"New Works by Blek le Rat" Nov. 19-Jan. 12 at 941 Geary, 941 Geary (at Larkin), S.F. Free; 931-2500 or www.941geary.com.
The famous French street artist who inspired Banksy is — believe it or not — nearly 60 years old. To honor the sextagenarian, and his 30th year as a street artist, 941 Geary owner Justin Giarla is spotlighting the Parisian's new creations. What they'll be is anyone's guess. Last year at Giarla's White Walls gallery, le Rat brought stencil pieces that included Mona Lisa Red, a takeoff of da Vinci's portrait, this one with the smiling Lisa swathed in red hue and holding a can of spray paint. Humor is a big part of his oeuvre; so is making a social statement. Like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, le Rat's work is a required part of any visit to the City of Light. That it's coming again to San Francisco is our good fortune.
Courtesy of Gemäldegalerie, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Photographer J. John Priola presents a vista, a wall, a window, an object, or a space that evokes something much bigger, usually in black and white. Through Priola's lens, trees on a farm site become poetic, lyrical, and even mysterious. Priola's latest color photos are of sidewalks where people leave donations to be collected by charitable organizations. Bags and boxes are juxtaposed against the donors' abodes. What's in the bags and boxes? Why are they being discarded? Who's doing the discarding? People are often absent, prompting the viewers to fill in the blanks.