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FRI 2/13

You wouldn't guess that romance, celebration, and horror make for a tasty conceptual cocktail, but why else would Tod Browning have released his hugely sensual film Dracula on Valentine's Day 1931, exactly two years after the country was shaken up by a gory Chicago Mafia massacre named after the same holiday? Yes, love can stink, but it can also run red or creep and crawl. In that spirit, Bay Area artist Nicolas Caesar presents an installment of his disturbing sculptures in a "Valentine Sideshow" on the lucky Friday before this year's Lover's Day.

Caeser's modern-Gothic aesthetic contains aspects of both Survival Research Labs and the Muppets. He combines urban detritus like wires, saw blades, doll parts, and religious artifacts with bones, blood, and animal parts into tragic and amusing mutant assemblages with names such as Spiderbaby and Angel of Doubt. The "Sideshow" -- which features dark-ambient DJ Purgatory, wine tasting, and random raffles and giveaways -- offers a refreshing alternative to the traditional sappiness of the season. It starts at 9:30 p.m. at La Luna Rouge in the Fugazi Bank Building, 415 Sansome (at Sacramento), S.F. Admission is $5; visit
-- Ron Nachmann

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Love Dolls - Nicolas Caesar's Creepy Pals

Caesar's robotic Virgin of Guadalupe, fashioned from scissors, broken umbrellas, scrap metal, barbed wire, and bits of clothing.