2022 Benefit Art Auction: René de Guzman’s Top Picks

In the lead-up to our 2022 Benefit Art Auction, culminating May 31, 2022, we tapped Headlands’ Deputy Director for Programs and Engagement, René de Guzman, for his favorites among the 65+ available works. His choices reflect his own deep ties to the Bay Area arts community, and capture the aesthetically diverse array of practices to be found here at home. Find all the auction details at

Hung Liu
Fallen Flowers II, 2013
Mixed media on panel
13.5 x 10.5 x 2 in
Courtesy of Hung Liu Studio, Trillium, and Turner Carroll Gallery 

Hung Liu’s painting was arranged by Jeff Kelley, the artist’s husband and noted art historian. Though Hung passed away in 2021, it’s fitting that she is in this year’s auction much as she has been in many previous ones. Hung’s work is rare and extraordinary. The image of the girl evokes the energy and positivity that Hung brought to life and her art.


Barry McGee
Untitled, 2012
Acrylic, gouache, and aerosol on paper
54 x 12 x 0.5 in
Courtesy of the artist and Ratio 3

Barry McGee is arguably one of the most influential artists of his generation. He remarkably manages to combine a brash street freshness with a fine arts sensibility. Barry pushes the boundaries of artistic norms to make work that rewards us aesthetically without becoming domesticated in the process.


Alicia McCarthy
Untitled, 2022
Gouache, spray paint, and house paint on canvas
48 x 48 in.
Courtesy of the artist and Berggruen Gallery

I always feel a sense of joy whenever I see Alicia’s work, in part because she is one of my favorite people. Her warmth and humility equal her considerable talent. Like Alicia, her paintings are more enriching the more time you spend with them. As you gaze at the painting, its lines, marks, and colors become active to the eye offering a kind of orchestral visual experience.


Kota Ezawa
National Anthem (Miami Dolphins), 2019
Duratrans transparency and lightbox
Lightbox: 26 x 47 x 2.75 in
Courtesy of Haines Gallery

Kota Ezawa has a feel for the moment. Over the years, Kota has translated current events (such as, in an early work, the O.J. Simpson verdict) into pleasing, hand-drawn images. Kota’s interest in Colin Kaepernick began before “taking a knee” took on its full-blown, iconic status. This work is another example of the artist’s ability to engage us in the process of history being made.


Catherine Wagner
Fragments Femminile, 2014
Archival pigment print
50 x 23 in
Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman

Catherine Wagner is one of the most under-recognized photographers in the country, and most accomplished, due in part to the multiple, larger ways she impacts the arts as an educator and leader. Catherine’s expansive role in the field infuses her deft pictures, often of institutional settings, with a sense of wonder only deep knowledge and awareness can bring.