Tag Archives: message

Beyond the Central City

Discolandia Despedida

“Discolandia Despedida” (2013)

For those who are interested, I have started documenting other parts of the City besides the Tenderloin, mid-Market and Sixth Street in a new blog I call Through Unsealed Eyes. Check it out, especially if you like nice, large photos.

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Filed under Messages

Untwisting the Truth

New City for the Upper Class

“New City for the Upper Class” (2012)

Goo-goo goo-goo goo-goo goo
Goo-goo goo-goo goo-goo
Googly, googly, googly goo:
That’s how we fill a column.

— GK Chesterton

Earlier this week, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article, authored by CW Nevius, that begins with Mercy Housing’s acquisition of some of my early photography, recently installed at the Arlington Hotel. What follows is a muddled retelling of my life story, refashioned by Nevius with cherry-picked facts to fit his doctrinaire point of view. In his eyes, success is synonymous with wealth and prosperity and is therefore quantifiable and attainable by upward striving. Misconstruing my perseverance in recovery with upward striving, he assumes that success is a corollary of self-redemption.

The truth is that I often must choose between necessities to survive, and that any recognition my work has received has in the long run made life no less difficult. Due to ongoing health problems, a lack of print sales and commissions has recently forced me to pawn all of my gear just to pay the bills. I simply cannot keep afloat on Social Security benefits alone. For now, until I recover my cameras, I am no longer a photographer. I cannot say where life goes from here. What I do know is that there are no easy answers. There never are.

If Nevius’ journalism is reviled and ridiculed (as indeed it often is), it is because his preconceptions so often preclude veracity. Accordingly, he compartmentalized and re-contextualized my personal history as a “success” story, using the template of a materialist ideology that interprets life as a race to the top and classifies people as winners or losers. Embracing change as the only certainty in life (even death can be regarded as a kind of change) allows me to view my existence as an ongoing process of unfolding and transformation. Insofar as my journey through life is a reflection of my boiling psyche, the highs and lows have been extreme, but this is not how I measure either failure or success. As a perennial student in the classroom of experience, success for me is a lesson well-learned.

By the way, if you would like to read a really well-written article about me and my work, “Histories Intertwined” by Maria La Ganga of the Los Angeles Times is superb.


Filed under Interviews, Messages

2 Blocks of Art


Friday, October 14
4–8 p.m.
Various Locations on Sixth Street between Market and Howard

Urban Solutions’ 2 Blocks of Art takes place on Sixth Street between Market and Howard. The art walk showcases a neighborhood rich in culture and well known for its cutting edge arts community. The event draws a record number of people to the Sixth Street corridor; features, like musicians playing in a Laundromat and a fashion designer exhibiting in an optometry office, make this event truly unique!

2 Blocks of Art is book-ended by well-known Luggage Store gallery at one end, and 1st Amendment gallery (1AM) at the other. Approximately 50 artists exhibit in 25 locations – all within 2 blocks!

Artists will be featured in galleries, retail shops, restaurants, theaters and event spaces along the first two blocks of Sixth Street. The art walk is FREE and no purchase is required for viewing the shows! The restaurants, bars, nightclubs and theaters along Sixth Street will offer discounted food, drinks and admission prices to after-party events for art walk participants.

I’ll be exhibiting some of my photography—all of it for sale—at the offices of Dr. Jack Sinow, Optometrist (who incidentally is my own optometrist), 71 Sixth Street, next to the Sonoma Market. I hope to see you there!


Filed under Events, Sixth Street

“Hunter’s Point”


On the toxic edge of San Francisco, a homeless singer seeks refuge from psych wards and social workers as her errant sister closes in. Ruthie, an extreme travel writer, hires  a beat-boxing street musician and bike thief named Hunter to find her sister Eva, while  avoiding love and responsibility in her own life. A play with music and bicycles about fierce outsiders, the complicated love of sisters, and the meaning of home.

**Funded by Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Stanley S. Langendorf Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Theatre Bay Area CA$H grant program, and the University of San Francisco; with participation of the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District.

Please come early to take in the lobby art installation and be sure to leave comments in the ledger. I value your feedback!

I hope to see you at one of the shows.

(To learn more about “Hunter’s Point” and Strange Angels Theater, visit the Hunter’s Point website and read the article “Homelessness Live on a Tenderloin Stage” in the West Coast Edition of the New York Times.)

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Filed under Events, Tenderloin