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David Usher speaking on the collaboration with Ian McCallum.

BODEGA * A Fun Place

Ian McCallum and David Usher

A collaboration between David Usher and Ian McCallum

Opens December 9, 2016

‘Bodega *A Fun Place’

Ian McCallum


Yosemite is so powerful, that it is hard to justify through photographs. I'm so excited to have David paint these natural forms. He has such a knowledge of the presence of nature, and its beauty which he can convey in a vastly different way to any realism painter or photographer. Through fragmented snapshots and a discussion I had shared with David about the beauty of Yosemite, he was blown away and immediately started painting. David arrived at my studio with a number of paintings he had made, with only his minds eye and a few photographs as reference after our short dialogue.


With collaboration in mind the works sat in the studio. I enjoyed them sitting, waiting to be explored. My studio is full of textures, which are a direct influence on my work. It was nice to have time with another's paintings as they sat patiently, waiting until I felt the time right to explore.


With no pressure on a show they sat, until a strange synchronicity occurred. I had the thought that my first exhibition at ALG should be paired with David’s works. Later that afternoon in the printing studio while I was working on entirely unrelated works, David floated that exact idea. I was unsure at first, due to external pressures, but with some deeper thought and understanding, I knew that this was something important to do. Whether we knew it or not, David and I were meant to make these pieces.


This body of work is a nice mix of David interpreting Yosemite and me interacting with a city, with some influence from song lyrics that I heard while I was away, and lettering taken from photographs that I took primarily of the Bodegas (small shops located generally on a corner) during my time spent in the Ghettos of LA, the nicest part of LA and the Ghettos of San Francisco. Together the outcome of this work is more powerful than what I could have undertaken on my own. David shared in a ‘spiritual journey’ from afar, through his imagination.