The mid-20th century wasn't that long ago, but looking at advertising, films and TV shows, that time period can seem like life on another planet. Did everyone really look and act so, well, nice. What were they thinking? It's a question that intrigued San Diego artist Madeline Sherry, whose new work, The Times, explores mass-media and advertising culture of the 1940s and '50s. "These images remind us of the story we have been told, and how, in so many ways, we still cling to this old perception of ourselves and society," she writes in a description of the exhibition. Sherry, who's been showing her work in San Diego since the 1970s, creates bold figurative paintings reminicsent of post-impressionists like Toulouse-Lautrec. Check it out at a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, at Pulse Gallery in Liberty Station (2825 Dewey Road, Suite 103).
Artist Neville Page is recognized in Hollywood for creating surreal, life-like monsters from Prometheus to Super 8, and the television series Falling Skies. This week marks the end of Page’s second show at the Oceanside Museum of Art (704 Pier View Way); the closing reception for The Beauty in the Beast: Crafting Creatures, a behind-the-scenes look at monster-making, is happening from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5. Page’s work combines traditional and digital art methods, and on display are sketches, digital renderings and 3-D models from his career. Besides catching a last glance of the artist’s process, attendees will be entered to win signed prints of Page’s work. The event is free for OMA members and $10 for non-members. Earlier in the day, from 2 to 4 p.m. Page will give a private tour of the exhibition. Tickets to that are $20 and include admission to the closing reception.
Google the term “snail trail” and you’ll find search results that are pretty disgusting. But if you type “Snail Trail Media” into your search engine, you’ll find a small, local video-production team exploring underground art, music and culture. Multimedia artist Hugo Fernando Fierro and musician Chad Deal are celebrating their first film under Snail Trail, the adventure documentary Blue Balls in Mexicali, at something they're calling Slug & Tug. Happening Saturday, Jan. 5, at Visual (3524 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights, the event will serve as an interactive social for attendees to meet the artists and musicians involved in the film and in the company. To get the party started, they’ll screen the doc as well as a short featurette on some of Tijuana’s up-and-coming musicians, including Shantelle, Los Macuanos and Madame Ur y sus Hombres (pictured left). There will also be art on view from Ugo, Panca, Jill Holslin and more as well as live sets by Batwings, Madame Ur y sus Hombres and Vampire Slayer. The sensory overload will commence at 6 p.m.
Before you get too excited, let's make it clear that this event is not a talk with New York's perennial fringe candidate and viral-video star Jimmy "The Rent is Too Damn High" McMillan. This is even better, or at least smarter: Slate's economics blogger Matt Yglesias, who wrote the book The Rent is Too Damn High, is joining reporter Kelly Bennett on Thursday, Jan. 3, in an intimate chat as part of Voice of San Diego's "One Voice at a Time" series at Luce Loft (1037 J St., Downtown). Drinks and appetizers will be available at 6:30 p.m., if you want to mingle with the ever-affable and wonky Voice crew before the talk starts at 7:30 p.m. The non-profit news outlet will be asking for a $5 donation at the door. If you go, make sure you use #onevoicesd to Tweet your reaction.