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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tourism for Locals: Fancy Animal Carnival Prances at Civic Center Plaza

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Temporary Artful Whimsy. - JUAN DE ANDA
  • Juan De Anda
  • Temporary Artful Whimsy.

San Francisco lives in a bubble all its own. Our surroundings are fantastical and bright—thus always evoking an image of city of perpetually effulgent color, despite the enclosing fog cover. Now, for the time being, there's another artist adding his Pop-art colored work to our artistic landscape: Taiwanese artist Hung Yi and the member sculptures of his Fancy Animal Carnival.

The Taiwanese sculptor, who 15 years ago decided to sell his nine restaurants in Taiwan and pursue art full time, works in a playful, hybrid style full of bright, primary colored hues, cartoonish figures and traditional motifs, patterns and lettering. Each one of his sculptures is handmade out of baked steel enamel plates and represents anthropomorphic interpretations of animals. Yi's current large-scale display on the east side of City Hall is no exception. 

A modern Taiwanese twist on Aesop's Fables, Fancy Animal Carnival uses the folk tale of the twelve animals of the zodiac, blending the Chinese and European versions of the famed tale. Each of the 19 animal sculptures represents a story, an allegory of life wisdom, expressed through its interaction with each piece and the public. Take the example of the elephants. According to the artist's description at the base of the work, the word elephant is a homonym of the word "sharing" in Mandarin. Therefore the work depicts two elephantine figure sharing a cherry with each other and the action in the sculpture is being shared with the spectator.

  • Juan De Anda

Bold colors, meticulous details, and symbolic imagery innately embellish each animal alluding to the joys, as well as the double entendres, we experience in everyday life. Within some works, their toothy grins turn into snarls depending on the viewing perception angle. Also, by mounting this artwork in Civic Center, a zone of the city replete with homelessness and social inequality, Hung Yi reminds viewers of the power of play and creativity, even while complexities in life arise and surround you.

The exhibition was organized and privately funded by the Insian Gallery in Taiwan  and the Swinging Skirt Golf Foundation. It was coordinated by the Office of the Mayor, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Recreation and Parks Department and will be on temporary display from April 19 through May 7. 

So the moral of this article, if any? Take a walk near City Hall and witness this artful circus act before it packs up and leaves town.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tourism for Locals: Listening the to Nature Inspired Sounds of the San Francisco Wave Organ

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

The Wave Organ provides a a symphony of seaside sounds. - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • The Wave Organ provides a a symphony of seaside sounds.

Christmas music has reached its highest level of saturation this week — how many versions of "All I Want for Christmas is You" are playing in stores and restaurants across the U.S. right now? We shiver at the thought. If you want or need to catch a break, you might need to head out to the Marina to get away from it all. Yes, the Marina, that ONE district many of us try to avoid at all cost for its bro-y vibe, has one spot that is soothing to the eyes and most importantly — the ears. The Wave Organ, channels the surrounding tides to orchestra a cacophony of calming, oceanic sounds.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tourism For Locals: Brian Goggin's Caruso's Dream is a Suspended Musical Delight

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Thirteen glass pianos are in sync with the voice of the famed Italian tenor. - JUAN DE ANDA/SF WEEKLY
  • Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
  • Thirteen glass pianos are in sync with the voice of the famed Italian tenor.

Brian Goggin
is San Francisco's artistic gift that keeps on giving.

Goggin's art is iconic, internationally recognized, and purely San Franciscan. The San Francisco-based artist fuses his high-flying pieces, ranging from flapping books to fleeing furniture with existing edifices and structures, and he injects animal-like movements to inanimate objects. His most recent piece is faithful to his artistic style and worth seeing.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tourism for Locals: 555 Mission Street Sculpture Garden is a FiDi Eden

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 2:13 PM

click image Ugo Rondinone's "Moonrise" - SCOTT BEALE / LAUGHING SQUID
  • Scott Beale / Laughing Squid
  • Ugo Rondinone's "Moonrise"

San Francisco's Financial District looms over the City — it's a densely built urban network of high-rise office buildings, busy streets, and narrow sidewalks overrun with those donning suits or fannypacks. However, hidden in this grid of grey concrete and asphalt are dozens of tiny parks, terraces, gardens and public art installations known as “Privately Owned Public Open Spaces” or "POPOS" that are truly San Franciscan in nature. They provide a break from all the gray to be found and inject a bit of joy into the tedium of the work week. 

But not all spaces are created equal — some have killer roof-top views and others have great displays of public art. But this week we're bringing you to the sculpture garden at 555 Mission St. and introducing you to two of its star attractions: Ugo Rondinone's "Moonrise" and Jonathan Borofsky's "Human Structures."

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tourism For Locals: Cayuga Playground's Creative Wood Sculpture Garden

Posted By on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Just one of more than 375 works of Braceros' art. - JUAN DE ANDA/ SF WEEKLY
  • Juan De Anda/ SF Weekly
  • Just one of more than 375 works of Braceros' art.

Every week, we are consistently reminded that San Francisco is or was the home of innovative and/or artsy individuals, and Tourism for Locals is yet another reminder.

But this week, we're going to take a risk and say this: San Francisco is home to an immense amount of unsung heroes whose contributions truly make the city more than just an international destination for tourists. It's what make us locals want to call it home.

We've been singing the praises of one such individual, who through his artistic endeavors transformed a derelict public park into a treasured art haven for everyone.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tourism for Locals: Andy Goldsworthy Spire Is a Natural (Art) Wonder

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM

An All Natural Art Creation. - JUAN DE ANDA
  • Juan De Anda
  • An All Natural Art Creation.

Every major city in the world has some sort of nickname attached to it to characterizes its aura. Paris is the City of Love and Lights. New York is the City that never Sleeps. And while San Francisco is known as the City by the Bay, perhaps the City of Public Art would be better suited. 

San Francisco hosts one of the biggest displays of public art in the nation, and the city's public art collection boasts more than 4,000 pieces that are valued at some $93 million. A phenomenal feat that benefits all residents and tourists alike, because we can all view works spanning the different decades of contemporary art history without ever having to set foot in a museum.  

This week's Tourism for Locals brings you an artist who has contributed to the San Francisco visual landscape by building from raw materials found locally.  San Francisco has been a great host to the natural world of Andy Goldsworthy

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Local Artist Stars in Coca-Cola Commercial

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 3:26 PM

One of Waldman's swings hangs in the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. - JEFF WALDMAN
  • Jeff Waldman
  • One of Waldman's swings hangs in the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.

Jeff Waldman's clever street art has been steadily gaining traction over the past few years. First displayed in San Francisco, his work was next spotted in L.A., then Reddit, Kickstarter, Bolivia, and eventually in an international Coke commercial.

But Waldman's no vandal, at least, not in the typical sense: a bored kid with a can of spray paint. Rather his medium is simply hanging up swings in unexpected places; the very first swing he built had a brief, sweet life in Golden Gate Park.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Sweet Spot: When Privates Go Public

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2012 at 9:30 AM

  • Barbie Blend by Thomas Forsythe

In 2003, Mattel, the maker of Barbie, sued Utah artist Thomas Forsythe for using Barbie dolls in photographs that depicted the toy naked and being assaulted by kitchen appliances. Time and time again, Mattel has engaged in litigation against different artists, including a Canadian stripper. In most cases, the artists won the lawsuits. Free speech, you know. This makes it even stranger that the New York Jewish Museum has removed an art installation due to the threat of a lawsuit. Of course, the issue was privacy and not trademark infringement.

The debate over how public our lives are in the age of the Internet rages on. Throw in some gayness and the Holocaust, and high-level controversy erupts. In May, San Francisco artist Mark Adelman's piece Stelen (Columns), a series of photographic panels depicting men posing in front of Peter Eisenman's Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, was removed by the museum. Interestingly, it was not the Holocaust that caused the uproar; it was the men.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Humans Take Over S.F. Parking Spaces: Mad Men Offices, Petting Zoos, and Free Spaghetti

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM

That's mad, man! Will Godfrey's new office.
  • That's mad, man! Will Godfrey's new office.

It was business as usual for Will Godfrey. Well, except that his office was in a parking spot on Sansome Street, had no roof, and looked like it had been lifted straight from the set of Mad Men.

"You can sit down," he said, gesturing to the modern red and orange chairs surrounding him.

Work outside on a sunny Friday morning in a 1960s office space? Who was spying on our dreams and turning them into reality? Woody Allen, is that you?

Alas, this was not the San Francisco version of Midnight in Paris. Rather, throughout the city and the nation today, people are celebrating PARK(ing) Day by converting metered parking spaces into parks, offices, or whatever they desire -- as long as it is within legal limits and gets the community to rethink what can be done with urban space.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sculptor Uses "House Guts" to Frame Museum of Craft and Design's new (Temporary) Home

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM

The Museum of Craft and Design's temporary location.
  • The Museum of Craft and Design's temporary location.

Sculptor Andy Vogt makes art out of old houses. When homes are demolished, he picks up scraps of wood called lath that used to make up the walls.

"It's the most unwanted building material which you could find, other than plaster dust," he says. "It's the guts of San Francisco Victorian-era houses."

So Vogt gives the lath new life.

On Sunday, Vogt brought a stack of lath to the chain-link fence at the corner of Octavia and Hayes and started to build a lath installation in the fence. Vogt's work is part of the Museum of Craft and Design's latest pop-up museum, the first of three "place-making" events at the museum's new temporary home in Hayes Valley.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"