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The brand-new Manolo Garcia Gallery began life with a blockbuster opening exhibition. The debut show will be hard to top: Libby Black replicated a Louis Vuitton store, complete with finely crafted vitrines showcasing replica Vuitton accessories, all of which are made of painted paper. The champagne reception was impeccable and was presided over by the equivalent of Louis Vuitton sales girls and security staff. From a distance the merchandise looks like the real thing, but seen up close, the handbags, shoes, and pocketbooks create that woozy frisson of questioning-the-moment experience I look for in viewing artworks. And of course, letting the air out of the balloon of the class status of the designer items makes it that much more enjoyable. Manolo Garcia Gallery, 136 Fillmore; 863-6380. Call for hours. Through June 15.

- Cheryl Meeker [Wednesday, June 4th, 2003]

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