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It’s Better With Jell-O 

Wednesday, Apr 15 2009
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Liz Hickok’s gelatinization of San Francisco -- in which she molds the city out of Jell-O, shines lights on it, fashions backdrops, then lets the whole shebang liquefy into a mound of multicolored, mushy goodness -- is beloved by everyone who lives here, from kids (especially) to art critics (even more so). Now Obama gets to know the feeling: Hickok has gelatinized the White House. Composed of her usual wiggly, jiggly material, “The White House - The First 100 Days” is a very good thing to look at, as can be expected. But the video portion is also a neat piece of political art – it runs backwards, showing the Palladian-style building move, over time, from a slumping Jell-O disaster, still weeping nails over the Bush years, to the firm-columned glory of a freshly chilled and unmolded presidential residence, buffeted by the strains of “America the Beautiful.” Obama will make it all better, get it? Hickok’s art always leaves us dizzy with wonder, but with “The White House,” she also fills us with –- yes, we’re going to go there -- hope.

Visit photos from “The White House” and Hickok’s workplace (1890 Bryant Studios) during Mission Artists United: Spring Studio Stroll, which opens the doors to six group studios featuring more than 100 artists.
April 25-26, 11 a.m., 2009

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Michael Leaverton

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