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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 …

Hanna Kali Weynerowska, "Bachelor's Honeymoon"

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 in Bracknell, Berkshire, 1960s
Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Photo: BBC News

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 …

"No Ball Games," Banksy
Tottenham, London, UK
Photo via Press Association Images

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 …

Keely Hafter Found Compessions One and Two Covered in Trash Bags 
Photo By: Gord Waldner for The Starphoenix

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 …

Shia LeBeouf Wearing "I Am Not Famous Anymore" Paper Bag at The Berlin International Film Festival, 2014
Photo: DailyMail

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 …

Broadway Boulevard during its traffic experiment in 2010
Photo by Michael M. Grynbaum for The New York Times

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 …

Kevin Cyr, "Camper Kart," 2009
Photo: West Collection

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 …

Barry McGee, “One More Thing,” 2005
Deitch Projects, New York, NY
Photo: Ratio3

The Price of Fame: Is There a Happy Medium Between Popularity and Artistic Truth?

By: Madeline Walsh April 28, 2014 They say fame changes you. The task of catering to a newfound popularity with a steady moral compass has split many artists in two. For street artists who call the gallery their second home, reconciling the opposing spheres of their career is something they constantly consider. How do you combine your past with your present when you move your work in from outdoors? San …

Eesuu Orundide, Githinji Wa Mbire and Keba Konte, “Bottoms Up!,” 2014
10th and Pine Street, Oakland, CA
Photo: Oakland Wiki

Blurred Lines: What happens when you take the “street” out of street art?

By: Madeline Walsh April 21, 2014 The artist/benefactor relationship is nearly as old as art history itself. Commissioning street art and graffiti is important. It brings otherwise unknown artists to the forefront of public consciousness. Yet, graffiti purists may argue commissioning street art renders a normally defiant medium submissive. Does removing graffiti from the context of the street and into well lit museums empty out its meaning? This is something …

Smokey’s Tangle Group Photo, 2014 
via Smokey’s Tangle Facebook

Tangled Up in Groups: Smokey’s Tangle celebrates 5th anniversary with semi-virtual group photo

By: Madeline Walsh April 16, 2014 As their facebook page will tell you, Smokey’s Tangle is home to a number of creative pursuits. The “artist-owned community-minded studio” is also part gallery, part photo booth, and part t-shirt shop. This mish-mash of functions is great community asset and shows how art carves out spaces for creative expression. Smokey’s Tangle zooms in on art’s power to bring people together through their conceptual …

Gats & IMP, “Tunnel Vision,” 2013
Bay Area, CA
Photo from:

Writing on the Wall: Is criminalizing graffiti criminalizing free expression?

By Madeline Walsh April 11, 2014 The Museum of the City of New York’s (MCNY) exhibition “City as Canvas” proves that criminal or not, graffiti continues to raise important questions about the significance of public art. The exhibition features pieces from the late Martin Wong’s private collection, which have been part of MCNY’s archives since 1994. Wong was not only a collector, but also a close friend to many of …


In the Studio: Mel Davis

There is movement in the silence and warmth in the unknowing. MEL DAVIS  WWW.PEACHPITPIE.COM Mel Davis is a visual artist based is Berkeley, California. She grew up in Montréal, graduated from Concordia University in 1998, then moved to the Bay Area to complete her Masters in Fine Art at the San Francisco Art Institute, (2005). She is part of numerous private and public collections and is the recipient of The Canada …


Seb Hamamjian: In Memoriam of a True Guide

  It is with a heavy heart to announce the passing of Seb Hamamjian on April 3rd, 2013. Those who knew him would agree that Seb Hamamjian embodied strength, wisdom, integrity and elegance. After acquiring his first gallery and frame shop in Cupertino in 1978, Seb spent the last 35 years exploring the intersection of art, craft and design. In 1989, Seb purchased his second gallery in Menlo Park where …


The Collective Operation with Maciej Makalowski

The stereotypical artist has been depicted as a loner, an outcast, staving in his/her studio, creating paintings from the dark depths of his/her soul.  While in some cases this is true, artists generally thrive off the collective experience of community and Maciej Makalowski is no exception. With his art practice exemplifying his collective lifestyle, or maybe it is the other way around, Makalowski draws on his surroundings as inspiration   for …

Channeling Tradition, Robert Minervini Style

What can be said about Robert Minervini that hasn’t already been said? His CV reflects representation at Marine Contemporary in Los Angeles, a solo show at Gallery Hijinks, inclusion in the 2011 BAN6 at YBCA and New American Paintings ed. #91. Recently, Minervini has been the focus of a studio visit by and participated in a two person show at Johansson Projects. Beyond his studio practice he has committed his time to teaching at …