(Elizabeth sees the Mike Kelley show at MoMA PS1 with her friend, the West Coast artist Lani Asher, and they talk about the California common denominator to a recent spate of art shows in New York and Philly.–the artblog editors) Joining the hipster crowd on a Sunday at PS1, San Francisco artist Lani Asher and I encounter Mike Kelley’s provocative, disturbing childhood themes in a cheerful, kid-friendly setting, circumnavigating strollers, toddlers and babies being lifted to see. Most of the kids giggle and enjoy the spectacle, dazzled by the bright colors, dark spaces, catchy music and fuzzy toys. Shocking video ... More » »
A friendly email invitation for a studio visit brought me to a peeling red door in San Francisco’s Noe Valley, the home and studio of artist William Rhodes. The trip was a little harrowing. In a rental car I had never driven, I felt like I was zooming through hyperspace. I missed the entrance to I-580 not once but twice, crossed the Bay Bridge which is always a little dicy, and then resigned myself to creep along behind a junk-man’s pickup truck so I wouldn’t miss my exit. Then I tried to park. Up a steep San Francisco stoop, the ... More » »
Recession-proof Union Square is finally looking a little frayed around the edges. On this visit we saw a number of closed storefronts where there had been businesses before. We also saw scrappy young galleries closer in to the center of things, which says to me that rents are down. But the place is still glorious–and green. Even the hotel is green, with recycling bins and reduced linens laundering. Big deal, you may say, but on a recent trip to New York, we stayed in a hotel room with only trash cans. In a parking lot next to Crissy Field in ... More » »
Two days before tonight’s opening, folk artist/gay activist Ralfka Gonzalez was sitting in the middle of A Seed on Diamond slipping final touches on to a painting. He was a little apologetic of as he reinterpreted the virgin’s traditional gold fleur de lis into runic gestures.
San Francisco City Guides free walking tours (donations encouraged) are quirky, rendered so by the volunteer nature of the whole operation. The guides do their own research and bring their passions and interests to the enterprise. The weakest spot in the enterprise is the titles of the tours, which are made to sell rather than to really describe the content.
The Esalen spirit beclouds San Francisco like a fog. But out of the miasma of navel gazing and self-help for the soul we experienced a couple of refreshing bouts of revisionism on our visit earlier this month.
The highlight of Alcatraz might have been the boat ride if it weren’t as cold as Philadelphia in San Francisco. Oh, I don’t mean to be sour. Really, the video of interviews of Native Americans who occupied the place was wonderful and passionate. But otherwise, I’d rather be at Eastern State Penitentiary, with its philosophical underpinnings as a system of incarceration and social thinking.
Like most of America, I think of San Francisco as a civic Valhalla. So imagine our shock when we encountered a fracas on an overcrowded trackless trolley–with people screaming at each other and the driver refusing to move until they piped down. There were racial overtones–judgmental Asian man, non-stop mouthy African-American woman. Oy! Finally, some African-American men restored the peace, but all in all, SEPTA was looking good!!!
Steve, who just returned from California, saw this piece of street art outside a church in San Francisco. To say that Steve is not religious is like saying the Pope is Catholic. Anyway, Steve’s been using this particular phrase about the Pope for years. We think his use dates to the Pope’s trip to New Orleans in 1987, a time when our friends Chuck and Iris lived there, and we had some funny back and forths about the Pope relating to the irreverent Pope products they were seeing around NOLA (Pope-alope pictures; Pope soap on a rope). This street art ... More » »
Oh, well, I was just a few blocks away from George Lawson Gallery in San Francisco. Little did I know that Quentin Morris had some of his drawings up there. And they are due to come down the 29th! If you’re around the area, you might want to check out his work. Morris is a dyed in the wool Philadelphian who has against all odds made only black drawings during his career. The blackness can be taken as a political statement–Morris is African-American–or as a purely artistic one.Next Page »