ArtPadSF opened and closed another successful season at the now annual Phoenix Hotel event. The art fair boasted a solid attendance with a variety of galleries, installations, and art performances for fairgoers to partake. ArtPadSF ran concurrent to the SF Fine Arts Fair and ARTMRKT fair in San Francisco, who altogether have inadvertently created a “SF Art Fair Weekend” in the city.

Highlights from ArtPadSF included:

* Stacey Ransom and Jason Mitchell of Purebred’s photos, and their bloody bathroom murder installation. Located inside the Varnish Fine Art gallery, we probably saw more photos taken here than anywhere else in the fair.
* Performance artist Aoi Yamaguchi’s ‘UNiBIRTH’ performance art piece, accompanied by composer Sebastian Plano and dancers Celine Alwyn & Emmaly Wiederholt. UNiBIRTH was an amazing show of artistry, dance, and Yamaguchi’s calligraphy aesthetic. The performance drew one of the largest crowds during the event, with patrons lining the rails around the upper tiers to witness black and white ink splashed across the skin in visual poetry.
* James Mitchell Purley and Eliane Lima’s site specific installation was absolutely brilliant. It featured an extremely voyeuristic view into a hotel room with video projections of a younger man, along with an aged woman, having real sex on film. In the bathroom shower, a video ran of the woman shampooing her hair, while a projection of the younger man masturbated on the toilet. At first seeming crass and sensational, this installation turned out to be one of the most introspective and creative pieces of conceptual art I’ve ever seen or experienced. There were details on every prop throughout the hotel room, that told a whole other story. The experience was akin to stepping very briefly into a pulp fiction magazine.
* Watching people swim in the hotel pool on a beautifully warm Sunday afternoon while others sipped wine and perused the galleries.
* Smoozing with the top artists in San Francisco.

ArtPadSF is a great introductory fair for the first time art buyer. Prices are relatively affordable, while also presenting work important to the evolution of emerging are genres. And… if you do your homework on particular artists, you can sneak away with some great deals.

– Review and Photos by Michael Cuffe of Warholian

All photos by Michael Cuffe of Warholian, follow Mike on Facebook here: