a.Muse Gallery is pleased to announce Now and Then: New Works by Photographer Robert Christian Malmberg and Collage Artist David Steele. This exhibit, which opens with a public reception on April 30th, is a reflection on time—literally a meditation on memory, loss, longing, and friendship.
Steele, a successful SF entrepreneur, Managing Partner of several local restaurants (Flour + Water, Central Kitchen, Salumeria, and Trick Dog) and partner in Noise Pop SF, met Malmberg several years ago at the recommendation of a friend who thought he might want to own one of Malmberg’s alternative process photographs. An art purchase, fast friendship and several years later, the two decided to exhibit their work together as a kind of homage to the way artists and friends can inspire each other.
“I aspire to always be involved in a conversation about culture,” said Steele in a recent interview. It was originally his idea to ask Malmberg (aka RCM), who moved to Brooklyn from SF last year, to make his work available “live” again for his appreciators in the Bay Area. Malmberg was happy to make the journey back to San Francisco, but also excited to share gallery space with an artist/friend whose collage work shared a common thread of “desirable imperfections.”
Malmberg’s delicate, sensual, alternative process nudes and still lifes create an indefinable timeless feel which merges contemporary art sensibilities with a variety of historical photographic methods. While well known for his wet plate collodion technique, he is currently exploring the use of vintage cameras, adding a watercolor treatment on top of each print, making each work unique.
Dovetailing this vintage aesthetic and subtle craftsmanship, Steele works with fragments of old books, using the patina of the aging pages to suggest color and contour. Both artists work to make the old new again.
“David's collage work resonated with me upon first glance: they are perfectly arranged scores of chaotic vintage shrapnel. David's ability to appreciate and implement the beauty of genuine hand created objects is something that I connect with personally in my own work.”
Steele’s passion for cultivating the next generation of artists and entrepreneurs, as well as his belief in growing the arts and culture scene in the San Francisco Bay Area, was also a driving force in leading him to partner with Malmberg for their upcoming show.
“Emerging artists and their work are the lifeblood in sustaining and growing our city’s art scene,” said Steele, who started collaging with American politician, lawyer, activist and artist Matt Gonzalez several years ago. "When Robert moved back to Brooklyn last year,” said Steele, “I knew that he needed to exhibit his work in the Bay Area again.”