Emotional electricity

Kara Maria’s paintings at B. Sakata Garo are complicated and electric

Where: B. Sakata Garo, 923 20th Street; (916) 447-4276; www.bsakatagaro.com.
Second Saturday reception: February 14, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Through February 28.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

If scientists could record a visual representation of human emotions, it seems plausible that they would look like Kara Maria's paintings. The San Francisco artist's nonrepresentational geometric shapes are exuberantly hued, well-defined and sharp-edged, and they are interrupted by euphoric swirls or by vague, cloudy patches and an occasional flash of a representational item, like a dog or a fly. They're layered, complicated and electric—just like the workings of the mind. Until scientists figure out how to live stream what human emotions look like and project them on a wall, Maria's work may be the closest thing we've got.