Archive for San Francisco

From the VR Archives: Lay of the Land

Posted in Bay Area Art Scene, Contemporary Art, Fine & Decorative Arts, Liz Hager, Painting, People & Places, Photography, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2013 by Liz Hager

By LIZ HAGER
© Liz Hager, 2013. All Rights Reserved

 Black plug

David Milne, Black and White Trees and Buildings, 1915/6
Oil on canvas, 51.5 x 61.5 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Reading landscape painter Ian Robert’s Creative Authenticity  reminded me of our post on David Milne, little known I fear outside Canada. Northern Exposure: The Landscapes of David Milne.

Black plug

Patrick Dougherty, Upper Crust

Patrick Dougherty, Upper Crust, 2009,
Willow branches,
Joseph L. Alioto Performing Arts Piazza, San Francisco

That led me to VR coverage of Patrick Dougherty’s Upper Crust,  fanciful organic site structures, staged in the Civic Center’s Aliota Piazza: Patrick Dougherty in San Francisco.

Black plug

Platon, Silvio Berlusconi

Platon, Silvio Berlusconi, 2009
Photograph

And finally to the political landscape and Platon’s photographic portraits of world leaders: Eye of the Beholder: Platon’s Portraits of Power.”

Bright Lights, Big(ger) City: Bay Lights Goes Live

Posted in Bay Area Art Scene, Fine & Decorative Arts, Liz Hager, Public Art, Site Work with tags , , , , , , , on March 6, 2013 by Liz Hager

By LIZ HAGER
© Liz Hager, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Last night I gathered with a few friends at the Ferry Building on the patio outside Boulette’s Larder, to witness the official lighting of the Leo Villareal project on the Bay Bridge. Mille grazie to Lori, who set us at a table in the heart of primo viewing real estate. We shared a picnic and some wine, as the crowd and storm clouds slowly enveloped us.

Bay Lights—The Bay Bridge unadorned  ©Liz Hager 2013

Bay Lights—The Bay Bridge unadorned ©Liz Hager 2013

Long before the official “lights on,” the atmosphere was charged with anticipation. Thousands of people gathering, conversing (Christo came up a lot), waiting patiently, as the drizzle turned into a downpour. The concentration of ions! The absolute wonder of of it all was that we had amassed not for an Obama speech, a Lady Gaga concert, a SF Giants parade, but for a WORK OF ART. As an artist, I experienced a truly a thrilling moment when the bridge went live and the crowd cheered heartily.

What a star Bay Lights is! 25,000 twinkly lights programmed in dynamic water-related themes—fish, reflective patterns, and wave forms undulated along the bridge’s spans. The ebb and flow of the rain added the perfect theme-based notes to the evening.

Bay Lights—The Ferry Bldg nods to the bridge ©Liz Hager 2013

Bay Lights—The Ferry Bldg nods to the bridge ©Liz Hager 2013

I will always refer to this work affectionately as “tiny bubbles,” for the first blast of lights, which floated up the bridge cables like bubbles in a champagne glass. Kudos to the private consortium who raised major funding for the piece—it is a fitting congratulatory toast to our city by the bay.

Bay Lights—A crowd gathers at Ferry Bldg ©Liz Hager 2013

Bay Lights—A crowd gathers at Ferry Bldg ©Liz Hager 2013

The bridge will be lit for 2 years. As we left the site last night, still basking in the glow of those light-emitting diodes, all we could think about was how sad a day it will be for us when the bridge returns to unadorned darkness.

Though the Villareal Bridge (maybe our bridge will acquire a proper noun through all of this?) does not rank as the largest public art project in the US (that honor may belong to Christo’s Gates), for us this is a big deal, a bona fide celebrity art piece. Along with SFMOMA expansion for the Fisher collection of contemporary art and the Andy Goldsworthy Presidio and de Young projects, Bay Lights demonstrates how San Francisco is inching ever closer to recognition as a destination spot for art.

I hope the success of this project encourages the SF art community to step up the level of its commitment with respect to nurturing and promoting locally-grown artists. One day we may not have to import a New Yorker to make our celebrity art piece.

Bay Lights, Bikers waiting in the rain

Bay Lights—Bikers waiting in the rain ©Liz Hager 2013

Wider Connections

Venetian Red—“Programming the Cosmos”
Bay Lights project website
Leo Villareal

“Real Love Ahead”—Look Down!: IWP #16

Posted in Bay Area Art Scene, Graffiti, Liz Hager with tags , on September 28, 2008 by Liz Hager

Photo ©2008 Liz Hager

Date: 08/01/08

Time: 3:05 pm

Location: Bunker wall, Marin Headlands

“Indispensable Wisdom on the Pavement”:  All the Look Down! posts have been published on the day I took the photo. All of them have been on the pavement.  I constantly debate with myself about the wisdom of posting “Wisdom” outside those rules, MY rules.  “Real Love Ahead” wasn’t taken on this day and the message is scrawled across a wall, not laid down on the pavement. This time expediency got in the way of the rules. Plus, I loved this hopeful message lurking near the light as you emerge from a long, dark tunnel. Sometimes, you just gotta break the rules.

“There is Light”—Look Down!:IWP, SF #14

Posted in Bay Area Art Scene, Graffiti with tags , , , , on September 18, 2008 by Liz Hager

Photo ©2008 Liz Hager

Date: 09/18/08

Time: 2:09 pm

Location: Page between Scott and Divisidero

“Indispensable Wisdom on the Pavement”: The whole Palin thing put me into a frenzy of emailing, reading, listening, and thinking. By the beginning of this week, I was nearly desperate; it was beginning to look like the country really might be stupid enough to elect this nincompoop.  But the storm clouds broke yesterday, and attention shifted away from the Palin factor and onto more important economic issues. This message on the pavement was just the reminder I needed.

“I’m Only Ugly on the Inside”—Look Down!:IWP, SF#12

Posted in Bay Area Art Scene, Graffiti, Liz Hager with tags , on August 29, 2008 by Liz Hager

©2008 Liz Hager

Date: 08/29/08

Time: 8:41 am

Location: Fillmore, between Waller & Haight, East pavement

“Indispensable Wisdom on the Pavement”:  It took a strong egoist with a heightened sense of sarcasm to lay this down on the pavement.

“Arboresque”—Look Down!:IWP, SF#11

Posted in Bay Area Art Scene, Graffiti, Liz Hager with tags , , on August 20, 2008 by Liz Hager

©2008 Liz Hager

Date: 08/20/08

Time: 8:33 am

Location: Octavia between Linden & Hayes, W Pavement

“Indispensable Wisdom on the Pavement”: This graphic tree lies at the base of a real tree planted not so long ago along the redeveloped Octavia Boulevard. Art imitating life, the most sincere flattery. OR maybe it’s a protective talisman—as Friends of the Urban Forest can attest, a good number or urban trees don’t make it to maturity.

“The Morning After”—Look Down!: IWP, SF#10

Posted in Bay Area Art Scene, Graffiti, Liz Hager with tags , on August 16, 2008 by Liz Hager

©2008 Liz Hager

Date: 08/16/08

Time: 11:16 am

Location: Duboce, corner of Valencia. NW pavement.

“Indispensable Wisdom on the Pavement”: This bear is lying on the pavement not too far from the corner bar. An apt warning to habitués I say. 

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