For this show, White Walls opened with the grizzly paintings of Chad Hasegawa. I've been a fan of this local artist since I saw his bear in Clarion alley, and he used this opportunity to bring his bears to the space of fine art, titling them appropriately for the role. Several paintings are titled with the names of modernist masters and their styles are replicated in the bears themselves. While Motherwell has thick, black brushstrokes, Rothko has a washed background and a fluid texture.
Moving further back brought visitors into Charmaine Olivia's Muses. This girl can paint with incredible detail and the works are undeniably beautiful, but this display was repetitive, they all kind of look the same. Her Muses are girly and pretty, which was seen in the audience attending, but they don't leave much room for anything but sexual femininity. But, that's ok. Sold individually, I can see any one of these works hanging in a girl's apartment anywhere in the city and it was great to see so much space devoted to a local artist.
Moving further back brought visitors into two project galleries, one by Sickboy and one by Word to Mother. Sickboy's installation, complete with a working coffin toy train, was my personal favorite of the night. The paintings are colorful and detailed, and I only wish that I would have been able to see them better. Moving around the train, it was really difficult to get to the paintings themselves, and I kind of wish they would have switched his gallery with Word to Mother, because that one is a little bigger. Word to Mother opened Fuck You Pay Me, a Giants-themed installation complete with baseball bats, foam fingers, and astro turf. Since there was only one painting, I popped in and out, but managed to score some cracker jacks and bazooka bubble gum before I left.
Saturday night really was more of an event than an exhibition, this is a new upscale version of the galleries, and I should but an emphasis on the plural, this place just keeps going and going. It was a suit and dress kind of night, fancy for any Tenderloin event, but frankly, the space is fancy and deserves if not your Sunday best, then at least Thursday's finest. These galleries have really transformed themselves in this move and I cannot wait to see what they do next.
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