Metro's Best of Silicon Valley 2002

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[whitespace] Cheri Lakey and Brian Eder
Photograph by Paul Myers

Cheri Lakey and Brian Eder

Art Smart


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WHEN YOU SEE ART outside in downtown San Jose--particularly art that isn't anchored in a cement base--it's more than likely the work of Cheri Lakey and Brian Eder. Co-founders of Two Fish Design Group, which counts Reebok among its clients, Lakey and Eder are small superheroes of the up-and-coming San Jose art scene. Their art gallery, Anno Domini, holds "First Friday" receptions that make most club nights seem boring (for a schedule, see Lakey and Eder are involved with several public-space programs, including the Saturday Art Markets held in the San José Repertory Theatre Plaza, and Phantom Galleries, a series of artworks displayed in the ready space of downtown's many empty storefronts. They also run the San Jose Lomographic Embassy, one of only three in the entire United States! (A Lomo is a cheap, quirky Russian-made camera.)

METRO: What do you think is the best public art in San Jose?

Lakey and Eder: Phantom Galleries along South First Street--they are the most approachable of all the public art [spaces] around here, and they utilize more local artists; enVision San Jose: those two walls of Lomographic photos along the north side of San Carlos across from Original Joe's, and along Paseo de San Antonio by the new Bally's Fitness Center. They were diverse projects that were open to anyone. Kids ages 4-18 were given Lomo cameras for a week, and they took pictures of what goes on in their daily lives. (We're not just choosing these two projects because we sponsored them, of course).

What about "unsanctioned" public art, like graffiti?

Let's just say that somewhere in the vicinity of Coleman Avenue, there are some really interesting buildings with some really good stuff. If Metro prints the exact locations, then the graffiti is likely to be removed shortly thereafter by the powers that be, so we're not going to say the exact address. There really isn't that much innovative graffiti art anymore. Most of the poster artists seem to be hitting those gray PG&E boxes a lot, but other than that, there's not much left.

Where do you guys go to get a cheap breakfast?

Peanuts Deluxe Cafe on San Fernando. They've always got The Jerry Springer Show on. The pancakes and eggs are the best. Healthy and vegetarian? Of course not.

What's the best construction site in San Jose?

The Guadalupe River Park and Gardens because the whole thing looks like a giant Tonka truck toy world. With dirt trails, mud and man-made roads, and all those bulldozers and yellow construction trucks.

What do you guys like to do around town? Go to movies? Take pictures? Drive around?

Pictures, yes! We take a lot of pictures. All the time. We're big Lomo-heads. There's only three Lomographic Embassies in the United States. One in New York City, one in Washington, D.C., and we're the third one. We go to a ton of movies. We love really intense, dark flicks because they stay with you for a few days. They're inspiring for us, the art movies, because they aren't popular and available everywhere or in the big theaters. And we tend to do things that inspire us to live a bit precariously. We like to go to a lot of guerrilla art shows, you know, in people's backyards, in their houses, etc. Of course, those don't really happen that often anymore. And we go to San Francisco a lot.

Mostly, we just love to work--that's our favorite activity: putting on the Phantom Galleries, the Saturday Art Market, working with our clients, things like that.

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From the October 10-16, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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