Art & Development, Research

Looking at art vs. Looking at the world

Had a “gallery day” yesterday, cut short by achy feet (wrong shoes, my bad). But visual images in the world-at-large are giving Art a run for its money.

Christian Nguyen at Patricia Sweetow Gallery
Christian Nguyen draws oppressively orderly architecture in graphite and paint on unstretched, unprimed canvas. Nightmarish, like an Anselm Kiefer, only it’s tight graphite lines, not expressive found object and paint strokes, that makes the soaring view claustrophobic. Patricia Sweetow Gallery.

Art 1, world nil.

People idealize working from home, but you don’t know cabin fever the way I’ve known it. Little things help, like our newest visitors. For some reason these squirrels started coming by our balcony, on weekdays only, around 5 pm. If they could talk I bet they’d say, “Quitting time!”

Art, world 1.

institute for personal change
In preparing for the upcoming two-person exhibition with the talented Miss Jenifer K. Wofford at Frey Norris Gallery,* which opens April 3, I’ve been thinking about my text-based work, which was so often about humor and pathos. This postcard (wrong address, but it’s too perfect for me to pass up) is a great example of how real life is perfectly imperfect.

thanks for being a friend
Christine Wong Yap, Thanks for Being a Friend (before and after views), 2006, letterpress on paper bag.
*Get to Frey Norris early—the first 40 people will receive a bottled beverage wrapped in an editioned print/sculpture-to-be.

Art, world 2.

ian macdonald at branstein
Ian MacDonald’s curious objects are comprised of ceramic, stone, cement, enameled steel and acrylic. Grouped objects of identical shapes and ambiguous functions formed a sort of home-design-like display. Quiet yet impressively considered. MacDonald’s show is called Optimism (if you want it) and is on view at Rena Bransten Gallery, which is also showing flawless photos by Candida Höfer. And Höfer’s good, real good. I’m neither knowledgeable nor especially enthusiastic about the medium of photography, but I have come to admire the rigor in making such symmetrical, indicting prints of lavish interiors.

Art 4, world 2.

civil disobedience
Civil disobedience at Market and New Montgomery.
I think it’s pretty joyous and admirable when people exercise their right to civil disobedience for a good cause (and what better cause than stopping this ridiculous war?). Still, I couldn’t help but feel helpless among the gawking throngs—every other person was pointing a camera/camera-phone/video cam at the silent protesters creating a vigil-like spectacle. Now, I’m that person blogging about it.

Art 4, world 3.

flowers on bart
An outlandish hair clip on a miserable BART car. Flowers, fruit, female beauty—how fundamentally human it is to equivocate the fleeting with the joyous.

Art, world: Tie. Good game, good game.


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