There is something gross about art fairs.  The wealth, the striped down-ness of the presentation of the works, the way that art becomes less about ideas and more about what someone wants to put on their walls.  But there is also something really great.  This year it hasn’t been the easiest for me to get out and wander galleries, go to openings that happen at baby bedtimes, and see much art, period.  So really, getting to see hundreds of artists’ works all at once, during the day, was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.  I’m sure that I missed some things, but nevertheless here are my highlights:

Oh my goodness.  The scene at ArtPadSF was a hipster summer dream. Bands, neon colors, beers and coolness abounded.

Misako_Inaoka at Johannson Projects

Noelle Mason at Thomas Robertello Gallery 
HKG-ORD (mule), 2007
That’s an ivory budda that she smuggled in to the US from Hong Kong in her vagina.

Kerry Vander Meer at Mercury 20

best bathroom art that I saw.  It seemed like there was something interesting happening in the Creativity Explored bathroom, but it was too darn crowded that I couldn’t get in.

Peter Opheim at Steven Zevitas Gallery
Untitled (155)


The artMRKT was much more art fair-y.  My main gripe was it seemed like it was largely overhung.  It was somewhat commonplace to see galleries trying to get a lot of bang for their buck, showing 6-8 artists at a time. While I have to admit that I was a speed-fairing since there was a baby on my belly, I wanted less artists and more from each.  Also, there was a (Ever-Gold) gallery-sponsored and fair-approved “Occupy Art Fairs” thing going on that seemed, well, a little trite.

Elisheva Biernoff at Eli Ridgeway

castaneda/reiman at DCKT Contemporary
Their installation at the SF Fine Art Fair two years ago has really stuck with me. Every time I see their work I like it more.


Cara Barer at Andrea Schwartz Gallery
Sheer Madness


Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet at Catherine Clarke Gallery
Map of the Known World, 2011
There was no way to get a good picture of this.  Birk has an image on his website.  I’m a sucker for maps.  I like how their work makes evident what is hidden on most maps: that the person drawing it is giving you their view of the world.