Fame makes a man take things over

You may not be aware of my affinity with found photos and objects, but it borders on obsession.

I’ve made some amazing finds in various thrift stores, namely Thrift Town on Mission. BUT, the best finds are ones that I’ve found simply lying on the sidewalk, in gutters and in parking lots… and dare I say, in garbage cans! When I walk along the streets in SF, I often walk around with my head down, looking for a little slice of someone else’s life.

Some may think that this kind of behavior is introverted and anti-social. But in actuality, when my head is hung low while walking in the street, I am not trying to avoid eye contact… I am looking for a story.

Lyle_StateFairDomination_med.jpg I was delighted to hear about a current exhibit at the Heather Marx Gallery at 77 Geary, titled “Fame”. This exhibit showcases found photos is a new light. The artist, David Lyle, had discovered a common thread in many of the photos he was finding: many of these black-and-white shots from the 1950’s and 60’s showcase the subject as a winner, a celebrant or a trophy. He has taken these photographs and created paintings from them that echo these triumphant themes and appeal to our sense of nostalgia.

Everyone is famous for fifteen minutes, or as a wise friend once said to me, to fifteen people. These are some of the ideas behind this art show.

The show runs till next week, and it’s free of charge, so I think I’ll probably be catching a glimpse of it within the next few days… and then I’ll just walk the SF streets with my head down, looking for the next piece of found art.

3 Comments so far

  1. Chet (unregistered) on February 25th, 2005 @ 6:08 pm

    I think that many of the items you see left on the sidewalks are items people are giving away. In SF it is very common to place a listing on Craigslist of items you are giving away and showing the address for people to come and help themselves.

  2. courtney (unregistered) on February 25th, 2005 @ 10:44 pm

    Chet, I am not talking about things that were set out, I mean stuff that has been flying around in the wind, got stepped on, lost, etc.

    Although there are some good things to be found in peoples’ “sidewalk giveaways”, there are hardly ever photographs in those piles.

  3. minispace (unregistered) on February 26th, 2005 @ 11:35 am

    Try this site too, I’m sure you like it, same category: http://www.timetales.com/

    I’m still trying to find the owners of the negtive I found in a Paris street of American teenagers “doing Europe” … http://www.timetales.com/pag_04/04_35.htm

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