Having lived in San Francisco for 10 years, I always love going back. Even though I haven’t lived there in over a decade, I still feel a strong spiritual connection to that city. One of my favorite rituals when I go back is to stop in at Pier 24.
It’s hard to describe the place to people that haven’t been there. Simply put it’s one of the best photo galleries in the world. Every year or so, they organize a world class show with world class artists in a world class space. And they limit the number of people they admit, so it’s always quiet. And it’s always beautifully laid out and lit, and it’s just one of my favorite places on earth. And it’s free!
The current show, titled This Land, is one portrait of America. Not surprisingly, a lot of it is dark: Foreclosed homes, police brutality, racism, abandoned shopping malls, and a general sense of apocalyptic doom pervade the show.
It’s heavy. Which is probably why I was drawn to the light. In this case Alec Soth (above) provided a break from the doom and gloom. His work is also dark, but there is also a humor and a humanity to it that makes it feel different.
My favorite piece by far was an hour-long video by James Nares, titled Street. Scored by Thurston Moore. I mean, come on. I watched the whole thing and loved every perfect minute.
Here are a few minutes:
Oh, and while I was there I saw Lee Friedlander. No big deal.