Visual Art

Dark sparkle

Jamie Vasta's art glitters
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johnny@sfbg.com

Sparkle, San Francisco, sparkle — the Bay Area is a birthplace for visions of glitter. The Cockettes weren't averse to throwing a few antique trunks full of metallic iridescence over their song and dance routines, and the late Jerome Caja mixed glitter with nail polish and liquid eyeliner to create a bad-acid cartoon Maybelline version of Hieronymus Bosch interpreting Dante. Jamie Vasta's use of glitter isn't as campy as the Cockettes' or as lurid as Caja's, but it's on its way to becoming just as distinctive. Read more »

"Android"

Ray Potes pays homage to the history of film-based photography
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REVIEW In the grand scheme of things, the mission of Hamburger Eyes is an admirable one: to perpetuate the life of film-based photography, its processing, and its printing. Read more »

Goldie winner -- Visual art: Jenifer K. Wofford

Disarming humor that's armed with liminal intent
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Hey framer, don't try to frame Jenifer K. Wofford. She'll turn that frame into a threshold. Her creative identity ricochets from teacher to student to painter to performer to director to curator with a self-determining force that exposes the mutability of such labels.

In May, Point of Departure, Wofford's evolving series of postcard-size portraits of Filipina nurses, was a highlight (along with understated contributions by Bill Jenkins and Alicia McCarthy) of the UC Berkeley MFA show at the Berkeley Art Museum. Read more »

Goldie winner -- Lifetime Achievement: Creative Growth

Deep inside the hearts and minds of Bay Area art
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The second I step into Creative Growth one late Friday morning, I feel slightly elated. It may have something to do with the sunlight streaming through the ceiling windows of the wide-open space, a white-walled relative of the equally amazing (in an entirely different manner) Paramount Theatre a few blocks away. It may have something to do with the fact that almost 100 people are making art at the same time and instead of hearing snippy criticisms, I'm meeting a guy named Jorge Gomez, who likes to hug. Whatever it is, it isn't an accident. Read more »

Goldie winner -- Visual art: Colter Jacobsen

Seeing double in a poetic memory tunnel
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Four years ago this month Colter Jacobsen got his biggest break, his most bruising teardown, and his greatest opportunity in one 24-hour period. He'd been tapped to do a project in a much-talked-about exhibition, "17 Reasons," alongside John Baldessari, Jeremy Deller, Trisha Donnelly, and Chris Johanson, organized by California College of the Arts curator Kate Fowle and Mission gallerist Jack Hanley. Read more »

Goldie winner -- Visual art: Michael Arcega

Where the ha-ha morphs into aha
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Make your way through the twists and turnarounds of Michael Arcega's visual puns and titular wordplay — exhibit one: El Conquistadork, the 2004 Spanish galleon constructed of Manila folders that he launched in Tomales Bay, a point in the historic trade route between Mexico and the Philippines — and you'll find yourself connecting the dots to the Manila, Philippines, native's first artistic incarnation: an elementary school graffiti artist who once went by the tag Design.

"Then I switched it to Sen, then I got turned in and dwindled," Arcega says, recalling his Read more »

"Stylized Sculpture: Contemporary Japanese Fashion from the Kyoto Costume Institute"

Ravishing, ingenious frocks prove fashion is art
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REVIEW Years after Europunk deconstructionists copped a few tears, ties, and folds from Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo and A-list fashionista Carolyn Bessette Kennedy championed the cutting austerity of Yohji Yamamoto, it's safe to say that the once-coupled Japanese designers and their slight predecessor Issey Miyake have been firmly ensconced as pillars of avant-garde fashion. But that doesn't mean their work — and that of Kawakubo acolytes Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara — is ready to be filed away without another look. Read more »

Boxing day

A trio of views on three of Cornell's many-splendored cubes
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"You Should Stop Editing"

Ditching the posturing for intricate intensity
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REVIEW I should stop editing? Well, an unedited issue of the Guardian has sprung to my wild or tired mind more than once, whether it be rated X or composed entirely of photocopied press releases. In the case of Ema Harris-Sintamarian's show at Jack Fischer Gallery, the phrase "You Should Stop Editing" might function as a creative credo — one that allows the artist to range freely within works and between mediums. To put it bluntly, what the exhibit lacks in posturing, it more than makes up for in intricate intensity. Read more »

"American Dirge"

Ryan Coffey's mystic '60s
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REVIEW I confess: despite having a disproportionate appetite for '60s leftovers — from the children of Coca-Cola and Marx to the Mamas and the Papas, I eat it all up — I've felt my enthusiasm flagging in the past couple of weeks. Is it Summer of Love indolence? Brightblack ballyhoo? Regardless, what a stirring relief to come upon "American Dirge," a solo show at Tartine Bakery spotlighting the charmed collages of local up-and-comer Ryan Coffey. Read more »