KQED Names Fine Arts Gallery Exhibition Among Best Bay Area Art of 2019

Monday, January 06, 2020
Photo of the Copycat exhibition at the Fine Arts Gallery
Photo by Kristy Boylan

KQED ARTS (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Best Student-Installed Show of Copies, Appropriations and Remixes


In a unique exhibition design course at San Francisco State University, students went through the steps of researching artists, writing didactic wall text, conducting condition reports on artwork and installing artwork, getting hands-on experience in all aspects of assembling what turned out to be one of the best group shows I saw all year. Curated by Kevin B. Chen (who taught the course), “Copycat” included Sean Peeler’s “A Snapshot Revisited,” a hall-of-mirrors-esque examination of a casual party shot, rendered in a dizzying variety of photographic, artistic and vernacular materials (e.g. a photo-print cake). Another knockout: Chris Thorson’s cast bronze bottles and tubes, recognizable consumer products that take on a hefty permanence. In “Copycat,” the act of copying became generative and inspiring, instead of something that degrades and devalues an elusive “original.”