Bay Area visual artists Erlin Geffrard and Yarrow Slaps are collaborating on a show at New Image Gallery called Yee Yee: Cries of a Lost Tribe this weekend in West Hollywood. Both artists take a hard stance on the gentrification of the San Francisco Bay, and their deeply political and personal work speaks volumes about their experiences and the experiences of thousands displaced in the Bay Area.
Artist Erlin Geffrard attempts to illuminate the inner workings of the painter’s mind. Ordained into generations of Haitian Voudon priesthood, he struggles to understand his divine title. He explores a wide variety of topics, from Hollywood's depiction of zombies, the creation of race culture, and dumb, fat, Americans. By re-appropriating religious, cultural, political and historical allegories and symbolism, he draws in his audience. Most of the representations that are given to the public are meant to be understood as the hand that people play in industrialized global violence. People empower the economic pedagogy that destructive corporations use to brand and glorify self damaging trends. He labels himself a Bay Area Tech Refugee., in response to seeing his family pushed out of San Francisco by the forces of tech-industry gentrification. The style of the work is a hybrid of small digital led interactions combined with analog painting.
Yarrow Slaps work is peculiarly reflective of his last 2 years. Whether going to casinos, being in the streets, or in high class places, wherever he goes, he is feeling the vibes. He examines the changing demographics of his city, and how black and other people of color are leaving at a quick pace.
"In high school, the hyphy movement was at its peak and everyone used to holler out 'Yee Yee'. That phrase became the catalyst for the name of the show; Cries of a Lost Tribe." His work depicts the members of this 'lost tribe.' He remains aware of their situations, but showing them from an observers perspective. He presents the viewer with a moment in time that would appear the same through anyone's eyes. He sometimes creates stories, but always with a purpose behind them, regardless of if it's an honest truth or a fantasy of his.