Visual Art

The Performant: Please appropriate me

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Bryan Boyce and Negativwobblyland pump up the culture jams at L@te

Nighttime at the Berkeley Art Museum. An undercurrent of glee emanating from the patrons, as with a roomful of children up past their bedtimes. Enhancing the playground vibe, a giant orange mountain of rippling wooden waves designed by Thom Faulders, squats in the middle of the room, serving as seating for the assembled crowd, as well as pre-show entertainment as we scramble up its sides.

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Just gimme the nudes: Art Basel's pervy side

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I dare you to lay your fingers on a city that's sexier than Miami. The whole urban area is one big infinity pool -- Cuban dancing, too-much-is-not-enough cleavage, shiny shirts, flirting in traffic jams. Add Art Basel weekend, when the population of nubile arty types skyrockets and you have yourself an I-saved-my-money-up-to-blow-it-here powder keg. Small wonder that the Miami Convention Center was packed with nudes and nakeds last weekend. Art's a great excuse to be pervy.

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Skew your perceptions: Lomography's new gallery store opens Thursday

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Almost as cryptic as some of their warped, blurred, color-drenched photos is the Lomography Society's 10th rule: “Don't worry about any rules.” For an artistic movement as commercially successful (the fantastically cheap cameras sell at Urban Outfitters worldwide) and historically important (the LOMO LC-A, the first lomographic camera, was mass produced in Soviet Russia for the enjoyment of the proletariat masses) as Lomography, it sure is hard to pin down. Read more »

Art Basel frontlines: SCOPEing out Friday

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Guardian photos by Paula Connelly

Art Basel is not the only show in Miami's town this weekend. In addition to every gallery, boutique, and busy streetcorner hosting its own opening of varying degrees of importance, there are approximately 2,100 smaller art fairs going on (give or take). One of these is SCOPE, which I heard about first because urban art trendsetter SF gallery White Walls was trucking some canvases of ABOVE's stenciled hip-hop dancers-- and street artist ROA's drawings of animals in capitivity, etched on wooden crates -- down to show. (CORRECTION: ROA's publicist has informed us that his installation is not wood etchings. His mediums are enamel, charcoal, China ink, aerosol and acrylic on found wood....no crates.) 

But to get into SCOPE, I first had to make it past the Alpine climber. Read more »

Art Basel frontlines: Thursday night in Wynwood

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All I did was program in the coordinates of a wall my friend was painting in the midst of Miami's mega Art Basel weekend and all of a sudden I'm in mural heaven. Going traffic snail-slow down the Wynwood neighborhood's Second Avenue (at one time a Puerto Rican enclave, now a place where corner restaurants are popping up with floor-length windows that display spindly humanoid statues clad in multi-colored sweater), all I could see were flood light-illuminated muralists in the finishing stages of turning the street into the most painted lane I've ever seen. Read more »

Zero-calorie pleasures: McSweeney's children's imprint takes over a gallery

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There is no better guilty pleasure than children's book art. Calorie-free, family-friendly, welcoming characters. Mixed with the verbaciousness (I made up that word for the occasion) of McSweeney's, this is prime post-Thanksgiving eye candy. Y'know, when you're too food-hungover to delve overmuch in character and plot. This is why we saved the above slideshow of images from McSweeney's upcoming art opening (Dec. 3) at Electric Works for a sleepy Nov. 25 Friday morning, enjoy. Read more »

Gear up: Trevor Traynor's lowrider captures cruise into the Mission

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Photographer Trevor Traynor is moved by lowriders. And he says he's not the only one.

"Lowriders move people," he wrote to the Guardian in an email interview. "Literally and figuratively. When you're cruising people smile, wave, they take pictures. The cars connect people of all walks of life and the clubs enjoy it as well. It keeps people productive with a strong passion in cars."

You can tap into his love for the low on Thu/3, when Traynor's photo show "Low Life" opens at The Summit SF in the Mission. Read more »

Haunting the lens: Ralph Eugene Meatyard at the de Young

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Photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) is an anomaly. There’s little consensus about the nature of his work beyond its unusualness. Throughout the late 1950s and 60s, Meatyard drove his wife and kids to dilapidated farm houses outside Lexington, Kent., where he used them as models for his photographs. He adorned them with cheap masks and accessorized the settings with broken mannequins, mutilated dolls, and other props that he would obtain from thrift shops and junkyards. He ultimately created a series of heavily shadowed, black and white photos that are chilling (but sentimental), surreal (but in an everyday sort of way), and at times, plain weird (I guess?)

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The art and music of OccupySF: a work in progress

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In a recent Super Ego clubs column, I challenged the San Francisco music, arts, and nightlife community to create a better OccupySF soundtrack than old Michael Franti tracks -- and to perhaps update the slightly cliche V for Vendetta look of the movement a bit. (Not to mention throw a few hot-hot benefit parties.) We can do it!  

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"Victorian Visions" at Vesuvio Cafe

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Somewhere between a dollhouse and a photo portrait are the works of Brent Johnson and Jo Cyrus. Now on display (through Oct. 15) at North Beach's Vesuvio Café, the artists create 3-D renderings of the facades of San Francisco's trademark Victorian homes.

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