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Eight local artists to watch: The best of the art fairs

Artist: Michael Bernard Loggins

Gallery: Creativity Explored
 
Loggins made his national debut in 2004 on the popular radio show This American Life, when his book, Fears of Your Life, was featured. The installation incarnation of his book included a hotel bathroom where visitors could add their own fears to a list of phobias.

 

 

Artist: Francesca Pastine

Gallery: Eleanor Harwood
 
In an art world that often depends on traditional media, Pastine creates elegant magazine sculptures in her ArtForum Excavations series. The visually stunning objects tend to make statements about materiality, print, and the aesthetic versus the materialistic nature of the art market while also referencing art legends like Frank Stella, as seen here.
 
 
 
 
 
Art Forum 41, Obliterated Frank Stella, 2012, ARTFORUM magazine, 24 x 24 inches

 

Artist: Rene Garcia Jr.
Gallery:
Project One

It would be easy to think of Garcia’s glitter painting of a buxom woman on a motorcycle, wearing an Indian headdress and a Superman shirt as too much—too much glitter, too much cleavage, too much rock & roll—but instead they epitomize their subjects and dazzle with their craftsmanship.

 

 

 

Rattlesnake Roundup, 2012, glitter on wood, 6 x 6 ft.

Artist: Stephen de Staebler
Gallery: Dolby Chadwick

With a recent show at the De Young and a long career in the Bay area, de Staebler was one of many well-established artists at ArtMrkt, showing beautiful, elongated, disjointed sculptures formed from fragments of earlier works.

 

 

 

 

Figure with Crown, 2011, bronze, edition of 4, 104 x 24 x 29 inches

 

Artist: Elisheva Biernoff
Gallery: Eli Ridgeway

The three mounted diptychs that showed were a calm focal point amongst the bustle of ArtMrkt. Painted with acrylic and oil on plywood, the Polaroid-evocative prints are reminiscent of Edward Hoppers and glimpses into a weekend vacation.

 

 


Encounter, 2012, oil on 1/32" plywood, acrylic on 1/32" plywood, 2.5 x 2.5 inches, 2.75 x 2 inches

Artist: Michelle Pred

Gallery: Jack Fischer Gallery
 
Michelle Pred made her Travelers piece from airport-confiscated metal scissors and an umbrella. The downward hanging scissors seem threatening, comical, and surreal—a good recipe for a thought-provoking piece of art.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Travelers, 2011, airport confiscated scissors, wood and polyester, 42 x 36 inches

 

Artist: Gail Ragains

Gallery: Hang Art
 
By working in traditional water-based media, Ragains confines herself to a flat surface, but her vivid colors and x-shaped compositions make her portraits come to life. The anonymous women she depicts are mysterious, yet elegant and warm.
 
 
 
 
 
Single Figure #5, 2011, mixed media on paper, 35 x 27 inches

 

Artist: Gordon Smedt
Gallery: Hamamjian Modern

In the tradition of Dutch still-life painters, Smedt brings his objects to life with shadows, light, and a technically brilliant composition. Though his subjects are mundane—tennis shoes, crayons, and brown paper bags—he has the ability to add life and personality to these objects.

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain, 2012, oil on canvas, 72 x 80 inches

Last weekend, three San Francisco art fairs elevated the local art scene. Here’s a recap of the ten works by local artists that showed at ArtPad at the Phoenix Hotel (the new and shocking), ArtMrkt at the SFDC Concourse Exhibition Center (the cool and contemporary), and SF Fine Art Fair at Ft. Mason (the established and traditional).