Visual Art

Now and then

Lauren DiCioccio remakes the stuff of everyday in revelatory ways

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arts@sfbg.com

VISUAL ART "My ideal world [while making art] is to be on a comfortable chair by a sunny window listening to a baseball game," says Lauren DiCioccio. For DiCioccio, such a setting is possible, because sewing is an integral part of her work, whether she's hand embroidering The New York Times, creating cotton facsimiles of 35mm film slides and currency, or making organza replicas of plastic bags and bottles.Read more »

La Frontera

Hairy Eyeball: Tracey Snelling's 10-year retrospective at Rena Bransten haunts the edge of town, while Max Cole's show at Haines gets geological

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HAIRY EYEBALL Walking through Tracey Snelling's 10-year survey at Rena Bransten brings to mind the famous opening tracking shot of Orson Welles' 1958 noir Touch of Evil. For over three tension-ratcheting minutes Welles' camera — all swooping omniscience — takes in the garish sights and sounds of a tourist outpost along the U.S.-Mexico border as it tails an American car that, unbeknownst to the couple behind the wheel, has been planted with a bomb that's about to go off.Read more »

50 years in exile

Jaime Cortez envisions the "Universal Remote" known as Michael Jackson

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arts@sfbg.com

VISUAL ART In 1988, Jeff Koons unveiled Michael Jackson and Bubbles, three ceramic sculptures of the pop icon and his pet chimpanzee. Koons' sculptures, syncing his kitsch with Jackson's gaudy tastes, were the conclusion of a series titled "Banality."Read more »

Coming attractions

Hey young (and more seasoned) art lovers -- here's some 2011 gallery musts

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HAIRY EYEBALL Welcome to 2011. It's a new dawn, it's a young decade, and I'm feeling good about the following shows worth eyeballing now or further down the line.

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Light fantastic

Let your mind's eye travel through the "Zone Modules" of Suzy Poling

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Boogie blows up

SF's spray can maestro takes Berlin — but what about those 500,000 euros?

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"It was an honor to be a part of history. The rest is history." Spray paint artist Chor Boogie (www.chorboogie.com) is hanging out amid spurts of December rain in Clarion Alley, standing before his mural debut in the heralded Mission community art space. But he's talking about a different piece, on a different chunk of creative community space, in a city halfway around the world: The Eyes of the Berlin Wall, which Boogie painted on an actual section of the Berlin Wall and was reported to have sold for 500,000 euros this fall.Read more »

Look forward in anger

YEAR IN ART: A firestorm of controversy in the larger art world -- but here in San Francisco, visions were clear and wide-ranging

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HAIRY EYEBALL/YEAR IN ART The year in art is ending on a note both sour and defiant. On Nov. 30, Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough, caving to criticism voiced by conservative politicians and religious groups, ordered the removal of David Wojnarowicz's 1987 video A Fire in My Belly from the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture." It was a cowardly decision; one that ultimately has undermined the credibility of Clough and his institution.Read more »

Where everybody knows your name

HAIRY EYEBALL: Formerly known as Ping Pong Gallery, Romer Young Gallery steps into the new year. Plus: Phase one of "Disponible — a kind of Mexican show" has taken over Walter and McBean Gallery

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arts@sfbg.com

HAIRY EYEBALL It can be easy to get cynical about the business side of art, so it's always refreshing when a local labor of love such as Romer Young — the small Dogpatch gallery formerly known as Ping Pong — demonstrates that growth doesn't necessarily entail compromising one's vision.Read more »

Pwning the classics

Jennie Ottinger throws the book at us in "Due By," at Johansson Projects, while Ed Moses serves up acrylic animalia at Brian Gross Fine Arts

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Jennie Ottinger's last solo painting show at Johansson Projects, "ibid," presented an assortment of ghostly figures — ballerinas, nurses, schoolchildren, businessmen — lifted from found photographs. The less-is-more aesthetic of Ottinger's small oil and gouache canvases underscored the fact that, save for the recovered images used as source material, the everyday people depicted in them had long been lost to history.Read more »

America's original sin

Jens Hoffmann finishes his trilogy of literary group shows with a strong take on a Twain classic

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VISUAL ART Going into "Huckleberry Finn," the final installment in the Wattis Institute's trilogy of group shows organized around canonical American novels, it is perhaps best to heed the notice Mark Twain places at the outset of the text from which this exhibit takes its name and inspiration: "Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."Read more »