One can only guess how many hundreds of teenage hours Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay spent singing to himself in the mirror. A charming narcissist with an entrancing voice, the handsome young Canadian claims the spotlight in a series of brilliantly choreographed and fabulously entertaining music videos. In the addictive I Am a Boyband, a sendup of *NSYNC and its ilk, Ramsay performs four parts with endearing panache. The brisk arrangement and exquisite harmonies imbue John Dowland's 16th-century couplets ("Gentle love!/ Draw forth thy wounding dart/ thou canst not pierce his heart/ for I that to approve") with the earnest absurdity of pop tunes written yesterday.
Ramsay's pieces manage to be catchy and sophisticated, passionate and postmodern, homoerotic and polysexual. "When the Music Stops My Troubles Begin," an ambitious video installation, zeroes in on the clichés in love songs to invoke something fresh, unexpected, and -- as always, with Ramsay -- deeply pleasurable. The artist is present tonight at 8 (and his work is on view through tomorrow) at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom, S.F. Admission is $6-8; call 626-5416 or visit www.newlangtonarts.org.
-- Michael Fox
Painter of Muck
If you believe in harnessing the power of the buffalo using spiritual crystals and enjoy artists with pastel-rainbow palettes, then Dana Martin McCutcheon's work is not for you. McCutcheon's oil paintings are the opposite of New Age-y, their earth tones coming from his "theory of brown," a pragmatic set of ideas about dirt and death. The canvases in his show "Nervous Breakthrough" are abstract forms -- worked over, scraped, layered with paint. Don't expect irony or self-conscious earnestness from these pieces: They demand close observation, not pretension or smugness (or crystals). The opening reception begins at 6 p.m. at Hang Gallery, 556 Sutter (at Mason), S.F. Admission is free; call 434-4264 or visit www.hangart.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
S.F.'s healthy breast fest
Marin County's breast cancer rates have received both scientific study and national media coverage, while the abnormally elevated levels of breast cancer in S.F.'s toxic BayviewHunters Point area have gotten a lot less attention. But if photographer Anne Hamersky and writer Laurie Wagner have their way, that disregard is soon to change. The duo's "Breast Cancer Poster Series" combines powerful photos of breast cancer survivors with prose and poetry drawn from subjects' first-person accounts of the disease's effect on their lives.
The posters appear on buses and kiosks in selected San Francisco areas -- or you can check out them out at tonight's exhibit opening, featuring live music by the Beth Custer Ensemble starting at 6 at Gallery 16, 1616 16th St. (at Rhode Island), S.F. Admission is free; call 626-7495.
-- Joyce Slaton