Case in point: Matt Gonzalez, who, apparently not quite sure what to do with the spare time he's accrued since he stepped down as president of the Board of Supervisors, unveiled his "Walking in the City" exhibition at the Lincart Gallery last Thursday. As the name suggests, the 25-piece installation is inspired by the Gonzo's regular jaunts in and around San Francisco. Sadly, it doesn't go much deeper than that.
Evocative of the random assortment of letters, grocery lists, and photographs that splash across the pages of Found magazine, Gonzalez works with found objects (empty cigarette cartons, matchbooks, dry cleaning receipts, funeral tags for cars). One piece features a discarded matchbook and a Citibank envelope. In another, Matty does a little work and shreds a Marlboro Reds box, throws some spray glue over everything, and calls it a day, or in this case It Argued Endlessly. Marcel Duchamp he ain't.
"Well, what do you think?" the artiste asks us, taking a brief break between shaking hands and kissing the cheeks of every woman, man, and child who took in last week's show.
Raised to only say things nice, we deflect by asking about a piece titled Galloping Deer, a small collage created from a bunch of black scraps of cardboard that come together to create a shape that looks neither galloping nor deer. He nods and escorts us to take in a closer view when we press for a deeper explanation.
"Just look at it, the object itself will appear," he says before stepping back to greet more fans. Right.
Look, Matt's a great guy. The roommates, the lack of a car, those monthly art showings he once held in his supervisorial chambers, are all testament to his existence as a cool dude. But sorry, everyone should have to do a little bit more than walk around the city shoving garbage in their coat pockets to earn a bona fide artist's reception at a bona fide gallery. Especially when the city's struggling artists, no doubt the very people who voted for him to be mayor, are selling their teeth on eBay to get an inch of precious gallery-wall space to show one measly work, never mind 25.
The bottom line: Matt, don't quit your day job. Oh, wait you already did.