Visual Art

Bay Area muralists trek to Bogotá and Cape Town in the name of water rights

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See video

The Bay is blessed with street artists who take seriously the responsibility that comes with painting on a surface thousands of people will see every day on their way to work and school. See: the Estria Foundation, which was started by graff legend Estria Miyashiro and just released this video of the group's latest trip to Bogotá, Colombia as part of its #WaterWrites mural program.

Stop by Bissap Baobab on Thu/7 for a dinner presentation on the group's trip to Bogotá and recent voyage to Cape Town, where it completed another mural that examined the issue of water rights.

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Tagged

Would a stripper license ruin my look? Plus, your week in sex events

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caitlin@sfbg.com

SEX Let's take a trip to Texas for some national news before this week's sex events.

Clearly, strippers are the reason we have human trafficking. This, at least, appears to be a thought in the noggin of Texas assemblyperson Bill Zedler, who has proposed HB 337, a bill that would require exotic dancers to wear a license certifying that they have taken a course in sex slavery.Read more »

Mrs. Wilsey's fine art

Wealthy socialite enlists Fine Arts Museums staff to help with her personal art collection

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rebecca@sfbg.com

A little more than a year ago, Therese Chen, director of registration at San Francisco's de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, sent an email to another staffer concerning "Mrs. Wilsey's new Matisse."

That would be Diane "Dede" Wilsey, the wealthy art collector who is also president of the Board of Trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.Read more »

The World's Best Artist©: Getting weird with Mitch O'Connell

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Can you guess which of the 290 pages of Mitch Connell's jampacked new, puffy-covered-like-cheap-tablecloth art anthology he is most proud of? It is not the vaguely seedy Hanna Barbera art, commissions all for Warner Brothers that were never utilized commercially. It's not the illustrations for porno mags, the public works benches in Chicago, several Newsweek covers, untold numbers of event flyers, or his late-1980s pop art aerial views of reclining women hoisting hot dogs.

It's the crazy shit he drew after he discovered his wife had been chronically cheating on him. You thought the rest of it was wacky! Read more »

SFMOMA reveals new look, it is sexy

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We were a bag of mixed artfan emotions when SFMOMA sent us a peek at what the museum will look like in early 2016, when the renovations that will shutter its doors in June are complete. The bad: our city's preeminent modern art museum will be sorely missed -- after all, who else would have let us bring Boychild, Lil Miss Hot Mess, and Lady Bear to run amok in the upstairs cafe on a Thursday night? (Memories.) But, the good: there is a lot of good. Read on for the highlights of what we can expect from the museum's new incarnation, and what's going to be happening while we wait. Read more »

SFAI's Gutai exhibit opens with a dirty good time

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The crowd cheers as a man decked out in stars and stripes makes his way through a packed staircase. He pauses at the landing and raises his arms over head in a salute of glory to the whooping and clapping masses below him.

"San Francisco, we give you the death match of the century," a voice booms from speakers.

The costumed figure presses through to the opening in the center of the room and circles the white platform where his foe awaits. He slaps the hands of a few children sitting in front before disrobing until he wears only blue knee-length tights and a bushy brown beard. He enters the square and stands above his opponent.

The announcer continues: "Mud versus the man himself, Jeremiah Jenkins." The man dives into a brown mass that resembles a giant pile of feces.

This was the scene at the San Francisco Institute of Art last Friday, where the Gutai Historical Survey and Contemporary Response exhibition opened with a bang — or rather with the revving of the dirt bike that Guy Overfelt blasted through four paper screens later in the evening. The event, which included the two theatrical pieces by local artists Jenkins and Overfelt, brought the Japanese avant-garde movement to life by recreating the sense of revelation upon which Gutai formed in 1954. Read more »

Salute new Hi Fructose boxed set at free YBCA party tomorrow

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You could practically hear the sharpening of claws in the Guardian office when the Last Gasp-published Hi Fructose Collected 3 boxed set arrived on our proverbial doorstep. For fans of quirky, dark arts, this was the motherload: a tidal wave of a book stuffed with visual artists from around the world, all accompanied by a sweet bear (sheep? I say sheep. There was debate) mask by Mark Ryden, ready to be fastened on one's face with a lightly-colored ribbon. There was a velvet-flocked triptych by Martin Ontiveros, Skinner, and Junko Mizuno. A fantasy city on a poster. Stickers. All of it. Read more »

Guerrero gallery bites Zero Graffiti convention

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"The difference between art and vandalism is permission." So said Dwight Waldo, retired San Bernadino cop, at the Zero Graffiti convention earlier this month in San Francisco. The event drew law enforcement officials from multiple countries, convening them for lectures on graffiti prevention, on street art's connection to gangs and hate speech, and on ways to apprehend graffiti artists ("the Internet" figured prominently here, judging from the talks I managed to catch during the convention's public portion.) In his talk, Waldo prided himself on shutting down a graffiti-inspired legal art show because it was being organized by an illegal graffiti artist. 

But it would appear that the art community isn't satisfied with allowing those that hold the anti-graffiti wipes to be the arbiters of taste. The folks at Guerrero Gallery have branded their show opening Sat/2 with Zero Graffiti's imagery to put scrutiny on San Francisco and other cities' efforts to repress graffiti. Read more »

Framing devices

Taking stock of early 2013's group exhibitions

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VISUAL ART Several recent, notable group exhibitions have me thinking a bit more actively about the roles curators play as artists in the shows they assemble. As much as DJs or editors, curators are present in their shows as artists, sometimes demurely, sometimes not.Read more »

The Haight Street Banksy rat is looking for a good home

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Kerfuffle attended the publication of my Street Seen column on the reappropriated Banksy street art that popped up at Context art fair during Art Basel week in Miami last month.

Hamptons gallerist Stephen Keszler wrote to tell me that my account of him taking two of the pieces from Palestine and affixing $400,000 price tags to the them was so boring that it made him fall asleep in the bathtub (probably just part of growing old, darling.)

But I also received an interesting communique from a man who claimed responsibility for getting the Banksy rat originally painted on Haight Street's Red Victorian hotel and cafe to Miami. He says it needs a home. Read more »