Writing for SFMOMA’s Open Space- Collection Rotation

Last November I was invited to compose some writing for SFMOMA’s Open Space- Collection Rotation.  In the months that followed, I steadily worked on this piece and found myself relating the process of writing to patterns similar to curating and organizing projects.  Today, I notice when pursuing any goal, the process is never linear. If I were to represent the act of doing, of moving forward as a drawing it …

In Studio with Artist Anna Valdez

By Lacey Haslam January 18, 2015 As an artist, Anna Valdez pulls objects from her own personal history and background in anthropology to build her still lifes.  She arranges objects such as quilts, books and photographs to create dynamic compositions full of pattern and with a nod to historical figures Valdez makes direct references to the painting canon.  Valdez is a recent MFA graduate from Boston University and upon moving back …

Art Theft: How Crime Uncovers the True Value of Art

By: Madeline Walsh September 8, 2014 Art theft often takes a starring role in movies and television. The glamour and thrill of stealing fine art has endless allure. As of 2000, this underground industry has garnered an estimated worth of over 5 billion dollars a year. We’ve previously discussed the stolen street art epidemic, but now we’ll focus on more traditional thievery. Just a few months ago, the FBI recovered …

William Mitchell: Mural Movement

By: Madeline Walsh August 11, 2014 What would San Francisco be without the Golden Gate Bridge? New York City without the Statue of Liberty? A small English town, Bracknell, Berkshire, is finding out for themselves. Since it’s initial installation in the 1960s, sculptor William Mitchell’s mural depicting the town’s history has been a cultural cornerstone of the community. Although the piece is awkwardly placed a story above street level, the …

Not For Sale: The Cause & Effect of Graffiti Theft

By: Madeline Walsh June 2, 2014 Popular films frequently depict art theft as something only fated for paintings by fine artists like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso or Edvard Munch. But, when street artists get big, public arts are stolen as well. Upon achieving great fame, many of SF-grown graffiti artist Barry McGee’s public works were stolen off the streets. One such work included a mural from San Francisco’s Judah …

Misunderstood Installations: The Importance of Education in Public Art

By: Madeline Walsh May 26, 2014 Public art is an important part of enriching neighborhoods and communities. These public projects allow an outside voice to interact with specific cities and present a new perspective or push the boundaries of public opinion. However, as with the process of art exhibition in general, there is only showmanship and not education. While Art aims to change perception or inspire new ideas, the effect …

The Art of Celebrity: The Celebrated Genre of Bad Art

By: Madeline Walsh May 19, 2014 Bad art is everywhere. Thanks to the Internet, it’s becoming far too easy for celebrities to promote their bad art. Unfortunately, the general consensus is it’s inescapable. Meanwhile, we are left to wonder: is this bad celebrity art the new pop art of now? Or is the public being played by the business of megagalleries? Egregious examples of fine art and performance pieces are …

POPOS In the Heart of the City: How Public Spaces Pump Life into Metropolitan Living

By: Madeline Walsh May 12, 2014 While the bustle of a city may signify its vitality, the calm of its parks and public spaces represent its humanity. Much like the famous skyscraper, city parks have become an important element of a city’s identity. As New York City’s chief city planner Amanda Burden explains, public spaces make cities work. In her TEDxTALK on the subject, Burden cites New York City’s Paley …

Necessity is the Mother of Invention: How have Modern Notions of Necessity Influenced the Way We Live?

By: Madeline Walsh May 5, 2014 Today, necessity has become a malleable concept. The idea of “home” is known as a universal human need. Yet, it has an array of associations depending income, status or circumstance. With the launch of iconic, cookie cutter suburbia, the notion of home is often dictated by a master “American Dream” template. Media depictions of ‘home life’ also inflate expectations and ignite a hunger for …