Remember when I said themes seem to crop up here and seize control of the blog? Well, I guess we’re on a food kick for now and to be honest I can roll with that. Especially since the contributors at Creativity Explored’s Tasty exhibit are worshipping at the same altars as I.
Painting after delectable painting depict big vibrant cupcakes, pies and cakes and I’m reminded that lunch is long overdue. Not many San Francisco galleries enjoy the luxury of a front window space and CE artists have made the most of it. The oversized Oldenburg-like doughnut is like a beacon drawing the faithful to the gospel that is Tasty. Below, the walls sport a full lunch counter in line drawing which must seem practically Hopperesque by night. The sign “Pop’s Greasy Spoon,” the work of Gordon Chin, announces “It ain’t healthy but it sure tastes good!” Amen, brother.
I wish I had checked the list at the desk because I want to give props to whoever is responsible for the clay sculpture of a pack of Marlboros on a ledge of one of the interior posts. It’s a nicely subversive little addition to a collection oriented around food. I imagine a foot in the closing doorjamb and a bit of fast talking to join the Tasty party (“there’s nothing like a good smoke after a meal after all…”).
Knowing in advance that it’s a pie-in-the-sky proposition, I ask about the price of a piece by Kevin Roach because, well, I’m fascinated with those old butcher diagrams that outline the various cuts available from a slaughtered pig. There’s something bizarre about the dashed lines dividing up a beast into sections like a pie chart. It’s almost like a visual representation of a butcher’s thoughts as he looks at the animal. Roach has embellished the traditional chart with a nice personal anecdote: I like the contrast between that formal aspect, the official, unsentimental informational document and the handwritten musings. While the original is outside my price range, I’m in luck because they offer prints of the works at around $10-15. I’ll be picking it up later in the week.
It’s worth noting that Creativity Explored is a working space as well. The back area is often open if you’d like to take a look around. I popped back there with the woman at the desk when she was trying to track down a copy of the print. I almost wish they’d just extend the exhibit all the way to the rear of the building. I should also mention that the gallery won this year’s “Best Art Gallery” in the Bay Guardian’s annual “Best of the Bay” Reader’s Poll. CE is a nonprofit venture focusing on the work of developmentally disabled talent and although I had to refrain from going all out and picking up an original, there is a pretty broad spectrum of pricing and the welcome option of picking up a print means that you don’t have to leave in a funk, ruing the thought of the “one that got away.” Of course, if you attend the current show you’re guaranteed to leave hungry.