Tag Archives: art

Mayhem Loves: Oakland Museum

Black Panther print on display at the Oakland Museum

I love the city of Oakland. Certainly not its leadership and definitely not the corporate entities and banks squatting on vacancies and keeping property value low to ease the growing pains of gentrification, and the violence that comes with poverty and oppression can certainly be scary. What I love are the people, the revolutionary spirit, the diversity, and the sheer amount of culture exuded on any given day or block in town regardless of the grit that surrounds it.

The Oakland Museum Of California has impressed me very much with its sleek and social justice oriented curation in all its exhibits from natural history to its rotating galleries. Although it is a small museum in comparison to San Francisco’s incredible offerings, the Oakland Museum has an edgy heart and one hell of an eye for design. In many ways, it’s the same reason why I’m a huge devotee of the Oakland Airport over the horror show of SFO. I go for small but packed full of a proper punch.

Huey P. Newton on trial for murder at the Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland across the street from the museum.

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Artists I Love- Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin- Heart Shaped Bruise

Nan Goldin- Heart Shaped Bruise

Photography is an art form that emerges when content choice meets optical physics. Our worlds are so full of stimuli that it is literally impossible to process all of it. We filter, we go on auto-pilot, we all have our own view finder that is unique to our own life experiences and tiny variations in our biology. My favorite art forms are all “non-fiction” because I adore the art of choice. I consume journalism, personal essays, and photographs endlessly. I am a voyeur who isn’t content with just looking into a window of someone’s life. I want to look at someone else looking into another person’s window. I’m just a big slut like that.

Nan Goldin took pictures and most of her subjects are now dead. She took pictures of the underground subcultures that are rarely given sympathy let alone empathy. She gets so close to her images that we are forced to see ourselves in them, even if it is someone who has just slipped into the nod of heroin, in the middle of a gender transformation, dying of a disease that no one had yet named let alone understood, or her own self portrait of the battering her boyfriend had given her. She took pictures of sex and masturbation of all kinds.

By Nan Goldin

By Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin has also had her share of censorship over photos. She is someone who really forces the question of art v. pornography. There is a very fine line and the tension is exciting.

By Nan Goldin

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