Visual Art

Beyond the curtain

Karen Kilimnik challenges ballet archetypes in 'Dance Rehearsal'

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Photographic perspective: Salvaged shots from Japanese tsunami come to Intersection of the Arts

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Let the photos above serve as a reminder that your humpday muck-ups really aren't the cataclysms they seem to be.

The shots are from an exhibit that opens today at Intersection for the Arts called "(re)collection: Family Photos Swept By the 3/11 Japan Tsunami". They're representative ofa massive collection of photographs salvaged from crushed homes in the wake of the 2011 magnitude 9.0 earthquake offshore from the island nation. That'd be the one that caused the devastating tsunami, flattening coastal towns like Tohoku, where massive numbers of lives were lost and where these images were collected by rescue workers.  Read more »

"The f*cking building was looking like a f*cking jail. But now it's like a museum."

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A guy who is on the board of the Oakland Museum of California buys an abandoned 36,000 square foot warehouse (1350 Fourth St., Berk.) He doesn't realize the structure is a hot spot for local graffheads, but when he sees the art inside his new purchase he decides to roll with it, at least until he turns it into office space. Enter Endless Canvas, the superlative Bay street art site that Mr. Property Owner taps to curate the building. Read more »

Graffiti, now: Guerrero Gallery shows USDA prime street writers

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There was no wine and cheese at the opening of "Leave the Beef on the BBQ." There were massive slabs of meat though, onto which Guerrero Gallery owner Andres Guerrero slathered sauce and tried to look inconspicuous.

The crowd, which spilled out onto the sunny Saturday streets of San Francisco on August 25, was mainly there to see art anyhow. The exhibit was the most diverse graffiti-themed assemblage Guerrero had shown to date, and the graff heads in attendance had a lot to look at -- not to mention reflect on. Graffiti, if the works inside were anything to judge by, is at the junction of, about 70 different artistic directions.  Read more »

Barry McGee, you tricked me

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Granted I'm not out in Berkeley a ton, but I found it strange that someone had tagged an entire concrete side of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive the very first week that thousands of impressionable minds were invading the UC Berkeley campus and waiting in half-block lines to enjoy a free grilled cheese sandwich in between classes.

"SNITCH," the 15-foot-tall graff screamed, with a bubble dotting its "I." Wow, I thought, proceeding to the media preview of Barry McGee a.k.a. Twist a.k.a. Lydia Fong a.k.a. Ray Fong's first mid-career retrospective (opening today, through Dec. 9) -- someone's not big on Twist. Read more »

Election 2012: Here's the beef

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Fabulous food-and-junk-drawer-oriented collage artist (and legendary SF club denizen) Jason Mecier is back in our virtual orbit lately. His meme explosion beef jerky portraits of Obama and Romney seem to be everywhere. And his wonderful makeup-y likeness of Phyllis Diller, RIP, is giving us sad LOLs. But wait, the "meatraits" of Obameat and Meat Romney are sponsored! And there's a video! Let's go to the jerky tape:

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Enter the abyss: Gay men draw vaginas (and you can too!)

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A black whorl navigated by a rowboat. A luscious pair of pink lips, gaping wide. Earmuffs, a box of muffins, a crawling rodent and a wide-eyed kittycat. All at once. Such is Anthony of New York City's intrepretation of female genitalia. Gay men draw the darndest things! Writer Shannon O'Malley and photographer Keith Wilson -- the same team behind the macabre-beloved Apocalypse Cakes -- have cobbled together a whimsical Tumblr of such images, donated from around the country. Plus, they invite all comers to draw vag imaginings of their own at Dolores Park Gay Beach art parties (the next one is Sept. 2, fyi.) 

Why is this happening? We emailed the two to find out. Read more »

Tastes of Cindy: Drag artists re-enact Cindy Sherman portraits from SFMOMA show

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To celebrate the incredibly engaging Cindy Sherman retrospective at the SF MOMA (through October 8), we asked four of San Francisco's premier drag performance artists to re-enact four of Sherman's iconic portraits. It's all about looking twice -- or in Sherman's case, four or five times -- and we wanted to see how many layers of gaze her work could hold.

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To be a poster artist during Occupy: Chuck Sperry on psychedelic art, social change, and port shutdowns

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With Occupy's first anniversary sneaking up on us, has enough time past since its inception to reflect on its urban encampments and frightening conflicts with law enforcement in a rational, reasonable manner? Maybe rational is the wrong word -- I'm sure many would agree that the movement's major contributiont to date was a general firing up of the 99 percent, even of those 99 percenters who would sooner have ridden a bike to work than sit in on GA meeting in Oscar Grant Plaza. Through leaving its agenda undefined, Occupy allowed us all to paint our own hopes and dreams for the world onto it like a piece of drawing paper. 

For some more literally than others. This month, an exhibit opened at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts that accumulates the work of 25 Bay Area artists who spun their Occupy dreams into poster form. Chuck Sperry is perhaps one of the most well-known name of the bunch. Read more »

7 ways to revive your sunburned brain this week

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Dead set on frying your brain in this sunshine? Fine. Just hit up one of your city's affordable cultural happenings afterwards and your gray matter will have no choice but to call it a draw. 

Epicenter reading series 

Sip on some of Cafe Tosca's famous non-coffee cappuccino (brandy and hot chocolate, what could be better?) and listen to three members of the contemporary literati. Along with San Francisco-native Josh Mohr, the program will include Joe Meno reading from Office Girl, his new fiction work of artistic detachment and big city love, plus Nathan Larson's The Nervous System, a novel depicting a terrorist-induced dystopia in the walls of the New York Public Library, starring a protagonist dubbed Dewey Decimal. Read more »