Points of View Gallery—David Hockney famously likened photography to a split second view as seen from the perspective of a Cyclops—i.e., a celebration of the lens as a solitary, all-seeing (and all-knowing) vista. (Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that.)
However, it is refreshing to have a show come along like Paul Gentille's that challenges these traditional notions and limitations. Gentille has mastered a technique that combines layered traditional photographic imagery with heavy digital manipulation to produce images rich in texture and intriguing in their ambiguity. He starts with a botanical palette, usually close-up views of various fauna, and then combines these with architectural fragments and other streetscape elements to create a stunning collage of varying perspectives and shifting points of reference. —Dave DelcambreThe opening reception for Gentille's exhibit is Friday, May 9, from 6-9 p.m.
Walnut Creek Amphitheatre—"Glow in the Dark raises the bar for arena tours as no show has since U2's 1992 Zoo TV breakthrough," Los Angeles Times critic Ann Powers wrote upon seeing the premiere of Kanye West's Glow in the Dark tour in Seattle last month. "It's that innovative and galvanizing." We shouldn't have expected less: Over his first three albums, West has sampled Can, Mountain, Deft Punk, Lauryn Hill and Aretha Franklin; collaborated with Mos Def, John Mayer, Common, Adam Levine and Brandy; and rapped about Jesus, his mom, perseverance, his legacy and his libido. He's an extreme artist interested only in extreme statements of high fashion and braggadocio. And, if you disagree, he'll tell you to kill yourself, as he recently told an Entertainment Weekly scribe. Expect a one-man epic rap show with special effects, video sequences and costumes. Lupe Fiasco, N.E.R.D. and Rihanna open the most audacious tour of the summer. Pay $19.75-$75 for the 7 p.m. start. —Grayson Currin
Soft Company, Chops
Nightlight—Led by Missy Thangs' lithe croon, her team of local ringers (Hotel Motel, Erie Choir, Spacelab) forge elegant, psych-tinged pop with a cabaret air. Kurt Weill found unconscious on the Left Banke with Nancy Sinatra boot prints cross his back, perhaps? Asheville's Chops take off like Man or Astro-man? on a Kahlua bender, its garage surf instrumentals cutting up tight rhythmic curls, while harboring a hint of incipient sonic violence, particularly when it's "Got the Shake." Rock goes at 10 p.m. —Chris Parker