Visual Art

Home is where the art is

A quick Q&A with Margaret Tedesco of [2nd floor projects]
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Margaret Tedesco is often on the move. She's created flip books, directed plays, narrated films — before neo-benshi events became popular locally — and put together art shows at roving venues in Southern California and San Francisco. Read more »

Kuchar coup

George and Mike Kuchar's drawings and paintings tickle pleasure centers
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johnny@sfbg.com

The drawings and paintings of George and Mike Kuchar are brightly colored, bosomy, and bulbous bouquets of bodacious flesh. Those bountiful breasts belong to women in George's 1962 painting Voodoo Ceremony and in his 1977 Missionary Attack, in which a topless lady sporting an octopus skirt threatens to spear another wearing tiger skin pants and leather boots. But in Mike's art the big bazookas belong to men. Read more »

Video Mutants: Guiding light

Soaps-loving video artist Kalup Linzy will set you free
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>Click here to view some Kalup Linzy vids

A phone interview is a routine aspect of writing an article, but there's a uniquely rich comedic irony to conducting a phone interview with Kalup Linzy. Since 2001, Linzy has been making soap operatic short videos in which a host of characters, most played by himself, converse by phone. Read more »

Video Mutants: The man with the video camera

Douglas Gordon hits San Francisco with an image blitz
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johnny@sfbg.com

The unmistakable riff from AC/DC's "Back in Black" blares from the dark room in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art that houses Douglas Gordon's exhibition Pretty Much Every Film and Video Work from About 1992 until Now. It's coming from Gordon's cell phone, in the pocket of his trench coat, which he's wearing over a leather jacket.

Gordon is a man of many layers, though as its title plainly states, Pretty Much collects his visions to date, a number of them appropriated, into a single room. Read more »

J-pop sucker punch

With brand names and bright colors, "MURAKAMI" gets you in the gut
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Visceral reactions are the last thing one might expect from the perversely brilliant "© Murakami," Takashi Murakami's well-publicized survey exhibition at Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art. The telling copyright symbol that precedes the artist's name in the exhibition title fits the cool, post-Warholian corporate-style control he exerts over his art and his identity. Read more »

Staying power

In 2007, Bay Area arts were in constant flux
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Looking back at the Bay Area art scene in 2007 affirms our perennial difficulty in holding on to ambitious players. It's an oft-repeated story. Given San Francisco's commitment to nonprofit and alternative models over commercial ones and the high cost of living, artists find it easier to start off than to build their careers here. Read more »

Canadian astronaut

Jeff Wall's hyperreal photos at SFMOMA launch the mundane into the stratosphere
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marke@sfbg.com

REVIEW Kids are bored. They're hanging on the sidewalk outside a nightclub, splashed in sick amber light. Many of the usual suspects are here: the skinny postgoth chick in golden heels, the stereotypical Russian-looking muffin top trapped on a crappy date, the about-to-ralph dude in an untucked striped Oxford, some rasta hoppers, a hipster gal in rave flats and a trucker cap. Most are smoking and none look happy, except maybe the tranny-licious blond who's about to skate the cover, glimpsed in the doorway flirting with the bouncers. Read more »

Graf legend

SPIE remembers DREAM and the golden age of SF street art
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On Aug. 15, on what would have been the late Mike "DREAM" Francisco's 38th birthday, his old-school graffiti pal SPIE ONE honored his slain partner in the best way he knew how: by creating new street art, on 24th Street between Capp and Lilac in the Mission.

But it's not just on anniversaries when SPIE thinks about DREAM, the widely respected Bay Area graffiti artist who was gunned down in the East Bay in 2000. "I think about DREAM every day. A lot of us do. It keeps me going sometimes. He was a positive spirit," SPIE said in mid-November. Read more »

Up against the wall

Amid controversy, HOMEY brings together a Mission neighborhood with its latest mural
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There's a new mural at 24th and Capp streets that does a stellar job of capturing the urban, cultural vibe of the Mission's residents. No, not the skinny jeans–wearing, Burning Man bohemians who've colonized the area in recent years. I'm talking the baggy jeans–wearing Latino youths who are the inheritors of a proud local tradition of Chicano mural art. Read more »

The reel world

Takeshi Murata at Ratio 3
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Among the coverage of the horrific San Francisco Bay oil slick, I saw a short video of a fowl gliding through sea glimmering with petroleum. The bird maintained grace in this toxic environment, navigating marbled, paperlike swirls in the blackened water. Read more »