In-Store Reading Event: D.I.Y. MAGIC by Anthony Alvarado

In-Store Events, Readings


Join us on Friday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. for an in-store reading/event by D.I.Y. MAGIC author Anthony Alvarado!

You’re not going to want to miss this.

D.I.Y. MAGIC is not so much a how-to magic book in the traditional pulling rabbits out of a hat sense, but more a guide to exploring and pushing the boundaries of ones internal/external perception of reality. The book teaches techniques on lucid dreaming, building tarot decks, going on vision quests, creating memory palaces, and getting lost in a familiar city. Anthony Alvarado provides readers with a collection of techniques for accessing deeper levels of creative thought—for hacking into their subconscious. From Salvador Dali’s spoon technique and ornithomancy (divination by crows), to bibliomancy and using (legal) stimulants, the exercises in this book will help anyone chasing the muse—from artists and musicians, to writers and more—as they tug at the strings of everyday reality and tap into the magic of their own minds. It’s a truly excellent publication, and if that wasn’t enough it’s got illustrations from 30 of todays best contemporary artists including: Aidan Koch, Kevin Hooyman, Ron Rege Jr., Edie Fake, and Luke Ramsey

Be there or be square!
(Anthony has rumored that there will be home-made beer samples)


Coming soon: Joe Roberts, LSD Worldpeace

Art Shows


Coming March 19 to N&P, a book release and art show from SF’s Joe Roberts.

Joe Roberts has worked as an artist in San Francisco for the last decade. His mixed media work has been released in various formats over the years and shown nationwide to great acclaim. The tenth title from Unpiano Books is a curated survey of his career thus far in the form of a softbound 160-page book featuring 142 full color reproductions of his work. As an independent publisher, Unpiano Books aims to support and promote lesser-known artists with specialized small-run releases both locally and across the country.

Joe creates artwork which represents a variety of mixed media formats and is reminiscent of work from Jean-Michel Basquiat and Joseph Cornell. Collage, paintings, diorama and figurines all play a role in the world he has created and is constantly reinterpreting.

“ …It is in Joe’s work that we can best see this influence of family, and this deeply veined exploration of the afterlife, the sublime. Childhood caricatures mingle with one another in cavernous hallways and catacombs, float weightlessly in starry skies. Watches stop, time stops, time circles around and we are back at the beginning. Back to what we share with the ones who are gone.”
– Myla Dalbesio, 2014

“Joe Roberts’ journey to the unknown is dotted with the protective guardians of childhood nostalgia. These come in the flavors of films, comics, candies, logos, and branding of the 80s and early 90s, not to mention latent countercultural references from 60-70s. This is the bulk of the content in his works and it is these references that place him in his time period and in a group of people bent on breaking through the illusions and finding themselves.”
– Matthew Ronay, 2014

JOE ROBERTS (b. 1976) grew up in in Madison, Wisconsin. Comic books made up the bulk of his childhood reading material, and their influence persists in his current work. Joe attended San Francisco Art Institute, where he claims he mainly learned about drugs. Through the use of crayons, paper and found objects, his work creates a world of cartoon imagery laced with personal symbology and humor. Joe currently lives and works in San Francisco, California.

UNPIANO BOOKS (Publisher) is an independent book publisher based out of New York. They specialize in photo and art books and currently operate on a timeline of seasonal releases. Since publishing Sandy Kim’s first monograph in 2009, Unpiano has sought to publish both emerging artists and artists from previous generations who never before had the opportunity to give their work a wider audience. They have worldwide distribution and cater to a variety of brick-and-mortar bookstores, museums and art spaces as well as online booksellers. In addition, they self-distribute via their retail website and at book fairs across the country. Artists released through Unpiano Books include: Sandy Kim, Jay Howell, Mel Kadel, Casey Jones and Arthur Pollock among others.

MYLA DALBESIO (Introduction) is an American multi-disciplinary visual and performance artist and curator. Her work is greatly influenced by religion and ritualistic practices, the mystic patterns of the natural world, nostalgic tendencies, American trash culture, and the underlying sexual perversions within all humans. She is currently located in New York City where she also models as the one of the faces of Calvin Klein.


See you at the LA Art Book Fair



We’ll be tabling at the LA Art Book at the end of this month and our publishing imprint & Pens Press will be releasing two new zines for the occasion: First one by Olympia Washington based musician/visual artist Arrington de Dionyso and another by the LA based artist duo Sumi Ink Club. We’re stoked! See you there.


Holiday Parrrrrtay!

In-Store Events


It’s the Needles & Pens / Curator
Friday, December 5, 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Come ring in the holiday season with us at our new location and enjoy some tunes by:
MALE GAZE (ex. Mayyors, Blasted Canyons, The Mall)
and Nashville to SF post-punk transplants the
(music starts at 7:30)

In celebration of the Valencia Street Holiday Block Party Curator will be offering 15% off all items the entire evening.

Needles & Pens/Curator, 1173 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

*Flyer by Mr. Ron Regé Jr.



In-Store Events, Needles & Pens Gallery

Coming to Needles & Pens Thursday November 13, 2014


PULP ATLAS, a series of exhibitions featuring the work of 12 artists experimenting with the book form and zines.

Participating Artists Include:
Michael Bartalos, Morgan Cahn, Matt Coors, Edie Fake, Christopher Kardambikis, Mark Lander, J. Pascoe, Vanessa Roveto, Jim Rugg, Tim Schwartz, Mary Tremonte, and Imin Yeh.

Artist book reading and discussion on the night of November 13 begins at 7 P.M. with Michael Bartalos, Christopher Kardambikis, and Tim Schwartz. Discussion moderated by Roberto Trujillo.

*Also – Tim Schwartz will be parking the STAT-US trailer outside Needles & Pens for thew night! Mark Lander will be on hand via Skype from Ipswich to talk to visitors about the books! This show is going to be AWESOME!



Keith Haring Studio Book Release/Signing

In-Store Events


Early last year French photographer Baptise Lignel published a small photo book about Keith Haring at work in his NYC studio. The photographer only 14 years old at the time had a friendship with the artist which gave him intimate access to Haring at work. Lignel captured dozens of candid images of the artist painting his iconic black lined figures as well as sporadic moments of their friendship. The book, originally released in conjunction with the Paris exhibition “Keith Haring, the political line,” now comes to to San Francisco in time for Keith Haring: The Political Line” which opens at the DeYoung Museum on November 7.

Join us Saturday November 8, 2014 for a book release and signing with photographer Baptiste Lignel from 4 to 6 p.m.

* Signed prints of the the artists work from the book will also be available for purchase.



We’re up and Running on Valencia Street!


Needles & Pens is officially open for biz in our new location at 1173 Valencia St. SF CA 94110. Come down and see us! PS – we’ll soon be joined by our buddy @curatorsf who will be setting up a pop up shop in house!




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Hello. Needles & Pens is moving to 1173 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA. 94110 (btwn 22nd-23rd Streets) while our 16th Street space is being retrofitted. Saturday October 4 will be our first day of business in the new location.


Up Next in the Gallery: Ben Medansky + Louis M Schmidt

Art Shows, Needles & Pens Gallery

Needles & Pens presents,

From Beginning to End
Ben Medansky + Louis M Schmidt

Opening Reception 7- 9 pm on August 9, 2014

From Beginning to End is a two person exhibition in which the sometimes abstract/sometimes utilitarian ceramic sculptural works of Ben Medansky will be displayed along side Louis M Schmidt’s graphite/ink drawings depicting the complicated interrelations between human beings. Works by these two Los Angeles based artists will be on display through September 30, 2014 in the gallery at Needles & Pens.

Needles & Pens
3253 16th Street
San Francisco, California 94103


8 Ball Zine Fair comes to SF!


We are pleased to announce that N&P will be participating in the New York City based 8-Ball Zine Fair making it’s first appearance in San Francisco!
Join us on Sunday July 6th, 2-6 pm at Billiard Palacade at 5179 Mission Street in SF.


Tod Seelie comes to N&P July 8

In-Store Events


BRIGHT NIGHTS: Photographs of Another New York
Photo Book Presentation with Tod Seelie
Tuesday, July from 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Tod Seelie has been living and photographing in NYC since 1997. He recently published a book of these photographs, BRIGHT NIGHTS: Photographs of Another New York. His New York is not what you might expect, and it’s definitely not the one you see on postcards. To celebrate the publication of BRIGHT NIGHTS, Tod is taking it on the road. He will be presenting a selection of his work, talking about his process, how he ended up where he did and tell a couple stories of what he’s been up to over the last decade and half. It will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

todseelie.com – suckapants.com

BRIGHT NIGHTS: Photographs of Another New York By Tod Seelie
Published by Prestel Publishing

Tod Seelie loves New York, but not the version depicted in postcards. His city is an underground haven for people at society’s edges, people who come alive at night, who make music and art and noise and mess. This startlingly beautiful collection of images captures a gritty culture that belies the city’s glamorous persona. Here are punk bands and bike parties, abandoned spaces and skeezy clubs, junk-filled lots and sketchy streets. Interspersed throughout the book are texts from Seelie’s friends and fellow artists, along with an introduction by Jeff Stark, editor of the iconic alternative events e-mail list Nonsense NYC. The photographs in the book create a love poem to the city that not only doesn’t sleep—it cavorts around at 3:00 am looking for the next adventure.

With contributions by:
Caledonia Curry (Swoon),Colin Moynihan (New York Times), Evan Pricco (Juxtapoz), Benjamin Shapiro (VICE), Carlo McCormick (Paper Magazine), Ian Vanek (Japanther), Conrad Carlson (Black Label Bicycle Club), Carolina Miranda (ArtNews), Joe Ahearn (Clocktower Gallery/Showpaper), Jeff Stark (Nonsense NYC), Sto Len (Cinders Gallery)

Colorful, entertaining, and slightly shocking, this is the first book from Tod Seelie, a photographer whose images “elevate mere weirdness to a more striking realm of visual intrigue.” —New York Times

TOD SEELIE has taken pictures in more than 25 countries on five continents. His photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world and appeared in publications including the New York Times, TIME, Rolling Stone, Spin, Thrasher, Vice, Der Spiegel and Juxtapoz. Seelie displays his work on multiple websites including Sucka Pants, which he has maintained for almost a decade.


Clutter by Troy Lovegates aka Other

Art Shows

Clutter by Troy Lovegates

Needles & Pens presents,
a solo exhibition by
Troy Lovegates aka Other

Clutter will feature a collection of paintings, drawings, prints, books, wood block carvings, and wall scribbles from a cruddy northern city up in the Canadian tundra known for it’s fat red faced mayor.

Opening reception Friday June 6, 2014 from 7-9:30 pm

*On dispaly June 6 – August 3, 2014.

More info on the artist here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/other/

Needles & Pens, 3253 16th Street, SF CA, 94103


Nikki McClure works for sale online

Art Shows


All available works from Nikki McClure’s May The Stars Drip Down are available for sale online.


Nikki McClure returns to N&P

Needles & Pens Gallery


May The Stars Drip Down
new papercuts by
Nikki McClure

Opening Reception,
Friday April 11, 2014, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.

Featuring original papercuts for the book,
“May the Stars Drip Down” by Jeremy Chatelain of Cub Country, published by Abrams Books
for Young Readers

Musical performance and lullaby by Jeremy Chatelain.

On display through May 31, 2014

Needles & Pens, 3253 16th Street, San Francisco, CA. 94103


Russ Pope at N&P

Art Shows


Opening Saturday February 15, 7-9:30 pm
Life Lines,
a solo show and zine release by
Russ Pope
*on display through March 16, 2014

“Russ Pope has been an artist since he was able to hold a pencil. He drew through many days at school when others were doing schoolwork. He drew comic book superheroes at home and invented characters that came to life with the touch of his pencil to paper. Art classes were the best part of high school. As a teen, art and skateboarding first collided when some of his art was used by skateboard companies. During these years, he worked and rode for SmallRoom Skateboards, traveled to skate spots around the US and worked in a skate shop in San Luis Obispo, California.

Since then, skateboarding and art have continued to sustain Russ’s drive to create. During his college years, he ran SMA Skateboards, started Creature Skateboards and took art classes at night. Living in a redwood grove in a house heated only with a homemade wood-burning stove, Russ set up an easel in the kitchen and, in the winter, often had to paint by candle light when the power went out for days at a time.

In 1995, Russ moved back to San Luis Obispo and started Scarecrow Skateboards. The time Russ was able to spend painting was limited by his new business and family. As things settled, his garage was turned into an art studio. The pieces Russ created during these years show transition from a more controlled, symmetrical painting style to a looser style expressing motion and music.

Just as Russ’s commitment to skateboarding has continued for over 25 years, so has his dedication to his art. Russ’s studio is now a different garage in Orange County, California filled with cans of rejected Home Depot paint, bottles of ink, and cans of spray paint. There are canvases and wooden boxes of all sizes. This garage is most alive late at night after his kids are in bed, when he puts on his headset and dances his paintbrush on the canvases. It is common to find him on his knees hunkering over a canvas on the floor while two dry simultaneously on easels and one is precariously balance against a folding chair. Russ seems to work best when he is adding bits and pieces to many canvases simultaneously. The movements of his body and his paintbrush demonstrate how he thrives in the chaos of multiple projects, surrounded by mounds of paint cans creating mazes on the floor.

When one looks at Russ’s art, it is easy to see that his painting is as integral to his life and sanity as food, water, music, skateboarding and family. The rawness of his work can be felt by viewing the large brush strokes, thick lines and colorful backgrounds of many pieces. One senses music and movement through the application of color, image and brush strokes. Elements of culture, politics, animals and celebration pop out of the base of his art. It is easy to feel freedom, chaos and release when one views Russ’s pieces as a body of work, these feelings are fundamental to his life and work. –J. Bostwick

Russ has shown his work both domestically and internationally in: San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Laguna Beach, Seattle, Utah, Boston, Chicago, New York, Brooklyn, Miami, Austin, Washington DC, Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, Vancouver, Whistler, Hawaii, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, and Japan.”


LA Art Book Fair 2014



Printed Matter’s

January 31 – February 2, 2014
Opening: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 6–9 pm

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 N Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012


Printed Matter, Inc. presents the second annual LA Art Book Fair, from January 31 through February 2, 2014, at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Downtown LA.

Free and open to the public, Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair is a unique event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by more than 260 presses, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from 19 countries.

The LA Art Book Fair is the companion fair to the NY Art Book Fair, held every fall in New York City. Over 26,000 artists, book buyers, collectors, dealers, curators, independent publishers, and other enthusiasts attended the NY Art Book Fair in 2013.


John Dwyer, Landlord Apocalypse

Art Shows


Landlord Apocalypse
a solo show of large scale pencil drawings by
John Dwyer
Opening reception
Saturday December 7, 2013
with music by Rob Spector (Bronze)
*on display until January 30, 2014


Mick Turner, Sunday

In-Store Events, Needles & Pens Gallery

We’re exited to announce that, this Sunday, November 17, N&P is hosting an in-store performance and week long art exhibition by Dirty Three guitarist MICK TURNER (currently on tour with Bill Callahan)!
The Apparition by Mick Turner


Friday Nov 1st – (Untitled) Formalisms

Art Shows

Needles & Pens proudly announces its final exhibition curated by Amanda Roscoe Mayo.

(Untitiled) Formalisms
Opening reception and zine launch
November 1, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
With performance by Benjamin Vilmain at 8:00 p.m.

The exhibition will be on view at Needles & Pens through November 15th and features the work of Andrea Bacigalupo , Andrew Chapman,Clayton Colvin, Lee Hunter & Pachi Giustinian, and Erik Swanson.

Formalism reaches far into the depths of history and art history alike. In painting the qualities are identified as line, value, color, and texture. These elements are compositional ones that the artist may use as a tool to complete a work that is balanced and aesthetically readable. These compositional qualities separate content and technique from the work. The pedagogy of formalism, however, is long ingrained into an artist’s training. These artists based throughout the country in Oakland, New York, Austin, and Birmingham both resist its foundation and utilize its characteristics.

True Formalism is rarely explored in contemporary art to the degree it once was. This exhibition looks to the artists who sit on the edge of a practice surrounding formalist ideas and tendencies. The notions of formalism are taught both classically and contemporaneously and often artists forgo or rebel the theory as it relates to art. This group of artists is reacting to the rules of this model, but is doing so in a way that challenges the end product. Andrea Bacigulupo has embraced the literal form. Using concrete she captures a complicated and intricate surface relying heavily on chance and the knowledge that the outcome will reference certain aspects of landscape composition. Andrew Chapman and Erik Swanson deconstruct the practice of painting in order to allow for a more holistic approach to the medium. Their treatment of the plane harbors enormous depth and control of the abstract visual. Clayton Colvin Through careful study of process and material Lee hunter’s work is based in the roots of formalist design creating sustained small sculptures that speak both to their construction and their visual image. Pachi Giustinian painted the interchangeable pieces allowing the objects to reach autonomy among themselves.



Art Shows


October 12 – 28, 2013
Opening reception and zine launch October 12, 7-9:30pm

Needles & Pens is pleased to present an exhibition of the work and collection of Chicago based artist Rachel E. Foster. Treasury will be on view from October 11 – 28 with an opening reception and zine launch on October 12 from 7-9:30pm.

When Howard Carter first peered into Tutankhamen’s undisturbed tomb he could not imagine the wonders that awaited him. That moment! – the moment of discovery propels everything forward. It is how we advance culturally, scientifically, and personally. It is what motivates artists to search and create and search again. Artists are constantly discovering and collecting information. For Foster, the internet and books act as the greatest repositories for information. She harvests all of her source material from these places. This allows her to have the same experience as Howard Carter – repeated moments of discovery.

Treasury is to be a series of collaborative exhibitions taking place between the artist and an invited curator. The first iteration works with curator, Amanda Roscoe Mayo. Physically, the treasury is a large box and inside the box is a personal, individualized collection. The contents that make up each collection are handmade artworks created by Foster, found objects, antiques, books, as well as instructions for wall drawings. Each box will act as a book; it will have a vague narrative and all objects will convey a similar tone.

Amanda Roscoe Mayo will blindly greet the box at the exhibition space and unveil the treasures inside. The curator has been invited to create the exhibition with no instruction, guidance, or parameters. The artist bows out of any exhibition decisions entrusting the curator entirely. The framework of the show is one of repetition, the artist makes a discovery, the curator unveils that discovery, and finally the viewer is invited to participate in making their own connections between the works and the information presented.

The goal of the show is to create a learning space between artist, curator, and viewer; where all parties get to participate in the artistic process of researching and the act of “taking in”. Treasury aims to blur the lines between original artwork, source material, and the simple presentation of data. The artist and curator hope that all visitors will gain an insight into the act of collecting and creating.

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