Alter Space's Nova: A Living and Thriving Beast


Bex Freund's creations aren't exactly coy. Her large-scale oil paintings depict human-like figures, limbless and dissected, falling toward an abyss, or gathered gloomily under apocalyptic skies.

"I was just becoming a teenager when 9/11 happened," Freund explains, "and I was entering my twenties during the 2008 economic collapse, so it's been a long, slow processing and coming to grips with new realities, adjusted expectations and a constantly brewing feeling of tension," Freund said.

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Artists Reconnect with 1906 Earthquake at "Unveiling Happening"


It's hard to click a link these days without seeing another story about San Francisco's class divide. The artists and working class are being priced out, and everyone blames the techies first and the real estate industry second. But at 55 Ninth St. downtown, a couple of artists, a few foundations, and, gasp, a developer are collaborating on a surrealist happening held in San Francisco's long tradition of public weirdness, and a grand piece of site-specific art.

From a distance, And My Room Still Rocks Like a Boat on the Sea (Caruso's Dream), looks like 13 floating pianos. From underneath, the viewer might wonder if the pianos are falling. The installation created by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn is large, impressively intricate, and deeply symbolic. It's also covered, or under construction, most of the time.

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Across America: Motorcyclists' Finding Main Street's Photos on Display

Dylan Ozanich
Across America in 50+ Days.
Wyatt McCall and brothers Brant and Dylan Ozanich have really been keeping SF Weekly up to date with the wide-multimedia project Finding Main Street.

For those of you who don't know, the motorcycle trio traveled 10,500 miles through 28 states in a massive circle around the periphery of the continental United States in 55 days. They documented the sights, sounds, and people in every region along the road with photography, video, and blog writing in search of an all-American Main Street.

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Art Beat: Joey Alone and Deuce 7 Find Solace in the Desert

Deuce 7
When we think of California, we imagine beach towns and the weed, but for artists Joey Alone and Deuce 7, the real beauty of California hides in its deserts and mountains.

The duo make frequent trips inland to explore our state's less-traveled locales, where they seek out rare plants and rock formations. Their nature treks are a far cry from their roots as artists -- both initially had interest in graffiti -- but have shifted their focus to detail-rich landscapes, illustrations of plants and birds, and romantic tributes to the train culture of the American West. (Joey Alone works as a brakeman, while Deuce 7 is an avid railroad enthusiast, and so trains are often the only man-made form in their otherwise natural drawings.)

In Ask the Dust, an exhibition that opens at Needles and Pens this week, Joey Alone and Deuce 7 will debut a rich collection of pen-and-ink drawings that advocate the natural world over the human. As part of Art Beat, an ongoing interview series with local artists, SF Weekly spoke with the pair about their friendship, their botanical studies, and the undeniable lure of the desert.

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Video of the Day: Legendary Porn Star Nina Hartley's Fan Letters

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We at SF Weekly don't shy away from sexual subjects, so we occasionally get "fan mail" of an explicit nature -- propositions, overly personal e-mails, and the rare marriage proposal. We can only imagine what kind of fan mail a porn star might receive. Well, now we don't have to wonder. Porn darling and Bay Area native Nina Hartley offers up the words, art, and gifts her fans have given her throughout her extensive career in the exhibition "Letters to a Porn Star: Nina Hartley Fan Mail."

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Street Art and Gritty Surrealism: White Walls and Shooting Gallery's Grand Opening

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Gallery owner Justin Giarla. Photo by Michael Cuffe.

There could probably be some kind of Party Monster/Peter Gatien type of profiling if someone ever made a documentary about Justin Giarla's scandalous career as a curator. Giarla ran nightclubs around the city for 10 years before opening up the Shooting Gallery in the Tenderloin in 2003, selling drugs to pay his rent and bills before being convicted in 2004.

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Celebrated "Girl with a Pearl Earring" Exhibit Comes to the de Young

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Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis
Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring (c. 1665)

Tracy Chevalier wrote a best-selling historical novel about her. Scarlett Johansson played her in a movie. Softly lit, looking over her shoulder with her lips slightly parted, she is sometimes called the "Dutch Mona Lisa." Who is she? Is she about to say something? And why, for God's sake, is a 17th century Dutch girl wearing a turban?

Johannes Vermeer's enigmatic Girl with a Pearl Earring, the most famous of his 36 paintings, comes the de Young Museum for its first stop on a tour of the United States. As befits its rock star status, Vermeer's small painting hangs in its own gallery in the exhibit, "Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis," which opens on Saturday, January 26, and includes 34 other paintings from the collection.

See Also: Photo Negative: Two Exhibits Reconsider Historic Images
Recent Acquisitions: New Exhibition Forever Alters the Chinese Culture Foundation

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Keep It Classy This New Year's Eve With These Hot Events

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Stephen Kelly Photography/Flickr

You can only Peter Pan your way through the most festive night of the year so many times before you realize there might be perks to actually making plans -- free champagne, for instance, or a place to finally wear that designer gown you scored at the thrift store. If one of your resolutions for 2013 is to start acting like a grown-up, there's no better place to start than NYE.

See also:

Our calendar section for more events

Trends that need to die in 2013

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Video of the Day: Wintersalt Music and Arts Fest


Repeated exposure and adoration from the masses have turned most popular music and art festivals into blown out, oversaturated, and commercialized trash -- vain attempts to recapture the aura and frenetic glory of Woodstock or Monterey Jazz. Today's festival scene is a post-breakdown Dave Chappelle -- broken, lost, and aimlessly wandering for an adequate sense of home (ahem, S.S. Coachella). Then, there's the Wintersalt Music and Arts Festival.

See also:

Five Trends that Need to Die in 2013

Get Your Street Dance Fix with Groovmekanex Funky Mondays

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Video of the Day: Hilarious and Random Clips from the Found Footage Festival

Found Footage Festival
A masked dancer performs for a group of confused senior citizens on the 1999 Los Angeles cable access show, Dancing with Frank Pacholski.

Without the wonders of obscure VHS tapes discovered in thrift stores, dumpsters, and abandoned houses, we wouldn't have the unique comic style of Tim and Eric, recent "found footage" films like Chronicle (pretty good) and V/H/S (pretty terrible) -- nor, more importantly, would we have the roving annual fantasticness of the Found Footage Festival. Without the FFF, we wouldn't have the stupendous 2011 documentary Winnebago Man, the story of Jack Rebney, RV pitchman, and the world's angriest flubber of lines. In that film, director Ben Steinbauer becomes obsessed with viral videos of Rebney sourced from VHS tapes that were widely circulated long before they were posted to YouTube.

See also:

Video of the Day: The Claire Danes Epic Cry-Face Supercut

Video of the Day: Retro Sex Musicals

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