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Art Exhibit, June 2014: Art Supporting Art

Paintings by Mike Hardin

June 3 - 30, 2014
in the City Center Art Lounge
300 Page Street, San Francisco
(no reception)

About the Artist

“Art supporting art—what could be better?” asks artist Mike (Zen Rock) Hardin. Mike will be donating the proceeds from his upcoming show of new works at the San Francisco Zen Center Art Lounge to the restoration of the collection of Buddhist art presently in the protective care of Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.

As Mike notes, that collection, which includes works by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, in reality belongs to all sentient beings:

I believe that as we get these pieces restored and displayed we should be aware of what we are really looking at. It’s not just a matter of viewing art for the sake of our personal pleasure. To look at Dharma Art is a form of communication like reading or chanting, only more direct. These works have not been translated or edited by anyone.

Think about the master’s hand making that line, or circle, in that precise moment all those years ago. That master was actually talking to you.

When I see a brush stroke obviously made with great speed and accuracy, it reminds me of my own teacher, Jakusho Kwong Roshi, pounding his stick on the floor. KWAP! It always makes me jump, but it brings me back to this moment. It’s the same thing.

Zen Rock has been a student of Kwong Roshi for 13 years on Sonoma Mountain. He is a prolific painter who generally paints in a representational style but is always reserving the right to move freely between degrees of representation and abstraction.

Reflecting on that point he says, “What I’ve been doing lately is more representational, more detail, but really pushing the color and value in an effort to create paintings with real impact.”