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From SF Weekly

The Seven Coolest Works From Visual Aid’s 18th Charity Art Auction

By Oscar Raymundo Tue., Dec. 6 2011 at 12:00 PM

On a recent Saturday, art enthusiasts went to SOMArts looking to expand their collection and left with a little bit of good karma. Visual Aid auctioned off walls full of works from local artists, including paintings, photographs, and even pillows. It was all part of Big Deal, the nonprofit’s 18th annual charity art auction benefiting artists living with AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. Each year, Big Deal consists of a silent auction, a live auction, and a numerical system where interested buyers wait their turn to choose one of the various pieces all at a fixed price of $165. We snuck in to Big Deal this year and got a glimpse at all the great work on display. Here are some of our favorites (for more photos of the event, check out my personal blog).


John Wood, Acknowledging Our Desire
The abstract painter told us that he gets asked to donate one of his works for about a dozen charity auctions a year. Wood said he makes his Visual Aid contribution an extra special one. This year, Wood and K. Imperial Fine Art auctioned off Acknowledging Our Desire, a representative piece of one of Wood’s major themes: searching through sensual toward the sublime.


Jeremy Morgan, View from…
The associate professor at the San Francisco Art Institute told us all about his East-meets-West sensibilities in an Exhibitionist interview earlier this year. View from…, his landscape painting courtesy of the Sandra Lee Gallery, plays up those influences to a great balance. The striking portrayal of nature, resembling something volcanic meeting the cool sea, caught our eyes instantly browsing through SOMArts.


Joseph Abbati, Sleeper
We asked Joseph Abbati where he got his inspiration for Sleeper, tapestry he donated to Visual Aid this year. It’s based on a photograph he snapped of a young man taking a quick nap in the rest area of Venice’s Biennale. The large 76-by-56-inch tapestry had to be hung high above in the gallery, and we can just imagine what a relaxed vibe it might give inside someone’s home.


Carol Inez Charney, SUN 2
This photograph courtesy of Carol Inez Charney and Slate Contemporary is part of Charney’s series, “Interior Landscape.” SUN 2‘s depiction of water drops on a window reflects a view of architectural landscape through natural, oftentimes minute, distortions.


Oona Nelson, Untitled (Dead Man)
We overheard several attendees at Big Deal ask whether they thought the man in Oona Nelson’s eerie photograh, Untitled (Dead Man), was actually dead or not. Dead or alive, Nelson’s photograph gave us chills down our spine.


Jeanne Vadeboncoeur, Losing My Mind
Unlike Oona Nelson’s work, there is no doubt whether Jeanne Vadeboncoeur’s subjects are dead or alive. She prefers to photograph inanimate objects, usually small enough to fit inside your hand. For Big Deal, she donated a still life photograph of a honey dispenser titled Losing My Mind. The intense focus gives the subject a larger-than-life quality, kind of like an artsy version of Ghostbusters‘ Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.


Silvia Poloto, Crave
Brazilian-born Silvia Poloto explores the physics of attraction in this two-part abstract photograph, Crave. The sleek, hard, metallic look of her piece resembles metal hanging heavy on the wall and gives a sense of magnetism.

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