BAY AREA NOW 4 - YBCA - Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi - Badfish Gallery - San Francisco Art Galleries: July 15, 2005


SAN FRANCISCO GALLERY OPENINGS
SUPERVISOR ROSS MIRKARIMI - BADFISH GALLERY
BAY AREA NOW 4 - YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
07.15.05

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi: Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Hiroshima Bombing.

Comment: The exhibit features reproductions of The Hiroshima Murals by Iri and Toshi Maruki, the originals on permanent display at the Maruki Gallery in Higashimatsuyama, Saitama-ken, Japan, having been seen by over ten million people. Maybe one day we'll stop blowing each other up, but that level of civility doesn't seem to be in the offing anytime soon. The Hiroshima Murals are brought to us courtesy of Berkeley artist Lewis Suzuki and his wife. Several of Suzuki's watercolors are also in the show.

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Mural art.

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Mural art.

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Art (Louis Suzuki).

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Art (Louis Suzuki).

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Louis and Mrs. Suzuki.

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Book about the Hiroshima Murals.

***

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts: Bay Area Now 4.

Artists: Chris Ballantyne, Tommy Becker, Libby Black, Liz Cohen, Adriane Colburn, Gestalt Collective (Scatha G. Allison, Nome Edonna, Ezra Li Eismont, Alex Eremian, Sirron Norris, Ricardon Richey), Robert Gutierrez, Hamburger Eyes (Ray Potes, Dave Potes, Stefan Simikich), John Hattori, Marisa Jahn and Steve Shada, Xylor Jane, Jim Jocoy, Helena Keeffe, Chris Kubick and Anne Walsh, Frederick Loomis, Michelle Lopez, Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. (Eliza ≥Neneng≤ Barrios, Reanne ≥Immaculata≤ Estrada, Jenifer ≥Baby≤ Wofford), Ari Marcopoulos, Christian Maychack, Keegan McHargue, Apollonia Morrill, Neck Face, Sasha Petrenko, Kate Pocrass, Emily Prince, Ted Purves, Christine Shields, Stretcher, Josephine Taylor, Margaret Tedesco, Hank Willis Thomas, Edie Tsong, Anna Von Mertens.

Comment: As an antiquarian bookman specializing in the history of California art (among other things), I'll tell you that shows like this are nothing new. The earliest 100% local artist catalogue I ever had the pleasure of owning was for an exhibit at the 1878 California Agricultural Exposition in Sacramento. I've sifted through hundreds of similar catalogues from all time periods, and watched the careers of countless artists play out in perfect 20/20 retrospect. So my natural tendency is to read Bay Area Now 4 the same way, with a prognisticatory eye to the future. But this creative stew is on slow cook, as are all contemporary art events, and we can only speculate as to who ultimately pinnacles where.

The hype for Bay Area Now 4 was monumental, necessitating no less than several thousand anxious artsters to line and span the length, width, and more of the YBCA, girded for the opening night stampede. Yes, we've got a substantial active supportive loyal and energized art community. We love our local artists and we show it. So in we go and here we are-- ready to assess the fare.

Frankly, this year's artful array doesn't drub me senseless with delight. I like most everything, but perhaps fall a trifle victim to the build-up, expecting to be aesthetically decimated, but coming away only mildly mollified. That said, the folks at Hamburger Eyes continue to impress, the Gestalt Collective murals up a long wall with a rollercoaster rollick of amiable didacticism, Libby Black baits infringement attorneys with a crisp clean mock up of a Kate Spade store, Neck Face makes a biggun (but I like the little'uns better), Liz Cohen puts the sex back in car repair, and a sound installation by Anne Walsh and Chris Kubick charms my chakras as I ascend the stairs to level deux.

One apparent apparency this year is who's got the curatorial ear and who's got the not. Among others, the most conspicuous nots are those Lowbrow lovers and their raunchy scuzzy skank. I suppose I understand the scholarly reluctance to wax raffish and compromise the show's couth, but you know somethin'? You're missing out on a bucketful of talent. I'm well aware that the cavier crowd in the Donors' Suite doesn't do all that much slumming, but a little goose in the caboose might de-tense the rectitude just enough for the selection committee to skim a little cream off the sludge for BAY AREA NOW 5. Stay tuned.

Regardless, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is a San Francisco treasure, and the only museum we have that, at its core, respects all art, all artists, and all who want art to be a part of their lives.

Thank you all for your help completing captions.

Addendum: I've had several subsequent tete-a-tetes about this Lowbrow stuff and here's the deal. First, there's a difference between Lowbrow art and Urban art (BAN 4 has Urban art in it). Second, the show is called BAY AREA NOW; Lowbrow art and artists are an integral part of the Bay Area art scene-- like it or not. That simple and no more complicated.

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Art (floor - Anna Von Mertens; wall framed - Keegan McHargue).

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Photography (Hamburger Eyes).

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Art (5 large photos up - Jim Jocoy).

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Art (Christine Shields).

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Art, sort of (I like the image).

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Photography (Ari Marcopoulos).

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Art (Neck Face).

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Art (on pedestals - Tommy Becker).

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Photography (Liz Cohen).

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Curator Rene de Guzman (right center).

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Art (Keegan McHargue).

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Mural art (Gestalt Collective).

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Robert Shimshak - Xylor Jane.

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Mail Order Brides/M.O.B.

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Video art (Johnnie Hattori).

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Infringement art (Libby Black).

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Art (left - Chris Ballantyne).

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Catherine Clark and progeny - art (Neck Face).

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Sound art (Anne Walsh and Chris Kubick).

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Photography (Ari Marcopoulos).

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Art (Josephine Taylor).

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Sculpture (Michelle Lopez).

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Film stills - detail from installation (Margaret Tedesco).

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Collaborative computer art (Edie Tsong).

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Art (Mail Order Brides).

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Art (Ted Purves).

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Art (Gestalt Collective).

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Waiting.

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Opening bell - time for me to go.

***

Badfish Gallery: Bad Neighborhood.

Artists: Yezel Achadababraham, Tori Kayal, Emily Citraro, Colin Hosington, Katia Fuentes, AAron Poser, Tim Sevonius, Jennifer Wasson, Kevin Pincus, Kelly Reiling, Alejandra Rassvetaieff, Jonah Roll, Georgianne Fastaia, Gabrielle Gamboa, John Fisher, Susan Garry-Lorica, Ivy Jacobsen, Brian Shown, Deirdre Defranceaux, Scott Tsuchitani, Alexis Knowlton, Pico Sanchez, & Katie Vida

Comment: Way on down there in the Bayview, Badfish Gallery debuts with a mixed bag group show-- a touch of this and a dash of that. The neighborhood's a mite formidable, but once I settle into the gallery, everything's fine. Most in attendance are art community regulars, but locals drift in off the streets and seem pleased with what they find. We'll see how this venture pans out.

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Art.

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Art.

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Owner - Georgianne Fastaia.

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Art.

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Art.

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Frontal.








Articles © Alan Bamberger 2005. All rights reserved.