Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Richmond Arts Center Holdiay Festival

The Richmond Arts Center has everthing for your special holiday shopping - from art to textiles to custom made chocolate - and be sure to check out the silent auction. They have a custom made Vampire box for sale. Get that winning bid in!

Alexander James. Custom made vampire box. Wooden stake crosses - everything you need to deal with any inopportune fangers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

3 Fish by the Beach

Eric Rewitzer of 3 Fish Studios

3 Fish Studios recently moved from Dogpatch to my 'hood, the Outer Sunset - 4541 Irving Street (at 47th Ave). They took over an old grocery store space and have really made it work for them - it's so perfect as an art studio/gallery that you can't imagine it as anything else. After walking by several times and not finding them open, I lucked out today. Both Eric (the primary printmaker) and Annie (the primary painter) were there. They welcomed me and my nephew, Dylan, showed us around the place and made me an espresso. My first thought was "what a gorgeous, inspiring place for a couple of artists to work."

My next thought, was, "are these (Eric's prints) woodcuts or linocuts?" They have some characteristics of both, and they reminded me of Tom Killion's woodcut images of local landscapes. Eric talked about his admiration for Killion's work and his experimentation with color throughout the run, as well as second editions with recut color blocks.

Eric's imagery is pure, concentrated San Francisco: the bridges, the industrial waterfront, the skyline, the icons. Even the landscapes have an edgier feel. That's Eric at top, with a bridge print on the press and a couple of Godzilla in SF prints on the back wall. Annie's paintings cover the same territory, but with a painterly esthetic. Their prices are really affordable, for paintings, prints and classes.

They teach classes in the evening and have a flexible schedule in the studio. Drop by if you're in the neighborhood, or call for an appointment if you're coming just to see them.

3 Fish Studios
4541 Irving Street (at 47th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94122

Friday, November 2, 2012

Making Synchronicity out of Random Noise

Yesterday afternoon I visited the members' preview of the new 4th floor shows at SFMOMA: Jasper Johns, Jay DeFeo, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. In that order. The Jasper Johns show was nice. Colorful, tactile, fun - the etchings were great - I definitely want to get back to see those again. Body silhouettes with lots of numbers, letters, & patterns. The perfect visual appetizer. On my way through the "tunnel" to the DeFeo exhibit, I noticed a wild "sculpture" on the western deck - it looked like an antennae. (I forgot about it, but it came back to me later.)

The DeFeo show unfolds like Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. The first room is discordant, unfocused. Then structure appears, in her monumental canvas & paint period, and you know this is a unique, true force. In the third "movement" she stretches out, exploring photography, collage, form, and line; building on distant themes. Then emotion is unleashed in the fourth and final section. Some of them reminded me of Betty Theodore's work. "Spark of the Gods" shines from the final, small-in-size, paintings; completed right before she died. (The image here is her portrait of a wounded, dying pigeon, that she cared for in her own final days.) I reentered the world, still stunned, on the fourth floor landing.

The entrance to Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's installation, "Frequency and Volume" was in front of me, so I wandered in, to see a glass cubicle full of what appeared to be sound editing equipment and 18 transistor radios. OK, moving on . . . the next room was dark (black) except for a single white (projected light) wall. On moving into the room, I saw my own silhouette on the white wall. Thinking of Kara Walker, I started posing and creating shifting tableaux with the other occupants of the room. The seemingly random noises and words/numbers on our silhouettes suddenly snapped into alignment and I realized that I was a dial on a radio receiver - moving side to side changed the frequency and moving forward & back changed the volume. Each person occupied a different frequency band. Then I remembered the antenna I'd seen earlier. I kept going back to the "Space to Earth" frequency, rocking back and forth in an audible volume and thinking about the connections between these three shows.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Celestial Bodies: Serenity Series
UCSF Women's Health Center

Wednesday October 24, 2012
5:30PM to 7:30PM
Meet the featured artists:
Gala Sadurni, Janet Seifert, Jennifer Ewing, Jessica Anne Schwartz, Johnny Botts, Rosalie Z. Fanshel
Not Afraid - Jennifer Ewing

Sponsored by the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, each part in the series invites Bay Area artists to present a body of work that interprets the idea of ‘serenity’ in order to inspire relaxation, well-being and calm. This installment of the series features artists whose work investigates CELESTIAL BODIES as object, inspiration and environment. The exhibit includes work that focuses on planets, the sun, the moon, stars and galaxies, and includes astronomical associations and metaphors for extraterrestrial journeys. This is the final installment in a series of 4 exhibits that explore our environment as a metaphor for 'serenity'.
Since 2007, the 'Serenity' series is the San Francisco Bay Area's largest continuous exhibit focused on positive, healing and uplifting artwork.
Curator: Matt McKinley
Venue: UCSF Center of Excellence in Women's Health
Showing through Jan 15, 2013
Floors 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
2356 Sutter St (x. Divisadero) SF, CA

Posted by Phil Gravitt

Monday, October 22, 2012

'The Radical Camera; New York's Photo League, 1936 - 1951' at the CJM

They wanted to change the world, one photograph at a time.

Rosalie Gwathmey (1908–2001, born Charlotte, North Carolina)
Shout Freedom, Charlotte, North Carolina, c. 1948 Gelatin silver print
Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio, Photo League Collection, Museum Purchase with funds provided by Elizabeth M. Ross, the Derby Fund, John S. and Catherine Chapin Kobacker, and the Friends of the Photo League 7 ⅞ x 6 3/4 in.

"The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936–1951" now open at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) presents the contested path of the documentary photograph and the League during a tumultuous period that spanned the New Deal reforms of the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War.

Arthur Leipzig (born 1918, Brooklyn, New York)
Ideal Laundry, 1946 Gelatin silver print
The Jewish Museum, New York, Purchase: Esther Leah Ritz Bequest. 10 x 8 in.
That could have been the motto of New York’s Photo League, founded in 1936 by young Jewish-American photographers Sid Grossman and Sol Libsohn. Young, idealistic, mostly Jewish, they believed in the expressive power of the documentary photograph and progressive, socialist ideas and art.

A unique complex of school, darkroom, gallery, and salon, the League was also a place where you learned about yourself. Sid Grossman, one of the founders, pushed students to discover not only the meaning of their work but also their relationship to it. This transformative approach was one of the League’s most innovative and influential contributions to the medium.

The group eventually had over 300 members, including legends in the field such as Berenice Abbott, Weegee and Aaron Siskind.

Their work resulted in a street-level, popular history of the era, told through documentary photographs of the marginalized. criminalized, and dispossessed. In its early years the League was committed to the idea of photography as honest and unmediated. A “true” and “good” picture was one in which aesthetic qualities did not overwhelm the content or subvert its message. The Leaguers were inspired to make inequity and discrimination tangible in their work.

Photographs, with titles such as "Shoemaker’s Lunch" and "Salvation Army Lassie in Front of a Woolworth Store," exposed issues of class, poverty, racial inequality, and lack of opportunity.

Vivian Cherry (born 1920, Manhattan, New York)
Game of Lynching, East Harlem, 1947.Gelatin silver print
Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio, Photo League Collection, Museum Purchase, Derby Fund 6¼ x 9 in. (15.9 x 22.9 cm)

Vivian Cherry’s disturbing images of boys playing at lunching were the first photographs to link certain kinds of violence in children's games with racism.

The series was published by ’48 Magazine of the Year; Photography republished them in 1952, commenting, “The pictures are not pretty, but they do represent an attempt to . . . use a camera as a tool for social research.”

Sid Grossman, interviewed in the film, “Ordinary Miracles,” said that their desire was to “get close to people as human beings, to try to push them in a progressive direction."

The images range from the street life of the lower East side to farming communities hard hit by the dust bowl. The sensitive and compelling images of African-Americans were the first to document their lives with respect. showing their humanity and strength while coping with extreme poverty.

During its fifteen-year existence (1936–1951), the Photo League would mirror monumental shifts in the world starting with the Depression, through World War II, and ending with the Red Scare. Throughout those tumultuous times, its members engaged in lively debate and ongoing experimentation in the streets to propel documentary photography from factual images to a more subjective, poetic reading of life.

  Consuelo Kanaga (1894–1978, born Astoria, Oregon)
Untitled (Tenements, New York), c. 1937 Gelatin silver print
The Jewish Museum, New York, Purchase: The Paul Strand Trust for the benefit of Virginia Stevens Gift

Presented in collaboration with another major Photo League collector, The Jewish Museum in New York City, “Radical Camera” offers nearly 150 photographs created around and during the league’s lifespan, as well as videos, oral histories and interactive displays.

The Cold War politics of the McCarthy era eventually destroyed the group. Shocked and dismayed at the attacks upon the organization, they mounted an exhibition entitled “This Is the Photo League,” which showcased the diversity and quality of its members’ work.

The retrospective opened in December 1948 with photographs by more than ninety past and present members. While it achieved a measure of critical attention, the effort came too late. By now, the political atmosphere was by now far too toxic. Membership and revenues dwindled and the group was ostracized.

Sid Grossman, the League’s great teacher and mentor who led passionate debates about the rolerole of the personal and subjective in the documentary image, was particularly victimized and disillusioned by the blacklist. He resigned in 1949 and retreated to Provincetown, Massachusetts.

There he continued to teach photography and to make art, but his reputation faded. Shortly before he died in 1955, at age forty-three, he commented with some irony on a late series of “pictures of birds” he had made in Cape Cod. They were, he acknowledged, scarcely the kind of documentary subject that he would have pursued earlier in life.

“Yet this material,” he said, “was quite harmonious with my past history as a photographer, visually and emotionally.” Grossman perhaps felt obliged to explain that these photographs, with their allover pattern of flickering light and agitated movement, drew upon the contemporary language of abstract expressionism. More poignantly, the birds’ feeding frenzy suggests the poisonous atmosphere that had finally forced him out of the League.

In 1950, the Photo League officially closed its doors, a casualty of the Cold War.

Although short lived, the Photo League’s influence was significant. The sense of artistic “presentness” and the assertion of the photographer’s identity in the work of artists such as Diane Arbus, Louis Faurer, Helen Levitt, and Robert Frank are, in many ways, the legacy of the Photo League as was the subjective, poetic renderings of social themes that would characterize the next generation of street photographers.

At the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
Through January 31, 2013

Friday, October 5, 2012

'Rudolph Nureyev, A Life in Dance' opens at the de Young

Rudolf Nureyev dances with Margot Fonteyn in "Paradise Lost" in 1967, in a pairing cast by the Royal Ballet's Ninette de Valois. Photo: Reg Wilson, Rex USA / SF

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Saturday gallery stroll in Oakland

Hopefully the weather will cool down so that walking will be bearable but this looks like a lot of fun. I went to Oakland's Art Murmur a couple of times and they aren't kidding about the crowds. I am a little too old for the party scene so I appreciate an opportunity to "just" look at the art:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Danny Lyon at the de Young

Danny Lyon (American, b. 1942), Crossing the Ohio, Louisville, 1966. Gelatin silver print. The Menil Collection, Houston, gift of Kenneth G. Futter. Photograph © 2012 Danny Lyon/Magnum Photos. Courtesy of the Edwynn Houk Gallery and

I previewed the Danny Lyon exhibition at the de Young yesterday. It's a small selection of his work spanning the time from the 1960s to present day. It's definitely worth a visit to the museum if you plan to take in the other galleries as well or if you're a member.

As always with photography exhibitions at the de Young I was left wanting more and with the feeling that this could have been a truly great exhibition had it been curated by another museum. Be that as it may, this exhibition provides to good opportunity to get a sense of Lyon's mastery of photography. I was impressed by the consistently exceptional compositions of the images on display, so many of them made on the move.

Some of the most recent images include scenes from China which convey a similar sense of struggle and search for hope that can be seen in Lyon's work from the '60s. As Lyon said in conversation at the museum last evening, his motivation for photographing was political not photographic. But I see his mastery of the photographic allowing the expression of the political, making his work exceptional indeed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'WOMEN我们' at the Chinese Cultural Center: gender & sexuality identity in today's China

Artist Gao Ling, collaborated with the NGO Shanghai Nv Ai, a lesbian advocacy group, to create a public performance piece called "Subway Performance." In a protest against governmental dictates about "provocative" dress, Ling and other women ride the subway wearing tea strainer bras. They cover their faces to protect their identity while holding signs that say "It's a dress, not a yes, " and "Want to flaunt, not a taunt."

"Women," now showing at SF's Chinese Cultural Center (CCC) and curated by CCC's Deputy Director and Curator Abby Chen proves that art does not have to be large and loud to be powerful. ...more at...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Observations on foot

About six months ago, I spotted these two ceramic beauties in the window at Hospitality House, a fine arts studio for homeless and poor artists that is part of the Community Arts Program (CAP) in San Francisco.
Many other ceramic pieces created at Hospitality House were in the two large display windows in front of the studio.
CAP and the gallery are temporarily at The Luggage Store Gallery, 1009 Market Street, near 6th Street. The current show runs through October 5, 2012.

* * * * * * * * * *posted by Phil Gravitt
If you thought kids have taken over the world, you haven't checked your coat at the DeYoung Museum lately.
The adult coat and bag check in the lower level of the DeYoung is like a large walk-in closet in a nice apartment, complete with art work.
The kids coat and bag check is two laundry hampers in front of the Kimball Education Gallery.
Which hamper to use is determined by the level of finger painting skills of the wearer.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Out of the Wood
and Into the Trees:
Sonoma County Museum

Michael Cullen
Chest on a Stand
Friday August 24 is the opening of the annual Artistry in Wood exhibit at the Sonoma County Museum. The exhibit of fine woodworking is in collaboration with the Sonoma County Woodworkers Association (SCWA).
The Opening Reception is Friday, August 24 5-7pm
Possibly a coincidence, the museum is hosting two current exhibits featuring a woodworker's favorite raw materials:
Chester Arnold: Trees
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Wrapped Trees
On Thursday Sept 6 at 6PM, nationally recognized furniture maker/designer Debey Zito will be discussing influences in her designs from Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, and Asian designs.

Posted by Phil Gravitt

Friday, August 3, 2012

Naoya Hatakeyama at SFMOMA

Man’s relentless efforts to master the environment. That’s the underlying message I took away from my visit to SFMOMA to see the current exhibition of photography by Naoya Hatakeyama. But there is a twist.

The first images in the exhibition are of expansive landscapes featuring dramatic mountains. The mountains, other than being pretty held no obvious message, they are just “pretty.”

The images I found more appealing were of abandoned and working quarries and were photographed as grand landscapes and had a definite message. From an anthropological point of view they tell a dramatic story of the consequences of the archaic notion, so persistently maintained by human kind, that nature can and should be conquered. Hatakeyama’s work so clearly shows us that the fact that the earth will never bend to the human will is lost yet on another generation.

Hatakeyama demonstrates how this quest of humanity to dominate the very environment that gives it life, is carried out by every means that is violent. The irony is dramatically evident in his imagery of the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan. These images share a gallery with a sequence of photographs of quarry blasting, images that capture the brutally violent reality and consequence of the explosions. But still, what these images tell us is that despite every effort by “man,” nothing will ever match the violence of which nature is capable. Nature is the master and there is no such thing as conquering the environment.

Photos: © Naoya Hatakeyama

Thursday, August 2, 2012

'When Artists Attack the King: Honoré Daumier and La Caricature, 1830-1835' at Cantor Arts Center

Long before Iranian cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraiyeh was sentenced to 25 lashings for drawing a parliament member in a soccer jersey, 19th-century caricaturist Honoré Daumier and his colleagues at the weekly Paris journal La Caricature endured prison sentences, fines, and litigation for their scathing portraits of king Louis-Philippe I of France, who came to power after the Revolution of 1830.

 The Cantor Arts Center presents 50 of these pioneering satirical works in “When Artists Attack the King: Honoré Daumier and La Caricature, 1830–1835,” which opens August 1. The exhibition, drawn entirely from the collection of the Cantor Arts Center, also features issues of La Caricature and large Daumier lithographs published for L’Association Mensuelle, a monthly print subscription,

More at:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Central Nigeria Unmasked:
Arts of the Benue River Valley
Cantor Art Center at Stanford

Even if it is just for the free parking on weekends close to the front door, the sunshine, or the Arizona cactus garden nearby, it is worth a trip to Cantor Arts Center at Stanford.

The Nigeria Unmasked exhibit includes 150 items showcasing various art forms and styles of two dozen not so well known ethnic groups living along the Benue River Valley.

Included are wooden figures, masks, clothing, shields, spears, plus recent paintings, photographs and sculptures.

Some of my favorites were a photo of boys in a hut that was wallpapered with American magazine covers; a metal and wood sculpture of two modern warriors with machine guns and ammo belts; and the above photo of BOTSWANA'S COWBOY METALHEADS by Frank Marshall.

Another reason to go to the Cantor is spending time in the Rodin Sculpture garden right before entering the museum, along with two rooms of Rodin sculptures inside.

After going through the musuem, head out the back door to the enclosed large courtyard holding Richard Serra’s heavy metal labyrinth sculpture, “Sequence.”

The Cantor also has several other exhibits including modern art and items from the Fisher collection. One wing holding the Native American basket collection is currently closed due to construction.

To round out the day, go to Bucks in Woodside for breakfast or lunch. The interior is a museum, the alligator carpet is a bit much, and the food is outstanding.

posted by Phil Gravitt

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Raunch and irreverence at the San Jose Museum of Art

Bawdy irreverence, iconoclasm, parody, and puns are hallmarks of the work spawned by the art department at the University of California, Davis, in the 1960s and 1970s. In keeping with the counterculture of the time, the tone of this humor was often aggressive and transgressive......

Walter Robinson’s larger-than-life, hot pink and melting animal cookies point to the realities of global warming, part of the current exhibit at the SJMA.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

George Krevsky
Art of Baseball

Robert Marosi Bustamante
Lincecum's Stride

The George Krevsky Art of Baseball exhibit continues at 550 California St. until mid July.

posted by Phil Gravitt

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nina Katchadourian
Seat Assignment
Catharine Clark Gallery


I stumbled across Catharine Clark Gallery in the alley next to SFMOMA. The name sounded familiar, so I asked if they used to be somewhere else. Turns out they moved to 150 Minna Street five years ago from 49 Geary. So much for my motto, "Always on the Pulse of the Local Art Scene."

Katchadourian's creativity is boundless. She is possibly the most productive airline passenger ever to ask for more peanuts. Many of her photographs may have been staged right on her tray table, using airline magazines overlaid with peanuts, straws, black fuzz, whatever.

Self Portrait in the Flemish Style

Lavatory lines are already too long, however her photos and videos of Lavatory Self Portraits in the Flemish Style are worth the wait.

Gorilla Sweater

The Katchadourian show closes on June 9. If you go in the next 48 hours, suggest wearing fireproof suit and welders helmet left over from recent eclipse viewing, as I had to wade through a Milky Way of flying sparks to get to the Gallery.

The molten light show eminated from the middle of the street, where McGyver was adapting the ends of large black metal pipes with a power saw.

Upon further review, my clothes are intact; the sparks just seemed closer than they were. I'm sure Katchadourian would have captured the sparks and turned them into something special.

posted by Phil Gravitt

Sunday, June 3, 2012

16th Avenue & Moraga
Tiled Steps Project

For a little exercise, great views and beautiful tile work, visit The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project in San Francisco. The 163 tiled steps are an extention of Moraga Street between 15th and 16th Avenues, leading to Grand View Park.

The project was started in 2003 and completed in 2005. The design for the steps was created by local SF artists Aileen Barr and Collette Crucher. The San Francisco Parks Trust, now called the San Francisco Parks Alliance, sponsored the project, with the support of the Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association.

There are plenty of landings on the stairway for resting on the way up. The 10 to 15 foot wide open space on either side is filled with an interesting variety of plants, donated and planted by many people and groups, including the San Francisco Succulent and Cactus Society.

It is kind of amazing to think of the time, effort and cooperation it took to create this project, and still takes to maintain it.

It is worth a trip, or just an easy and fun detour off 19th Avenue if you are passing through.

Factoid: There are more than 1000 public stairways and paved paths in the Bay Area.

posted by Phil Gravitt

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Bridge Re-imagined

Kids from 2 dozen SF public schools reimagine and recreate the Golden Gate Bridge with artworks in various medium.
Through August 4 at the Mills Building, 220 Montgomery Street, San Francisco.

The exhibition curator is Richard Olsen. Presented by The San Francisco Arts Education Project in cooperation with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

posted by Phil Gravitt

Friday, May 25, 2012

"Phantoms of Asia' at the Asian Art Museum

The new show at the Asian Art Museum is at the top my my Memorial Day Weekend picks but the rest of the shows around the bay ain't half bad either. The "Cult of Beauty," the V&A's tribute to Victorian arts and crafts is still at the Legion while the de Young features several shows, including one showcasing the cutting edge prints of Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg. There is art from Nigeria at the Cantor and SFMOMA is hosting the first of many tributes to the Golden Gate Bridge which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

The red lotus that was just installed in the Civic Center Plaza is the outside symbol of an exciting, exhausting and bold exhibit inside the Asian Art Museum, now located inside the revamped  Beaux Arts building that formerly housed the old San Francisco Public Library.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Last Day
Best of DoubleClick
SF City Hall Gallery

Last day for Best of DoubleClick photo exhibit at SF City Hall Gallery. You can vote at the same time.

posted by Phil Gravitt

Friday, May 4, 2012

Elena Zolotnitsky
Paul Mahder Gallery

This solo exhibition of new oil paintings showcases Zolotnitsky's skill at portraying emotional facial expression with limited facial detail.

The show runs through June 12 at Paul Mahder Gallery on Sacramento Street in SF.

The first two weekends in June, Zolitnitsky is participating in East Bay Open Studios, in Berkeley.

Paintings Tolstoy Cuture (left) and Nude on Green (right) shown above from

posted by Phil Gravitt

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Buckminister Fuller at SFMOMA

To boldly go where no man has gone before," might have been Buckminster Fuller's motto, which is well demonstrated by the current show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). While not a retrospective, there is more than enough to overwhelm the visitor.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On Apology
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art

On Apology is a study on the now prevalent spectacle of the public apology, and is produced by the graduating class of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at the CCA Wattis Institute. The exhibition consists of two floors of video, several walls of text, and a 20 page paper handout.

The videos I found most intriguing were Australian Shaun Gladwell’s Apologies 1-6, six videos running a total of 27 minutes. I saw two of the six videos. In each one, the camera is looking down a different two-lane road blurring and stretching into the desert. A road kill kangaroo lies in the gravel on the left side of the road, fairly close to the camera, and in focus.

In one video, a white tractor trailer and a smaller black vehicle are coming up the road. A motorcycle rider dressed completely in black, riding a black motorcycle, crosses the screen and appears to almost run over the kangaroo. As the motorcycle rider parks nearby and walks toward the kangaroo, it becomes clear that the film is in slow motion and the distances are distorted.

The rider looks like he is almost standing over the kangaroo, however he walks about thirty feet back to the kangaroo from his motorcycle. The tractor trailer and black vehicle, which were close when the film started, are taking forever to get closer.

The motorcycle rider carefully looks over the body of the kangaroo, gently touching its head while brushing away flies. The rider's slow motion hand movements suggest he is wafting incense in a religious ceremony. Eventually the rider picks up the kangaroo and wanders out into the road, as if apologizing for what had happened before he arrived.

Gladwell didn’t stage the kangaroos; each sequence was filmed where the kangaroo was found.

In addition to Shaun Gladwell, the exhibit includes works by Erick Beltrán, Mark Boulos, Keren Cytter, Omer Fast, Ragnar Kjartansson, Amalia Pica, Slavs and Tatars, Cassie Thornton, Dawn Weleski, and Artur Zmijewski.

Photo from Apology To Roadkill 2007, Sydney Morning Herald

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art On Apology
April 19 to May 19, 2012
Upper and Lower Galleries, Kent and Vicki Logan Galleries
1111 Eighth Street (at 16th and Wisconsin)
San Francisco

The CCA Wattis building appears to take up the whole block. Many rooms are just walls open to the high ceiling, reminiscent of a short, modern Cow Palace, except with wonderful natural light. Flash mob classes take place in the large wide center of the hall running the length of the building. Chairs, display tables and rolling billboards are moved into place for a class, and when it is over, people and equipment disperse quickly in all directions.

Some displays and projects from various design and graphics classes remain along the side walls. I walked along about 15 feet away, squinting while trying to make out the detail in each one without disturbing the small classes nearby.

One architectural model caught my eye. A large walled patio, built of tan cement, was populated with several white three-legged plastic tables, green and yellow shrubs, colorful curved rocks, and dark pools. Half the patio was shaded by a leaning wall awning above. I wondered why there were no chairs with the tables.

As I got further away, I looked back and realized it was an empty pizza box.

Parking is a little tight at CCA. If you don’t live close enough to walk, and don’t have a bicycle or motorcycle, take a cab. If you drive, I recommend a Smart car with curb feelers, a low profile windshield wiper, and the bumpers removed.

posted by Phil Gravitt

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday night boogie at the de Young

It's Friday night and you just got paid? Well, if not, no matter because many of the Friday night events at the De Young are free! You can see a fashion show, watch a film or boogie to music by the Fashion Slaves who perform originals, including "Suffer for Fashion" and "Loud-Mouth Girl" along with their version of "Going Down."

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Fashion World of
Jean Paul Gaultier:
From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Experience the fun and lively atmosphere of the DeYoung’s gargantuan Jean Paul Gaultier fashion exhibit. This King Tut Haute Tutu show is in the Herbst Special Exhibition Galleries downstairs, instead of the upper gallery sometimes remade into the world’s darkest dress shop for past fashion exhibits.

There is so much to take in, the DeYoung might need a golf cart to take absorption overload zombies back to their cars.

Gaultier creates wild and outlandish designs with incredible artistry and intricate detail, and somehow makes them look comfortable and sensible at the same time. Why put a bow there when whiskers are available?

The exhibit includes quite real animated mannequins, a large number of video screens, sketches, photos, and a moving runway of mannequins. Many collections are represented, including Mermaids, Hussars, Chic Rabbis, and Russian. Get up close and see the fabric is really 1000 hours of beadwork.

Mermaids photos above from Pinterest and Fashionising

Night of the Iguana photo below from nearfardarklight

posted by Phil Gravitt