Hairy Eyeball

This old house

"3020 Laguna Street in Exitum" transforms a doomed Cow Hollow domicile into nine site-specific artworks

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HAIRY EYEBALL Aside from its prime Cow Hollow location, the modest single floor, above-garage residence at 3020 Laguna Street is a largely unremarkable piece of real estate. Over its 150-year existence it has served as a home to people now forgotten, any relations of its last known occupants having cut all ties to this particular place. What's left is the building itself, which, judging from its dingy stucco exterior and the tidy beaver dam of exposed lath covering what had been a bay window, looks as if it has an imminent appointment with the wrecking ball.Read more »

Dead horses and fool's gold

Ventriloquism, alchemy: Ray Beldner at Catharine Clark and Leslie Shows at Haines

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HAIRY EYEBALL What more can art tell us about our culture's conflicted relationship to celebrity, let alone its own conflicted relationship with celebrity? Not much, I suspect.Read more »

Bling and the kingdom

"Maharaja" at the Asian Art Museum and "The Matter Within" at YBCA focus on India's past and present

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HAIRY EYEBALL "Why curate an exhibition focused on a single country in an age of disappearing boundaries?" is one of the questions posed by the curatorial text at the start of "The Matter Within: New Contemporary Art from India," Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' survey of recent photography, sculpture, and video from the subcontinent.Read more »

Uncomfortable truths

The SF Arts Commission's "SHIFT" asks America to put aside its discomfort and talk about race

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HAIRY EYEBALL Sometimes it seems like Americans would rather undergo a root canal than honestly talk about race in this country. Witness the rounds of recrimination and defensive posturing on all sides that followed the Washington Post's recent front page story that the hunting camp Texas governor Rick Perry has long frequented was formerly known as "Niggerhead."Read more »

The sight of sound

Punting audible obsolescence with Christian Marclay's cassette-based photograms and Fran Herndon's poetic echoes. 

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Caves of forgotten dreams

Brice Bischoff's "Cave X" and Colin Christy's "Wild and Scenic" turn the outside inward

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HAIRY EYEBALL If you follow Canyon Drive from Hollywood Boulevard all the way up into the hilly territory of Los Angeles' Griffith Park, you'll reach a cul-de-sac. Beyond that, accessible by foot, is a small stone bridge which leads to a dirt trail that eventually lets you out in what's known as Bronson Valley. This is where you'll find the Bronson Caves.Read more »

Vision statement

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: Our visual arts column Hairy Eyeball sizes up fall's gallery and museum shows

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FALL ARTS You better start doing your stretches and invest in a good pair of walking shoes. There's as much ground to cover as there is art to see this fall, and if you get to every gallery, studio, and museum on this far-from-comprehensive list your eyes will probably be as sore as your feet. But as any seasoned hiker will tell you, the views are well worth any aches incurred along the way.Read more »

The persistence of objects

Dadaist hybrids breathe remarkable new life in Berkeley Art Museum's "Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage"

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HAIRY EYEBALL German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) acted as an interpreter for the discards of modern life, or what Alfred Barr, the first curator of New York's Museum of Modern Art, tellingly referred to as, "witnesses stolen from the ground." He listened to what the matchbook covers, torn ticket stubs, crinkled packaging, scrap paper, fabric remnants, and other junk that he took back to his studio had to say about form and color, and in turn, re-presented their testimonies to the world in which they once circulated.Read more »

Crying in public

Being brave through site-specific choreography on Market Street 

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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL Weaving my way through the groups of slower moving shoppers and tourists ambling out of the Powell Street BART Station, I realized I was already too late.

I had wanted to be present for the June 11 noon kickoff of Market Day — the large-scale public art event tied to Allison Smith's current Southern Exposure exhibit "The Cries of San Francisco" — but when I reached Mint Plaza and had been handed a schedule I saw that my timing had been off by an hour.Read more »

Slick

San Francisco plays host to three different art fairs this week

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"Surface, surface, surface." Patrick Bateman' pithy summation of the dominant aesthetic of his times in American Psycho could easily serve as a subtitle for Takeshi Murata's colorful still lifes currently hanging at Ratio 3 (Murata's computer animated short, I, Popeye, which plays in the gallery's backroom, merits less discussion despite its gallows humor).Read more »