Thursday, December 6, 2012

Innovative Bay Area artists create art from trash

In 1941, Fats Waller sang "Get some cash for your trash." WW II was in full swing and there was a need for recycled materials.

At ARC Gallery: From left to right: "Scarlet Quilt"- Bruce Wile; Sculptures "Patty" and "Wolfgang"- Robert Haemmerling; Mask - "Wake Up! I'd Like to See You Again"- Aiko Cuneo; (small textile piece) "Lily"- Susan Field; (bottlecap wedding gown)"First Comes Love"- Remi Rubel; "Marking Time"- Karen Balos

Today we are in the midst of another war, a war to save the planet from drowning in junk.

All of the artist in today's "Weekend Picks" column are doing their best to save the planet by creatively using recycled materials. Hopefully, as in the old Fats Waller song, they will also get cash for their remade trash.

"Fish"- Francisco Hernandez at ARC Gallery

Using trash and detritus, SF renowned junk collage artist Jason Mecier taps into the lower level of reality TV with his portrait of child TV star Alana “Honey Boo Boo.” Boo Boo is the latest media sensation from the show “Toddlers and Tiaras." Some think that reality TV has hit new low with this show but Mercier, like all the eco-artists here has made art from a really distasteful objects. You can view this and lots more at

"'I search a r t: Repurposed Gift Wrapping'"- Megumi Inouye at ARC Gallery

Speaking of art that’s made from trash but not trashy, check out the latest exhibit at ARC Gallery. The artists in the show used materials from SCRAP, the Bay Area’s oldest creative reuse center. From quilts to sculptures to wall hangings and masks, the exhibit is a showcase of the imaginative use of recycled materials.

Want one of the most unique wedding gowns around? Forget that show on TV ("Say Yes to the Dress"), and wear Susan Field's wedding dress made of bottle caps. Diana Krevsky's "Eagle" and "Warrior" from the Forest Spirit Series are spiritual guardians reminiscent of Oceanic art. Francisco Hernandez's "Fish" is the first time one has been made from loops of metal with a huge funnel for a head. "A Woven Identity" by Sofia Gonzalez could grace any wall with its delicate color weave.

SCRAP Party with hands-on creative reuse activities: December 8th 1-3PM

Exhibition: December 1, 2012 – January 9, 2013

Junk food packaging inspires Thompson’s “Snack Paintings”. Fitting the bright colors and zany fonts into painted grids, Thompson captures the irresistible pull of chemicals, sugar and salt.

SFMOMA's Artists Gallery at Ft. Mason: Robert Larson, Terry Thompson and Paula Moran grew up during the era of American “affluenza” with its emphasis on overconsumption and consumerism. They make art inspired by and as a reaction against this kind of manufactured wastefulness.

Methodically arranging discarded Marlboro cigarette packaging, matchbooks, and scratch-off lottery tickets, Larson arranges them into formal patterns and grids onto two-dimensional surfaces. In "Red Honey," for example, Larson created a complex honeycomb arrangement using variously aged and weathered pieces of red Marlboro boxes.

Ceramist Paula Moran poses questions of deception versus reality in her trompe l’oeil clay sculptures. Here Moran presents common objects like bottles, pull-top cans, books, and leather suitcases and instills them with subtle twists and messages, urging the viewer to concentrate on the contents as much as the package.

The SFMOMA Artists Gallery is located in Building A at Fort Mason Center. Gallery hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission to gallery exhibitions is free of charge..Through December 15th

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