fragility. Most of his works, even those hanging on the wall, have a prominent sculptural aspect and utilize a wide array of materials normally associated with three-dimensional constructions: wood, foam, rope, resin, and even beeswax. McFerrin joins these components at awkward, jagged edges, frequently slathering a viscous soup of clear acrylic on top to make everything looks ancient and naturally preserved, like an insect in amber. It remains uncertain, however, whether McFerrin is actually trying to preserve something more abstract under all of that heavy protective coating. On the few occasions when he inserts a human image into his work, it is often of a child drawn in a deliberately nostalgic, illustrative style – seemingly a reference to "simpler times" and a correspondingly ucomplicated way of looking at the world. The words that McFerrin has carved on the surfaces of his pictures possess a similar quality. Written in a large, awkward hand, 'Clear/Clean,' 'Either/Or,' and 'Don't Cry Ruby' are cryptic and mysterious, yet also essentially simple, like messages that might emanate from a Ouija board.

Read the whole story in the Guardian, from May 2, 2003.