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White Walls Gallery

886 Geary
San Francisco, CA 94109

Category: Art Galleries

Region: Hayes Valley/ Tenderloin

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In 2003, Justin Giarla took a chance on a rough part of the Tenderloin -- Larkin near Geary -- and opened an art gallery that specialized in street art and other contemporary work. Amidst the drug-dealers and other neighborhood denizens, the Shooting Gallery thrived, showcasing artists who’ve become well-known in everything from political campaigns (Shepard Fairey) to the world of tattoos (Shawn Barber). Giarla eventually opened two more galleries on the same block -- White Walls and 941Geary -- but he’s now consolidated his galleries into a single, nearby building at 886 Geary. Besides a sunnier location on the northern side of the block, it’s a gigantic space -- 5,000 square feet, with side-rooms that are essentially mini-galleries. The new space is holding a White Walls 10 Year Anniversary Show that surveys artists Giarla has worked with and artists who are new to Giarla’s orbit. Fairey is there with Duality of Humanity, a large mixed-media canvas of a weapon-toting man. Barber contributes Self Made, a portrait of Giarla’s forearm tattoos that contain the same words. British artist/photographer Russell Young offers Kate Moss, a series of large prints with shiny sprinkles featuring model Kate Moss wearing very little as she stands in a bathroom. And Peter Gronquist checks in with A History of Violence, which is one part taxidermy and one part gold antlers that look like rocket launchers. The list goes on. The show is an exhibit of all-star proportions -- a chance to see under one big roof a collection of art that has the imprimatur of Justin Giarla, a former nightclub manager who found his calling in San Francisco’s Tenderloin.
Thu., March 21, 2013

 
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