Mills Building

Mills Chagoya_IMG_6200Mills Burkholtz_IMG_6194Mills_Minervini_IMG_6215Over the years, Electric Works has been privileged to work with a wide variety of artists from the Bay Area and beyond — always with a collaborative spirit and the hunger for trying something new. At the Mills Building you will see many proprietary techniques but, at the end of the day, you will see that our projects rest on good content as well as good technique.

It’s with that spirit we present some of our favorite projects over the last 18 years including work with Sandow Birk, Elaine Buckholtz, Enrique Chagoya, Hughen/Starkweather, Robert Minervini, and William T. Wiley.

The exhibit is part of a rotating program sponsored by the Mills Building for the pleasure of its tenants and visitors..

Visit the Mills Building
220 Montgomery Street
San Francisco
until December 12


Top: Enrique Chagoya                                                                                                Middle: Elaine Buckholtz                                                                                           Bottom: Robert Minervini


Making Multiples

Electric Works presents
“Making Multiples”
Reception: Saturday, March 29, 5-8 PM

Electric Works publishes unusual multiples stretching the limits of what is traditionally considered a print. From William T. Wiley’s Punball: Only One Earth pinball machine to Marcel Dzama’s Albatross Note vinyl records to Sandow Birk’s In Smog and Thunder playing cards to Enrique Chagoya’s Pyramid Scheme.  Electric Works focuses on two crucial elements when considering any project: technique and content. We work with artists who are masters of strong visual content and we help them over the technical stumbling blocks that so often get in the way of a successful edition. We revere the old techniques, but champion the new ones as well, all in the name of making the most ambitious projects possible. 

Electric Works will be hosting an open house and flat file guided tour open to the public on Saturday, March 29 from 5-8 PM in conjunction with Bridges: Spanning Tradition, Innovation, and Activism, the Southern Graphics Council International conference. We will also be offering anyone with a conference badge a 10% discount in our bookstore. 


Saved the World

We did it! You may have noticed we’re still here. Yes, we knew all along that Super Bato had saved the world. In 2009 Enrique Chagoya in collaboration with Electric Works created “2012—Super Bato Saves the World” —a slot machine based on the End of Days prediction of the Mayan Calendar. The idea was that if only someone could win the super jackpot on the machine, the world would be saved. Well, someone did. On May 7, 2009 this little tike pulled the one arm of the bandito and the machine whooped and flashed, coins a-tumble– the world was saved. So we knew all along we would still be here on the morning of 12/21/12.

The most amazing part of the 2012 story is that the Maya were astounding counters of “long time”. In this NASA short video you can see the calendar was a repeating device and yes ,we are back at the start. Our solstice wish is for an age of increasing cooperation. Fiscal Cliff negotiations? Maybe that’s the doomsday in real time. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Death and Taxes in Fantasylandia

Enrique Chagoya takes on the subject of the Recession, Wall Street and the economy in Death and Taxes in Fantasylandia at the Sonoma County Museum until November 4. Chagoya in his statement for the show writes, “My satires are just a way to release my frustrations and anxieties with the world as I see it, hopefully with some sense of humor. I have yet more questions than answers. Answers may need to be provided by a collective effort and perhaps a massive protest with specific measures of change. Art does not change the world, but the people through civic actions do. Necessity and not ideologies will bring change. Meanwhile we live a fantasy world sweetened by dominant paradigms.”

Hit the jackpot and save the world with 2012: Super-Bato Saves the World, 2009, customized slot machine, coins and payout cups.

With good humor Chagoya expresses his feelings about money and power in Pyramid Scheme, 2009, archival pigment prints on cans.

Out and About

Burning Man is over and the crisp autumn air is quickening the pace, so its time to get out and about in the Bay Area. Mark your calendar for these not to be missed events:

Enrique Chagoya: Death and Taxes in Fantasylandia
September 23 – November 4, 2012
Opening reception Saturday, September 22 from 5:00-7:00 pm

Noted Bay Area artist Enrique Chagoya takes on the subject of the Recession, Wall Street and the economy in this exhibition titled “Death and Taxes in Fantasylandia” at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa. Chagoya is internationally known for his witty and pointed commentary on politics and cultural issues, which he delivers in diverse artworks including paintings, drawings, prints and Electric Works’ 2012: Super Bato Saves the World slot machine. Chagoya will speak about his work at the museum October 11, 6:00-7:30 pm.

The SFAC Market Street Poster Series celebrating San Francisco ends the week of October 1. Meet Paul Madonna and his wife and collaborator Joen Madonna at a closing party and poster signing.

Rio Grande bar 1108 Market Street (between 7th and Jones streets)
Friday, September 28 from 4 to 8 pm
There will be music by beloved Castro Theater organist David Hegarty, one of the artists featured in the poster series.

Last but not least…

Rounding out the year with a few last but not least newsworthy notes.

Visit with Jennifer Starkweather and Amanda Hughen at In The Make. During this studio conversation they talk about their collaborative practice and how they worked together on their Bay Bridge project and Approach, Transition, Touchdown their recent exhibition at Electric Works.

Noah with Enrique Chagoya’s 2012 slot machine.

A must read – Printintersting’s interview and walkthrough Electric Works with Noah Lang who pulls out the stops and pulls out the drawers of the flat files and even shows Marcel Dzama’s The Cabin of Count Dracula, twenty lithographs and a vinyl record housed in a LincolnLog-esque box lined with faux beaver fur.

Kudos to Katherine Westerhout. Her photograph Eastern State Penitentiary II is included in “SNAP: A National Juried Exhibition of Photography” at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek until February 19th.

David Tomb continues his work with the Great Philippine Eagle and other beautiful endemic birds of the Philippines, including the Rufous Hornbill. His installation at the Bone Room, 1573 Solano Ave, Berkeley will highlight sounds of the Mindanao jungle. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, February 2 from 7-9 pm.

David has long been a champion of the El Triunfo Biosphere Preserve. Learn more about how you can win a trip – Just donate $10 and be entered into the drawing. Contest closes February 28, 2012.

Take A Gamble on Art

On Saturday, February 19, 6- 8 PM meet Enrique Chagoya at the reception for his Surviving Paradise exhibition at the di Rosa in Napa.

The show features Pyramid Scheme a set of soup cans that describe the recent financial meltdown and Super-Bato Saves the World a fully functioning slot machine. Both works were produced by Electric Works in 2009. The theme of the slot machine is “2012,” the end-year of the ancient Mayan 5125 year calendar, a time of great portent and change. Replete with imagery that crosses the US-Mexican border, subjects in the machine’s graphics include materialism’s discontent, environmental catastrophe and generally, the end of the world. Jackpot winners “save the world,” along with the help of “Super-Bato.” Surviving Paradise Sneak Peak

While at the diRosa in their gift shop you can take a gamble on art!. Produced by Electric Works, this Super Bato payout cup bears the slogan “Life’s a Dream, Then You Wake Up.” Limited Edition payout cup from“2012” the “one-armed bandit” by Enrique Chagoya. $40


Making books is really, really fun. And really, really hard- especially if you have never done it before. Let us help. We will steer you clear of the rocks and hard places which plague artists designing their own books. We have worked with some of the best artists in the Bay Area in the last 20 years. Visit us at CODEX today and tomorrow where you can see some stunning examples. Call to schedule an appointment to bring your project to us today.


Fine Press Book Association interview with Judith Selby Lang about Chagoya’s Pyramid Scheme.