For his first institutional solo exhibition, Bay Area artist Saif Azzuz will construct a mixed-media installation of readymade sculptures, large-scale wood assemblage, found objects, and paintings. Titled Cost of Living, the exhibition establishes current realities of gentrification and histories of settler colonialism as tandem forces to be examined and unsettled. The cost of living is both an indicator and a complaint, a framework and unequal reality that deals out unrelenting change.
In Cost of Living, Azzuz utilizes the materials of gentrification, such as construction fencing, semi-private mesh, and barbed wire to mirror the physical reality that corporate development has on humans and nonhumans. Movement, sight, and memory are restricted as land is taken and soiled. With this installation, the artist creates a space in which viewers navigate through objects and artworks. With sightlines and physical pathways obscured, the viewer’s experience mirrors the shifting reality of the Bay Area.
Azzuz roots his practice in looking to the land and its histories as a prism for understanding the dread and beauty of contemporary life, guided by the signs and teachings of Indigenous resilience, learned from both plants and people.
Saif Azzuz (b. 1987, Eureka, CA) is a Libyan-Yurok artist who lives and works in Pacifica, CA. He received a BFA in Painting and Drawing from California College of the Arts in 2013. Azzuz has exhibited widely in the Bay Area, including exhibitions at Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Mill Valley; Pt.2 Gallery, Oakland; Ever Gold, San Francisco; 1599dt Gallery, San Francisco; Adobe Books, San Francisco, CA; and NIAD, Richmond.
He has participated in solo and group exhibitions at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; K-Art, Buffalo, NY; Jack Barrett, New York; Galerie Julien Cadet, Paris, France; and Rule Gallery, Denver, CO. Selected public collections include Rennie Museum, de Young Museum - Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Facebook, North Carolina Museum of Art, University of St. Thomas, Stanford Health Care Art Collection and UBS Art Collection. Azzuz was a 2022 SFMOMA SECA Award finalist and has participated in the Clarion Alley Mural Project and the Facebook Artist in Residence program.