Visual Art

Street sense

'Streetopia' thinks positively about the latest tech boom

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caitlin@sfbg.com

VISUAL ART When I moved back to San Francisco as an adult, writer Erick Lyle taught me about my city. He didn't tell me about the earthquakes, the mayoral assassinations, or the hills, but rather how to recognize the social forces that would push and pull life in San Francisco over the years to come. And right now, that's an important thing to know about.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 »

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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Sea, here

GREEN ISSUE: A conversation with underwater explorer and photographer David Hall, author of Beneath Cold Seas

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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 »

Agrarian visions

"Land/Use" exhibit examines pastoral lives through a contemporary lens

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By Cynthia Salaysay

arts@sfbg.com

VISUAL ART Artists are makers, though rarely of history. But Fernando García-Dory and Amy Franceschini, two internationally recognized artists, seem to have a gift for it. "Perhaps," García-Dory says, "when you start with a long perspective on history, you start to make history as well."Read more »

This old house

"3020 Laguna Street in Exitum" transforms a doomed Cow Hollow domicile into nine site-specific artworks

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HAIRY EYEBALL Aside from its prime Cow Hollow location, the modest single floor, above-garage residence at 3020 Laguna Street is a largely unremarkable piece of real estate. Over its 150-year existence it has served as a home to people now forgotten, any relations of its last known occupants having cut all ties to this particular place. What's left is the building itself, which, judging from its dingy stucco exterior and the tidy beaver dam of exposed lath covering what had been a bay window, looks as if it has an imminent appointment with the wrecking ball.Read more »

Abstract truth

Navigating an art movement — and a local gallery's history — in "Surrealism: New Worlds"

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VISUAL ART A museum-quality show in terms of ambition and achievement, "Surrealism: New Worlds" fleshes out a forgotten, if not effaced, chapter in American art history, even as it incidentally tells the story of the gallery showing it.Read more »

Wall played

Art Basel take two: Street art in Wynwood, it's complicated

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Also in this issue, Guardian writer Matt Sussman on who got the hype -- and who earned it -- in the galleries at Art Basel Miami 2011Read more »