Visual Art

Parra's world gets a wall at SFMOMA, spun at Mighty

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How about this: for your first museum piece you can take the entryway wall of the second floor of the SFMOMA. It's a bigger surface than you've ever painted on before. Just do whatever. You usually decorate skateboards and coffee mugs with your work, but putting your bird-faced, omni-stilletoed characters in front of some of the world's most voracious art fans isn't a big deal.

Oh, and the passers-by aren't going to know that you're the artist, so they'll probably offer some critique. You're good with criticism, right? Also, don't upset the children. And then your band can play a show at Mighty (Thu/29). Read more »

Nite Trax: The fabulous creatures of Gaultier's opening gala

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Hyperproductive fashion designer and revered fantasy engineer Jean Paul Gaultier was in town last week for the opening of a (very cool) retrospective of his work at the de Young. His nightlife stops included the Some Thing drag show at the Stud on Friday, a cruisy interlude at the Powerhouse on Saturday -- and of course a lavish opening gala celebration at the de Young itself on Friday evening.

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Spring fairs and festivals

The Bay's got it all, from garlic to tango fests -- here's your handy, comprehensive guide to big spring happenings

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culture@sfbg.com

MARCH

SF Flower and Garden Show, San Mateo Event Center, 495 S. Delaware, San Mateo. (415) 684-7278, www.sfgardenshow.com. March 21-25, 10am-6pm, $15–$65, free for 16 and under. This year's theme is "Gardens for a Green Earth," and features a display garden demonstrating conservation practices and green design. Plant yourself here for thriving leafy greens, food, and fun in the sun.Read more »

Artists still puzzling over destruction of international exchange mural

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In 2003, artists from a San Francisco-Indonesia cultural exchange painted murals on one of the outer walls of Project Artaud, a non-profit art collective in the Mission that provide live-work studios and exhibition space for artists. Within nine years, the expansive mural became a part of the street’s geography — adorning the street like colorful flowers or trees — and was loved by neighbors and passersby alike. But starting last month, tags started to appear on top of the paintings, and within a 24-hour span, the mural faced its tragic and final destruction. Read more »

Entering the pixels at the Creators Project

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The computer mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1963, and don't get Jamie Zigelbaum wrong, because he thinks it was a great invention.

For its time.

But, surrounded by his and other feats of computational art at last weekend's Creators Project at Fort Mason, Zigelbaum was understandably over the mouse.

“I don't want to poke at things with a stick anymore. I want to form things with my hands. And touchscreens, that's still like poking stuff behind glass," he says. Read more »

The Performant: The Secret to Life, the Universe, and Nothing in Particular

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“Celestial Observatories for Cyanobacteria” illuminate the knowledge gap at the San Francisco Arts Commission

“The purpose of our lives is to celebrate the grandeur of the cosmos" -- William Kotzwinkle, Dr. Rat

At the age of eight, possibly inspired by my first encounter with Madeleine L'Engle’s A Wind in the Door, the notion occurred to me that just as individual cells were undetectable (to the naked eye) in the human body, so were individual human beings virtually undetectable on the great organism that is the world, and just as the planet earth was virtually undetectable in the vastness of a single galaxy, that single galaxy was virtually undetectable within the infinite scope of the universe.

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Arting around: Monthly Polk Street art cruise debuts today

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Lower Polk has surged forth as one of the city's more exciting hubs of gallery art. So it's no surprise that the neighborhood is expanding its quarterly art walk into a monthly event -- the Lower Polk Art Walk, which will take over the sidewalks every first Thursday, starting today. 

The beauty of an art walk is that there is no start point or end point -- and there's plenty of chin-scratching and ah-oohing to be done at galleries up and down Larkin and Polk Streets. So throw away your itinerary and let your feet do the planning for you as you peruse the participating eight galleries. Just make sure to meander into the showing by Larkin Street Youth Services, a collection of works by the young people who are participants in its programs geared towards homeless youth. Here's three other gallery spaces that'll be worth a look:  Read more »

Agrarian visions

"Land/Use" exhibit examines pastoral lives through a contemporary lens

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By Cynthia Salaysay

arts@sfbg.com

VISUAL ART Artists are makers, though rarely of history. But Fernando García-Dory and Amy Franceschini, two internationally recognized artists, seem to have a gift for it. "Perhaps," García-Dory says, "when you start with a long perspective on history, you start to make history as well."Read more »

Muralation: Swoon's wheatepaste is reborn, in color this time

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Swoon's work has been haunting me. On a recent trip to DJ Rusty Lazer's house in New Orleans it was there, bedecking a rundown Bywater neighborhood fence that concealed a village of homes that can be played as a symphony (she also designed a structure for the mini-city, a dream tree house atop stilts). As one strolls though the world one sees it here, there – fairy webs of delicate wheatpaste strands on city walls. 

So it's no surprise that the Mission's been eager to replace the wheatpaste Swoon (also known as Caledonia Curry) installed on Tony's Market at 24th Street and Hampshire. Rejoice: after the original was defaced in August 2011, the female street artist's new piece will finally adhere to Tony's on Tue/28. Read more »

6 places to take a nude figure drawing class

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Clothes are nothing but hindrances when it comes to drawing the human body. Strip down to the barest essentials in these nude figure drawing classes offered around the Bay Area. Most of these classes are uninstructed, so you will be on your own to explore the aesthetic beauty of the human form.

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