ANTHONY MEIER - RATIO 3 - SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE
GALLERY 1988 - VARNISH - PARK LIFE
(with assistance from RWM)
Anthony Meier Fine Arts: Rosana Castrillo Diaz.
Comment by AB: The art on exhibit by Rosana Castrillo Diaz is so fragile and delicate, it ratchets the caveat of "Handle With Care" from recommendation to mandate, and that's putting it mildly, assuming it's even possible transport these works from gallery to home, office, or institution without significantly comprimising their structural integrity. They certainly look spiffy here tonight though-- no arguing that-- especially the mica on silk tissue paper works. Stunning in their shimmering iridescence. Maybe Diaz's deal is to make art that transcends conventional considerations of precariousness and vulnerability, and to underscore that agenda, put really robust prices on it. Seems like as good an explanation as any.
But uh oh. There's a 20 X 20 inch cotton quilt batting piece, pinned in perfectly vertical ever-so-slender sections to the wall, where you can see the artist had to adjust the positioning of certain pins in order to nuance the overall appearance just right. The result? A tad too many pin holes. Now if I'm gonna lay out $12.5K for an artwork as ephemerally ethereal as this, I would expect the workmanship (or workwomanship) to approach impeccable.
Art by Rosana Castrillo Diaz (like it).
Art in above image viewed from the side.
Pinkie cam zoom of image above (no charge for the extra pinholes).
Art by Rosana Castrillo Diaz.
Ratio 3 Gallery: Safe Word.
Artists: Danny Keith, Amanda Kirkhuff, Takeshi Murata, Francine Spiegel, Anthony Viti.
Comment by AB: You might call this erotical extravaganza a tribute to Kink.com, that bastion of extreme hardcore sex, and I do mean bastion 'cuz they're headquartered in the 200,000 square foot former San Francisco Armory, an intimidatingly imposing edifice you might describe in style as Medieval Modern. And I mean extreme hardcore sex too 'cuz some of the "encounters" they video over there may well cause your erogenous zones to run for cover (if you don't believe me, see this show). On the evolutionary front, Kink.com has successfully mainstreamed practices considered taboo for centuries, and made them accessible to pretty much anyone on the planet with a computer and an internet connection. What does all this have to do with Ratio 3? Well my lovelies, Ratio 3 happens to be located only a half a block from Kink.com, and it's just plain neighborly to throw them a show.
Pixilated pudenda art.
It's over-the-top gory, but I like it.
Kink.com international headquarters, half a block down the street.
San Francisco Art Institute: Summertime; or, Close-ups on Places We've (Never) Been.
Video artists: Knut Asdam, Chen Shaoxiong, Jimmie Durham, Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani, Cyprien Gaillard, Marine Hugonnier, Emre Huner, Aleksander Komarov, Mark Lewis, Sam Samore. Curated by Hou Hanru.
Comment by AB, images c/o Marian Ferrara: According to the communique, this exhibition of film and video works "raises anew the question how certain forms of spatial organization-- in particular, the utopic socioeconomic experiments of modernist architecture and design-- have become so naturalized a force within the urban environment that they inform the very infrastructure of our identities, each of these artists foregrounds the social longing, the fractured intimacies, the circuitous displacements-- in short, the anomie-- engendered, within quite particular localities, by idealized and universalizing vocabularies for the configuration of site and space." Whatever that means. Don't you just love world-class bombast? I sure do. Worth a visit.
Gallery 1988: Battle Royal.
Artists: Julian Callos, Anthony Clarkson, Joshua Clay, Patrick Gannon, Gene Guynn, Walt Hall, Martin Hsu, Aaron Jasinski, Marcus Schafer, Jeremy Tinder.
Review by RWM: Rooted in biological and social imagery one will be consumed by the battles of ordinary life. There is the battle of the sexes here, but also other polemics. And at times it serves as a sad reminder of unnecessary conflicts, making statements about relationships, homosexual politics, and natural selection. The assembled work is very involving and well rendered, and one cannot help but admire how accomplished it is.
Comment by AB: In the tradition of a true battle royal, the artists salvo us up with the best they've got, an rollicking inundation of outlandish creatures, come hither sirens, animated antics, lush jungle florals, fantastic realities, and more more more. Worthy work on all counts. Recommended viewing.
This one's good (sorry-- sold).
Pinkie cam detail of above painting.
Varnish Fine Art: Kevin Peterson - Slumbody Loves You.
Comment by AB: Perusing the programme, I see that Kevin Peterson's paintings "document the importance of an American neighborhood community." I have only one question-- what kind of neighborhood does this dude live in?! The good news is that you can net yourself a disconcertingly delightful denizen for as little as $350-$500.
Art by Kevin Peterson.
Art pinkie-cam close (kinda like it).
Art pinkie-cam close.
Park Life: Alexis Mackenzie - Never Be Sad.
Review by RWM: Never to be sad, but also to be spoken. In these collages of images from the natural world one will be able to tease out words. The constituents are well rendered and one needs look closely among the flowers to find the letters that make up the message. In combination with the attention to detail, the images are sparse in silhouette with empty backgrounds resulting in beautiful and absorbing compositions. Here is an intellectual perspective intertwined with a heartfelt experience of the natural world.
Comment by AB: Alexis Mackenzie serves up yet another admirably adept episode of her elegant Victorian-esque collages, these done on genuine antique paper. For you word sleuths in search of diversions, the title of each piece is spelled out within its composition (except for the largest piece). Good stuff; go see.
"Never Be Sad" collage art by Alexis Mackenzie.
"Just This Once" collage by Alexis Mackenzie.
Pinkie cam zoom of above image. Nice, huh?
"You Don't Remember" collage art.
"It Matters to Me" collage art.