Whether you're an art snob or an art rookie, there are exciting cultural events from San Francisco to San Diego that will inspire those interested in subjects as varied as street art, Japanese pop culture, contemporary photography or "TRON." Pair your adventures with delicious (and appropriately themed) eats and you have an artful day to remember!
1. San Diego - Viva La Revolución
For fans of artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey, amongst others, San Diego is the place to be this winter as MCASD (The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego) is presenting Viva la Revolución: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape. This grand show, presented in the museum and throughout the streets of downtown San Diego features works by over 20 artists from 10 different countries.
The show takes you on an art scavenger hunt of epic proportions as you visit nine works installed around town in public spaces. Get your walking shoes and GPS going as you spot iconic pieces like Space Invader's eponymous symbol (France) and the colorful work of the twins known as Os Gemeos (Brazil) who have created a human ladder up the side of an enormous wall. Download the site map from your cell phone, then dial (858) 384-3321 and enter in the item number. To accompany your walk, I suggest a snack stop first at Churros El Tigre on Imperial Avenue for some delectable and crunchy cult churros, fried dough made with cinnamon and sugar.
2. Moving north to LA, Culver City's Royal-T, the Japanese maid café/art gallery/restaurant of Susan Hancock has been in the middle of a hot season of concept art pop-ups. Their Andy Warhol inspired "Warholian" just closed, but a TRON® pop-up experience opens up this Friday for 6 weeks, selling limited-edition TRON® cutting-edge apparel, jewelry and design products. Accompany your shopping trip with a Legacy High Tea at the TRON® Café, featuring assorted Sweets and Savory Canapés, along with some high-tech tea.
3. Up north in San Francisco, SFMOMA is celebrating its 75th anniversary year with two pioneering photography shows - a retrospective of Henri Cartier-Bresson entitled, "The Modern Century" and a survey on the very nature of looking, called "Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera Since 1870." The Cartier-Bresson show weaves his work through his travels from his early times in Paris as a street photographer through decades of photojournalism work in countries such as India, Russia and Maoist China. Simultaneously running at SFMOMA is Exposed, a provocative new show in conjunction with the Tate Modern. This major survey focuses on how the camera has transformed how we view daily life.
Complete your day with a coffee and art-themed dessert from Blue Bottle Coffee overlooking the museum's skyward sculpture garden. My favorite treats include a white velvet cake inspired by Mondrian's "Composition in Red, Blue and Yellow," accompanied by a Jeff Koons' White Hot Chocolate, a cardamom, lemon zest infused number topped with Lillet marshmallows and some gold leaf. And yes, it is inspired by "Michael Jackson and Bubbles," which is in the museum's permanent collection, located on the 2nd floor.
If you want a chance to win free hotel stays in any of the cities hosting these shows, play the Luxury Collection's Global Explorers Challenge on Facebook through December 12th. Answer the daily trivia questions and you can win complimentary 2 night hotel stays at hotels along with reward points to all the Luxury Collection properties worldwide.