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.
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 seemtobeeverywhere. 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:
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
I'm sitting in on a meeting between two generations of muralists. In name, our encounter was designed as an interview about La Peña Cultural Center's plans to redo its decades-old facade, a historic piece that right now is a 3-D tableau named "Song of Unity" and meant to represent the people of North and South America coming together in art.
But it has become clear to me the interviewer that's it's way more momentous to let these groups talk largely unimpeded by my questions. Two people who created the mural in 1978 are speaking with two people who will design its rebirth in 2012 about changes in the world of street art over the last 34 years. It's the first time the four have met together. Assasinated Chilean artist-activist Victor Jara's detached hands strum a guitar in silent soundtrack over us as we sit on folding chairs in front of the mural in question.
Approximately 500 people pass through SoMa's Mexican consulate building each day, processing visas and civil registration, generally making it possible for themselves to live in the United States legally. The consulate's cultural affairs attache Marimar Suárez Peñalva sees these moments of bureaucracy as an opportunity. She wants expats to connect to their nationality not only through signatures and stamps, but by reacquainting themselves with its brushstrokes and creative underpinnings.
Hence, this art lesson. "The Zapotec origin is really relevant in surrealism," Peñalva tells me on the Friday afternoon that I visit her carefully-curated gallery, located on the second floor of the Folsom Street consulate. Read more »
VISUAL ART As the old saying goes, a picture can be worth a thousand words. But a local gallery has united two separate artists stemming from Jewish and Islamic backgrounds to convey only one: peace.
In "Shalom/Salaam," a joint exhibit running through May 26 at the Mishin Fine Arts gallery, self-proclaimed activist artist Tom Block and Afghan refugee Shokoor Khusrawy demonstrate that art can be more than a commodity, and rather a tool to dismantle cultural barriers and inspire change.Read more »
Just a year and a half old, the Arts Afterschool program will host its first-ever live showcase, the Arts Afterschool Spring Gala at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts on Sat/12. The gala will feature the artwork of 400 kids from virtually every neighborhood in San Francisco. The event showcases work from the program’s fall, winter and spring sessions.