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Posted inOpinion

Art, Tech, and Gentrification in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — As fleets of shuttle buses take employees to their respective Silicon Valley campuses, resentment and tension grows in the Bay Area. Last week, protesters blocked one such Google bus in an effort to draw attention to the widening gap between the technology industry and the communities it affects; a union organizer impersonated a tech worker to incite dialogue through performative gesture.

Posted inOpinion

San Francisco Bay Bridge Turns into the World’s Largest Light Installation

The western span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge is coming alive. Starting March 5, it will light up nightly with 25,000 LEDs strung along its network of support cables, turning into the largest light sculpture in the world. In a preliminary test video of the installation by American artist Leo Villareal, the LED sparks flicker and dance along the length of the bridge, giving the inert structure a whimsical, digital personality that befits the technology capital of the U.S.

Posted inArt

Painting the Homeless

BERKELEY, California — Hugh Leeman’s work didn’t immediately impress me. It had a distinct Bay Area style, which is not my personal favorite — his paintings are loose, colorful, street art–influenced, and have some realistic surrealism mixed in — but what caught my attention in Leeman’s practice was the social utility interwoven with the artwork.

Posted inArt

Impressions from SFMOMA: A Photo Essay

BERKELEY, California — I just moved to Berkeley, California after living in Brooklyn for two years and the second arts institution I visited was SFMoMA (the first was the Luggage Store gallery but I didn’t have my camera with me). The museum is not unpleasant but has an odd construction with a consistent zebra-stripe patterning throughout — it reminded me of the Orvieto Cathedral in Umbria, Italy.

Posted inArt

Monastic, Psychedelic and Party Time

Mark Warren Jacques’s paintings are equal parts pop and mysticism; they linger between the monastic the psychedelic and party time. A Portland-based artist, his works assert themselves with a clearly defined West Coast swagger. They beam light straight into your head, they knock you down with colorful brilliance only to offer you a leg up and a wholehearted wink.

Posted inOpinion

Bay Area Hypocrisy: No Penance for Otterness, No Palestinian Art for Kids

The Bay Area is full of artistic hypocrisy this month. On one side of the San Francisco Bay, two commissions by artist Tom Otterness are on hold because of a tasteless art video he did in the 1970s, and on the other side of the same bay, a Palestinian children’s art show is cancelled because it pisses off a small faction of right-wing political activists.