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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Star Wars: Episode VII Gets 2015 Release Date

catwalker / Shutterstock.comcatwalker /

Yoda and friends might be in a galaxy far, far away but the release date for Star Wars: Episode VII is just around the corner.

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Jersey Boys: Can't Take My Eyes Off of You. Seriously.

Nick Cosgrove as Frankie Valli serenades the crowd with "Sherry"

Everyone loves a good underdog story. But when you add some mobster shenanigans, drug use, copious sex, betrayal, death, and four blue-collar guys belting out more than 30 epic oldies like a jukebox on amphetamines, you've got Jersey Boys, the musical.

Chronicling the bittersweet saga of The Four Seasons, the 1960s rock n' roll quartet, the play -- directed by Des McAnuff -- traverses more than 40 years of the Boys' lives together from the streetwise corners of New Jersey to the glinting lights of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The play opens rather strangely -- in Paris of all places -- with a black rapper flanked by B-Girl dancers circa 2000. Tommy DeVito (played by the rakish John Gardiner) steps into the gyrating mass, freezing the action, and directly addresses the audience. He tells us the rapper was singing Oh What a Night (Ces Soirees), the 1963 hit from the Four Seasons. Yup, they got that big -- Europe big.

Each of the Boys takes over narration for part of the show, offering their own takes on the group's rise to stardom. It works well and offers the audience the occasional breather from Nick Cosgrove's relentless falsetto (more on that in a minute.)

Four seasons (get it?) demarcate the passage of time -- and the boys' different perspectives -- with pop-art projections over the stage. The set, designed by Klara Zieglerova, is fairly stark -- toggling between chain-link fences, scaffolding, bar stools and neon signs -- but transforms the space seamlessly and simply, allowing the music to take center stage.

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"Hand Jobs" Nail Art Show Nails It

Artist Brittany Tokyo shows off her work.
Recently, we featured a nail art and jewelry show with the headline, Get a Free Hand Job in the Mission. And while we might have had a little fun with puns and a collective snicker at the show's title -- "Hand Jobs" -- we can assure you that the art on display was no joke. The show was -- hands down -- the best nail art we'd ever seen.

See Also: Art Beat: Fashion Photographer Liz Caruana Documents Bay Area Designers

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SFstop Photo Collective Showcases Our City's Quirks, Beauty

Gil 001.jpg
Gil Riego Junior

The city's newest photo collective, SFstop, formed entirely of current or former SF State photographers, is holding its first gallery show Sunday at Akiba Cafe. The free show will include works from 10 S.F. State students/alumni, and showcases moments stolen from some of the city's brightest characters, like "Bush Man," but also some of its unsung heroes through the power of some good ol' San Francisco street photography.

See also: 

Renegade Mannequin Installation at the de Young Asks: What Is Art?

Video of the Day: Flugtag, Human-Powered Flying Machines

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Katy Perry: Part of Me: Sexless Drag Sexiness -- for Kids!


By Karina Longworth

From bubblegum-bi-curious novelty "I Kissed a Girl" on, Katy Perry has built a career on glorious brain-dead-with-a-wink odes to playacting in a fantasy space of total acceptance and no consequences, sold to children with literal sugarcoating. Her hits are powerful stuff, coming from an artist who was raised by Pentecostal preachers who declared most contemporary culture and anything involving fairy-tale-style magic off-limits. In Katy Perry: Part of Me, those parents gush with support for the daughter who penned the chorus, "I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock." The film (presented in never-less-necessary 3-D) documents Perry's 2011 world concert tour to support her massive Teenage Dream record and weaves together onstage and backstage footage with interviews with Perry and her team, while home movies and video diaries dating back a decade suggest Perry has been calculatedly filming herself in preparation for this moment.

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MAD Magazine Taught Us How to Laugh at Fame and Power

When it launched in 1952, there had been nothing like MAD -- a comics magazine dedicated to humor and satire aimed at a broad range of targets. In particular, MAD exposed the cultural fakery behind familiar and beloved images that originated on television, in the movies, and in sports and politics. Led by creators Harvey Kurtzman and William Gaines, MAD's cartoonists peeled back these images to expose calculated manipulation of the American populace by newly powerful postwar corporations. A retrospective exhibit on MAD opens this weekend at the Cartoon Art Museum.

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Artist Uses Animal Blood to Create Unnerving Works That Stop Short of Gore: "Haemoscuro"

Clouds of crimson billow across one wall as if from an open wound. A length of stained gauze decays seemingly before your eyes. Jagged streaks of rusty-red fluid erupt into the ether. No, these aren't scenes from the set of Hollywood's latest vampire franchise. It's the new solo show "Haemoscuro" by artist Jordan Eagles that opens Thursday -- a First Thursday -- at Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art. Eagles uses a most unusual material in his work: animal blood. Vegans and those who are weak of stomach take heed. Sourced from slaughterhouses, Eagles' blood is the real deal and is certainly unsettling.

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Metal Corsets and Talking Mannequins: Gaultier Exhibit Opens This Weekend at the de Young

Rarely does one get access to the magical creations of haute couture, fashion works of art that by definition are handmade and shown in Paris exclusively. Which is why we are still freaking out about our viewing of "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk" on Thursday at the de Young Museum, where 140 of his haute couture works of art (including a set of rotating bustiers in a video clip below) are on display in a meta-exhibition.

The mannequins on which robes hang are not merely hangers, but expressive faces that move and talk. There are videos, large-format photographs by prominent photographers, illustrations, and a rotating catwalk. The scale and depth of the exhibition is impressive, but there are so many works that it does get overwhelming, especially with all the multimedia distractions.

That is, until you realize you have real-life garments in front of you, sewn by fairy-tale-like seamstresses, begging to be looked at and admired.

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"Plastic Camera Show" -- The Best Images From the Worst Cameras

Bob Holmgren
Most of our smartphones contain digital cameras that rival the best that money could buy less than a decade ago. We often pay hundreds of dollars for these devices. And what do we do with them? Filter our 8-megapixel masterpieces through apps such as Hipstamatic and Instagram, to lend that elusive "shitty camera" sheen of yesteryear's cheap point-and-click models. It makes a persuasive case for Devo's grand theory of devolution -- as a race, we're going backward. But whether the trend toward faux-distressed photos with blown-out colors is mindless fun or the worst kind of kitsch, the results definitely lack the authentic charm of photos taken with a real, bottom-shelf, analog camera. Said cameras are becoming harder to find, but RayKo gallery director Ann Jastrab must have a secret stash, which she dispatched for "the International Juried Plastic Camera Show," which opens tonight (Wednesday). Jastrab describes the show as an exhibition of "the best images from the worst cameras."

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