SF FOG Design & Art Fair

We got tickets to attend the SF Fog Design and Art Fair from a friend of my husband’s.  These events always present something interesting or intriguing, so we took him up on the offer.

It was an overcast and sometimes rainy Saturday that we attended.  It was held at Fort Mason Center, a collection of buildings along the waterfront that were once used as a military base.

Just off the shore, in the unsettled waters of the bay is Alcatraz.

Headed into the show. 

Inside, there were some pieces that make you wonder.  And pieces that make you think others that hold you in awe, particularly in the way they were made.

One of the first pieces I saw was this assortment of melting candles. It was colorful, but did not speak to me; it just made me wonder what the artist wanted to portray

I took a shot of a portion of this image by  Idris Khan, which struck me as enigmatic and I wanted to know more.  It is the overlapping of texts.  It could be from one book, or several different sources and different kinds of writing. 

I’ve always been drawn to the written word and text, (One of my favorite documentaries is about the font Helvetica). Some people express themselves through actions, some through images, others through  This image was intriguing both close up and for a distance. From a a distance, it creates a montage of black and white and sometimes grey, darker in some areas and patterns even start to emerge, but as one moves in closer to see if some meaning can’t be gleaned, the text is still a mystery.  As the Independent explained it, it creates ‘confused voices.’ It was a piece one could look as endless and constantly see new elements.

Another interesting piece was this chair.

At first glance, it seems simply to be two chairs with a connecting platform. I thought the “art” of it was in the title of the piece. The title is Alone Together. I thought it was great for that couple that wants to be together, but maybe do his own thing.

The next two pieces are pieces we were quite interested in and spent some time talking to the dealers to get more information. I had not heard of either artist, which of course is a reflection of my modern art knowledge, not on the artist as both are known.  The first is Markus Brunetti.  He is putting together a collection of churches and abbeys of Europe. On view was this images of Chartres Cathedral.

It caught my eye because I had visited it the summer before, so I recognized it, but also having a degree in history with an emphasis in the Middle Ages, medieval cathedrals draw my attention.  While as architecture, it is grand, but as a photograph, one might not immediately think it is different from others. However, we learned that Brunetti takes on averages 800 – 1000 images of the cathedrals.   He then puts the together digitally to get a perfect image. As the viewer, you almost forget that there should be other buildings, people, and often scaffolding in the mix. All that is edited out to focus on the building itself.  They are amazing works considering what goes into them.

Next is George Legrady’s photography.  He prints on lenticular paper, so when you look at the image from different angle, the image you see changes.   For the piece I was most interested in he took three different images from a vacation to Greece in the 1970s, two beach scenes and a boat.  Here the changing images begin to be seen.    

Sometimes it can seem intimidating to enter a world where you might not understand the things around you, particularly modern art, but I’m so glad we went to the art fair.  I might even have some favorite new artists.  I learned a lot, perhaps most importantly, keep an open mind.

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