Sunday, January 26, 2020


(The beach at Crissy Field)

I went into SF yesterday, by myself and spent the day by myself. I had no plan, but I had a few things I wanted to do, hoping to take pictures as part of that. I only have images from the little Osmo Action camera and my phone, all the others were 35mm film. I brought two cameras and three lenses, one loaded with black-and-white all the day and the other color. 

I stopped at a guitar store and played a Martin D-28. It sure was nice, as well it should be for the price - $3100. Only rock stars should own these guitars, really. It is a big step up from the air guitar that I learned on. 

Then I went and dropped of a bunch of rolls of film at Photoworks. I am the only photographer left in the world that spends that much money on pics that anybody else would just delete from their iPhone. Just meaningless, thoughtless snapshots, most of them. I keep trying to capture the mystery of the visible, as Winogrand seemed to do so effortlessly, but it escapes me. It is maddening, that.

After getting trapped in horrible weekend traffic everywhere that I tried to go I eventually decided to give up and go to the SFMOMA. Getting there took me more than an hour, but once there they had wine and salmon lunches. I had one salmon and two cabernets. The little Osmo camera is fun at a museum. The ultra wide angle distorts everything. I forget if it's pincushion or barrel distortion. I guess it must be barrel, though if you follow the line where the floor meets the wall in the image below that looks more like pincushion. 

I don't know, is what I'm trying to say. It's mostly barrel distortion. You can see it really clearly in the image above, if you peer out towards Alcatraz and look at the horizon. 

The day was nice. I am out of practice at being alone. Halfway through the day I was wanting some companionship. the SFMOMA is the only place in San Francisco where women dress lime women. It is a sort of oasis of femininity in a landscape that is otherwise openly hostile to the idea. The women at the museum all wear boots, and know how to walk. It always functions as the onset of seduction, which is maddening. Women know how to be looked at, and that knowing communicates a tremendous amount of coded information. 

After a couple glasses of wine I was texting anybody that I could think of that I used to go to museums with. Zoie, mostly. My long lost art buddy. She has gone the way of the heiresses. She probably has a cooking show by now. 

I am kidding a bit. She finds me funny so I assume certain liberties. 

(SFMOMA guard and I inspecting the gilded jazz testicle)

I went back to the cafe a couple times throughout the day where the wine was. My photography suffered from this, I am sure of it, though it will take years for me to confirm since I was shooting film. But what the fuck... I'm not on assignment. I am the only person who really seems to care about what I am doing, which frees the mind considerably. 

Well, I'm the only one interested until the cops get involved. They have an interest in lots of things I do, if I give them any hint that maybe they should. 

I found a local exhibition that featured three local SF artists. The one below was my favorite. Her art involved itself with the portrayal of black people, and their sexuality, in American culture. But I was able to look past all of that to enjoy the formal compositions and powerful abbreviations of figure, which was beautiful. The entire room in which her work was displayed was painted a red that is similar to the red you see below, which added a lot to the exhibition. 

There was also an exhibition of German art since 1960, which was great - Gerhard Richter and Georg Baselitz being two of my favorites. I noted to CS that Baselitz reminds me of a post-modern Otto Dix. I was texting CS throughout the entirety of the day. He also used to be one of my museum buddies who has now gone the way of the heiresses. His cooking show will be called Cafe Frittata. If I were CS, now that his pockets are filled with gold and has nothing but free time, then I'd create my own YouTube show. Something like Fishing With John. That show was exactly 30 years ahead of its time. 

Okay, the day has started here. I must do something with it or it will disappear into the skies from whence it came. 

You can look into a bottle of red wine and see the day's shadows moving there.