South African artist and activist Gabrielle Le Roux is in San Francisco for the first time to show the "Proudly African & Transgender" portrait and story series she co-created with trans* activists from Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya in 2008, together with a selection of portraits from the "Proudly Trans* in Turkey" collaboration with eighteen trans* activists from across Turkey. The portraits and stories will show at the SF LGBT Center at the invitation of the Queer Cultural Center and SFSU Sociology Dept. Galería de La Raza will be showing the 18 part video installation of the Proudly Trans* in Turkey exhibition, through which trans* activists from across Turkey explore the issues they want to discuss on film. [more inside]
Bargeloads of art and exhibit materials have been going out to the former prison island of Alcatraz recently, all for an imprisonment- and human rights- and freedom of expression-themed exhibit by Chinese activist dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who designed and directed the installation while remaining under detention in Beijing. The barged materials include over a million Lego blocks, assembled in San Francisco.
"Adrift is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge."
The Dancing Saints is "a 3,000 square foot icon wrapping around the entire church rotunda, showing ninety larger-than life saints; four animals; stars, moons, suns and a twelve-foot dancing Christ." Among the icons are traditional saints like Francis of Assisi and Mary Magdalene, but most of them are non-traditional saints, like Florence Nightingale, John Coltrane and Lady Godiva's Horse. The Dancing Saints Icon is inside the St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. You can watch a video tour of the church's architecture, read an interview with iconographer Mark Dukes, and a short essay on the Dancing Saints Icon by Richard Fabian.
Spain Rodriguez Fought the Good Fight - underground comics artist Spain Rodriguez, most famous for his violent antihero Trashman, passed away yesterday.
No one living can say whether the original, ten-hour version of Erich von Stroheim's most famous movie was the epic masterpiece it was touted to be. The 140-minute version is all that remains, and while it's only a quarter of the film it was meant to be, it's still one of the greatest accomplishments (SPOILER) of the silent film era. [more inside]
Shortly before noon yesterday morning an art thief walked into the Weinstein Gallery near San Francisco's Union Square, grabbed Pablo Picasso's 1965 pencil drawing, "Tête de Femme (Head of a Woman)" and strolled casual out of the museum to a waiting cab. Witnesses described the man as a "well dressed" "white man about 6 feet tall, age 30 to 35, wearing a dark jacket, a white shirt, dark pants, large dark glasses and loafers with no socks." Surveillance cameras at nearby restaurant Lefty O'Doul's appear to have captured the suspect as he walked briskly down the street, Picasso under arm. “Most galleries that show this caliber of artwork don’t put it on street level,” said gallery owner Rowland Weinstein. “It’s very upsetting, because my goal is to keep this kind of work accessible to the public.” Weinstein says the piece was insured and is valued at $200,000.
The poet and translator Kenneth Rexroth, one of the central figures in the San Francisco Renaissance, only wrote prose for money. But he did it very well. (way previously) [more inside]
"I never know what to call myself really. I call myself a cartoonist because it's what I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember, it's what I always return to, and it's how I think. But I don't really work in that field. I think I'm an artist and a writer, or more appropriately, an artist who writes." [more inside]
Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera is an exhibition at the Tate Modern in London which examines voyeurism through the medium of photography. In addition to works from professionals such as Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Miller, Shizuka Yokomizo, Guy Bourdin, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe, it includes amateur and CCTV "stolen" images taken both with and without the knowledge of their subjects -- all intended to "explore the uneasy relationship between making and viewing images that deliberately cross lines of privacy and propriety." [more inside]
San Francisco Vehicles Cropped to a Square. A cool, quirky gallery of over 100 vehicles parked in San Francisco, arranged by color (be sure to page through them all and notice the color transitions). Includes a few cool shots and a few WTF cars.
With over 35,000,000 visitors a year, it could be argued that it is the busiest museum in the world. Yet most people are there to catch a plane. [more inside]
So you'd like to see daily photographs taken in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area? You can start with What I'm Seeing and supplement your viewing with the following sites. [more inside]
The world's largest ball pit? 400,000 black plastic balls, one reservoir, thousands of happy goths. Other unusual things being filled with balls: the Spanish Steps, Rome, a co-worker's cube, San Francisco. (videos)
San Francisco's Hugo Hotel, the current home of Brian Goggin's Defenestration, has been seized by eminent domian and will probably be demolished. Fear not; San Francisco has many other ancient hotels.
Postcards from Our Awesome Future. [via] An art exhibition stemming from the minds of Packard Jennings (whose illustrations have appeared in Adbusters) and Steve Lambert (of Anti-Advertising Agency fame); using San Francisco's infrastructure as a model for improvement, the duo answered the siren call of Objectivism through an arcology devoid of “...budgets, beauracracy [sic], politics, or physics”. [more inside]
The mission stencil story is an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure story that takes place on the sidewalks of the Mission district in San Francisco. Via
Misako Inaoka is a Japanese born artist living and working in San Francisco who makes her own ecosystems where the real and the artificial intertwine. She is currently showing at the Johansson Projects gallery. [via]
Requiem for La Contessa: After she was set afire in December, three questions arose: who burned her, why, and what became of her figurehead? The first two have been answered, but the third remains a mystery despite the sculpture's brief appearance in a photo on tribe.net.
2 years ago I FPP'd FlavorPill, a company that sends out permission-based emails for books (Boldtype), music (Earplug), and fashion (the JC Report). They've since added ArtKrush (it's art, stupid! - nsfw) and Activate (world events) to their aresenal. In addition to the topic-specific mailing lists, they offer city-specific lists for London, New York, SF, LA, and Chicago. Sample issues are archived on the site.
I've linked their site before, but now Fecal Face has instructional How Tos: Stuff a Mouse, Make an Oil Painting, Screen Print a Poster, Make a Mini-Comic/Zine. The site has many other features as well but remember that where there's art, the occasional nsfw image may wait, brooding.
The idea behind the Parking art project is pretty simple: once you throw some coins in the meter, you can do pretty much anything with a parking space, right? Rebar decided to try converting some vehicle space into a community space, by laying sod, adding benches and a tree, then letting people enjoy the space for a few hours. [via treehugger]
16thandmission: Urban Data Stories is "an investigation into the interplay of data, interactivity and narrative in an urban environment. It takes as its focus the corner of 16th and Mission Streets in San Francisco.... Depending on the state of the bus system at any given moment, the narratives interrelate to a variety of degrees with the map framework." [For you non-san-franciscans, 16th and Mission is a well-known intersection - lively, multicultural, gritty]
SFMOMA appoints Neal Benezra as new director. Benezra was formerly the deputy director and curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago, and replaces David Ross, who left the museum in a hurry last August to become chairman of the board of Eyestorm. During his tenure, Ross spent $140 million on acquisitions for the museum; Elaine McKeon, chairwoman of the Museum's board told the NYTimes that "We will still continue purchasing works of art, but we are going to move more slowly." Benezra has ties to Hunk and Moo Anderson, and wrote the catalog essay for the 2000 show of the Anderson collection. Could this mean that the Anderson collection will eventually be gifted to SFMOMA? (sfgate story, nytimes story)
Artist-in-Residence Program at the landfill. There are plenty of "found object" artists out there, but in this particularly enlightened recycling program, the Sanitary Fill Company pitches in to the process in a big way.
I MUST go see this exhibit in San Francisco. If I had to choose my favorite artistic medium, and the greatest practitioner of that medium, it would be the amazing black and white landscape photos by Ansel Adams.
Stretcher.org launched today, a "grassroots publication...providing a critical, informative survey of visual art and culture in the Bay Area and beyond with a provocative mixture of essays, dialogs, artist projects, and reviews by local, national and international contributors." It's about time -- the Bay Area is in desparate need of more sophisticated and in-depth art coverage than the Comical, Guardian or Weekly currently provide.