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Spooky, Awesome Halloween-Themed Art Shows to See Now

Log Lady

Patrushka, "Lady of the Log"

Halloween art: Usually questionable, we’ll admit. Still, we can’t help getting in the spirit of the season, and there are a few SF galleries right there with us. Look forward to not one but two exhibitions paying homage to cult film directors, a virtual masquerade ball, and a few other must-sees that, while probably not devised with the holiday in mind, we think are thematically dark enough to fit the bill.

Masquerade, at Arc Studios and Gallery
Masquerade balls: A glorious intersection of high society and utter creepiness (see Eyes Wide Shut), this strange tradition raises a staggering array of questions pertaining to voyeurism, identity and sex. For this national juried exhibition, artists were asked to effect a virtual masquerade ball through works exploring the sinister, the festive, the macabre, the jubilant and the mischievous. The results, from what we’ve seen, are deeply stirring.

Masquerade runs from October 25 through November 18 at Arc Studios and Gallery, 1246 Folsom St. Opening Reception: Thursday, October 25 from 7 – 10pm

In Heaven, Everything Is Fine: Art Inspired by the Work of Director David Lynch, at Roll Up Gallery
That gum you like is going to come back in style. Head to Roll Up Gallery for work by twelve artists created in response to the surreal, bizarrely atmospheric worlds of director David Lynch (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive), including an installation replica of the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks. Come in Lynch-inspired costume this Friday – best dressed gets a prize, and if it’s thematically a propos, it’s probably going to rule.

In Heaven, Everything Is Fine runs from October 26 through November 7 at Roll Up Gallery, 161 Erie Street. Opening reception costume party: Friday, October 26 from 6 – 9pm

Bruce White

Bad Dads: An Art Show Tribute to the Films of Wes Anderson, at Spoke Art
While Wes Anderson’s style (The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom) is not especially grim or ghoulish, his films are rife with memorable characters and costume potential. His work has also proven inspiring to visual artists, as evidenced by Spoke Art’s previous two successful exhibitions of Bad Dads – now an annual tradition. Check out the 75+ works included this Friday and Saturday, and, of course, come in costume.

Bad Dads runs from October 26 through November 24 at Spoke Art, 816 Sutter St. Opening reception costume party: Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 from 6 – 10pm

Retratos Hablados, at Jack Fischer Gallery
“As an artist I’ve been relentless in my pursuit to tell the inner story of a person through a physical portrait,” says Mexican-born artist Rogelio Manzo. This statement carries some unsettling implications, considering the form Manzo’s sitters end up taking: deformed, bloodied, grotesque. Created by applying oil paint, image transfers and laser or inkjet prints to multiple surfaces of a resin panel, the arrestingly detailed, complex works allow for the play of light and bring the artist’s traumatic subjects to life.

Retratos Hablados runs from October 27 through December 8 at Jack Fischer Gallery, 49 Geary. Opening reception: Saturday, October 27 from 3 – 6pm

Randy Beckelheimer: Black and White, at ArtZone 461
Nothing spookier than a landscape, right? Okay, this exhibition stretches the Halloween angle a little, but nevertheless remains a must-see. In a significant departure from his signature color-field paintings, Randy Beckelheimer recreates historic photographs of San Francisco’s Hunters Point Naval Shipyards in black and white paint. Turning a critical eye to these ever-shifting landscapes – the sites of war machines and geopolitical tension – Beckelheimer “attacks” his often dark, shadowy canvases, aiming to complete each work without interruption.

Black and White runs from October 25 through November 25 at ArtZone 461 Gallery, 461 Valencia Street. Opening reception: Saturday, October 27 from 5 – 8pm