Sunday, November 7, 2010

Artists as Curators: Two Shows, Lots of Black and White

Saturday saw two openings in non-traditional venues, curated by artists once featured here on Arteaser. Freya Prowe's pop-up Slingshot Gallery (890 Valencia) features five artists, including Freya herself. As a set, the collection is heavy on symbolic imagery, figurative and otherwise, with stark black and white imagery casting a pensive tone. Although opening a week after Halloween, the show could have easily tied into the holiday's "scary" and "creepy" themes, from Angela Simione's haunting imagery and Kimberlee Koym's biogenous-looking installations and Meagan Donegan's floating sheep. In an upstairs apartment, Launa Bacon has created a "haunted house" of installations, playing with the domestic settings in her reflections on femininity, which also break with the achromatic theme of the downstairs show. 

The gallery is open through January 2011, Thursday through Sunday 12pm-5pm, and by appointment.

Kimberlee Koym's installation greets guests in the large space on Valencia
Freya Prowe's figurative works favor more land creatures than her "Black Water" show of 2009
Angela Simione's quiet scenes hint at the unseen
Kimberlee Koym's installation, reminiscent of I.V. bags 
Launa Bacon's "Battle Wounds" series invites visitors upstairs
Launa Bacon's installation upstairs plays with the domestic space
Launa Bacon
Heading over to Bar Basic, I caught up with Cindy Shih who has organized "Nevermind", a show about 90's pop culture nostalgia. Mike Kimball happened to be there, too. Here, Cindy deliberately curated a set of black and white (or sepia-toned) set of images to force a dated aesthetic to time that may still be vividly colorful in many minds. The hip-hop and pop culture references, from Nick Beery's rappers to Moo Tsungwei's surfing Yoda, feel at home in the understated contemporary bar, where appropriate musical accompaniment was on hand for the opening. "Nevermind" will be up through January 2011; Bar Basic is open evenings, Monday through Saturday.

Nick Beery's rappers greet bar visitors

Works by Cindy Shih (left) and Anthony Tablizo (right) in the comfortable bar environment

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