Visual Art

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

|
()

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

|
()

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

|
()

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?)

Read more »

The art and music of OccupySF: a work in progress

|
()

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!  

Read more »

"Victorian Visions" at Vesuvio Cafe

|
()

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.

Read more »

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

|
()

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.

Read more »

Clare Rojas' safe space

|
()

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.

Read more »

First Thursday: Deathly portraits, cubic rams, smudgy painted mutts, and Aids 3-D

|
()

April is usually one of the liveliest months for the make-your-own-maze blitz of art openings that is "first Thursday," and this year is no exception. One highlight is definitely the debut solo show by Dean Dempsey, who graced the cover of the 2010 Photo Issue of the Guardian, and was interviewed on the Pixel Vision blog. Dempsey has since relocated to New York, and "Selected Works" at Togonon Gallery offers a new glimpse into his idiosyncratic "pictorial sculpture" take on portraiture. Speaking of which, glitter painter Jamie Vasta invokes Caravaggio in a new show at Patricia Sweetow Gallery. More about hers and other openings after the jump. Read more »

Close-up: Lauren DiCoccio's "Remember the Times"

|
()

Lauren DiCoccio is interviewed in this week's issue. One major element of "Remember the Times," DiCoccio's current exhibition at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, is a trio of shelves on which objects are arranged in a manner that suggests vanitas paintings or memento mori (she's even constructed a fabric skull) for endangered or near-extinct media and disposable or recycleable objects. Read more »

SF Camerawork and YBCA do the right thing (Updated)

|
()

Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before: a Washington DC art institution caves in to right wing politicians and conservative Christians calling for the removal of "controversial" work made by an openly gay artist. Read more »