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Ancillary Adaptations 

When: April 21-May 27 2012

Masako Miki creates monumental work that evades cliché at every turn. Whereas some may criticize that deer are the new bird -- as in, "put a bird on it" -- Miki uses the animal in a fresh way. There is a biting psychology in exploring deer as a motif in fine art. When done right, the buck and the doe become at once a symbol of prey and capable defenders, regardless of gender. In Ancillary Adaptations at Swarm Gallery (560 Second St., Oakland), Miki presents a multimedia exhibit of the life cycle of the deer, from its birth to its inescapable death. Miki's tenderly rendered illustrations, paintings, and sculpture deftly depict a grand zeitgeist. Thus, the deer becomes a metaphor of something inside each of us -- a thing with antlers that's also vulnerable, a thing we trust to only the most capable artists. Through May 27. 510-839-2787 or

— Obi Kaufmann


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