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American Pop Icons, Demystified
By Aimee Le Duc (Jan 6, 2006)
There is something profoundly disturbing about watching Superman punch out Wonderwoman. In Michael Thrush's painting, POW, currently on display as part of his solo show, Love and Other Disasters at Rx Gallery. The two superhero icons appear against a white background, Superman with his bulging right arm outstretched, finishing off a seemingly heroic act for the greater good until we see underneath a classic comic POW bubble, that he's actually walloped Wonderwoman who is flailing backwards in mid air toward us, ready to burst through the canvas onto the floor and land at our feet. More
Three Artists Draw From Interior and Exterior Spaces
By Sarah Hromack (Dec 23, 2005)
Organized by Luggage Store directors Laurie Lazer and Darryl Smith, Explosive Compulsive juxtaposes the work of two New York-based artists, Reed Anderson and Jen Liu, with local Adriane Colburn in a harried frenzy of painted, pasted, drawn and collaged-upon works on paper that, in the gallery's words, "explore consciousness, the built environment, and the natural world." More
New York Artist Sam Gordon Returns to San Francisco's Ratio 3 Gallery
By Sarah Hromack (Nov 11, 2005)
Sam Gordon's personal collection of posters and ephemera are plastered to form a visual trail leading up the building's staircase and into his current installation, "The Twinkie Defense", at Ratio 3 gallery. Photographs (or telepathic "thoughtographs," as he calls them) are interspersed amongst the foldout, full-color gallery announcements, an aesthetic nod to the now-shuttered Epicenter Zone, a notoriously punk, San Franciscan record store where Gordon first showed in the early 90's. More
Bay Area Conceptual Craft @ SoEx
By Maureen Hanratty (Sep 23, 2005)
Well-crafted, thoughtfully conceived Bay Area art gets its due at a diverse, cross-generational show at Southern Exposure Gallery. Practice Makes Perfect: Bay Area Conceptual Craft trades style for substance, youth for experience, and faux naivety for real chops. It restores the faith of those who wondered if the San Francisco art community had fizzled into a one-horse town. More
A Room with a View
By Maureen Hanratty (Aug 31, 2005)
Despite small rooms and a so-so location, the Hotel Des Arts has carved out a niche for itself in the city's boutique hotel market by allowing emerging artists full artistic control in painting a number of the hotels' rooms. The local talent is particularly well suited to large-scale wall painting. Graffiti art has a strong presence in the area and mural painting is widespread and well supported in San Francisco. The prevailing aesthetic is flat and graphic, a style easy to render in latex house paints. The artists whose work is featured on the walls of the hotel are not the Piero della Francesca's of our time, but they do serve up some fun. More
Community-based projects warrant closer inspection
By Sarah Hromack (Aug 26, 2005)
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' Bay Area Now 4 is a real sprawl of an exhibition -- the kind of art show that carries with it the potential to overwhelm in a spatial, sensorial, and even conceptual sense. Many artists seem to have seized this triennial survey as a chance to make a splash, and resulting large-scale installations conquer the walls and floors of both upstairs and downstairs galleries. Aside from the drawings and murals, soundscapes, sculptures, and photographic collages, there lies a host of projects that could easily stand alone as a separate exhibition, a sub-show, if you will, though far from sub-anything in quality. More
Looking for Ixtlan
By Sarah Hromack (Jul 22, 2005)
During his 1988 tour of Australia, performance artist-turned-faux-psychic Jose Alvarez became a national obsession. Commissioned by Australian television through infamous paranormal investigator James Randi, his performance at the Sydney Opera House was intended to question the notion of supernatural channeling, then a national craze. Alvarez's alter ego channeled the 2000-year-old spirit of "Carlos" for massive crowds of devotees, but rather than question his motives, the Australian media propelled his act forward by inflating a hoax into urban mythology. More
A Collaboration of Artists and Poets
By Clifton Lemon (Jul 15, 2005)
"Braided Lives" is a show of paintings and other artworks and the poetry they inspired, currently on exhibit at SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco. It's the result of intimate dialogs and collaboration between visual artists, mainly from Taos, New Mexico, and writers from various locations around the U.S. Originally a fundraiser organized by the Taos Chamber of Commerce in 2002, the show now appears in San Francisco. Painters and other artists were asked to select certain pieces that became the subjects of poems written by selected poets. Most of the artists and poets collaborated over the internet, sharing feedback and insights. More
Women invoke the sprit of summer in a group show at Mission art lab
By Sarah Hromack (Jun 23, 2005)
Friday night marks the opening of Bundle at Triple Base Gallery, a group exhibition featuring the work of four women: Tania Bedford, Sera Beak, and Sarah Grierson -- all Californians -- and Alda Rose, who hails from Iceland. In keeping with Triple Base's communal sensibilities, this show possesses a warm, inviting sense about it, as cultivated by the work itself. More
Debut solo show of artist Leslie Shows at Jack Hanley Gallery
By Sarah Hromack (Jun 17, 2005)
A quick online search for the name "Leslie Shows" yields a tiny handful of links, mostly simple listings of her current solo show, International Parks, at Jack Hanley Gallery. Surprisingly, Shows holds no discernable Internet following. There are no blogs bantering about her "radness" or drunken party photos posted following her openings. This hype-free aura might be viewed as an accomplishment -- as a mark of purity, almost. More
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