VISUAL ART It's art fair time again. Last year there were three, this year there are only two, though it looks like artMRKT, which is taking over now defunct SF Fine Art Fair's slot at Fort Mason, has pretty much absorbed the former's area galleries. ArtPadSF, the more festive of the two fairs, will again be renting out all the rooms at the Tenderloin's Phoenix hotel. (Both fairs run Thu/16-Sun/19). I can't help but wonder, will there be synchronized swimming again in the pool this year?
Say what you will about whether or not art fairs are a reasonable way to actually engage artworks in a serious way (read: they're not), they do offer exposure to people that are worth knowing more about. With that in mind, here's our locals only guide to Bay area artists — some emerging, some established — whose work you can catch at the fairs.
Andrew Benson, Johansson Projects
Benson's sometimes gooey, sometimes crunkly digital video/experimental software work breathes some ragged, frenetic energy into the standard trope of "relationships between the body and technology." His piece is scheduled to be projected from the Phoenix onto the six-story building next door at 8pm, Thu/16-Sat/18.
Justine Frischmann, Unspeakable Projects
Frischmann's paintings look like something that one of those spiders on Benzedrine would make. If it lived inside an Etch A Sketch. And used neon spray paint. During a dust storm. Trust me, these are compliments.
David Hevel, Marx & Zavattero
Hevel makes collaged sculptures and sharp pop abstract paintings, usually riffing on American celebrity. His work at the fair will be very MTV 1983.
Scott Hove, Spoke Art
Will Oaklander Hove be showing one of his intensely drugged up fanged wall cakes, a knotted rope work installation, or a surrealism-on-meth painting? Yeah, it all sounds good to me, too.
Jason Kalogiros, Queen's Nails Gallery
Kalogiros makes edgy, dense, cerebral, photo-based works, lately by manipulating found commercial images. I'm hoping to see a couple from his series of Cartier and Bvlgari watches.
Ed Loftus, Gregory Lind Gallery
Loftus does photorealism pretty much the right way, by marrying intense attention to detail with an obsessive and neurotic subject matter that crawls under your skin ever deeper the more time you spend with it. While you're in Gregory Lind's space, also check out Thomas Campbell and Jovi Schnell.
Matt Momchilov, Unspeakable Projects
Momchilov queers punk and rock fandom in the traditional sense of the word, meaning his paintings and sculpture snatch and redirect standard accoutrements of punk fanboys and girls to point that hardcore laser focus in new directions and at more fey subjects.
Gregg Renfrow, Toomey-Tourell
I won't blame you one bit if you try to lick Renfrow's luminous, vibrating color field abstractions. His meticulous, precise, wondrous paintings are like visual everlasting gobstoppers, and I fully expect that by the time I see 'em, they'll have a layer of saliva all over.
Jonathan Runcio, Queen's Nails Gallery
Runcio makes incisive 2 and 3D work that takes traditional hardedge abstraction in the art concrete vein, shacks it up with remnants of urban architecture, and has a post-formalist lovechild.
Johnna Arnold, Traywick Contemporary