Colter Jacobsen once said in an interview that looking at other people's old family photographs "can be like the excitement of meeting a stranger for the first time. They are free of personal baggage." Much of the impact of Jacobsen's art comes from this anonymity through time: He draws and paints images based on found photos, and then, within 24 hours, renders a second version from memory. While technically rigorous, the drawings and paintings based on memory alone are often also tellingly vague, fuzzy, reversed, even missing details -- a mirror of our mind's eye's tendency to lose focus. But just because we tend to forget details, does that mean memory is meaningless? To the contrary, as memory makes things more abstract, could it also be making them more universal? In an artist's talk tonight that accompanies Jacobsen's work in the group show "The Exhibition Formerly Known as Passengers," the San Francisco artist may or may not address these issues. Maybe he'll talk about music instead (he's in a band), or about Alfred Hitchcock (one of his favorite dirctors). Whatever he discusses, it's sure to be a memorable evening.
Tue., Jan. 6, 7 p.m., 2009