Doug Biggert: "Hitchhikers and Other Work"

A special homecoming for a lifelong artist who was never a careerist
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PREVIEW So. I find out about this show "Doug Biggert: Hitchhikers and Other Work," and it sounds and looks amazing. It's all generated from a discovery that two friends of Biggert's made in 2002: namely, that he'd taken a photograph of nearly every hitchhiker he'd ever given a ride to. The acquaintances, Xavier Carcelle and Chloe Colpe, organized the almost 400 images into an exhibition that began its own travels in Paris, as well as a monograph.

It turns out that a California show devoted to Biggert, like this one, is a special homecoming for a lifelong artist who was never a careerist. In the early 1970s, Biggert had a solo exhibition at the Newport Harbor Art Museum (now the Orange County Museum of Art) showcasing photos he'd taken at a sandal shop in Balboa Park. Liv Moe and the folks at Verge Gallery in Sacramento aren't just presenting Biggert's hitchhiker photos in their gallery space — they've also put together a "Sandalshop Wall" recreation of that 1,700-image early '70s show, complete with rented furniture that matches the furniture of the original.

Another twist of the Biggert story is that the longtime Sacramento resident made a crucial contribution to the growth of the zine movement. He was responsible for getting "zine racks" into Tower Records shops throughout the world.

So. I want to see this show. And as I read about it, I found out that Verge Gallery just had an exhibition of work by Daniel Johnston. Damn. That one would have been worth hitching a ride to, too.

DOUG BIGGERT: HITCHHIKERS AND OTHER WORK Opens Thurs/9, 6–10 p.m., continues through Aug. 23. Wed.–Fri., 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sat., noon–5 p.m. Verge Gallery and Studio Project, 1900 V Street, Sacramento. (916) 448-2985. www.vergegallery.com

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