Fly the Koop 

Humor and satire at Mills


Despite wine and cheese receptions and the self-important critical commentary native to the art scene, there is no reason why art exhibits must necessarily be serious. Keys to the Koop: Humor and Satire in Contemporary Printmaking, running now through August 15 at the Mills College Art Museum (500 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland), is a case in point. The exhibit blends humor and irony for a zany look at contemporary art, fashion, food, religion, and politics. Featuring more than sixty prints from the personal anthology of Jordan D. Schnitzer, the collection -- lithographs, screen prints, and Cibachrome -- gives a refreshing insight into the nature of art and the mind of the artist. The sixteen artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, Kara Walker, Red Grooms, Damien Hirst, and sculptor Jeff Koons (whose spoof, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, is below), poke fun at everything from fast food and superheroes to dogs and Andy Warhol soup cans. Grownups will relish the kooky, pleasantly disturbing twist on familiar themes such as urban planning, TV sitcoms, and the Last Supper. Meanwhile, kids can check out pictures of wigs on felt, a 3-D Little Italy, and a fantastically bizarre alphabet. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is free. Info: or 510-430-2164. -- Joy White

THU 7/22

Burnt Anew

In-studio mayhem

For three years, John the Baker and his cohorts ran a no-rules, all-ages, punk paradise in Richmond, providing an industrial space for punks to get their underground ya-yas wa-a-ay out (and recording every single show for posterity). But last year the dirty, laid-back dream finally came to an end, at the hands of various branches of the authorities. But the BR recording studio lives on, and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. they'll be hosting a quiet little show starring John the Baker and the Malnourished (whose recent CD, Fire Marshall Law, chronicles the venue's shut-down), Swedish grindcore band Bruce Banner (a supergroup of sorts, with members of Protes Bengt, DS-13, Filthy Christians, and ETA), and the combined hardcore assault of two Bay Area bands, Deadfall/Voetsek. The show is all-ages and costs $5. Visit for more info, and keep it down, will ya? -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 7/24

Love It Live

Fiyawata front-duo Ambessa the Articulate and Zakiya Harris came together to battle the homogeneity of hip-pop radio, blending hip-hop, reggae, Afro-Latin, and soul, backed by a live band. The Oakland outfit appears this weekend at an event promising to be just as diverse -- FlyLove at Oaklandish (411 2nd St., Oakland). Ise Lyfe also performs, and DJs Sake-1 and Yaddos turn the party out further. Expect food, a raffle, and a dance competition hosted by Rashidi (Company of Prophets). 8 p.m., $10., 510-451-2677. -- Stefanie Kalem


Another New Twist

Posse party with Cones and Juggs

Justine Nicole and Yvette Buigues, aka Posse of Two, "met two years ago over girl talk and strong beer" and decided to pursue their artistic careers without the aid of galleries. Other ground rules: "Make it cheap as possible," and "No snobbery." Ms. Nicole (who also writes regularly for this newspaper) paints colorful portraits of female country music stars like Dolly (right); Ms. Buigues chips in with fine art posters with titles such as Well Fed Skeletons. Their new art show, Country Girls, opens Sunday (3 p.m.), with music by the Cones and Kim Norlen plus the Juggs (a Judds cover band with red hair and sequins), at Twisters Vintage Boutique, 2353 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, 510-54-TWIST. The show runs through August 31. -- Kelly Vance


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