Recent socioeconomic and political issues, and the ensuing changes in the Bay Area have often created schism between the cities of Oakland and San Francisco. It has now seemed to become a great topic of debate where artists reside and exhibit, where they have been forced to move, and the status quo and future of each city’s separate arts community. The second exhibit of a trilogy in New Normal Brewing’s temporary gallery, curator Andres Guerrero’s group show New Normal Two seeks to expand upon this at times dichotomous dialogue with creating an exhibit comprised of work by artists whose careers and practices span the region, and beyond California. Instead of segregating the two art scenes, New Normal Two seems to stress upon San Francisco and Oakland as, in the curator’s words, being longtime “neighbors”. Gathering artists from both sides of the bay and beyond, New Normal Two lays emphasis upon uniting the arts community.
Many works in New Normal Two focus upon the encompassing touch of art, like the ubiquitous objects — vintage paperback books resting upon a pallet — laboriously fashioned into art by William Emmert in his Oakland studio. Others reveal the wide variety of projects and opportunities available in both the East Bay and along the peninsula, like Tim Diet’s installation that recalls his early career as a graffiti writer around the Bay Area, and the inclusion of Berkeley native Joey Enos who has exhibited on both sides of the bay, and whose education includes San Francisco Art Institute and UC Berkeley. In a like manner the sizable number of artists: Harley Lafarrah Eaves, Diedrick Brackens, and Pablo de Pinho included in New Normal Two who have all moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and have become an integral part of the community burst open the narrowed conversation of east versus west, and local, Bay Area issues into a larger, national or even internationally diverse perspective.
New Normal Two, a group show including artwork by Richard Colman, Pablo de Pinho, Alexandra Toledo, Benjamin Quinn, Tim Diet, Harley Lafarrah Eaves, William Emmert, Joey Enos, Terry Powers, Diedrick Brackens, Lana Licata, Bryon Christman will be on view at New Normal Brewing 4115 Telegraph Ave through May 23, 2015
Photos by John Leon Jansen: