I was awed by beautiful San Francisco last weekend, when we went for Thanksgiving. What a city! We went to the SF MoMA, where we saw the Cindy Sherman retrospective that we missed in New York. A great show by one of my favourite artists, but it was almost eclipsed by the amazing architecture by Swiss architect Mario Botta. An obsession with stripes has never looked to elegant.
I was less impressed with the de Young Centre (I found the architecture heavy and not very exciting and thought the Nuryev ballet show would have benefitted from many more video clips), though in the garden there is a wonderful safety pin sculpture by one of my all-time favourite artists, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Speaking of Oldenburg, there’s another, even better sculpture by the Bay Bridge, of a bow and arrow submerged into the ground as if God had shot it there. The strings beautifully echo the shape of the bridge behind. (HERE is a great shot of it.)
Then, on our last day, we turned a corner and suddenly encountered piece after piece of incredibly well done street painting. Much of it is within a three-block radius, and much is more elegant than what we know as graffiti. In fact, it’s what the city is known for and it’s the scene that the well-known artist Barry McGee came out of.
Speaking of Barry McGee, HERE is my review of his show in Milan, Italy – my very first art review that I wrote back in 2002.