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Category Archives: Art

Oakland’s painted gnomes get some national press

Oakland’s painted gnomes, which I wrote about in March, were mentioned in a column on “DIY Urbanism” in the October issue of Governing magazine, accompanied by a photo I took of one of the little dudes: The full column (sans photo, I’m sad to say) can be read at Governing’s website.

The Painted Gnomes of Oakland

Miniature paintings of gnomes have been appearing at the base of telephone poles on the sidewalks of Oakland, east of Lake Merritt: There are dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of these crude but adorable little artworks, none of them taller than about 6 inches. They began their occupation a few months ago, but seem to have […]

Tile Style

For some reason I’ve been taking a lot of photos of tilework lately. Continuing to mine that vein, I took some pictures of mosaic murals in jingletown today: While many of the murals in this cluster are mosaics, there are some painted murals too. I’ve posted shots of some of the other murals (along with […]

Sun Rays

Bike to Work Day. Or, Boat to Artwork Day

Bike to work day was last Thursday. Since I bike to work all the time anyway, I have to seek out other ways to mark the day. (I suppose I could borrow a car and drive to work, but that would defeat the point.) Last year I took an extremely circuitous route to work in order […]

The Passage of Time and the Failure of Memory

This painting by Gerhard Richter is my favorite piece of 9/11-related art or literature; in fact, it might be the only piece of 9/11-related art or literature that I’ve ever actually liked: I first came across it in The Atlantic about 2 years ago, and it resonates with my own changing perspective on September 11th […]

Live and on Tape: Art at Awaken Cafe

Some of you know my friend Pablo Manga. Some of you know the Awaken Cafe and gallery on 14th Street in downtown Oakland. Some of you may know both, and some of you may know neither. Whichever category you fall into, you should check out a show of Pablo’s recent work at Awaken this month, […]

Have Art, Will Travel

A couple of leftover photos that didn’t seem to fit with yesterday’s post, so they get a post of their own:

Art in the Afternoon

…the public Is pushing through the museum now so as to Be out by closing time. You can’t live there. — John Ashbery, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror I was in that other city across the bay this afternoon, so I stopped in to SF MoMA to see the Robert Frank show before it closes […]

Painting San Francisco

This is sort of cool. I had to go out to the old Naval Air Station in Alameda again a few days ago (photos from previous visits are here and here), and I took some photos looking across the bay to San Francisco. Unfortunately, they didn’t come out very well, in part because some kind […]

Where Wile E. Coyote Buys His Fire Extinguishers

This is on Fruitvale Avenue, near the BART station. I’m not the only person who likes this sign: a local artist made a painting of it as part of a whole series on Oakland signage.

Out-Hipstering the Hipsters

If you’ve set foot in an American city in the past few decades, then you are probably familiar with hipster T-shirts. They might be regular old T-shirts, but instead of having earnest logos such as “Dysart’s Truck Stop, Bangor, ME,” they have ironic logos such as “Dysart’s Truck Stop, Bangor, ME.” The sensibility is what […]