February brings both an excellent photo fair as well as the beloved Noise Pop festival. Mark your calendars for these artistic to-dos.
What: If I Only Had A Brain
When: February 1-28, 2018
Where: Caldwell Snyder Gallery, 341 Sutter St. (Union Square), caldwellsnyder.com
Why: Because Los Angeles–based artist David Buckingham renders metal to look like Pop Art paintings, with provocative messages about today's society. "This exhibition is about self-excavation, memory, personal experiences," he says, "and a way to try to make sense of the world."
What: Be Not Still: Living in Uncertain Times (Part 1)
When: Through May 27, 2018
Where: di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, 5200 Sonoma Highway (Napa), dirosaart.org
Why: The topics are timely. Napa's most glorious culture hub, with multiple galleries and a rolling sculpture meadow, has reopened (in the wake of closure due to last year's fires) with two exhibits that speak to the current political and social climate. Look for local authors Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian's exploration on the meaning of surveillance, and site-specific installations addressing the rise of white nationalism and patriotism by West Coast artists Allison Smith, Rigo 23, and Ala Ebtekar,
When: February 23-25, 2018
Why: The second San Francisco edition of PhotoFairs—the West Coast's only major fair dedicated to photography, in partnership with SFMOMA—brings shutterbugs, galleries and art experts from Portland to Paris, Amsterdam to Shanghai for a dynamic exhibitions and industry panels.
What: Noise Pop Festival
When: February 19-25, 2018
Where: Various venues throughout the Bay Area, noisepopfest.com
Why: Noise Pop has come a long way, baby. The indie music fest returns this year with a whopper of a lineup including several free and satellite shows, with sets from Bay Area favorites (Tune-Yards, The MagiK* Magik Orchestra) as well as national acts.
What: La Lumiere Parle
When: February 14 through June 8, 2018
Where: 836M, 836 Montgomery St. (SoMa), 836m.org
Why: If you've been in France in recent years, you've likely seen the glowing work of French artist Eric Michel, who lit up Lyon in 2016 (see the video above) and whose permanent lighting installation Les Moulins de Lumière has been visible on the Paris skyline since 2011. In his first solo exhibition in SF, Michel will showcase his long study and experimentation with the power of light through 30 works of sculpture, photography and one mural.
What: The Matter of Photography in the Americas
When: February 7 through April 30, 2018
Where: Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, 328 Lomita Dr. (Palo Alto), museum.stanford.edu
Why: Can we develop empathy through photography? This is the question posed here by artists from 12 different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The exhibition collects the works of well-known Latino photographers including Alfredo Jarr, Oscar Muñoz, Ana Mendieta, and Teresa Margolles, who use their art to open a dialogue about the global economy and politics.
What: Ephemeral Seas
When: February 3-25, 2018
Where: Far Out Gallery, 3004 Taraval St. (Outer Sunset), faroutgallery.com
Why: Because San Francisco's coastline inspires you too. Former Architectural Digest art director Jeffrey Nemeroff spent 18 months observing and researching the relationship between the sea and sky; it's these two elements that wash over his latest work.
What: Letters of Fear & Love
When: 8pm, February 9, 2018
Why: You missed the first performance and this may be your last chance. On stage, again, is Dawson Dance choreographer Gregory Dawson's interpretation of author Sophia Aguiñaga's book Letters of Fear & Love. The composition of body movements express the vulnerability of the feeling, exploring its depth beyond societal constructs, psychological patterns and media messaging. Tickets ($20-$45) are available at eventbrite.com.
What: Ways to Kill the Night
When: February 16 through March 3, 2018
Where: 302 Folsom St. (SoMa), beyondbeyondsf.com
Why: Local curatorial collective Beyond Beyond stages stages bi-monthly pop-up art events in vacant retail spaces. Head over to SoMa for Chris Lux and Sarah Thibault's painterly consideration of restless nights and the devices people lean on when sleep evades us.