By Patricia B. Dwyer
New works by EXIST1981
Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla
The artist formerly known as whatever his parents probably still call him is now EXIST1981, a San Diego street artist whose image of a woman's face has been plastered, spray-painted and screen-printed on electrical boxes, apartment buildings and T-shirts around the county and beyond.
For his next trick, EXIST1981 will unveil "Corázon" - a collection of illustrations, glass etchings, watercolors, silkscreens and works in acrylics and spray paint - at a gallery in La Jolla, of all places.
"At a gallery, people can actually take the time to see the pieces," says EXIST1981. "I appreciate having the attention of the viewer for a few minutes as opposed to them driving by a poster on the street."
The artist asked us not to reveal his real name, but he did intimate that "Corazón" (Spanish for "heart") was inspired by his recent marriage and the birth of his son.
12/15-1/1: "Pacific Horizons"
San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park
Simple wooden figures and plaques may appear rural and undisciplined to Western audiences, but the Melanesian creations to be on display at San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) in December represent important components of Pacific Island culture.
"A lot of these objects are figures that were originally intended as ceremonial objects," says Julia Marciari-Alexander, Ph.D., deputy director for curatorial affairs at SDMA. "And just by complete fabulous luck, they still exist today, even though they're 100 to 150 years old."
Certain pieces included in "Pacific Horizons" are tied to intimate spiritual practices. The Papuan Gulf skull rack shown here, for example, would have held the semi-decomposed skull of a fallen leader as part of a funerary ritual.
11/29-6/14: "The Very Large Array: San Diego/Tijuana Artists in the MCA Collection"
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Downtown
An exhibition of more than five decades of work by nearly 100 artists from San Diego and Tijuana is now on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD).
"We are seeking ways to make our permanent collection more visible and accessible," says Jill Dawsey, associate curator at MCASD.
Paintings for this show are hung "salon style," covering the walls from floor to ceiling. A smaller gallery within the same room will host more focused, rotating exhibitions.
12/8-12/29: "Sacred Pattern for the Soul"
Jewelry by Matthew Cirello
Cirello Gallery, North Park
San Diego metalsmith Matthew Cirello incorporates high-grade gems with silver, copper and brass to form jewelry meant to connect its wearers to more than his creations.
"All my jewelry is inspired by sacred geometry," Cirello says. "I create shapes and patterns that show us how we are all interconnected as one on earth."
Metalsmithing involves lots of heat, hammering and tedious attention to detail. For Cirello, however, it's a labor of love.
"I believe that we are what we surround ourselves with," he says. "My jewelry will create feelings of love, a positive transformation which all life is attracted to."