San Francisco art Mecca Weekend—THERE’s STILL TIME!
Briefly from this internet cafe, lots to report from a packed, exhilarating and exhausting three days swept up in SF and Oakland arts, yes it’s true, I am mentally ill: after two fantastic opening events Thursday night, a morning of deadlines in Santa Cruz and then arriving in SF in time for another look at FineArtFair in Fort Mason (again, more exciting than I expected, after the flight of some of the most interesting San Francisco galleries, establishing ArtMRKT) but time for a longer chat with gallerists and deeper look at works from all over the country—no time for details now, then an evening of a reception for Arts for Healing and Visual Aid (more on these causes later) and a late night vigil at ArtPad waiting with Santa Cruz-area friends to see Diana Hobson’s video projected on a building across the street…it’s all in her series of moth works, stunning..) then Saturday was PACKED with fun. Beginning with ArtPad panel about Street Art featuring EINE from London, Blek le Rat from Paris and San Francisco’s own APEX in a panel moderated by Justin Giarla of the White Walls gallery in SF and by Alan Bamberger of Art Business.com…illuminating!
Then I went to ArtMRKT for the first time. But since I was parking close at hand, I ran into SOMARTS, a favorite destination in SF, where the Asian American Women Artists Association was showing A Place of Her Own which was fascinating—Lucien Kubo of Santa Cruz is a member and recommended it. Then to ArtMRKT. OK.
ArtMRKT is hands down the most exciting of these three exciting fairs this weekend. I cant gush about it sufficiently in this internet cafe. I WANT TO GO BACK!!! The blue chip galleries that broke away from SFArtFair this year have created what I think is a world class event. Galleries and dealers from London, New York, Chicago, Boston etc. etc…the BEST! Paule Anglim (SF) and Barry Friedman (NY) were posted at either side of the massive entrance with works of museum quality. I can’t enumerate here, but the whole condourse was FILLED with work that belonged in museums. How many times can you poke your nose a few inches away from such work. To begin a list would be stupid…please go, not just for the artists you know, but ESPECIALLY for those you dont!
I have to go back because I left at 6pm to go to an opening in the Meridian Gallery, another favorite, with the Great Tortilla Conspiracy making art tortillas while social commentary prints filled the three floors, all curated (and cooked) by Art Hazelwood, an artist I have followed closely in a gallery I respect lots. THEN a journey over the bridge to Oakland (yes, I know, it’s crazy) to the MURMURAMA, an Arts Murmur-type of event in honor of the aret fairs. It was my first experience of several Oakland galleries I’ll be returning to often, because it’s a terrific scene there (I’m told I was happier NOT to have made it for an ArtMurmur which is a packed party scene (Q. since when is that a bad thing?) (A.l can’t see the art) but it was scene enough for me.
Well, the message is go if you can, especially to ARtMRKT. More later…I’m off to take my own advice.