Self-portraits taken using smart phones or other consumer-based devices—or “selfies”— have become ubiquitous visual forms that proliferate on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. Popular discourses have largely pit the selfie, which is often thought of as a symptom of a narcissistic society, against the self-portrait, which is more associated with art. Derek Conrad Murray, associate professor in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity after Civil Rights, will explore this debate in connection with the exhibition This Is Not a Selfie.
A gala to support the San José Museum of Art.
Ann Murphy, associate professor of dance at Mills College in Oakland, California, will take a look at artist Louise Nevelson, whose work is currently featured in the exhibition The Fourth Dimension. Murphy will explore gender, memory, abstraction, and other aspects of Nevelson’s works in relation to those same forces in modern dance in years after World War II.
El Mac (Miles MacGregor) is an internationally renowned artist whose large-scale wall murals blur the lines between fine art and graffiti. He has been commissioned to paint murals across the US, as well as in Mexico, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, South Korea, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Spain, France, Singapore, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, and Cuba. He will discuss his collaborations with The Propeller Group, including his new mural in downtown San José.
The exhibition Crossroads: American Scene Prints from Thomas Hart Benton to Grant Wood examines early twentieth-century American culture, society, and politics. Author and historian Robert W. Cherny, professor emeritus of History at San Francisco State University, will discuss public art produced during the New Deal era, including and examples that are still on view in San Francisco. Cherny is the author of Victor Arnautoff and the Politics of Art, a biography of the prolific San Francisco muralist.