Best New Art Gallery - 2011
941Geary - CLOSED
It's not easy to keep even one art gallery running, but with the addition of 941Geary, Justin Giarla now has three, including White Walls and the Shooting Gallery. It was an ambitious undertaking, for sure, but one with a vision. The space formerly housed an auto mechanic and smog-check station, so it's spacious with very high ceilings. Before he found 941Geary, Giarla had at least one artist in mind whose work would fit such a space. Mike Shine had one of the gallery's first exhibits with "Flotsam's Wonder World." In it, he transformed the space into a surrealistic carnival, with artwork that encouraged people to touch, spin, and otherwise manipulate it. There were multiple levels, and a tent with hay on the ground. Not long after came the latest iteration of "Fuck You All," the traveling show by iconic punk rock, skateboard, and early rap photographer Glen Friedman. It contained previously unseen shots of the Dead Kennedys as well collaborations between Friedman and Shepard Fairey. Giarla is building momentum in having three galleries, so expect 941Geary to get more high-profile artists who'll take advantage of the unusual space.