Visual Art

Oaxacan surrealism hits the SF Mexican consulate

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Approximately 500 people pass through SoMa's Mexican consulate building each day, processing visas and civil registration, generally making it possible for themselves to live in the United States legally. The consulate's cultural affairs attache Marimar Suárez Peñalva sees these moments of bureaucracy as an opportunity. She wants expats to connect to their nationality not only through signatures and stamps, but by reacquainting themselves with its brushstrokes and creative underpinnings.

Hence, this art lesson. "The Zapotec origin is really relevant in surrealism," Peñalva tells me on the Friday afternoon that I visit her carefully-curated gallery, located on the second floor of the Folsom Street consulate. Read more »

The heart in art

Artists express their desire for harmony in 'Shalom/Salaam'

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arts@sfbg.com

VISUAL ART As the old saying goes, a picture can be worth a thousand words. But a local gallery has united two separate artists stemming from Jewish and Islamic backgrounds to convey only one: peace.

In "Shalom/Salaam," a joint exhibit running through May 26 at the Mishin Fine Arts gallery, self-proclaimed activist artist Tom Block and Afghan refugee Shokoor Khusrawy demonstrate that art can be more than a commodity, and rather a tool to dismantle cultural barriers and inspire change.Read more »

Claymation! Fashion! Digital Sound! An afterschool arts revival

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If you believe the children are our future, then you may soon agree -- contrary to rumors of its ongoing extiction -- that the future arts scene of San Francisco is actually looking bright.

While arts classes fall off the curriculum in public schools nationwide, a collaboration between the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department’s (SFRPD) Cultural Arts Division and its Community Services Division (which runs afterschool programs citywide) keeps the creative spark alive via the ongoing Arts Afterschool program.

Just a year and a half old, the Arts Afterschool program will host its first-ever live showcase, the Arts Afterschool Spring Gala at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts on Sat/12. The gala will feature the artwork of 400 kids from virtually every neighborhood in San Francisco. The event showcases work from the program’s fall, winter and spring sessions.

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Sketching Sixth Street: In new show, Joel Phillips renders the unseen

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“I’m really interested in the idea of anonymity within a dense urban environment and how the denser an urban population is, the easier it is to be overlooked,” Joel Phillips says over a glass of red wine on a far too windy night in the Mission. His show, “No Regrets in Life,” opens tonight at Satellite66 and will feature seven charcoal and graphite drawings of men and women he’s met on the corner of Sixth St. and Mission.
 
Phillips, a few months shy of 23, has spent significant chunks of time in Seattle, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and New York. While he was living in New York, he started thinking more about the social dynamics of cities and how some people tend to get lost in the mix. “In New York no one really looks you in the eye, everyone brushes past you and moves past you,” Phillips says.

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Cartoonist confidential

A new exhibit honors the work of Ghost World author Daniel Clowes

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VISUAL ART Daniel Clowes draws eyes that are eerily human. Dotting the pages of his well-regarded graphic novels, they are by turns embittered, despairing, and vulnerable. So it's fitting that the Clowes' first major retrospective is at the Oakland Museum of California. Oakland is an underdog city, and Clowes — a longtime resident — champions underdogs.Read more »

Utopia, mon amour

Arthur Tress, Bucky Fuller, and Harry Hay exhibits offer engagement and transcendence

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On how the Internet tricked us with a racist cake

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If you freaked out about that photo of the Swedish minister of culture cutting a cake in the form of the cartoonishly lurid female blackface cake this week, you might want to take a look at offending artist Makode Linde's interview on Al Jazeera today.

And you might want to think about how you're reacting to the Internet. Read more »

Cooking without borders

Collaborative cuisine blossoms between the Bay Area and Japan at OPENharvest

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By Cynthia Salaysay

arts@sfbg.com

VISUAL ARTS The aura of old wars was in the room. Sock-footed, sitting on the floor eating bowls of ramen in the old barracks of the Marin Headlands, we were cozy and well-defended from the coastal fog. Once, these barracks were used to keep the Japanese out. But now we were welcoming them in, with every slurp of soup.Read more »

Lost at sea

Could a world-class arts festival save the foundering America's Cup?

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cheryl@sfbg.com

AMERICA'S CUP Clear your mind, if you can, of brawls over San Francisco piers and other obscenely expensive parcels of waterfront real estate. Focus solely on the inevitability of the 34th annual America's Cup.Read more »

Parra's world gets a wall at SFMOMA, spun at Mighty

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How about this: for your first museum piece you can take the entryway wall of the second floor of the SFMOMA. It's a bigger surface than you've ever painted on before. Just do whatever. You usually decorate skateboards and coffee mugs with your work, but putting your bird-faced, omni-stilletoed characters in front of some of the world's most voracious art fans isn't a big deal.

Oh, and the passers-by aren't going to know that you're the artist, so they'll probably offer some critique. You're good with criticism, right? Also, don't upset the children. And then your band can play a show at Mighty (Thu/29). Read more »