Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco, is pleased to present Easy to be Hard a two-person exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based Mario Ayala and Brooklyn-based Henry Gunderson. Long-time friends of each other and the gallery – we see this special exhibition as a celebration of both years passed and years to come.


Not much more can be said about these artists and their work beyond the comprehensive essay written by Jeffrey Deitch on the occasion of this exhibition, which will also be included in a forthcoming catalogue. For now, we leave you with the below excerpts.

What do Mario and Henry have in common besides their shared experience at the San Francisco Art Institute, their participation in the local skateboarding and graffiti scene and their shared interest in car culture? Both incorporate industrial painting techniques like airbrush and stenciling into their fine art practice. Both explore subject matter that is uniquely American. They expand the terrain of Pop Art into a discourse with the subcultures that generate mainstream culture. The work is exuberant, but there is also an undercurrent of darkness. The work depicts strangeness and the surreal quality of much of the contemporary American experience […]

[…] With their fusion of fine art and industrial techniques and their inspired mix of art historical and pop culture subject matter, Mario and Henry are defining a new artistic approach. It combines Cool School and Mission School, funk and finish, Latin and Anglo. It is both Pop and Conceptual, high and low. This is the new American painting.

Easy to be Hard also marks the first public opening at the gallery in over sixteen months. The exhibition will be on view June 12 – August 18. We encourage you to attend the opening reception, where both artists will be in attendance, and be a part of the community that helped foster—and was fostered by—these two artists.

Previous solo or curated exhibitions from Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold include Water McBeer, 2011; Apocalypse Shelter, 2012; And +0-000-000-0000, 2014. And solo exhibitions from Mario Ayala include Pen Pal, 2017; and Give a Dog a Bad Name and Hang Him, 2019.

A forthcoming exhibition catalogue to be released in the summer of 2021 by Colpa Press and Quinn Arneson. An exhibition soundtrack curated by Gunderson and Ayala will be available for streaming soon...