"MCD LAB #3: Fake Sunset"
Jan. 7, 2012
After moving around town like a craigslist addict, even escaping a fire and enduring water damage at its recent Lower Haight location, Fecal Face Dot Gallery has found a new home. Located on Mission between 18th 19th streets, FFDG's space is situated to be the start of a typical Mission adventure: art, food, music, and bar hopping. We stopped by Saturday for the opening of the exhibit "MCD LAB #3: Fake Sunset."
Three San Francisco artists -- Matt Furie, Aiyana Udesen, and Jeremy Fish -- were invited to join seven Brazilian artists to Sao Paulo to explore the iconic California sunset. Sound a little wacky? Here's more explanation from the gallery website:
The artists explored California's influence, through images of beaches, palm trees, and "vibrant colors that arrived in Brazil through movies, magazines, records, video clips and even video games to be reproduced by young people, invading even concrete cities where the skyline (and the sunset) are obstructed by buildings." Hence, "Fake Sunset."
It was curated by NOZ.ART and FFDG, who kept it short. The exhibit contains 10 three-color silk-screen prints -- one per artists. It traveled through four Brazilian cities, where the artists also worked together on site-specific pieces, before stopping here.
Jeremy Fish fans will recognize his work, which rarely fails to delight, though it seems to instead be a meditation on owls (which, we guess, come out after sunset?).
The California babe whose face is marred standing before a rat on surfboard piece by Aiyana Udesen simultaneously bring back memories of walking through the Venice Beach boardwalk and hearing gunshots in South Central L.A. -- each a mix of beauty and terror.
Talita Gravura of Porto Alegre, Brazil, supplies the surrealism with imagery that features spilled liquids, telephone antennas, and giant doughy characters. Her gradient sunset is particularly effective as a backdrop to the graphic illustrations in the forefront.
Multimedia artist and São Paulo native Lucas Valente, or "Cabu," takes the prize for best use of text, scribbling "Brainwashed Kids into American Shit" into the photo emulsion to produce a thought-provoking and Basquiat-esque print.
All the prints are for sale for a mere $75 unframed; each is signed and measures 26 by 7.75 inches.
Each artist had the same guidelines: to orient the paper horizontally and use a gradient. It's clear there were some bigger goals in this project -- to promote mutual cultural understanding and demystify classic iconography. Yet the lack of presenting the artist's names, origins, and thoughts along with the artwork might leave some viewers feeling a bit distanced, unable to grasp the intended scope of the project. The exhibit that traveled in Brazil connected various art galleries and included other aspects, including music and site-specific installations.
While it's refreshing to have some Brazilian artists exhibited in town and nice that San Franciscans got to spend some time in Sao Paolo, it's disappointing that the curators limited the exhibit's expression here in the Mission, especially now that FFDG itself is located in such a culturally rich neighborhood.
"MCD LAB #3: Fake Sunset" continues through Jan. 20 at Fecal Face Dot Gallery, 2277 Mission (at 19th St), S.F. Admission is free.