Saturday, March 10, 2007

Art About Town... San Francisco

"Personally, I experience the greatest degree of pleasure in having contact with works of art. They furnish me with happy feelings of an intensity such as I cannot derive from other realms."

-Albert Einstein

Art and Albert Einstein... all in one day! Well, just imagine it. I could totally see myself museum hopping with Einstein, who I consider to be one of the sexiest men of the 20th Century. Intelligent, witty, great hair, and a wild sense of humor. If he were alive today, I could see myself and Albert, roaming around, gazing at the various public art displays throughout the Bay Area, and engaging in great conversations about what we think, and feel, as the art inspires us. :) Yeah, I like to dream, and when I do, I like to dream big. Imagine... a day with Einstein.

I love art, especially public art, because there is a certain rare freedom in it. You might see it in passing, while driving past it in your car. Or it might be placed in a park or along the main avenue of the town you live in. It might be a commission of a great artist who is well known, or it might be the first piece of an up and coming artist on the edge of immortality through their creative vision. And as you either pass the art at 35 mpg, or while sitting in a park for as long as you want, the art will have changed you in some small way. You will have had a memory evoked, or a passion stirred... even if only for a moment.

In 2004, the city of San Francisco had heart. That is the year, San Francisco General Hospital commissioned the "Hearts in San Francisco" public art display. 130 beautifully painted hearts were placed all through the city, and were designed and painted by a number of artists, including Tony Bennett. The heart he designed, remains on permanent display, in Union Square. I am sure you remember the entry I wrote about it last year. If not you can read the entry here. Anyway, while I was in the city on Thursday, I had time to stop by, and photograph, one of the other hearts, from the 2004 collection, that remains on display as public art, titled, "I Left My Heart... And Shoes In San Francisco," by artist Stan Dann.

San Francisco General Hospital eventually auctioned off most of the hearts, with the proceeds going to the enhancement of patient care at the hospital. The monetary goal for the auction was to raise $1 Million, as of February of 2005 they have raised nearly $2,000,000. It's so amazing to me, when art goes from raw materials and vision, to a reality that benefits the community. There is something soul stirring in that for me. I don't know, maybe it is because over the years, at times of great sadness and grief, art has always been available to help heal the pain I was in. My friend H. P. tells me that I do some of my best photography, when I am depressed. LOL. He never wishes pain on me mind you, but he does remind me that depression doesn't have the lock on me it once did. When those times of sadness, that everyone has, appear like a dark cloud, he tells me to pick up the camera. So does Alan. In fact, as you probably remember, it was Alan who put a camera in my hand, when I was at my lowest, and encouraged me to find life, not avoid it.

This year, San Francisco General Hospital is again participating in the "Hearts in San Francisco," project, and have recently held a fundraiser, where tabletop versions of the hearts were actioned off at charity luncheon, with the proceeds again going to the enhancement of patient care at the hospital, and a special award was given to a member of the community who had displayed "exceptional and inspirational" behavior. There are four full sized hearts, 60-inches tall x 39 inches wide, that are currently on display in Union Square. I am hoping to get over there sometime later this month to photograph them. This next week, I am planning to finally get up to the Sierra to photograph some snow around Lake Tahoe. There is nothing like the art of natural beauty as well. :)

"A good exercise for the heart, is bending down and helping someone to get up."


"I Left My Heart And Shoes In San Francisco"
San Francisco, California
March 8th, 2007


Steven said...

Nice hearts! Reminds me of the cows on parade fund raising. Of course one of the drawbacks to living in Texas is it will always be cows. Kowboy Kulture gets mighty stale the older I get.

A painted heart is a wonder to see :-)

Anonymous said...

I love your work.