Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Richard Misrach Lives Here

Let me begin by saying that I love Richard Misrach. He was the very first visiting artist I ever encountered in my graduate (and undergraduate) career. My first week of my MFA studies, he critiqued my BFA thesis show. My photographs were manipulated negatives, oversaturated colors, scratched and painted portraits of my family. They had nothing to do with his artwork yet when I look back at all of the critiques I had, it was my favorite. He was supportive and genuinely interested. He asked me to keep in touch and I did for awhile. I kick myself for losing contact.

He is the reason why I would be interested in adding an artist correspondence element to this "artist stalking" business. Tangentially, I finally wrote an artist statement for this series. It's a work in progress but I should post it soon so people don't think I truly am a stalker.

Once upon a time last year when I gave an artist talk about my diversionary activity, I outlined how I researched Richard Misrach's residence. There were a number of addresses that popped up online but when I mapped out the satellite view, I noticed that this particular one faced the Golden Gate Bridge. Misrach made several photographs of the view from his back porch of this subject and I suspected this indeed, was the right one.

After verifying it a couple months later when I knew I was traveling to San Francisco, I was really excited to add another artist that I deeply admire to the series. Amelia and I arrived in San Francisco for the SPE conference a day early so we had time to take BART to Berkeley. I paid a taxi driver who was interested in taking a break from his normal activities to scale the hillside to the address I provided. Needless to say, the roads were a carsick induced nightmare so I may not have the best photographs due to feeling nauseous while taking them.

The cab driver parked off to the left, I hopped out of the car, took a dozen photographs and then we returned to the BART station. I never noticed on the Google Street View (because it was covered with the leaves), the extension off the back porch where I can imagine a tripod and 8x10 camera photographing the beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay.

Both Amelia and Alexis asked me who is next and I struggled to come up with an answer. John Baldessari perhaps... I'm still keeping an eye out for Jeff Koons to move into his palatial Manhattan residence. I will have to see where this summer takes me before I have a real answer.

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