Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Rennaissance man Vizquel’s paintings to show

Courtesy the Extra Baggs blog by San Jose Mercury News sportswriter Andrew Baggerly comes this news: Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel — known, among other things, as a musician, snazzy dresser, and above all, a miracle-worker at shortstop — is also an accomplished painter, with a show opening tomorrow at the Caldwell Snyder Gallery, 341 Sutter St.

Click the thumbnail image to go to a page where you can see Vizquel’s paintings, which show an impressive touch.

Fans of Vizquel’s work in a baseball uniform may have only a few days left to see him exhibit his skills on the field. Though he has the most hits (2369 at this writing) of any active player, he’s been hitting under .200 all season long, and many are saying his playing days are numbered. But the 11-time Gold Glove winner still makes amazing plays at shortstop, exhibiting the unearthly grace and composure of a great dancer.

Theater company’s benefit features ‘miracle fruit’

“Miracle fruit” — Synsepalum dulcificum to the degree-holding class — is a strange berry which has little taste of its own but which works to nullify and transform spicy, sour or bitter tastes, making them sweet. The New York Times had an article about it in May, with users saying it makes Tabasco sauce taste like sugar and lemon sorbet mixed with Guinness like a chocolate shake. Thus “the fruit of the poor lemon” becomes possible to eat.

Mugwumpin, the San Francisco theater company planning a trip to Cairo to a theater festival, will hold a fundraiser for the trip featuring the strange fruit on Saturday, Sep. 6 in Oakland. For more info, email

Film Tonight: Carson Mell’s Dispatches from Dimension X

Bobby Bird
[Image by Carson Mell via KQED.]

Tonight at Mezzanine (seemingly the only club I go to these days) is a live appearance by an animator and writer loved by Wholphin subscribers everywhere — or at least loved by this one — Carson Mell. His self-published illustrated novel Saguaro and several of his short films concern the life and adventures of washed-up country-rock legend Bobby Bird (pictured above). One of my favorite episodes in that saga is Chonto, which contains the amazing line, spoken by Bobby Bird: “Sometimes a man needs a dog. Of course, being a big shot, I decide I need a big shot dog. I need a monkey.” So he adopts one from a South American zoo; the story is surreal, hilarious, and touching all at once. Hopefully we’ll see it on the screen tonight.

As usual, doors at 7, screen at 7:30 or so; tix $12 (or $8 if reserved in advance by emailing with your request).

Galleries: "Abraham Obama" by Ron English

Abraham Obama
[Photo by Ron English himself, presumably.]

This just went up the other day on the outer wall of the Shooting Gallery, on Larkin facing Myrtle Street. (It’s half a block south of Geary.) Mr. English is a Popagandist, as it were.

Related: the Shooting Gallery has a Shepard Fairey show coming up soon. I’ll keep you posted as I find out more.

[Via Juxtapoz, as usual.]

Galleries: Common Descent at 111 Minna

Common Descent
[Images above by the artists named below, respectively, from left to right. Montage by 111 Minna.]

The group show Common Descent, currently on view at 111 Minna, is set to close August 31st, so there’s only a short time left to check it out before it comes down for good. The four artists involved — Brett Amory, Seth Armstrong, Andrew Hem, and John Wentz (no website available) — have never shown at the gallery before, but each is an emerging talent with a strong body of work, and some really nice pieces in the show are still available, if you’re into collecting. All the artists but one are based in the Bay Area — but don’t let local pride put you off of Andrew Hem’s whimsically weird work, which I’m particularly fond of — all those distorted figures and faces set against such soothing pastels make for a viewing experience that’s simultaneously comforting and unsettling. Always a winning combination for me!

Plus, 111 Minna is a nice place to go for a drink after work, as Metblogger Anthony Riva pointed out here a few months ago.

[via Juxtapoz.]

Photog’s SFMOMA confrontation and aftermath

Local photographer Thomas Hawk blogged 10 days ago about a confrontation he had at SF’s Museum of Modern Art with Director of Visitor Relations Simon Blint. After spotting Hawk taking pictures from a museum balcony and arguing with the photographer — who is well known for his strenuous defense of his right to photograph in public places — Blint had Hawk 86’d, asserting his duty to defend the museum’s employees from harrassment.

The incident became widely known after BoingBoing blogged about it. Last Thursday the incident was analyzed at 10 Zen Monkeys, which tracked down and interviewed a security guard involved in a 2006 confrontation with Hawk. The 10 Zen Monkeys post, by author “Destiny” (for that matter, “Thomas Hawk” is also a pen name), depicts Hawk as a hothead who used profanity in the 2006 incident, which ended with the security guard being fired by his employers. Hawk also recently called for a boycott of Hyatt hotels after security personnel in one of them forbade him to take pictures in the hotel lobby. And Violet Blue blogged about another 2006 incident here on SF Metblog.

Clearly he doesn’t shrink from confrontation. While I tend to admire loudmouthed people who call attention to the abuses of authority, I also think the tactic can be self-limiting. What looks heroic in the short run can, after many repetitions, wind up looking merely quixotic at best, and at worst become an exercise in Ralph Nader-type egotism. But as technology makes ever-more-intrusive inroads on privacy and organizations become more secretive, I’ll come down on Hawk’s side — especially when he’s attacking institutions and not just individuals.

Send mugwumpin to Egypt (and back)

mugwumpin, the experimental theater group whose show super:anti:reluctant I wrote about in November 2006, has been accepted to perform the play at the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre, and they’re looking for help. You can send them money or airline miles (contact Chris at 415.341.7838 or and get these American beauties to the cradle of civilization — and back!

SF Zine Fest coming to Golden Gate Park

In case your local neighborhood newstands aren’t giving you your fix, the San Francisco Zine Fest is set to wreck havoc on the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park this weekend. The free conference may bring back memories of high school-era stapled, cartooned creations. But presentations by the creators of Bitch and Bust magazines, among other independent publishing favorites, promise to make a trip through the park worthwhile. DIY screenprinting and watercolor illustration classes should brighten up the afternoons, and a partnership with the local Mission Creek Music & Arts Festival should give you enough fodder for your next issue.

PSFK Conference Heads to SF this Thursday

An online/offline trends company that I’m a big fan of, PSFK, is coming to Fort Mason to this Thursday while on its London-Shanghai-LA conference track. While I usually turn to their site for creative inspiration (and the odd tidbit about branded fruit, et al), the conference sounds especially intriguing for its discussions about digital change and engagement. And talk about a meeting of the minds: local favorite Organic Architect Eric Corey Freed will be presenting as well as folks from Method and Ghetto Gourmet. Good Magazine will be on hand as they get ready for their annual 111 Minna get-together this Sunday.

15 Gallons of Blood

Ask yourself:

1) Do I LOVE Zombies?
2) Would I like to support local filmmakers?
3) Do I absolutely NEED to see a movie where a free puke bag is handed out?

IF you answered yes, Yes, YES!!! Then please proceed to the Victoria Theater at 16th and Mission for a limited theater release of RETARDEAD!

Retardead the Movie

Retardead is a sequel to the heart-warming “Monsturd”. This movie has everything: an evil doctor, some mentally and mortally-challenged flesheaters, and the sexy Living Dead Girlz.

As I mentioned, they are handing out a limited amount of puke bags, which you may actually need in a few parts.

Last night they had a question and answer after the show.

When I asked how much blood was used, they said about 15 gallons. Now that’s art!

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