Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Examining The di Rosa Preserve

Location: di Rosa Preserve 5200 Carneros Hwy Napa, CA 94559

Interior of gallery (Photo courtesy of

After hearing about the di Rosa Preserve from several people since moving to the Bay Area, including my parents, I decided to make the trip out for my birthday, which coincided with spring break. I did not know what to expect, except for Bay Area contemporary art on a vineyard, it sounded like a perfect combination for me; wine and art, bring it on! We made a reservation for the “Discovery Tour”, supposedly lasting two hours (but wound up being more like three). The grounds and building upon arrival were spectacular with the 35-acre Winery Lake hugging the parking lot, it seemed the day was off to a great start. Entering the “Gatehouse Gallery” reminded me of many of the contemporary galleries in Chelsea with clean lines and poured concrete floors. The art in the gallery was a combination of works from the permanent collection and a rotating exhibition space that is currently showing, MFA Selections – A Salute to Emerging Artists from Bay Area Master’s of Fine Art Programs and will be up through June 12, 2010. The work was strong but did not indicate which programs the students were attending, which I thought was unfortunate, but maybe that is just me and my picky attention to detail.

Interior of home (Photo courtesy of

The overbooked group (annoying) was gathered by two docents and told the ground rules, “stay together, don’t touch, don’t wander off, the lay of the land, etc” as well as some minimal background information on the collection and the di Rosa’s themselves, Rene and Veronica. It appeared that these docents as is the case in many institutions are people of a certain age who graciously donate their time but do not necessarily know much about the art they are guiding patrons through and have merely memorized a handbook and when one deviates from the questions they have memorized they become flustered and somewhat annoyed (hopefully Melina’s thesis will address these issues and set a new docent standard for US institutions.) Enough with the complaining, the group boarded the jitney and was driven onto the property which was full of breathtaking views reminiscent of Tuscany and I was itching to get off and explore the grounds.

Peacock (Photo courtesy of

Another contemporary gallery space was welcomed and the permanent collection is housed here. The work ranged in skill, medium, size, etc as well as the presentation model. Some works were given a great deal of space and proper wall texts while others, in particular the photographs were crowded together and merely numbered, correlating to a checklist I would assume, though I found none. There were probably about 300 works in this gallery and there was much to see. There were works by Jay DeFeo, Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Viola Frey, Robert Arneson, and David Best to name a few. I was not familiar with David Best’s car sculptures, which after researching I now realize the connection to Burning Man and the community effort to make his sculptures, but they were quite fascinating and there were two on view in the collection. I then got scolded for going outside to observe an intricate David Ireland installation with a flying angel sculpture that looked like something out of the Da Vinci Code, but was then led to my favorite aspect of the collection, the residence.

David Best Rhinocar (Photo courtesy of

Led in through a precarious stained glass chapel like setting and made to meditate until the docent finally announced what was abundantly clear that the windows were not actually stained glass, but a computer program made to generate the illusion of futuristic stained-glass. This was the awkward part of the residence, but it quickly recovered once being led upstairs to the original house from 1855 that the di Rosa’s inhabited and hung their collection in a salon-style manner. Everything was left as the couple had intended and it was almost like visiting a natural history museum and the experience was eerie, quirky, non-thematic with over 100 works and much fun to see. I like seeing homes and being voyeuristic in general, so this was right up my ally. The architecture of the home is gorgeous as well as the land surrounding it, complete with over 6 peacocks who made themselves known by yelling and flaring their feathers, which left me in utter awe as to how such vibrant colors can actually occur in nature. To me, these were the best works in the collection. The house is surrounded by sculpture in the Courtyard and one can see from a distance the Sculpture Meadow that can be toured beginning in April and looks stunning.

Overall it was a good experience, with a lot of art to see of artists I was not familiar with and gorgeous land, a fun place to visit on a nice day in wine country.


Discussing The Fruit Fly With HP Mendoza

Originally posted at

A few weeks ago I attended a screening of Fruit Fly at The Berkeley Pacific Film Archives. Currently wrapping up a worldwide tour, the film is HP Mendoza's directorial debut. Well known throughout The Bay Area and beyond for his modern interpretation of the musical, Mendoza gained notoriety when he both wrote/starred/composed in the 2006 indie sensation Colma: The Musical. Documenting youth in a suburban town south of San Francisco in which - as the tag line described - "the dead outnumber the living one thousand to one," the picture instantly gained a cult following. Backed by IFC and widely shown at film festivals across the globe, Colma: The Musical helped HP Mendoza attract a loyal and diverse fan base. And with Fruit Fly, Mendoza challenges the musical to an even greater degree.

The film stars L.A. Renigen as Bethesda, a Philippine migrant performance artist who recently moved into an artist commune in The Castro. The plot quickly unfurls and the protagonist finds that San Francisco is not the safe-haven she so craved. Instead, she is road blocked by failed auditions and the constant struggle to piece together her fragmented past. Thankfully, her ostentatious male, gay roommates ensure fun and excitement with every passing day. It is through these men and their subsequent posses that she discovers the term "fruit fly." Previously not aware of such a term, she adopts the label as she finds "fag hag" derogatory and crude. Did I mention Fruit Fly is a musical? So for our San Francisco readers, you too can giggle at chorus lines set outside The Cafe and rhythmic interludes with a Valencia backdrop.

Outside the theater I chatted with HP Mendoza about the transformation of terms and whether his feature was attempting to erase gay stereotypes. Noting that he himself does not have a fruit fly, he continued by stating,

"I'm not really trying to do anything to change the term 'fruit fly,' be it through reappropriation, reclamation, or redefinition. I just want to raise the dialogue. Notice there are two sides to the argument in the movie. I just got into it with someone on-line about the usage of the word 'nigga' by non-blacks. I then went into how we can't be too dogmatic about policing people and their words because we end up looking didactic. I used to crusade against the word 'lady' because it implied that the woman was owned by a 'lord.' Then I learned to just lighten the fuck up."

Well put HP. Well put. At first, the film left me neutral. However, upon further thought and investigation, I realized the brilliance. Fruit Fly is not a film attempting to reclaim gay culture or redefine the hetero-social bonds between homosexual men and straight counterparts. Instead, Fruit Fly is a film that expresses the liveliness of such friendships and the many way such relationships need not be over analyzed. Bethesda unassumingly entered into a gay-oriented circle upon moving to The United States. Such was not intentional. Though the film could attempt to further explain the how and why of her friendships with gay men, the film instead represents the simplicity of the fruit fly - gay male bond. In other words: the "just is" attitude of the fruit fly.

Unfortunately, due to the current economic climate, the movie is not receiving the funding necessary to garnish a wide release. Furthermore, due to the nature of the picture, the audience members have been limited. HP continued,

"I'm happy with the audience I've been getting, but I do hope that more Filipino women learn about this. I shit you not, twice, at different festivals, female performance artists from the Philippines have walked up to me saying they were looking for their biological moms."

For the few fortunate to view Fruit Fly, it seems each day is a bit more lyrical and a bit more colorful. A San Francisco homage painted with synthesized solos and more-real-than-one-might-think characters, Fruit Fly is definitely worthy of a Dolores Park screening. (And you can imagine, due to the title of the movie, I am as critical as they come.)


Montgomery Gallery

Camille-Jacob Pissarro Upper Norwood, Londres

Location: 406 Jackson San Francisco, CA 94111

Take of virtual tour of San Francisco’s Montgomery Gallery’s stand at TEFAF.

Founded in 1984, Montgomery Gallery deals in late 19th and early 20th century European and American paintings and sculpture. Located in Jackson Square, Montgomery Gallery currently is exhibiting Spring Selections of European and American 20th century works of art by Camille Pissarro, Albert Bierstadt, Auguste Renoir, Max Pechstein, and Norton Bush.


Matisse To Malevich

Henri Matisse Game of Bowls

Exhibition Title: Matisse to Malevich: Pioneers of Modern Art from the Hermitage
Location: Hermitage Amsterdam
Dates: March 6 - September, 2010

Matisse to Malevich: Pioneers of Modern Art from the Hermitage is an exhibition that is taking place as the Hermitage Amsterdam from March 6 through September 2010. Displaying 75 works selected from the permanent collection of the Hermitage St. Petersburg, Matisse to Malevich displays works by the masters of Modern art such as Matisse, Picasso, Van Dogen, De Vlaminck, and Derain, but through the lens of two collectors: Ivan Morozov and Sergej Shchukin.

The two Russian collectors, Ivan Morozov (1871-1921) and Sergeij Shchukin (1854-1936) sought out revolutionary French art in order stimulate art in Russia. Shchukin bought 51 works by Picasso and 37 by Matisse thus dominating the art world in Russia. The works were displayed in their homes enabling young Russian artists to view French works of art. The start of WWI marked the end of Morozov and Shchukin’s collecting and during the October Revolution of 1917 the collections were confiscated. A major of the works in both collections were donated to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Morozov fell in love with Impressionists such as Cezanne, Van Gogh, Dennis and Bonnard, while Shchukin sought after works by Matisse and Picasso. Shchukin’s collection included works by Matisse such as The Red Room, Game of Bowls, and Woman on a Terrace, which expressed his desire to find the latest and more revolutionary works of the European Avant-Garde. Shcukin also commissioned Matisse to paint Dance and Music for his staircase.

The exhibition takes an interesting angle on exhibiting the art historical narrative as the show includes a discussion of the collection aspect of works of art. The exhibiting provides a refreshing view on masterpieces of Modern art by bringing in the history of ownership of famous modern masterpieces. Matisse to Malevich expresses the profound impact that collectors can have on art history.


Shanghai Show

Liu Jianhua Can You Tell Me?

Exhibition Title:

Location: Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin Street San Francisco, CA 94102
February 5 - September 12, 2010

To further my review of the Asian Art Museum’s exhibition Shanghai, I would like to critic the organization of the exhibition. The overall mission of the exhibition is to portray the history and culture of Shanghai, however the division of the Shanghai exhibition into four sections: Beginnings (1850-1912), High Times (1912-1937), Revolution (1920-1976), and Shanghai Today (1980-present) provides a very limited view of Shanghai. The wall text for novice viewer of Chinese art provides little to no explanation of the work and therefore the viewer is left confused on the inclusion of each work in the exhibition. It requires background knowledge of the history of art in China to find the works interesting.

The placement of works within the exhibition detracts from the works themselves. In particular, the placement of Liu Jianhua’s Can You Tell Me? on the west end of North Court greatly from the work as the engravings on the books are barely legible as light streams down on the stainless steel books from the windows above. Can You Tell Me?, 2006, is an installation piece in which Liu Jianhua engraved two questions about the future of Shanghai in English, Mandarin, French, German, and Japanese onto stainless steel books suspended vertically from the wall. The questions range from humorous such as “Can Shanghai make the magic of David Copperfield come true, and move the Bund 100 meters backward to widen the Avenue?” to serious “Can Shanghai build the first welfare bank in the world to allow poor people to get money whenever they need?” The inclusion of Can You Tell Me? asks the viewer to contemplate the future of Shanghai and its global impact, however the message of the piece is lost as the placement of the piece underneath large windows hinders the viewers ability to read the engraved questions.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Busting A Move For A Contemporary Art Gallery

Exhibition Title: QNTV
Location: Queen's Nails Projects, 3191 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Date: Friday, March 26, 2010

The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” I entertained similar thoughts while watching the video screenings at Queen’s Nails Projects on Friday night, as the crowd’s mood was light and responsive to the music. I felt as if I could forget my tendencies to be critical in an art space and simply enjoy the narratives and sounds of the videos. Curated by Rachel Adams and Zoë Taleporo, the screenings were a part of a new installment of QNTV, “the first in a series of video screenings at Queen’s Nails Projects that showcase work blending performance, music, video and song writing.” The featured artists blended or amplified their own art practices with a form familiar to an audience raised on MTV, the music video. The music video can be understood as an entertaining and theatrical medium, which also tends to be accessible to broad audiences.

Of the videos I viewed, one in particular that favored highly with the spectators was Ely Kim’s Boom Box, 2009. The video played as a montage with 100 clips of the artist dancing in various spaces — work, home, club, outside, etc — to popular hip hop, rock, techno and dance songs. Many of the musicians included, from Paula Abdul to Joy Division to Madonna, were easily recognizable and produced excitable responses from the audience. Although the video translated as an entertainment piece, the mixture of songs provoked the viewer to be reminded of unique experiences and memories related to the music.

As I continue to absorb the visual experience, I find myself asking questions about the “artist music video.” For example, how is it different or similar to the music videos circulating on MTV or YouTube? Comments...?


Friday, March 26, 2010

Global Lives Project Opening Night

Exhibition Title: Global Lives Project
Location: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 701 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103-3138
Dates: February 26 - June 20, 2010

Opening night for the Global Lives Project at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) was an interesting experience. I walked in with two friends into the Room for Big Ideas at YBCA, which is this big high ceiling room, where the Global Lives Project was exhibited in the form of multiple screens hanging from the ceiling at different heights and depths. It was dark, the light available came from the projectors, there was a cash bar, a sushi-taco concoction stand, a DJ, and masses of people chatting, drinking, eating and gazing.

If I had to ignore the party going on – which quite frankly was hard – I could appreciate the way the Global Lives Project was being exhibited. The way the screens were hung made them have an interesting three-dimensionality, where they appeared to block one another depending on where I would stand to watch. It was difficult to maintain focus, since all ten screens where displaying 24 hours in the lives on ten different people. A screen for every person that my two eyes could not handle – at least not with the event going on.

Global Lives Project is a video installation that pretends to represent diversity by portraying a day in the lives of ten people from Lebanon, Serbia, China, India, Japan, Malawi, Indonesia, Brazil, Kazakhstan and San Francisco. It disturbs me a bit to consider that this could be representative of humankind’s diversity, since I’m from Mexico, and there is not a single person from a Spanish Speaking Latin American country – or any Spanish Speaker whatsoever. On the other hand, there is a tendency towards non-traditionally western countries except for San Francisco. I’m aware of the difficulty to effectively represent diversity with only ten people, but all in all I believe that the project fell short in that manner.

Global Lives Project was successful with their installation proposal designed by Sand Studios and FOURM design+build+educate. The way the screens were set up, the movement it generated, I found magnificent. I only wish I could have seen this exhibition without all that was going on with opening night, even though it was a great party. I’ll have to go back some other time.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Shanghai Revolution

Exhibition Title: Shanghai
Location: Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin Street San Francisco, CA 94102
Dates: February 5 - September 12, 2010

I know next to nothing about Shanghai. Upon visiting the exhibition, Shanghai, at the Asian Art Museum, I was hoping to discover a lot more. It was a rather small exhibition organized historically and, I imagine, with the intention of illustrating the various art methods in different time periods. Much of the work was, for lack of better words, stereotypical to what Americans think of when asked about Asian Art. I was hoping the contemporary room would provide something to the contrary. In a way it did, but at the same time, there was not enough to see, as it was located in the smallest exhibition space.

As I continue with my contributions to this blog, I am writing from the perspective of my own personal growth and knowledge of the art world. I am working myself into comfort so the ideas that I formulate come from finding something particular to my journey. Though there were some noteworthy pieces in the show, I will leave that to my colleagues to discuss. What was fascinating to me was the Revolution area of this exhibition. It was not, however, for the content of the art, but for the process. I find it rather bizarre that I did not evaluate the space on aesthetic but mastery basically because I have experience with relief printmaking. If I did not know ahead of time that the space was dedicated to Revolutionary posters, I would have referred to it as the woodcut area. By this, I mean that I don’t know what was on the woodblock as I was mesmerized by the craftsmanship. I even brought it up with others with experience in the art form. For anyone who has ever done relief, they know the instability that can be associated with working with wood. There are various obstacles to master including, type of wood, size / quality of tools, chipping, etc. In addition, I wondered about the technology available to print makers in Shanghai during said time period. What sorts of supplies did they use to complete the print? I couldn’t focus on anything else. My mind was all encompassed by questioning the who, what, when, where, how of the process instead of the content. My big questions: Is this a regular occurrence with artists? Do they forget to see the aesthetic and narrow onto solely on the craft? Is it still considered aesthetic if the craft is what the viewer focuses on? Is art only subject to message and “prettiness”? That’s right, I’m asking you.


Geography of Transterritories

Exhibition Title: Geography of Transterritories
Walter McBean Galleries 800 Chestnut San Francisco, CA 94133

Dates: February 25 - May 22, 2010

I have often wondered about the interpretation of art. Everyone has different levels of understanding when it comes to art and during shows. I wish I could read minds. After attending the opening and lecture for Geography of Transterritories at the Walter & McBean Galleries, I wish I could read minds more than ever. From my own walk around the show, I had plenty of questions about what was presented and how it all fit together in the arts. I’m still on the learning track for art because, as I’ve seen it, art is a lifestyle and not an interest or hobby (please argue with me if you think otherwise) and I entered into it rather late. Going back on topic, my big question for this show was whether some art seemed unreadable from the lack of geopolitical knowledge on behalf of the audience or failure of the artist to relate to this audience?

Let me go into detail. The idea behind this exhibition was to address “those issues of transborder conflict that are profoundly changing global modes of production, communication, and space / time organization.” Keeping this in mind and not only viewing this show but also listening to the artists and doing a little more research, my question remains. The most accessible artist in this show was Michael Arcega. His human cargo boxes touched on the topics of airport security / restrictions and human trafficking in the context of immigration and, to some extent, terrorism. Immigration has become more of a heated issue as a result of September 11th and I believe that his work is highly personal given his relationship to this topic and his heritage. I connected with this piece as a first generation Mexican-American. Though my parents are legal, I have known family friends who had somewhat questionable backgrounds. The power of their stories, as well as many others, reverberates through these boxes.

With Carlos Motta and Ursula Biemann, I had trouble separating them from oral history and anthropological discourse. After the lecture, however, I was able to see that Carlos’s discussion was not limited to the documentary but there were two other elements to La Buena Vida that completed the story. There is an Internet archive ( that includes texts that further delve deeper into the issues of geo and national politics. The audience is able to control their experience by choosing how they view the archive. In it, videos are narrowed by various factors including age, question, gender, language, city, theme and occupation. It is not as dry and narrow as a documentary as layers are revealed the more one engages in the project. With Ursula, having heard her speak twice, I’m still not sure how to separate her work, The Maghreb Connection, completely from oral history. From her explanation, the politics behind the situation of North African immigration does not allow for much information to be disseminated. With her work, however, in the context of art, she is able to produce and reveal more information than would generally be acceptable under sanctions. In other words - as I understood her - it is art because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see it.

Ursula Biemann Sahara Chronicles (film still)

Quite frankly, with Claire Fontaine and Société Réaliste, I was confused by their choice of work. Claire Fontaine’s work was the stars of the European Union burned into the ceiling of the gallery room and 5000 posters of Flags of the World in Arabic. The flags were interesting as my friends and I discussed how many flags we could identify since none of us speak Arabic. It was quite embarrassing for those of us from the United States could recognize far less than our international friends. The question is why? Do Americans not place themselves in the global community? Why is geography not taught as predominantly as it is in foreign countries? The burned stars, however, didn’t really stick with me. Even after hearing them talk about it, it sounded more like a process than a message. Their other works involving Israeli-Palestinian relations, however, were very strong and passionate and were produced using similar methods. Did they think we wouldn’t understand? And lastly Société Réaliste’s project completely flew over my head. I can’t really talk about it and do it any justice at all. After some research, I was disappointed that they did not try to bring a past project to the Walter & McBean. A really fascinating project entitled EU Green Card Lottery. It is both a website and installation in which people register to “win” a Green Card to live and work in the United States. Perhaps it is naïve of me to want the project to have an American connection or perhaps it returns to the topic of my / possibly other American’s lack of knowledge in geopolitics. I cannot be sure. Is it just me? This is that moment I wish I could read minds. I guess I am partly posting this because I hope more can be said about it.


Monday, March 1, 2010

The Overthinking Of Man

Lecture / Screening Title: Examined Life
Location: Herbst Theater 401 Van Ness San Francisco, CA 94102
Date: February 25, 2010

Being a die-hard fan of Judith Butler's texts regarding the formation of gender as a social construct, I decided to trace my way to Van Ness for a midweek lecture. Part of the City Arts & Lectures program, the event was (much to my surprise, since when I purchased my ticket no such lineup was listed) both a movie screening and subsequent q&a session with the director, her sister and, of course, Judith Butler. The 500-seat theater was decorated with a handful of academics and high school teenagers pursuing extra credit. Speaking to those around me, no one knew what to expect, as very little description of the film was given in the program. The moderator shuffled on stage. Barely speaking into the microphone she announced the title of the film: Examined Life by Astra Taylor. She continued by noting that the film “makes thinking interesting.” I wondered when thinking wasn’t interesting as the screen ascended. In bold Helvetica were the words:

The first step towards philosophy is incredulity. – Diderot

“Oh God,” I thought, “What have I gotten myself into?” But it was too late to run. I was about to enter an 80-minute mental masturbation session shot through the lens of our dear friend philosophy.

Directed by Astra Taylor, Examined Life visually records monologues by some of mankind’s richest minds. Best known for her 2005 film, Zizek!, about the Solvenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, Taylor is undoubtedly more infamous for her marriage to indie rock front man Jeff Mangum from Neutral Milk Hotel than her films. She holds a MA in Liberal Studies from the New School in New York and was named by Filmmaker Magazine in 2006 as one of the “25 new faces to watch.” Examined Life is her second movie in her very brief repertoire and has been touring since September 2008. The screening at the Herbst marked the end of the film’s run.

Initially inspired by the length of philosophy texts, Astra Taylor posed the question: “Can philosophy be summarized in brief onscreen interviews?” What followed was a disjointed mess that over-thought its own thoughts. Interviews included 10-minute snippets with Cornel West, Slavoj Zizek, Peter Singer, Judith Butler, Cornel West, to name a few. Each segment included a form of movement (as in a walk, a sail in Central Park, a car ride in Union Square) to express words as taking place “in motion.” An “experiment in film thought,” Examined Life attempts to create dialogue between audience members. However, without a connecting factor or theme within the varied interviews, the film quickly drowns in information. In barely over an hour the film discusses recycling, disabilities, the female body, jazz, etc. etc. Not knowing what key elements to digest, I quickly repressed the entire experience.

Examined Life is philosophy for the ill informed. A set of clichés building upon one another, the movie fails at drawing any conclusions concerning philosophy or the modern mind. Instead, Examined Life is a canon of contemporary thinkers forced to edit their words to a pathetic 10 minutes. The only reason I did not leave the venue yelling was because I knew Judith Butler was to take the stage. And, just my luck, she was late and barely uttered a word. My summary? An Examined Life is a life not worth living.


Presenting The 60's In A Contemporary Light

Exhibition Title: Journeying the Sixties: A Counterculture Tarot
Location: The Art House Gallery and Community Center, Berkeley, CA 94705
Dates: Thru April 1, 2010

Harold Adler is a Berkeley Photographer who photographed for The Berkeley Barb and other publications in the 1960's. In my video interview with him, he describes the problematic eminent domain issue that the University of California, Berkeley inflicted upon its community. Many beautiful homes were converted into a large “mud pit” that eventually became a parking lot due to poorly allocated funding. Harold intensely photographed the process of creating People’s Park in the late 1960's.

Through April 1st, The Art House Gallery and Community Center at 2905 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, California is showing the photography of William Cook Haigwood. Mr. Haigwood worked for The Berkeley Gazette in the 1960's (usually had a press pass and wasn’t hassled as much as Harold by the police) and like his colleague had captured much of the peace, love, and police brutality that followed the political movements in Berkeley that helped create People’s Park.

Haigwood’s work is presented in traditional Tarot form. Familiar, however now archaic, urban elements of flower power, the civil rights movement, and blatant examples of early Reagonomic policy make this work series political satire as well as a relevant historical archive. A real Tarot deck, with seventy-eight images in all, the 8 x 10 black and white photographs are hilarious, jaw dropping, and sometimes completely shocking, even to today’s standards. I feel nostalgia for modernist California, full of young baby boomers, who seemed to own the planet at that time. Certain elements of the urban landscape are simply unimaginable today, other than in a historical perspective.

Each of Haigwood’s photographic historical tarot representations is accompanied by a comparative analysis by the artist, which leads to a sense of history and happening — spiritual, metaphysical, political, or what have you. I am offering you three of my favorite examples.

I. Magician

Haigwood uses his famous portrait of Dr. Leary to represent the Magician of the Tarot. Dr. Leary was the foremost theorist of his time regarding the metaphysics and transcendental nature of psychedelic drugs such as L.S.D.

William Cook Haigwood, 1967

VII. The Chariot

Hippie parades up and down the Haight Ashbury District in San Francisco, California actually became commonplace happenings in Golden Gate Park, and around the neighborhood in the late 1960's. Haigwood captures a bare-chested man with some days growth of beard. He carries a stack of 2 x 4s supporting plywood, holding a toilet used as a vase for a bouquet.

William Cook Haigwood, 1965

X. The Wheel

In Tarot the wheel is often a metaphor for the zodiac, the cosmos, or even the Milky Way.

“The Tarot’s wheel is a wheel of fortune, the certain course of human life along an uncertain path.”

William Cook Haigwood

The work displays a sleeved elbow of a man checking his 35mm on the left foreground and to the right, a man who in another time or place could have seemed like a medieval priest (mop top hairdo and goatee beard) possibly carrying his UCB notes. Behind him is a peace sign on a wooden wall projection from a brick building and stands next to a young woman who could pass for a flower child, rose petals at her feet. There is a large crowd behind the long-shirted goateed gentleman, who are apparently students going to class, a familiar sight on Telegraph Avenue today, The element with the skirted woman enjoying the weather in front of the peace sign seems captivating, perhaps indicating a local radical hot spot.

Haigwood uses the wheel as a much larger metaphor for how society will eventually push capitalism and nuclear war at him as he continues to walk his path of uncertainty. As an anti-war sentiment, Haigwood clearly defines the Hindu Wheel of Karmic Motion. The metaphor here is to let go entirely is to exist, therefore, “there is no way out of war but to end it.” This makes sense in light of today’s problematic foreign war policy.

The Art House Gallery is indeed a silly place where silver haired baby-boomers attending fundraisers, listen to 1960's era cover bands and frolic and boogie. 1960's counter-culturalists, cultural preservationists, and archivists in books, media, galleries, and museums have popularized both Adler and Haigwood.