Visual Art

Bless the beasts and children

Hairy Eyeball: Ryan McGinley adds animalia to his youth portraiture in a new show at Ratio 3, while Samara Halperin is building a miniature Coney Island at Southern Exposure
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HAIRY EYEBALL It's hard not to look at Ryan McGinley's road-trip photographs — in which his young, often nude, subjects, having ventured far from civilization, run through the woods, climb trees, dance amid a Vulcanic cascade of sparklers, and leap into the void — and not sigh a little. What now separates them from the images he shot for Levi's current "Go Forth" campaign, seemingly plastered on every other Muni shelter, is frequently a conspicuously displayed pair of jeans.Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Jennifer Locke

Presenting immediate spectacles that are undeniably seductive in a punk-rock sort of way

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In her pieces, Jennifer Locke has, variously, jumped rope for 30 minutes in a full-body latex suit (cutting out a hole in the bottom afterward to drain out her accumulated sweat and urine); wrestled with a partner at the Berkeley Art Museum smeared in stage blood; covered herself in Elmer's glue, let it dry into a second skin, and then peeled it off; received a lap dance from a male stripper; and branded a fellow participant.Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Ruth Laskey

A deft use of weft and warp to create color forms in which minimalism and materiality intersect

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One thing that Bay Area art has no shortage of is color. Whether it be Albers-informed theory, Op-influenced repetitious patterns, Mission muralismo, or mural-like Mission School paintings, in general, local color has been primary, if not outright garish. Ruth Laskey's palette stands apart — confident enough to be low-key or even muted in comparison. "Color is kind of it for me," Laskey says, in the middle of a sleepy afternoon at a Mission cafe. "It's where a piece gets its emotion."Read more »

GOLDIES 2010: Amanda Curreri

Interpolating the political and the personal, while making art that crosses out of the art world

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Five minutes into talking with Amanda Curreri over a slice and coffee at Mission Pie, I've agreed to take part in a piece she's working on as part of Shadowshop, the in-gallery artists' marketplace Stephanie Syjuco is organizing for SFMOMA's upcoming survey of work made in the past decade.

"It's called Afghanistan Insert," Curreri explains, speaking in the measured fashion of someone who carefully considers her words. "I'm trying to insert Afghanistan into SFMOMA and into San Francisco's art community."Read more »

Mirrors and masks

In praise of the art book during a Kindle era

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Tick tock

HAIRY EYEBALL: Will Rogan scores with a canny show of photography at Altman-Siegel, while Hugh Brown whiffs with a bad-boy routine at Robert Koch Gallery
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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL In a characteristically poetic passage within 1980's Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes describes early cameras, given their cabinet-like appearance and precise mechanical innards, as "clocks for seeing." I couldn't shake the phrase while taking in Will Rogan's "Stay Home," an ambiguous smile of a solo show composed of photographs and three-dimensional photographic collages at Altman Siegel.Read more »

Of Human Bondage

Hairy Eyeball: The totemic works of Tim Whiten and the performance actions of Rudolf Schwarzkogler present different types of opaque ritual

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Totally wired

Future past: From the technology of teen life to old fashioned flair
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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL The secret lives of teenagers aren't so secret. They're just password protected and might only be on view to a close circle of Facebook friends. Alternately, they might be lived via text message or on YouTube. Typically only the most sensational and tragic episodes involving wired teens seem to make the news — pregnancy pacts, cyber bullying, suicides — even if teenagers were having unprotected sex, harassing others and being harassed, or choosing to end their lives long before MySpace or smart phones. Read more »

At the Drive-In

Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark bring a postapocalyptic cinema to the 01SJ Biennial
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Portraits of Jason

Hairy Eyeball: A lesser-known filmic Jason lives in black-and-white in Tim Roseborough's Portrait of Jason II: Return of the B*tch, while Sean McFarland's new show refracts California color and, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, "Black Sabbath" spotlights black artists' relationship to Jewish music

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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL "The black queen is not interested in sympathy," intones the artist Tim Roseborough dryly in Portrait of Jason II: Rebirth of the B*tch , his "sequel" to Shirley Clarke's 1967 film Portrait of Jason. It's one of many verbal snaps issued by Roseborough's piece, a séance with and tribute to its titular subject currently on view at the tiny Scenius Gallery.Read more »