Gettin’ Real and HyperReal at the San Jose Museum of Art

Just can’t say enough good stuff about the consistently solid shows this museum produces. They put all the other “contemporary” museums in the Bay Area to shame. Currently up is the “Real and HyperReal” show with illusionist artists - Sandow Birk, Llyn Foulkes, Tino Rodriguez, and Paul Wonner. These works were fantastical, grand and surreal. I especially liked the “Third Eye”, an old red door with a peephole thru which you could view a wonderful diorama of a room. Then there was the sadly-beautiful, trashed huge landscape of discarded canvases which touched the artist in me.

Next, a wall sized, beautifully sexy nude black man sitting stiffly on a white horse. And a birds eye view of a retro LA scene (By James Doolin) that had me transfixed by the minute details and incredible perspective. 

Hyperreality exists where the distinction between real and imaginary implodes and neither subject can be quantified or defined as “real,” because the anchor, or signifier, can no longer be identified.

There are also two non- painting, installations by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin, that were not exactly my cup of tea, but they may be yours. This show is definitely one to see and you can check out the always great, Wayne Thiebaud exhibit as well.

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