Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Andrew McKinley in SFBG

"100 Women/Good Guys to Know"
Andrew McKinley's unguarded portraiture

REVIEW Through happenstance I visited Andrew McKinley's "100 Women/Good Guys to Know" at Adobe Books with one of the show's subjects. In a McKinley solo portrait, she's wearing a rich red and blue shirt that contrasts well with the sky blue mural fragment behind her. But what's most striking about the photo is probably her expression: open and friendly in addition to beautiful. This lack of guardedness is one quality of most of McKinley's female subjects — by and large, their eyes meet the camera with affection and sometimes amusement.

Enclosed in simple white frames and organized into five rows of 16 and one row of 15, these pieces make up 95 of the show's more than 100 photos. The size of the images is no different from those one gets back from a one-hour photo establishment — an example of the show's direct approach and lack of pretense. But any photographer would feel blessed to come up with a few rolls as vibrant and candid as these portraits, whose primary colors crop up in and pop out from flowers, gum ball machines, fruit, and items of clothing. A few photos are set within Adobe Books itself, a spot where McKinley has been integral to art in the Mission over the past 15 years.
McKinley didn't organize or provide the title of "100 Women/Good Guys to Know," whose name could be more or less dodgy depending on how one interprets the slash mark. There are far fewer photos of "Good Guys," and said fellows are more prone to stiff poseur stances, though McKinley has a great shot of a kid with a guitar.

Jibz Cameron with a keyboard, Sara Jaffe with a big smile, Xylor Jane with a red cap and an "I've been naughty" expression, Dan Johnson with a cake and a hand-markered "I Heart E.T." T-shirt — these are some of the people pictured in "100 Women/Good Guys." Whether their names mean something or nothing to you, McKinley's show appeals as the celebratory San Francisco family album of one person with a good eye — and often a good eye for good artists. In conjunction, Amanda Eicher has mapped out a network of local artists, writers, and scenesters on the upper walls of Adobe's front room. In the couple of minutes I looked at it, I counted 30 or 40 acquaintances, a handful of close friends, and the love of my life, many ensconced on the back wall. I also thought about many other absent names — and the people attached to them. Eicher's spiderweb of connections is a bit like a positive local version of the late Mark Lombardi's sinister global-networks drawings. (Johnny Ray Huston)

100 WOMEN/GOOD GUYS TO KNOW Through Sun/4. Wed.–Thurs. and Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Adobe Books, 3166 16th St., SF. Free. (415) 864-3936


If you would like to be considered for a show at Adobe Books Backroom gallery send slides or jpegs of your work to The Folks. Please consider if your work could fit in the main space or if your work is specifically aimed at the backroom. Any information and/or proposal for your work is strongly encouraged. Thanks for your interest in showing!

Mail slides to:
Maggie Otero
2918 22nd st.
San Francisco, CA

Please enclose a stamped self addressed envelope for your slides to be returned. Also let me know if you have a deadline for slide return.

To email jpegs:
Email to adobebooks@earthlink.net. If you have both slides and jpegs please also send jpegs. Please send no more than 4 images and preferably email only small files.