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Culture, Artcap The Other 'Burbs: Michael Jang's Family Photos Defy the Brady Bunch

The Other 'Burbs: Michael Jang's Family Photos Defy the Brady Bunch

In the 1970s, the Bay Area was 86 percent white and just four percent Asian, according to U.S. Census data. Asian faces were rarely in visual media, except occasionally as TV journalists (Wendy Tokuda) and movie actors (Bruce Lee). So…
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Culture, Artcap

"(re)collection": Personal Photos Connect Us to Life and Death

At least 15,000 people died in the March 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan. Vestiges of those lives — portraits of happy couples, kids playing baseball, families eating together — could be seen in scores of personal photos that emerged from…
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Culture, Artcap

"Portrait of George (Moscone)": Finally on Display at SFMOMA

The passage of time makes major art controversies seem almost petty. So it is with Robert Arneson's Portrait of George (Moscone), which divided San Francisco along fault lines: Those who said Arenson's sculpture of slain mayor George Moscone was a…
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Culture, Artcap

"Dead Men Don't Look Like Me": Paul Schiek's Arresting Images

At Stephen Wirtz Gallery, prison mug shots from the 1950s offer a striking counterpoint to the tense portrait of a closed-eyed Ross Mirkarimi. Unidentified Georgia inmates stare straight into the camera, some looking quizzical, some perplexed, defiant, or even smug.…
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Culture, Artcap

Tom Chambers: Magical Realist Photography at Modernbook

Photojournalists have risked their jobs manipulating images — as the Sacramento Bee's Bryan Patrick did in January — to produce the kind of work in Tom Chambers' Modernbook exhibit. Staging his photos, Chambers combines multiple images into a single frame,…
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Culture, Artcap

"What Suits Us": John-Mark Ikeda Deconstructs Menswear

The business suit has gone through different epochs and will always have cachet, but artist John-Mark Ikeda says that it's lost its "mythic" status and become a casualty of our economic Armageddon, which Ikeda argues has exposed the business suit…
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Culture, Artcap

Kirkman Amyx: "Probability, Chance, and Temporality"

Collages of smaller images that create patterns (think of Chuck Close's portraits) have been popular for years, but Kirkman Amyx pushes the concept someplace new with his series "Basic Cable." For five straight days, Amyx took photographs of different TV…
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Culture, Artcap

"Chico & Chang": Exhibit Shows the Swirl of Asian and Latino Culture

Two years in the making, this exhibit accomplishes what it set out to do: to showcase the multifaceted art being made in California from an often-overlapping Asian and Latino perspective. Even in a state that has long enjoyed strong (and…
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Culture, Artcap

Sandow Birk: "American Qur'an," and Al Farrow: "Reliquaries"

Since 2004, Sandow Birk has painstakingly drawn an English-language version of the Quran, with an emphasis on "drawn." Birk's holy book is meant to be appreciated as gallery fare — to be gazed at for the modern paintings of U.S.…
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Culture, Artcap

Richard Learoyd: "Presences"

The women look forlorn or flummoxed, and the question is why. Only Richard Learoyd and his semi-anonymous subjects know for sure, and they prefer to let his photographs do the talking. These life-sized images are one-offs: Each is done with…
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Culture, Artcap

"Are We There Yet? 5,000 Years of Answering Questions with Questions": Art Review

The contemplative walk is rightfully celebrated as a ritual of high importance, and here, at last, is the perfect museum hybrid: an audiovisual exhibition that asks visitors thought-provoking questions as they roam to and fro. High-tech sensors recognize where guests…
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Culture, Artcap

"Leonardo Drew": Art Review

If you gathered charred wood from a series of beach fires; mixed it with black sticks, twigs, and giant roots; then stuck it all on a 12-square-foot foundation and attached that to a wall, you'd get something that approximates Leonardo…
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Culture, Artcap

"Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance": Art Review

Beautiful items from Bali? That's expected in a major exhibit like this one. What isn't are the layers that announce unpleasant truths or cause visitors to squirm a bit. The Asian Art Museum is calling this "the first in-depth examination…
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Culture, Artcap

"Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico": Art Review

The term "ancient wonder" usually refers to the pyramids of Egypt or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but the American hemisphere also spawned a series of awe-inspiring creations that have survived to this day. The Olmec heads, statues, masks, reliefs,…
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Culture, Artcap

Max Cole: "Terra Firma": Art Review

Full of repeated strips and lines, Max Cole's abstract paintings are exquisite and even hypnotic. Get too close to pieces like Flow or Gradient, and dizziness can set in. What sets in more: the realization that Cole — like Mark…
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Culture, Artcap

Various: "Volume 14: Middle East": Art Review

Never mind the talking heads of journalism and academia. What do video artists think of doings in the volatile Middle East? Given the chance to express themselves by ASPECT magazine, nine artists present their counterintuitive views in a multisensory film…
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Culture, Artcap

Art Review: Andy Diaz Hope: "Infinite Mortal"

Even if you didn't know that Andy Diaz Hope has two engineering degrees, you might guess he did by looking at his fantastical sculptures. They're festooned inside with intricate patterns and light systems that suggest a luminous engineering grid. Optical…
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Culture, Artcap

Art Review: Various: "Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women"

It turns out that Jewish women illustrators don't fixate on religion. Instead, they wax funny and philosophical about their families, friends, lovers, and themselves. At least this is true for the 18 Jewish women featured in "Graphic Details," a survey…
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Culture, Artcap

Art Review: "Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker"

In the spring of 1940, Nazi Commander Hermann Goering walked up the steps of Amsterdam's Goudstikker Gallery and arranged to steal all the paintings inside, which numbered around 1,000 and belonged to a prominent Jewish dealer and collector who'd fled…
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Culture, Artcap

Art Review: "Art/Object: Re-Contextualizing African Art"

Go to any major U.S. museum with African art and it's likely the exhibit features masks by themselves, behind glass, with a few words about each mask's origin and year of creation. Nothing wrong with that — except that the…
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