Eyes on Art

Cool weather brings even cooler art shows, where you can grab some face time with photographer Duane Michals’ celebrity portraits, see City Hall through the eyes of political cartoonist Rex Babin or walk toward the light in one of Bruce Nauman’s corridors. Here’s our guide to five see-worthy exhibits around the region this fall.

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Koko's Love:
a technicolor unfairy tale ball

If you walk into Verge Center for the Arts this fall, you’ll think you’ve stumbled upon the set of a trippy TV Land sitcom with a high school prom scene, a college dorm room and a family kitchen.

Welcome to the world of Koko’s Love, an online comedy series about a Japanese-American family, for which Southern California-based artist Yoshie Sakai writes, films and portrays all the characters. The show explores the nuances of gender stereotypes and cultural expectations in the Sakimoto family through the over-the-top tropes of Asian soap operas. Sakai’s Verge installation, Koko’s Love: The Technicolor Unfairy Tale Ball, which runs until Oct. 28, offers a complete immersion into the Sakimotos’ spaces, from their living room with its orange patterned couches to the gym where teenage Yuki and her BFF Nathan attend prom (replete with mylar streamers, bleachers and national championship banners). Gallerygoers can also take prom photos as the characters via life-size cardboard cutouts. In addition, the installation includes a new episode of Koko’s Love, as well as 10 other video clips from the sitcom, playing on a loop.

“The fact that she’s using herself as a vessel for these narratives I think is just so gutsy,” says Verge’s executive director Liv Moe, who first encountered Sakai’s work at an L.A. gallery in 2016. “Yoshie has such a distinctly unique way of processing things like gender stereotypes that is outside of what I’m used to seeing—she’s not writing about them or painting about them. That’s one of the things about her that’s so powerful.”

Free (encouraged donation of $3). Through Oct. 28. Thurs.-Sat. 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sun. noon-5 p.m. Verge Center for the Arts. 625 S St. 916-448-2985. vergeart.com

Southern California-based artist Yoshie Sakai's installation, which is on display at Verge through Oct. 28, will feature sets from her semi-autobiographical parody series, "Koko's Love," like the bedroom of main character Yuki, shown here. (Photo courtesy of Yoshie Sakai)