SAN FRANCISCO—On July 23, the Contemporary Jewish Museum opened two exhibits showcasing the personal life and impact of late singer Amy Winehouse.
The first, “Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait,” comes to San Francisco from the Jewish Museum London, which worked closely with the Winehouse family to curate a three-dimensional representation of the singer.
The exhibit, according to the CJM, “is an occasion to discover the singer’s Jewish roots, London life, and passion for music.” Along with Winehouse’s iconic belongings, including her guitar and outfits, visitors will be able to view previously unseen family photos. The collection strives to give an intimate and nuanced view of the singer’s personal and professional life, as well as her experience as second-generation Jewish immigrant. Her older brother, Alex Winehouse, as quoted by the CJM, described it as “a snapshot of a girl who was to her deepest core simply a little Jewish kid from north London with a big talent.”
The second exhibit, “You Know I’m No Good,” is a CJM-exclusive exhibit created in response to “Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait.” To create it, the CJM invited three contemporary artists to create or display work featuring Amy Winehouse’s public persona.
New York-based artist Rachel Harrison, better known for her sculpture, is loaning her drawings of Winehouse to the CJM. In these drawings, Harrison juxtaposes Winehouse with other famous artists such as novelist and poet Gertrude Stein, abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning, and famous cubist Pablo Picasso.
Local artists Jennie Ottinger and Jason Jägel will create new works for the exhibit.
In a vein similar to Harrison’s works, Ottinger created a stop-motion animation that “pictures Winehouse among such iconic singers as Nina Simone and the Ronettes, addressing the idea of legacy for female artists specifically.”
Jägel, whose stylized cartoon-like work has been featured on rap and R&B album covers, has painted a mural inspired by Winehouse and her music on the gallery wall visible from Yerba Buena Lane.
By combining the works of these artists, “You Know I’m No Good” aims to “pay homage to Winehouse while simultaneously calling into question our society’s fanatic attraction to both genius and tragedy.”
The Contemporary Jewish Museum is located at 736 Mission Street. Admission for adults is $12; for students and seniors, $10. Minors and members get in free.