New site-specific installation by San Francisco-based artist Sarah Smith explores corrupting influence of greed through traditional symbols of power
Sidewalk Artist Talk
Thursday, October 1, 6 – 7 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO, September 10, 2015 – Golden eagles will spread their wings and rise from the ashes at the SFAC Galleries Window Installation Site across the street from City Hall. In Gold In Peace, Gold In War, San Francisco-based artist Sarah Smith will incorporate mythology and iconography to create an installation that comments on today’s economic climate.
Using a technique called verre eglomise, French for “gilded glass,” Smith will paint two eagles in gold leaf on the windows of 155 Grove Street. The eagles will be shown battling and guarding their accumulated wealth, while in the background, Smith will use her skills as a scenic painter for film and theater to create a dramatic landscape that depicts the aftermath of a phoenix rising.
Inspired by symbols of power and the mythological phoenix, a bird that regenerates itself from fire and ash, Gold in Peace, Gold In War, alludes to the corrupting influence of greed. Mimicking the gold accents found on governmental buildings, such as City Hall, Smith’s installation comments on power and wealth in a way that she calls, “epic and mock-epic.” Smith states, “I’m using the space in a way that has rarely been done: using the glass, the most in-your-face, up-front layer in a way that the viewer can’t ignore.”
The public is invited to gather on the sidewalk outside of 155 Grove Street for a discussion with Smith and SFAC Galleries Associate Curator Jackie Im. They will discuss the influences that shaped Smith’s project, from the phoenix that appears on San Francisco’s flag, to the economic conditions in the Bay Area and beyond, to her technique of painting on the windows.
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