Megan Wilson
S.F. Bay Guardian, Critic's Choice 'Swell' by Harry Roche, March 20, 1996


Meridian Gallery, the perennially underknown pan-ethnic oasis, has finally spurred an under-30 hipster audience to stray north of Market. Three charter members of the 5-F Club - a motley sorority in which funk, fashion, feminism, femininity, and fun can playfully coexist - put their heads together and came up with a smart and sassy group show dubbed 'Swell'. Carolyn Castaño's wry, coif-teasing charcoal drawings are blow-dried baroque productions and medusean beauty myths engorged with an erotic abstract energy rerouting women's locus of power. Megan Wilson's sheared Rapunzelian specimens, on the other hand, had bad-hair days: she combed salon floors for the listless tresses now submerged in a gooey amber gel and erected into three colorfully glowing cold-cream-jar columns. Woven over wooden stretchers, Amy Berk's fetishistic Hans Hofmann-y drag-queen crazy quilts are the most cerebral and sensual creations here.  Her quirky, bed and bedlam trampolines play ribald peekaboo through a forest of fabrics, fleshy hot flashes, bulbous love buttons, and kinky birth-control devices.