Visual Art

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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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 »

Riding the 'Dark Wave': Jay Howell comes home for a zine release

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Jay Howell may have left us for the palm trees in Silverlake, but that doesn’t mean that he’s gone forever. 

You may know Howell for his zine Punks Git Cut, his drawings of people with neon faces on vintage book pages, or as that really tall guy you always used to see in the coffeeshop. Upon moving to sunny (and smoggy) Los Angeles, Howell has gotten a car, finished up doing the character development for Bob’s Burgers, and is currently working as the art director for a show on Nickelodeon. He returns to San Francisco on Sat/18 for an art show at Fecal Face Dot Gallery to celebrate the release of his new zine The Dark Wave -- a 50-page comic book about the lead singer of a death metal band and his existential journey to the ocean. Read more »

Life after the fall: John Felix Arnold's post-apocalyptic musical comic book art

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Artist, illustrator, and graphic designer John Felix Arnold III lived his childhood in movement. His parents were both professional dancers and they kept the family mobile, relocating back and forth from Durham, North Caroline to Brooklyn, New York. While Arnold did not inherit a passion for dance, he was inspired by his mother and father's kinesthetic sensibilities and he grew into a visual artist.

The February 4 opening of “The Love of All Above,” his new solo show, featured musical performances by Daylight Curfew, Kool Kid Kreyola, and Him Downstairs -- a prime example of Arnold’s mixing of media and his obvious passion for the values inculcated by a deeply creative family. The musical performances took place on a funky altar composed of found objects built by Arnold, which will be on view as part of the exhibit. Read more »

This art will move you: 1AM SF Gallery's homage to truck graffiti

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“Graffiti is anti-corporation,” says Optimist, a long time Bay Area street artist in a Guardian phone interview. “Whereas advertisements on billboards are trying to sell you something, graffiti is trying to open your eyes to see who else is alive out there.” Spurred by this love of street art, Optimist partnered up with fellow street artist Plantrees to curate “Truck Show SF,” a group show which opens at 1AM SF gallery on Fri/10. Read more »