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Stephanie Mansolf, "Dear Catastrophe" 

Wednesday, Nov 18 2009
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Stranger things than usual are afoot in the Artists' Television Access window display. Stephanie Mansolf has installed a diorama, complete with glowing clouds, tinfoil-capped mountains, and Victorian treehouses, that looks like a San Francisco ski village designed by Henry Darger. Girls in Indian headdresses use bows and arrows to battle big-eared gremlins, while skeletal bits decompose, impaled on a forest of spikes. In the foreground, sculptural paper diamonds glint, tipped with gold nipples. The scene is simultaneously festive, precious, gruesome, and gothic — just right for the holidays on Valencia Street. San Francisco artist Mansolf, who usually works with screenprints, specializes in the obsessive aesthetic, layering cute and cutthroat patterns and pop culture references ad infinitum. The medium of the shop window suits her well — quick, someone at Macy's, give her a budget and a bigger space.

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Traci Vogel

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