Audaciously exploring the intersection of public and private, Eric Amoy presents photographs, drawings, and videos that document his unauthorized entry into a variety of suburban spaces. Amoy stages conceptual performances in partially built homes, car dealerships, and churches. His presence at these sites leaves no trace; only if the occupants of the buildings happen to visit the Berkeley Art Museum and see his work will they know of his transgression. Realism and abstraction, spontaneity and deliberation, Western and Eastern religion mingle in the paintings of Gary Blum . At their center Blum's works feature exceptionally convincing natural objects painted in trompe l'oeil, introducing an element of lived experience into the meditative space of his subtle, monochromatic backgrounds. In his most recent works, Blum has begun to reveal his process, mixing his palette directly on the canvas. Jo Ford's paintings tackle serious issues with a wryly humorous style that points to the absurdity of modern culture. Her illustrational works often incorporate text and dialogue in the manner of advertisements. The inventions touted by these ads‹for example, a "Genetic Eye" designed to scan someone's DNA through their clothing‹are both preposterous and provocative. Fantasy plays an important role in the work of Desirée Arlette Holman . She has adopted numerous personas in order to explore the ways human beings interact, from middle-class families to no-holds-barred fighters. For her MFA project, Holman analyzed a family she saw on a daytime television talk show. She made life-size dolls of each family member and has videotaped her "therapy sessions" with them, allowing the audience to witness the developing drama. Susan McMahon's paintings are dreamlike and intimate visual journal entries that help the artist make sense of her life. Her works are palimpsests, with images layered on top of one another, as though some were too painful and raw to exist on the surface. Potent, recurring visual symbols such as gaping mouths and groping hands convey a palpable sense of anxiety, entrapment, and betrayal. John O'Malley works in an extremely small scale that invites the viewer to come in very close. California landscapes, underground cities, and highway mountain passes are carved out of found wood or bricks. These dioramas, standing only an inch or two tall, pose a strong but open-ended narrative that elicits both interest and wonder. They evoke the possibilities buried in everyone's imagination. Brett Simon's short films and videoworks blend dazzling visuals with compelling narratives to send up our collective preoccupations with money, success, and beauty. In a recent work titled The New Step, he exploits the infinite reproducibility of digital media, using fragmentation to examine the bizarre contemporary phenomenon of the exercise video.