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Artist Jim Campbell's Latest Exhibit + Insider Picks

Mixed media artist Jim Campbell has been fascinating us with his light displays for years, so it’s no surprise that a retrospective of his work is being celebrated in NYC at two different locations in Manhattan (the third just finished). The exhibitions range from Campbell’s signature LED panels that project ultra low-resolution Kodachrome home movies to topographic LED sculptures created from transparent, molded resin. If you can’t make the trip east, feast your eyes on the dazzling works, along with behind-the-scenes commentary from the artist himself, in the video below.

But first, we pressed Campbell for some of his favorite local picks:

Favorite street?

JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park—for transplants from east of the Rockies, it provides a fix of green.

Favorite public artwork?

John Roloff’s Boat at Yerba Buena Center. I’ve always liked its inside and outside worlds. It’s two works, and one of them you can never quite see well. Sculptural absurdity from far away and mysterious close up. Nature meets steel and glass. It has it all.

Favorite museum?  

Musee Mecanique, a fun and creepy arcade with moving machines that play music. 

Favorite dish?  

Eggplant sandwich at Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store in North Beach. Breaded eggplant on focaccia from Liguria bakery.

Favorite classic SF experience?

Browse City Lights and drinks at Vesuvio’s next door. Can’t beat it.

Favorite bar and cocktail?  

Bloom’s on Potrero Hill. Great view and unpretentious. Get a rum and Coke with lime (aka a Cuba Libre in classy places).

Favorite store?  

Fry's Electronics in Palo Alto. Potato chips and oscilloscopes all in one store!

Favorite day trip?  

Point Reyes: Ocean, flora, and fog. It has everything but mountains.  

Favorite annual SF event?  

Dragon Boat Races on Treasure Island gives you a unique view of the city and its environs.

Favorite hidden gem?  

Camera Obscura. It makes you aware of the finiteness of digital media. One feels like a voyeur of a framed reality when inside the camera.

If you’re in NYC, don’t miss Campbell’s exhibits:

Jim Campbell: Rhythms of Perception

Museum of the Moving Image

March 21-June 15

Jim Campbell: New Work

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery 

March 7 - April 19