By my count there are 83 graduates who are presenting their artwork in the 2007 MFA exhibition of the San Francisco Art Institute, not counting the film students. The show is thankfully better than last year's largely dismal showing. Still, there are a number of graduates who have been unable to come up with anything interesting to show. In a few cases, you wonder how the faculty decided the person was qualified for an MFA degree. This is a general problem within MFA programs, not just the program at SFAI.
The best approach to these shows is to enjoy the work that has a spark and forget the rest. Some of the work that caught my attention is show below. The images reflect the variety of work to be seen, but they don't cover every artist of interest, or give a full picture of any artist's presentation.
The sculpture at the upper left was contributed by the safety directorate at Fort Mason Center.
Drawings of digital imagery have become a subgenre,
but this artist manages to make her own imprint.
The images look like details from a video by Takeshi Murata, “Untitled (Silver).”
It stopped me in my tracks. The artist, in clownface, looks on.
The photo shows the lovely chalk dust on the floor before some oaf stepped in it.
The media are pigment print and mixed media on carpet. The size is 48" x 84".
The media are ink, colored pencils, and watercolor on paper.
Aguirre's work is quiet and takes a little time to register, but it rewards attention.
first in a video (melting) and then in a refrigerated case (frozen).
presenting his selection of smokeless tobacco products.
point and shoot (cameras and weapons). This one is 34" x 46".
(The orientation of this painting in the show
is different from the image on the artist's website.)
“My Life as a Dog (Laika Vision Quest).” That's the artist in the dog suit.
They have very glossy surfaces and rich colors, like ads in lifestyle magazines,
but an atmosphere of loss and isolation pervades them.
psychological confinement—the experience of being “backed into a corner.”
After breaking open the wall, Popp covered the inside corner with paper.
Later, the outside corner drew the interest of a boy in blue.
Added note: The above artists above are not the only participants whose work I noticed with interest. Joshua Eggleton's large graphite drawings were well done (but hard to photograph). Among the painters, Jisun-soye Bae and Aaron Delehanty looked promising. Ryan Hackett works in several media with interesting results. I enjoyed Carla Fraga's project of photographing books she wanted to get rid of, but nobody would take. Andrew Rottner's image bank project, in which visitors are invited to root through file drawers and select images, is fun. And there were two installations, by Deer Fang and Scott Kiernan, that showed energy, skill, and ambition—althought both projects struck me as unfocused, possibly because the artists had awkward spaces to work with.