Shotwell Street between 21st and 22nd, arguably one of the most choice blocks in the entire neighborhood, is at the tail-end of its yearly show of fall foliage. Get over there and take it in while you still can.
After nearly a year that's passed since I wrote a post mocking Rob Williamson's photography, I finally met the guy.
He introduced himself to me last night at Dear Mom (God help us) and asked, maybe a little confrontationally, if I still wrote about art for Uptown. When I suggested that he seemed angry or on edge, he said that he was not.
I mentioned, so as maybe to clarify my original intentions, that I didn't actually think he had taken those photos with his phone, and that I was really just poking fun. No harm intended.
He told me that I had shat on his life's work, which he clearly did not think was a good thing. I asked if he hadn't enjoyed a little public discourse over his series and he said he hadn't.
Rob then handed me a flier and challenged me to attend his friend's photography show tonight at Ritual. “If art is dead” (or “if art isn't dead”, I don't remember), he said, “then come see my friend's show. He's amazing.”
At the risk of opening up an old wound, here are some thoughts I have for Rob and other up-and-coming photographers:
If taking flattering photos of my cool-looking friends were my life's work, I would hope that someone in my life had the presence of mind to shit on it, so that maybe some day I could use my technical abilities (which seem to be in tact in Rob's case) to make something worthwhile.
The purpose of art is to challenge and inspire—to save our human minds from the mundane. The purpose of art is not to assure our attractive friends that they're doing a good job participating in this carefree, precious lifestyle young San Franciscans seem to be so obsessed with.
The prevailing culture in our fair sub-climate is undergoing a huge influx of wealthy young people who glorify the menial values portrayed in Rob's photography (youth, beauty, leisure, backpack ownership?). As a part of the shrinking creative demographic, it's the duty of Mission artists to challenge their audience's cultural view, imagination, and sense of beauty, rather than cater to the new money's bland, charming-ish taste.
I'm afraid that until Rob's process holds these intentions in mind, his photos will continue to be more or less as valuable as the Instagrams they so closely resemble.
I will not be attending Rob's friend's show at Ritual tonight, because, as much as I enjoy being hated by young photographers IRL, I've already checked out the photo series in question, and discovered that it's a series of photos dealing mostly with apartments as seen from the street—a view I will just as easily enjoy on my walk home from work this afternoon.
Speaking of Potrero del Sol, here's the latest photo (shot at PdS) from Full Frame Collective, who'll be hosting their book release party next Friday at Book & Job Gallery in the Tenderloin. And given FFC's long history of chronicling the Bay Area's skate, bike, and graffiti scenes, you can expect a long night of drinking paper bag-wrapped tall cans on the sidewalk. (In fact, we hear that the first 10 people to buy their book will be given a free tall can from FFC member Aaron Durand.)
Below, the flier:
As a city that loves trucks and putting mustaches on things, the Inside Out 11M project took over the Valencia Art Wall earlier this morning, snapping photos of passersby and pasting them high up the wall.
Here's how Inside Out describes the campaign:
Beyond any political debate about 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., these portraits remind us that behind the numbers are real human stories. Inside Out 11M aims to represent the diversity and unity of people that can call America home.
The project takes part in Inside Out, a global participatory art project initiated by the award-winning artist JR to pay tribute to the power and dignity of individuals by displaying their portraits in public spaces around the world. People share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art.
According to Burrito Justice, the photographers have packed up and made their way to another location, so head over there now to get early dibs on the feast of mustache, devil horn, and googly eye drawing.
[via Burrito Justice]
As you have no doubt seen/heard/read/watched, The Developers have begun the demolition that'll precede the construction of an eight-story '70s bowling sign-looking condo project. Allegedly, the tear-down alone will take an entire month, because breaking shit is hard. And whether or not you agree that this development is a good thing or not, at least we can all agree it'll give us a month of solid photography?
Brodie would spend months traveling, often sleeping on the side of railroad tracks or in the woods. Occasionally, he'd go home to Florida to visit his mother.
For years I’d come home and every time I would see my mom I would be wearing the same dirty shirt, have really bad B.O., I’d have the same pants with all the patches on them. Wouldn’t change my socks or underwear, not often, you know? So my mom just got annoyed. She was like, 'Mike! You’re such a good-looking man! Why are you dressed like this!?' And I was like, 'I don’t care!' “
Did you guys know we have a poster? Our ‘Instant Streets’ series captures San Francisco’s most iconic streets and neighborhoods in glorious double exposure Polaroids. We collected 24 of our best and put them on this handsome poster. Want one of your own? We have them for sale in our Etsy shop. And for the rest of the week we’re offering free standard shipping in the US. Thanks for looking!