When: Aug. 15-Sept. 21 2013
Squirrels are pretty hilarious. Acrobatic, manically greedy and — somewhat tragically — hunted by hicks, they are an animal of contradictions and perhaps a metaphor. Indeed, one senses a looming significance at every turn of Urban Hunting: Squirrel Season, Julie Alvarado’s truly one-of-a-kind exhibition, now on display at Mercury 20 (475 25th St., Oakland). Her works are razor-sharp faux kitsch: a squirrel-hunting “evening wear” suit, trimmed with pink lace; a backyard setup including a lawn chair, pink toy rifle, and a martini glass filled with Pink Squirrel — what was apparently a popular cocktail in the Sixties. In addition to these installations there are several series of carefully rendered squirrel paintings. In one, hordes of squirrels, sometimes Godzilla-sized, vex humanity. In another, the artist depicts hair models sporting big, out-there ’dos, which eager squirrels seem to eye as potential nests. In its collapsing of femininity, violence, and Americana about this humble creature, Urban Hunting is without question one of the more memorable shows now on the Saturday Stroll itinerary.