Visual Art

Skew your perceptions: Lomography's new gallery store opens Thursday

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Almost as cryptic as some of their warped, blurred, color-drenched photos is the Lomography Society's 10th rule: “Don't worry about any rules.” For an artistic movement as commercially successful (the fantastically cheap cameras sell at Urban Outfitters worldwide) and historically important (the LOMO LC-A, the first lomographic camera, was mass produced in Soviet Russia for the enjoyment of the proletariat masses) as Lomography, it sure is hard to pin down. Read more »

Art Basel frontlines: SCOPEing out Friday

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Guardian photos by Paula Connelly

Art Basel is not the only show in Miami's town this weekend. In addition to every gallery, boutique, and busy streetcorner hosting its own opening of varying degrees of importance, there are approximately 2,100 smaller art fairs going on (give or take). One of these is SCOPE, which I heard about first because urban art trendsetter SF gallery White Walls was trucking some canvases of ABOVE's stenciled hip-hop dancers-- and street artist ROA's drawings of animals in capitivity, etched on wooden crates -- down to show. (CORRECTION: ROA's publicist has informed us that his installation is not wood etchings. His mediums are enamel, charcoal, China ink, aerosol and acrylic on found wood....no crates.) 

But to get into SCOPE, I first had to make it past the Alpine climber. Read more »

Art Basel frontlines: Thursday night in Wynwood

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All I did was program in the coordinates of a wall my friend was painting in the midst of Miami's mega Art Basel weekend and all of a sudden I'm in mural heaven. Going traffic snail-slow down the Wynwood neighborhood's Second Avenue (at one time a Puerto Rican enclave, now a place where corner restaurants are popping up with floor-length windows that display spindly humanoid statues clad in multi-colored sweater), all I could see were flood light-illuminated muralists in the finishing stages of turning the street into the most painted lane I've ever seen. Read more »

Zero-calorie pleasures: McSweeney's children's imprint takes over a gallery

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There is no better guilty pleasure than children's book art. Calorie-free, family-friendly, welcoming characters. Mixed with the verbaciousness (I made up that word for the occasion) of McSweeney's, this is prime post-Thanksgiving eye candy. Y'know, when you're too food-hungover to delve overmuch in character and plot. This is why we saved the above slideshow of images from McSweeney's upcoming art opening (Dec. 3) at Electric Works for a sleepy Nov. 25 Friday morning, enjoy. Read more »

Gear up: Trevor Traynor's lowrider captures cruise into the Mission

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Photographer Trevor Traynor is moved by lowriders. And he says he's not the only one.

"Lowriders move people," he wrote to the Guardian in an email interview. "Literally and figuratively. When you're cruising people smile, wave, they take pictures. The cars connect people of all walks of life and the clubs enjoy it as well. It keeps people productive with a strong passion in cars."

You can tap into his love for the low on Thu/3, when Traynor's photo show "Low Life" opens at The Summit SF in the Mission. Read more »

Haunting the lens: Ralph Eugene Meatyard at the de Young

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Photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) is an anomaly. There’s little consensus about the nature of his work beyond its unusualness. Throughout the late 1950s and 60s, Meatyard drove his wife and kids to dilapidated farm houses outside Lexington, Kent., where he used them as models for his photographs. He adorned them with cheap masks and accessorized the settings with broken mannequins, mutilated dolls, and other props that he would obtain from thrift shops and junkyards. He ultimately created a series of heavily shadowed, black and white photos that are chilling (but sentimental), surreal (but in an everyday sort of way), and at times, plain weird (I guess?)

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The art and music of OccupySF: a work in progress

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In a recent Super Ego clubs column, I challenged the San Francisco music, arts, and nightlife community to create a better OccupySF soundtrack than old Michael Franti tracks -- and to perhaps update the slightly cliche V for Vendetta look of the movement a bit. (Not to mention throw a few hot-hot benefit parties.) We can do it!  

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"Victorian Visions" at Vesuvio Cafe

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Somewhere between a dollhouse and a photo portrait are the works of Brent Johnson and Jo Cyrus. Now on display (through Oct. 15) at North Beach's Vesuvio Café, the artists create 3-D renderings of the facades of San Francisco's trademark Victorian homes.

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The Performant New York Edition: Too Much Rain Makes the Baby Go Soggy

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Neo-Futurists and “Ostalgia” weather the storm

No performance in New York was quite as impactful as the front row seats we had for Hurricane Irene, as subdued as she was in comparison to her North Carolina appearance, and with the MTA not running and theatres large and small shuttering their windows and barring their doors, mostly everyone just stayed home and watched the lightning instead. Good thing I’d gone to see New York’s “only open-run Off-Off-Broadway show”, the Neo-Futurists’ “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,” and the “Ostalgia” exhibit the night before, or this week’s installment would be a total washout.

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Clare Rojas' safe space

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As far as books go, Everything Flowers (Chronicle Books, $22.95) may just be my favorite to come out of the Bay Area this year. And not for its revelatory prose or whip-smart characters (it has neither). The small volume is filled with Clare Rojas' quietly woman-centric, garden-toned designs that – can a book do this? – make me feel supported. I found myself breathing deeply while reading it, as if I'd just shook an asymmetrically packed satchel from my shoulders.

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