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Cover | Alejandro Rivera

Still Life, (mixed-media on canvas), 55 x 43 inches. Alejandro Rivera's paintings transport viewers to a place where time has collapsed, allowing artifacts of disparate civilizations to engage in a continuous and complex dialogue. His works have a labyrinthine, densely narrative quality that both invites and rewards extended contemplation. Rivera's ability to manipulate symbols has allowed for compositions that speak incisively about the timeless, collective nature of human experience. Indeed, Rivera's paintings can often be read as allegories of contemporary life—especially in Mexico, where elements of American pop culture have become deeply ingrained in society. Yet for all their depth of symbolism, Rivera's paintings are not prescriptive. They are, more than anything else, expansive works, testaments to the boundless potential of the human imagination. Courtesy of Caldwell Snyder Gallery, 341 Sutter St., San Francisco, 415-392-2299, and 1328 Main St., St. Helena, 707-200-5050.

NEXT MONTH: Start the new year with the latest in education, the arts, and health as The Monthly explores the arrival of the maker movement to the educational curriculum, considers Art Murmur 2.0, and ponders the growth of alternative and integrative health regiments.

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Digital Edition

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December 2014 Issue:
Table of Contents

FEATURE |  Something That Disappeared
The seven winners of our winter essay contest ponder how keys, nasturtiums, youth, mothers, bikes, brothers, and redwoods go missing.
By L.J. Cranmer, Anne Fox, Caroline M. Grant, Kathy Hrastar, Wendy Winter, Russell Yee, and Nicole R. Zimmer.

CULTURE | Arts, Events, and DiversionsMY IN FARO'S GARDEN |  Brown Is the New Green
Our gardening hero makes inroads against the prevailing dogma of grass.
By R.E. Faro.

|  Kazen Ramen
A new Berkeley ramen house handily escalates the noodle-soup wars.
By Anneli Rufus.

The Kilduff File
|  Ed Rosenthal
The Oakland marijuana advocate talks about pot politics and getting stoned.
By Paul Kilduff

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Editor’s Note:
a look at this month’s issue and commentary on life in the East Bay

Letters: reader responses to The Monthly’s stories

Be East Bay: an introduction to interesting people, places and events in your community

Critics Choice: highlights of this month’s happenings in art, theater, film, dance and music

Boutique Bazaar: distinctive small shops in the East Bay

Food for Thought: local caterers and food and wine purveyors

Dining Guide: a selection of East Bay restaurants

Marketplace Home: a catalog of services for your home and garden

Marketplace Services: a catalog of personal and creative services

Kartoon Korner: editorial cartoons to entertain and agitate

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