There are certainly clues in Lima's work that advertise her philosophy. In the opening of Djinn, Lima quotes the existentialist musings of French experimental filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet — about how a well-rehearsed first scene can be suddenly followed by emptiness, then repeated again with the first scene, which forces a viewer to ask about the purpose of the scene itself. Get it? It works when you see Djinn, which Lima made in 2008, before her current enrollment in the MFA program at the San Francisco Art Institute. The photo of the girls, one of whom is Lima's daughter, is from a series called "Alexys Project," which takes viewers to a low-income housing project where single-mother Lima lived. Shot in black and white, the photos capture scenes that are universal to every class and culture — children and families getting on with their lives as best they can. Living in the same complex with her subjects gives Lima's photos an intimacy that is instantly recognizable.

The Wine Photographer:
Eric Cohen
Making of Shoe Wine #1 by Eric Cohen

At the dawn of the 20th century, black-and-white photographs of wine and winemaking tended to be predictable, often just images of happy people holding up wine glasses. Eric Cohen's work is a radical bookend to those early photos. Under his lens, the processes of harvesting, fermentation, and bottling are turned into cosmological panoramas. Wine gurgles to the surface like volcanic bubbles about to explode. Swirls of vino turn into clouds of pinks that resemble the aurora borealis. Even grape fields are blurred and re-imagined as dreamy landscapes.

It's proximity that lets Cohen get so close to his subject: He's the owner and winemaker of the micro-winery called Shoe Shine Wine, based in the Mission District. Winemaking has been Cohen's occupation since 2003. Two decades earlier, at age 13, he started taking images with a camera that his uncle gave him. "Photography and winemaking share the same intersection of art and science, and I have been consumed by both for a long time," he says. "Both are expressions of ethereal moments that can never be repeated in the same way again."

Cohen's artistry extends to his bottles, which were included in SFMOMA's recent "How Wine Became Modern" exhibit. Instead of the industry-standard bottle-tops, Cohen uses "fabric capsules" — coverings that are distinct wraps of fabric. The timing seems right for Cohen, 43, to enter a new artistic phase in his life. Before submitting his portfolio to SF Weekly, Cohen — a single father of a 5-year-old boy — had never seriously shown his full body of work to anyone. "I was taking pictures of winemaking to document the process for people and allow people to get some sort of sense when I was making wine, and it largely grew into something just for me," he says. "I never even printed them. It's been 10 years in the making."

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It is hard to compare these artists, given the difference in their media. The most exciting, as far as I can tell from these photos, are performancers Doho Lee, the dancers, one of which is a wheelchair and the singer/guitarist Hadero. But I am influenced by the beauty of the photographs: that of those two dancers - Wow!, and the photo and description of the performance of Doho Lee is great. And the singer/guitarist Hadero looks like she is terrific.

Elaine Starkman
Elaine Starkman

Grand. Despite all the difficulties of our time, here is guy who has done somethingwith himself. Thanks for running this. Elaine

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