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Still in beta, Amazon recently launched Amazon Fine Art where 150 galleries have come together to sell over 4,000 pieces of 2-dimensional works of unique collectible fine art. And it’s serious — the highest end (for the fine art department and retailer as a whole) is Norman Rockwell’s Willie Gillis, listed at $4,850,000.00. You can also buy art for as little as $10. Between your car parts, textbooks and same-day fresh grocery delivery (sorry Bay Area, for now only in Seattle and L.A.), Amazon is literally becoming a one-stop shop that even has Walmart copying its moves online. Continue reading

People are pissed. The new trend that’s got everyone heated is the rise of celebrities using online crowdfunding platforms, like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, to fund their high-budget passion projects. Popular history suggests these platforms are for “the little guys,” or those left out of other funding sources, to have a place to find funds for their creative projects. And fund they do. According to Kickstarter’s website, over $798 million have been given to over 48,000 projects. Except $5,702,153 of that went to Rob Thomas’ campaign to make a Veronica Mars movie.

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Tucked into the industrial backside of Potrero Hill in San Francisco is an innocuous warehouse-like building painted a shade of beige so colorless it easily blurs out of focus. This is the neutral background against which I met half of the indie-folk-rock band Largesse. Sitting outside in the designated smoking section of Secret Studios where the band rehearses, it’s easy to see why Stanley Lam is the lead singer. A self-declared “ham,” Lam is endearingly but regularly distracted by his own excitement and by the movements of those walking from the parking lot where there congregates an increasing flurry of cars, bikes, and people who appear just disheveled enough to be cool. He begrudgingly explains, “I saw this word [Largesse] and I used to be several pounds heavier and my name begins with an S,” says Lam. Hence, Largesse.

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It’s easy to stay home binging on Netflix and gossiping around the social network water cooler. But resist the temptation to simply Google-stalk your favorite author or watch YouTube clips of standup when the Bay Area hosts so many extraordinary visitors live and in person. Whether you want to engage with famed or emerging writers and artists as they discuss the trials and pleasures of the creative life, or hang out overnight with penguins at the California Academy of Sciences, below are nine events, or event series, that offer ample incentive to leave the house. Continue reading

The $610 million renovation and expansion plan will double the museum’s current size, in part, to accommodate the new acquisition of Doris and Donald Fisher’s private collection of more than 1,100 works. SFMOMA won’t reopen again until 2016, which begs the question, where will all that art go?

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At 6:02 Monday morning, an email from Miranda July interrupted some groggy Facebook meandering (an element of my morning tedium I admit with chagrin). The subject line read, “an email that includes a dream you had.”

Every Monday, through November 11, artist and filmmaker Miranda July will forward you an email from a handful of her noteworthy friends and acquaintances. For a twenty week project titled We Think Alone, July has summoned the likes of Kirsten Dunst, Lena Dunham, Karim Abdul-Jabar, and Catherine Opie, forwarding a selection of their private emails around a theme that she assigns. Like a modern-day collection of letters,We Think Alone, is a transient and familiar gesture of what July describes as self-portraiture.

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