Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

This Tornado Never Happened 

Wednesday, Mar 25 2009
Comments
In art, sometimes concept trumps the finished product. Andy Warhol’s famed first film, Sleep, for example, shows the poet John Giorno sleeping for six hours, a great idea ruined by Giorno sleeping for six hours. Photographer Sean McFarland, however, fascinates both by his process and what eventually hangs on the walls. He starts by taking thousands of pictures of stuff and adding it to his collection of stuff from the Web, old textbooks, field guides, and so forth. Then he makes collages. Finally — and here’s the part that would make us want to use our art theory, if we had any — he photographs the results, blurring the evidence of his tinkering. He ends up with otherworldly photos that subtly toy with the laws of nature, memory, and, in particular, San Francisco. In the past, he focused mostly on urban landscapes, and the city never looked better. For his exhibit “Pictures of the Earth,” he has switched tack, focusing on the natural world and erasing all evidence of collage, so his looming, mysterious images of waves, sand, landforms, and tornados look absolutely legit but somehow … off. He also uses a Polaroid camera to photograph the collage, a device known for WYSIWYG pictures. But this is definitely not WYSIWYG art.
April 2-May 23, 2009

About The Author

Michael Leaverton

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"