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When: Aug. 16-Sept. 27 2012

Many of the artists at Creative Growth tend toward devotion. Whether toward pop music heros, bygone soap opera stars, or personal cassette tape collections, these attitudes, often bordering on obsessive (sometimes not so subtly), permeate the artists' practices. Fanatic rounds up the most successful drawings, paintings, and sculptures of this type. In these works, the charm, swagger, and aura of the subject comes through loud and clear, if unconventionally: Aurie Ramirez transforms rock gods KISS into a gang of busty females; Terri Bowden presents several portraits of Michael Jackson, his hands enlarged in various positions of outreach and self-embrace. In other works, fanaticism inheres simply in the presence of a crowd, or the repetition of the artist's signature. Clearly, this is one theme to which the gallery could endlessly return. Fanatic runs through September 27 at Creative Growth Gallery (355 24th Street, Oakland). 510-836-2340 or

— Alex Bigman


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