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With “The Skull Show” running at the city’s Bedford Gallery through Aug. 31, and California Academy of Sciences’ “Skull” exhibit open through Nov. 30, the iconic mascot of death gains its due recognition. It’s fair to say Americans have an ambiguous relationship with their own heads. Coddled when newborn, concussed in the name of physical sport, simultaneously connoting death and the immortality of evolution, skulls are common — we all have one — and one-of-a-kind.
Mexican culture celebrates the end-of-life a skull represents; witness their Day of the Dead, Asian traditions reflect Buddhists’ belief in reincarnation, rejecting Western views on death’s permanence, Religious rituals worldwide embrace mourning while we, in America, perform a dance of avoidance or denial, or so historians report, Not surprisingly, artists’ depictions of skulls are equally diverse, The collective expression of the 90 contemporary artists from all over the world represented at the Bedford includes skulls fashioned with yarn, wood, clay, silver, brass, copper, papier-mâché, rope, glass, birdseed, flowers and traditional paint pointe shoe finder and pen..
From tattoos to tightly-engraved tin plates, from skateboards to surreal sculptures, the exhibit is “an international survey, with historic pieces and riveting Bay Area artists,” said Bedford curator Carrie Lederer. Robert Baron, who attended the show’s June 12 opening reception, agreed. “I’m impressed by the whole range,” said Barton. Skulls, he said, have fascinated him since he was a young boy. On his phone, the 61-year-old art appreciator showed a “Midnight at the Museum” ink drawing he did at age 8 that won him the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Junior Art Champ” award.
“I come to the openings to meet the artists; they bring attention to unexpected aspects,” he said, Indeed, several artists with insider stories were in attendance, including Santa Cruz-based Marc D’Estout, “I found a black plastic skull in my dad’s desk when I was a kid: that was the trigger,” he said about his earliest interest in objects as art, Later, World War I airplane insignia incorporating skulls in their design and Hot Rod’s adoption of the counterculture symbol furthered pointe shoe finder his longtime fascination..
During a recent studio renovation, reduced to using wax and sticks, D’Estout took his handcrafted models to a local foundry to be cast in bronze. His “Little boy (shifter),” 2005, is not unlike the tiny skull he never asked his father to explain and which still intrigues him. Other highlights of the exhibit speak volumes, even in the absence of their creators. Artist Helen Altman’s grid of 42 mixed media skulls, “End of Day,” made of everything from pickling spices to hemp seed to coconut shells, manages to be stunning, hilarious and gruesome. Sculptor Evan Hobart’s “Carbon Child #2” ingeniously suggests prisons, road trips and related dangers.
A gelatin silver print by Gordon Parks, and Robert Arneson’s “Nuclear War Head #6” add historical importance to the pointe shoe finder exhibit, Alma DeBisschop proved visitors to the museum are as compelling as the artists, “Actually, we have lots of skulls in our backyard,” she said, when asked what drew her to the exhibit, Quickly correcting a possible false impression, she added, “I mean animals — family pets who died and are underground, of course.”, Ellen Williams and Brad Macy, whose “Room with a View” by Hobart is on loan for the exhibit, predicted some people will be uncomfortable contemplating their mortality..
But it’s downright stunning when the middle-aged boxer is also a bookish, art-loving Roman Catholic priest who preaches “turn the other cheek” on Sundays and then trains during the week to break an opponent’s jaw. “Everybody has this other — I don’t want to use the word dark side — but everybody has these two aspects of them,” said the Rev. Jose Antonio Rubio. “Aggression is something natural to every human being and you express it somehow.”.
Although he’s been a boxing fan most of his life, Rubio stepped into the ring only about six years ago, He needed to get in shape after surgery for cancer and to bring down his soaring blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol pointe shoe finder levels, He had bloated to 193 pounds, “I started boxing to save my life!”, So far, the Diocese of San Jose and his pastor at St, Mary’s Church in Gilroy are OK with his boxing, but they aren’t about to start a priestly boxing team anytime soon, Rubio quietly gets in his workouts up Highway 101 at the San Martin Boxing Club..