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The Dichotomy of Art 

When: Jan. 4-27 2013
Price: free

In one vision of utopia, individuals are no longer compelled to define themselves by just one profession. A person can be a microbiologist one moment, confectioner the next, and artist when the muse arrives, without losing one's personal/social cogency. Dichotomy of Art, now at Joyce Gordon Gallery, suggests the possibility of such a world in its exhibition of four emphatically interdisciplinary artists who hop between conventionally commercial and artistic spheres, merge them, or stake a space somewhere in between. James Gayles applies his distinctive brand of portraiture to illustration work for various Bay Area newspapers; Jonathan Blair deploys his professional storyboarding experience in the service of Pop Art; Lisa Alonzo renders stock iconography delicious with a painterly tool borrowed from the culinary arts: a pastry tip; and Ruth Tabancay weaves brilliant tapestries bearing organic-looking abstractions -- a visual language issuing from her background in microbiology. Dichotomy almost seems inappropriate: There are more wide-open possibilities here than the word could abide. Dichotomy of Art runs through January 27 at Joyce Gordon Gallery (406 14th St., Oakland). 510-465-8928 or

— Alex Bigman


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