Visual Art

Inspirationstitute

|
(0)

I don't do regrets, but I do wish that I'd arrived in San Francisco early enough to catch more than the hot tail end of the Popstitute years. (A show of Popstitute-related archival objets d'art is on display at Goteblud starting Sat27.) In another way, though, the Popstitute era continues, perhaps more forcefully, now. Read more »

Trapped in the museum

From R. Kelly to petroleum jelly — our picks from the SFMOMA's 75th anniversary show

|
(0)

VISUAL ART Have you heard? SFMOMA turned 75. There is a lot to take in across the museum's related exhibits, from the "Anniversary Show" centerpiece to the small retrospectives devoted to specific artists that SFMOMA has fostered relationships with over the years. While everything is certainly worth a gander, below are some pieces worth more than your while.

 Read more »

Cities and memory

Ahmet Ögüt constructs a utopia from sites of terrorism

|
(0)

Miami plays itself

Art Basel, part two: Faux-favelas and real degradation
|
(0)

ESSAY On opening night of Art Basel, N. Miami Avenue was a sort of Potemkin museum, every storefront packed with art, free wine and cheese, and the usually sleepy street clogged with taxis and limos. Ordinarily no one walks in muggy Miami, but tonight the cracked and littered sidewalks were deep with art patrons dressed in their Midtown Manhattan finery, looking out of place, as if passengers on a private jet that had made an emergency landing on a tropical Caribbean island. Wynwood is an area hard-hit by foreclosures. Up and down N. Read more »

Clouds and mirrors

A trip through the mirage of Art Basel into the scarred face of Miami

|
(1)

Carl Fisher turned a mosquito-plagued, malarial sandbar into Miami Beach, "The Sun and Fun Capital of The World," in less than a decade — dredging up sea bottom to build the island paradise, an all-American Las Vegas-by-the- Sea, where Frank Sinatra and Jackie Gleason partied and Richard Nixon received two Republican nominations for president. Art Deco hotels lined the beach, bold as Cadillacs, defiant in the path of hurricanes, their confident Modern lines projecting postwar American power. Read more »

Art, work, and artwork

Artist-run groups move beyond doodling for dollars in a screwed-up economy
|
(0)

VISUAL ART The global financial crisis continues to impoverish and displace those within reach of its residual tremors. Yet in the art realm, there have been signs of hope. Recent fairs — Frieze Art Fair in October and Art Basel Miami Beach earlier this month — brought reports of strong sales and optimism within the distressed economy. So why are artists everywhere worried about their futures, and more critically, panicking about their present tenses? The squeeze has to do with the work in artwork. Read more »

Glitchy kisses

A trio of Toban Nichols shows overtaxes, the good way
|
(0)

marke@sfbg.com

VISUAL ART "I'm interested in the destruction of everything. I was the kid who screwed up all his toys," Toban Nichols (www.tobannichols.com) says over the phone from his studio in Los Angeles. The longtime San Francisco resident and multimedia artist is still unpacking from his recent move to the capital of schmooze, but he's been frantically yo-yoing up to the Bay to attend three concurrent gallery openings, a "trilogy of terror," of his work here. "It's been very weird, to put it mildly. I moved to L.A. Read more »

Crosses and losses

"Amish Abstractions" ponders whether the "simple" life is different from the life of (Bridget) Riley
|
(0)

a&eletters@sfbg.com

VISUAL ART "Amish Abstractions," the de Young Museum's exhibition of 48 quilts made primarily by anonymous Amish girls and women, gains its conceptual interest from the unusual pairing of the words Amish and abstraction.

The collectors of these quilts were initially drawn to them by their similarity to works by 20th century abstract artists. While the attendant monograph asserts this juxtaposition several times, within the show itself you only get a disclaimer by curator Robert Shaw. Read more »

Sprinting toward Babylon

Conrad Ruiz paints the speed-record horror and hilarity of contemporary life
|
(0)

VISUAL ART I remember the first time I heard about Conrad Ruiz. I was standing by the fire on the patio of the Eagle, a spot that for me is a site of great tidings. A pair of talented San Francisco artists told me with enthusiasm about this young painter whose large-scale works depicted things like a man riding the nose of a killer whale as it burst forth from a pool, or a coach getting a golden shower of Gatorade from his triumphant team. According to their accounts, Ruiz magnified and entwined the absurdity and ecstasy of his subject matter. Read more »

Attention cultural mutants

Past, present, and future through the transcendent audio and video dregs of Jacob Ciocci
|
(0)

arts@sfbg.com

"Jacob Ciocci is," as Wikipedia attests, "an American [Pittsburgh] visual artist, performance artist and musician ... he is one of the three remaining founding members of Paper Rad, an artist collective ... He also performs and tours regularly ... in the band 'Extreme Animals'..." Ciocci's work, especially with his recent video collection release, 2 Blessed 2B Stressed (Audio Dregs), is almost entirely not his own. His videos recycle pop cultural detritus as fast and furiously as his band freaks beats. Read more »