In her Cautionary Tales show for PMA, Kim Frohsin (who jokingly refers to herself as the 'Cone Lady') depicts and interprets the hectic gentrification of San Francisco, with all its noise and dislocation, excitement and dynamism. Frohsin, a third-generation San Franciscan, combined memory, sketching and scavenged materials (she haunted construction sites at night and spoke to the workers), aiming, to quote another recycler of urban detritus, Robert Rauschenberg, to enter "the gap between art and life.”
Her inspiration came in early 2015, when, driving to and from her Third Street studio in the Noonan Building in San Francisco, she found herself in a perpetual maze of downtown construction sites—a sensation familiar to all Bay Area residents in recent years—amid a sea of caution signs, detour street closures, barrier tape and traffic cones—and historic brick walls being torn down. Frohsin absorbed the visual stimuli, and, despite the occasional traffic ‘meltdown’ or attack of claustrophobia, took it as a challenge—or, rather accepted the challenge-- to turn her commute into her next project.
Frohsin spent a year depicting the new dotcom construction in a creative whirl that produced sixty works which demonstrate not only her talent for abstraction and synthesis, but, also, in a larger sense, art’s ability to transform the banal and everyday—even the visually irritating—into aesthetic magic.