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Christina Catherine Martinez

20140625195324-stk_5369 Me and You and Everyone We Kind of Know: Made in L.A. 2014   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Juan Capistran, Danielle Dean, Harry Dodge, Lecia Dole-Recio, Public Fiction, Kim Fisher, Judy Fiskin, Magdalena Suarez Frimkess, Michael Frimkess, Mariah Garnett, Samara Golden, Piero Golia, Tony Greene, Marcia Hafif, Channing Hansen, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Barry Johnston, Gerard & Kelly, Devin Kenny, Gabriel Kuri, Caitlin Lonegan, Tala Madani, Max Maslansky, Emily Mast, Jennifer Moon, Brian O’Connell, Harsh Patel, Marina Pinsky, KChung Radio, Sarah Rara, A.L. Steiner, James Kidd Studio, Ricky Swallow, Clarissa Tossin, Wu Tsang at Hammer Museum June 15th - September 7th
Posted 6/24/14

Comedian Emily Joyce, dressed in a 14th-century bonnet and dress, rolls her eyes, hard. Sticking her thumb out in a gesture of one-dimensional 1990s sarcasm, she paces KCHUNGtv's makeshift set in the lobby of the Hammer Museum. The on-site camera editors are hushed. I walk in just as a big laugh is dying down. “But seriously folks," she continues, "you gotta watch out who you're makin' out with these days ‘cause we got this Black Plague going around. Nothing more embarrassing than h... [more]

20140521064208-o Living Inside-Out   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Dan Burkhart, E’wao Kagoshima, Juanita McNeely, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski at The Box April 17th - May 24th
Posted 5/21/14

A girl snaps her own photo in a dressing room, each mirror perfectly angled to show every surface at once. The back and sides are hanging out with the front; her eyes are multiplied to better see the new multitude of herself. She's peeled and spread out, projected onto the picture plane of her phone like those flattened globe maps that make the earth look like a bubbly 'M' scrawled on a middleschooler's notebook. There's something almost folk-arty about it, isn't there? Depiction that doesn't... [more]

20131123162557-5 Blanking the Canvas: The image of women in fin-de-siècle Paris   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Hammer Museum January 26th - May 18th
Posted 4/15/14

It was a very nice hospital. It had a view and a private sitting area in the room. I had tubes sticking out. Some to drain fluids, others to pump fluids in. I was given observation and pain management, modern medical euphemisms for the twin social ailments of boredom and drugs. I ended up staying an extra night. Doctors often keep business hours and no one else was authorized to release me. Either as apology or just further negligence, I was treated to an extra night of pain management, melting... [more]

20140317074004-1394921708 Beautiful and Sad and Classy   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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James Krone at Night Gallery March 8th - April 5th
Posted 3/17/14

Remember the ritualistic daubing of perfume in preparation for a type of tryst, a slow, light movement on fingertips over the erogenous zones—perhaps more crass, but no less spiritual in its fervor—when one either anticipates, or more likely hopes to conjure the promise of carnal knowledge. Maybe no one actually does this. The last person I saw do this to herself was a celluloid bimbo in a horror movie. Rest assured, she got hers in the end, according to the gospel of this moralisti... [more]

20140129005353-2013-07-11_11 Ranch Hands: Alex Freedman and Pentti Monkkonen on the new art fair at Paramount Ranch   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Paramount Ranch February 1st - February 2nd
Posted 1/28/14

A trifecta of weekend-long events descends on Los Angeles this weekend: the straight-laced Art Los Angeles Contemporary, the sophomore iteration of the wildly successful LA Art Book Fair, and taking place in an old movie lot in the Agoura Hills, once-home to the faux adventures of countless Hollywood cowboys, the Paramount Ranch Art Fair will make its debut. Whereas emerging galleries at established fairs are designated by geo-political booth assignments like 'SE-207, basement floor (bring flashlight... [more]

20140122074625-tower1 Effortlessness, It’s Never Easy if You Try   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 1/21/14

Seeking to postpone stock experiences and squeeze them all into our few days together, I avoided visiting the Tower until my mother arrived. We didn’t eat macarons at Ladurée, we didn’t get hot chocolate at Café de Flore, we didn’t jostle for selfies with La Joconde, but we went to the Tower. The visit itself is a symbolic gesture, because the symbol literally haunts no matter where you are in the world. Those curving lines, stretching skyward like a bit of pinch... [more]

20131121225801-20120701101352-10 It Never Really Goes Away: An Interview with Daniel Clowes   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 11/21/13

This interview was originally published on ArtSlant San Francisco. San Francisco, June 2012: "Is that a comic book you're reading?" I'm sitting on an AC Transit bus in Oakland, reading a collection of Daniel Clowes' early short-story comics. I nod at the elderly gentleman and he seems pleased. "Good for you!" he says, "what kind of comic is it?" I look down. The panel I happen to be reading at the moment depicts a baseball player holding his own giant dick in lieu of a bat, part of a larger st... [more]

20131105152457-huyghe1 Things That Are Alive   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Pierre Huyghe at Centre Pompidou September 25th, 2013 - January 6th
Posted 11/5/13

People in museums move like assholes. This dynamic may be little more than a distant memory for those privy to the luxury of sparsely-populated art spaces: via opening receptions, press previews, off-hours viewings organized by friends of friends, or just the good fortune of being free most Monday mornings. Unfortunately, when confronted with the work of an artist who seeks to interrogate, interrupt, obfuscate, or otherwise f*ck The Space of the Museum, privileged classes of museum-goers may be fo... [more]

20131024231012-photo_high_134578 First Impressions: Crowd Control   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at FIAC October 24th, 2013 - October 27th, 2013
Posted 10/24/13

Bureaucracy is as much a part of France’s mythic national character as wine, cheese, or chicness itself. I began my month long stay in the City of Light (a light which, I’ve noticed, emanates mainly from the Eiffel Tower, twinkling dreamily through the upper-floor windows of those who merely want to sleep at night) prepared to dismantle these clichés with encounters and anecdotes testifying to their opposite. Unfortunately, the difficulty with which I finally breached the perimeter... [more]

20131012205606-seanpaul2 Everything in Its Absence   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Sean Paul at Campoli Presti-Paris October 5th, 2013 - October 19th, 2013
Posted 10/11/13

Though it has proved its mettle in disposable boat construction and DIY prom couture, the most interesting functions of tape are metaphysical. Gangly schoolchildren and polished movie actresses alike take their positions in front of a camera according to bold silver or yellow strips laid out on the floor. Toes on the line, please. Chin up. Now don’t move from that spot. Art Directors and household decorators with low-levels of anal retentiveness plan out their above-sofa picture compositions wi... [more]

20130922090801-public_fiction_-_the_stand_in__or_a_glass_of_milk_ Between Reality and Reverie   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Karen Adelman, Trisha Baga, Cara Benedetto, Scott Benzel, Gabriele Beveridge, Lucas Blalock, Nina Canell, Marieta Chirulescu, Isabelle Cornaro, Lili Reynaud-Dewar w/ Olivia Dunbar, Deanna Erdmann, Brendan Fowler, Erik Frydenborg, Amy Granat, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Nathan Hylden, Barbara Kasten, Erik Lindman, Shana Lutker, Joseph Mosconi, Alex Olson, Taisha Paggett, Lindsay August Salazar, Rachell Sawatsky, Sara VanDerBeek, Erika Vogt, Flora Wiegmann, Rosha Yaghmai at Public Fiction September 6th, 2013 - November 27th, 2013
Posted 9/21/13

The basic structure of society is not amenable to surrealist states. Louis Aragon’s vision-soaked stroll through the passage de l’opera in his preeminently surrealist novel Paris Peasant reads like foggy brainspace turned inside out and made into poetry, coloring reality itself with its instability. Umbrellas dance, a lock of flaxen hair—seen only in a flash—mercilessly seduces. Instability is the reality of The Stand In (Or A Glass of Milk) Phase 1: An Unbiased Teal.... [more]

20130824190619-buren Show and Tell   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 8/24/13

A young woman strikes a subtle, learned pose in a short, flippy, drop-waist tunic made of canary-yellow and white checkerboard polyester. She faces the camera head-on with poised stillness, like a model in a live fashion presentation. The image is cropped close around her body, but visible behind her are the whitewashed brick, exposed pipes, and crooked crawlspace grate of a suburban apartment complex. The dress is a facsimile of one from the Louis Vuitton Spring 2013 ready-to-wear show. Crit... [more]

20130805221001-lucydodd To Name Your Fear is to Conquer It   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Lucy Dodd at Blum & Poe July 20th, 2013 - August 31st, 2013
Posted 8/5/13

Eight large, sooty, splotchy paintings strike curious poses upstairs these days—rhombuses and pentagons slide into corners, balance on point, reach the floors and ceilings of the gallery at odd angles. An equilateral triangle painting functions as a “key” to the others. The dimensions are arbitrary, perhaps, but not haphazard. Constructed as echoes and responses to the architecture of the artist's studio, they are elegantly at home in any space; the mental associations and conc... [more]

20130715124915-x Heavy Lies the (Cartoon) Crown   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Joel Dean, Adrianne Rubenstein at Et al. June 21st, 2013 - July 19th, 2013
Posted 7/15/13

The meandering flute of Gioachino Rossini’s the Call to the Cows gently teases the sunrise out from behind the skyline. A few stray notes waft in through the bedroom window, followed by the tinny crow of a rooster, prompting the little door of the cuckoo clock over the bed to slowly creak open. A large mechanical arm wearing a white glove emerges, holding a mallet nearly twice as large as the clock itself. It pounds on the sleeping figure under the covers. Once, twice, thrice, until a trio of blu... [more]

20130612154342-o Leisure Class   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Legion of Honor June 1st, 2013 - October 13th, 2013
Posted 6/12/13

On any given Saturday, the perimeter of Oakland’s newly revived and landscaped Lake Merritt gushes leisure and its minions: weekend bohemians with shiny banjos, eager-eyed GreenPeace solicitors in stiff vests, joggers, bicyclists, casual tight-rope walkers (this is not a joke), girls selling vintage clothes out of a car, smoking barbeques, children squealing and zipping by on all manner of wheeled contraptions, couples on blankets in flagrante, and a farmer’s market covering the gamut from fair-tra... [more]

20130515221330-6 Ready, Set, Art Fair!   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at artMRKT San Francisco May 16th, 2013 - May 19th, 2013
Posted 5/15/13

This week, San Francisco will be treated to not one, but two contemporary art fairs. ArtMRKT San Francisco and ArtPadSF will both take place May 16 - 19th, and it behooves an art lover to visit both if they want to get a compressed but authentic feel for the art scene in the Bay Area. A good rule of thumb is to take in artMRKT during the day and party down with ArtPadSF at night. This will be artMRKT’s first year at Fort Mason Center in the Marina, a beautiful but unfortunately less-accessible venue than last year’s... [more]

20130430103000-othesleepingshow5 O the sleeping bag contains the body but not the dreaming head   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Alice Channer, Aaron Flint Jamison, Anicka Yi at Altman Siegel Gallery April 18th, 2013 - June 1st, 2013
Posted 4/30/13

In an intriguing gesture of enticement, the information provided on Altman Siegel’s sparse four-part installation is limited to the poem by Matthea Harvey, from which the exhibition borrows its title.   Everything Must Go Today’s class 3-Deifying:Godgrass, godtrees, godroad. A sheet of geese bisects the rainstorm.The water tower is ten times full. We practice drawing cubes—That’s the house squared away & the incubator with Baby.The dead are in their grid. Oh the sleeping bag contains th... [more]

20130412044238-sheeler Don't Let 'em See You Sweat: Notes on Work   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/12/13

In the mind’s eye hangs a poster of a discomfitingly adorable orange-and-white kitten clinging perilously to a tree branch by a single paw. In thick bubbly script are the words "Hang in there, baby!” I don’t know much about what my friends have accomplished this year, but we are all exceedingly familiar with what we’re in the middle of doing, and more obliquely, what we intend to do. We know exactly how hard we’re working. *** Eight undergraduate students nurse Monday morning coffees, shuffle... [more]

20130406064145-sheeler Don't Let 'em See You Sweat: Notes on Work   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/6/13

In the mind’s eye hangs a poster of a discomfitingly adorable orange-and-white kitten clinging perilously to a tree branch by a single paw. In thick bubbly script are the words "Hang in there, baby!” I don’t know much about what my friends have accomplished this year, but we are all exceedingly familiar with what we’re in the middle of doing, and more obliquely, what we intend to do. We know exactly how hard we’re working.  *** Eight undergraduate students nurse Monday morning coffees, shuffle... [more]

20130325195140-05_sfmoma_winogrand_losangeles1980_83 Light on a Surface   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Garry Winogrand at SFMOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art March 9th, 2013 - June 2nd, 2013
Posted 3/24/13

It’s hard to clear one’s head of all the preconceived notions and packaged analyses about an artist before going to meet their work for the first time. I made the mistake of reading other reviews before seeing Garry Winogrand’s photographs at SFMOMA (where I’m counting the days until it shutters for redevelopment, and I’ll be left a few old friends shy). One included a particularly barfy comparison of his New York period in the 1960s to the popular television program Mad Men. On the first pass, th... [more]

20130215212138-20130105130651-willbrown1 Meet Will Brown: Meta-Curating   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 2/15/13

Although “meta” is often misused as dismissive shorthand for the self-referential, it is, in its most fruitful sense, a tool for critical distance. Will Brown’s second exhibition was a history of black monochrome painting that included requisite, museum-quality copy and literature, but the paintings themselves were merely signified by chalk outlines on black gallery walls. The shapes creeped over moldings and ceiling space, overlapping in ways that made it clear that even if the proprietors of the modest... [more]

20130128122037-untitled INSTITUTIONAL HASHTAG   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Taryn Simon at John Berggruen Gallery January 16th, 2013 - March 30th, 2013
Posted 1/28/13

If the New York Public Library’s circulating picture library were constructed according to the popular tastes of the denizens of Instagram, then there would only be three folders: Food   —> (subcategory) macaroons Dogs / Cats Cleavage   —> (subcategory) “duck face” The NYPL’s library—a mere 1.2 million mainly photographic images culled from books, magazines, adverts, and grouped according to some 12,000 subject headings—seems quaint compared to the amount of visual information an online search engi... [more]

20121129010859-800px-palace_legion_honor_sf Overlapping Histories: Curatorial Practices in San Francisco   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 11/29/12

Yes, thanks to the Philistines of Cyberspace the word CURATOR is being stretched to the very limits of semantic significance, but rather than join the chorus of affronted cultural elites pointing fingers at every blogger or boutique-owner who dares to don that hallowed mantle, I thought it might be more productive to speak with two persons right here in the Bay Area who hold inarguable rights to the title yet work in vastly different contexts. Even when confined to the concerns of the art world, t... [more]

20121019100409-nightca1920 The Optometrist and the Wallpaper Designer.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Charles Burchfield, Ralph Eugene Meatyard at Fraenkel Gallery September 6th, 2012 - October 27th, 2012
Posted 10/19/12

I like that Fraenkel Gallery doesn’t present the pairing of the two artists featured in their latest exhibition with an overwrought thesis. Burchfield / Meatyard is its own kind of poetry. The painter and the photographer do have a “shared sensibility” of nature that’s maybe summed up by a shared preference for peace and quiet, a place to go and think about looking. Burchfield said that an artist “must paint not what he sees in nature, but what is there.” I dig deep to try and reconcile this q... [more]

20120929185835-campbells-soup-limited-edition-cans Let Them Eat Pop   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 9/29/12

I wanted to paint nothing. I was looking for something that was the essence of nothing, and that was it. —Andy Warhol on why he chose to paint soup cans If these musings prove nothing more than the paranoid ramblings of someone who finds poetry in grocery lists and weeps at the sight of octogenarians in matching hats, then so be it, but... something is off about this soup. There are consumer choices enough without worrying if one’s groceries are accurately reflecting some elevated cultural sensib... [more]

20121127191822-2-barry_mcgee-bampfa_8-2012 McGee and Me   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Barry McGee at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive August 24th, 2012 - December 9th, 2012
Posted 9/13/12

The end of summer is a strange moment. The energy of back-to-school jitters permeates everything. Fashion releases its flimsiest glossies in preparation for the cinder-block September issues. Galleries shutter, giving their artists and proprietors a chance to check in with the Midwest and assure their families that they’re getting enough to eat and thus return to September a few pounds thicker for the fall previews. New York and Paris turn into sweaty metropolitan ghost-towns, those with means hav... [more]

20120810090032-smithson Par Infinity: Earth Putt // Putt Works at Will Brown Gallery   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Water de Maria, Ant Farm, Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Long, Isamu Noguchi, Robert Smithson, James Turrell at Will Brown July 1st, 2012 - August 12th, 2012
Posted 8/10/12

“The par is three for every hole,” we were told matter-of-factly, “except number two, which is par seventeen, and number seven, which is par infinity.” I didn’t like the sound of that, but the potential embarrassment of swinging into the night was outweighed by the shame of giving up. We’ll deal with it when we deal with it. Land art is not an exclusively American phenomenon, and neither is miniature golf, but we have muscled ourselves into being primarily associated with them. Land art (or Robert Sm... [more]

20120726204434-cindysherman Identity Outfitters   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Cindy Sherman at SFMOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art July 14th, 2012 - October 8th, 2012
Posted 7/26/12

Snaking through the rooms of SFMOMA’s recently opened Cindy Sherman retrospective, I felt disturbingly underwhelmed by portrait after portrait of the artist acting as her own costumer, make-up artist, hairdresser, and photographer, becoming in each photograph, a different woman. Whispering into their recorders and to each other, the critics sound-byte thesis statements echoed off the walls like sage axioms: “pictures are misleading,” “identity is a social construction,” “photography is implicit in the fabr... [more]

20120717060758-screen_shot_2012-07-16_at_11 Conceptual Consumption   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Michael Delucia, Liam Everett, Ruth Laskey, Arik Levy, Sam Orlando Miller, Clare Rojas, Hugh Scott-Douglas, Anna Sew Hoy, Sara VanDerBeek at Hedge Gallery June 21st, 2012 - September 1st, 2012
Posted 7/15/12

Usually, exhibitions organized around a technique or medium rather than a concept tend to come off as crafty rather than curated—the whole enterprise tends to knock ideas a notch (or two, or three) below form. But fetish craft revivalism and the weird, zeitgeisty impulse to BRAND BRAND BRAND make the consumption of technique and material a somewhat reluctant political activity, imbued with any and as much concept as you like. Some people relish this. They think of thrift-store shopping as a for... [more]

It Never Really Goes Away: An Interview with Daniel Clowes  
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7/1/12

San Francisco, June 2012:  "Is that a comic book you're reading?" I'm sitting on an AC Transit bus in Oakland, reading a collection of Daniel Clowes' early short-story comics. I nod at the elderly gentleman and he seems pleased. "Good for you!" he says, "what kind of comic is it?" I look down. The panel I happen to be reading at the moment depicts a baseball player holding his own giant dick in lieu of a bat, part of a larger strip about the sublimated, homoerotic ritualism of professiona... [more]

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