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Bent Out Of Shape Over Two Shows Tweet This   Forward This

15 March 2013

We escaped the bunker yesterday, taking a walk up Third St. to stop in at the Rayko Photo Center before visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Two shows in one day tends to bend you out of shape but it can also give you something to think about.

In the Rayko gallery we saw the Sixth Annual International Juried Plastic Camera Show featuring work done with Holga and Diana cameras, among others. And at SFMOMA we trekked through the Garry Winogrand exhibit.

The Plasticians develop and print their own work (including a couple of tintypes). You can rent darkroom time at Rayko, after all. The images may have been taken with toy cameras but the prints had a meticulousness to them that gave a fine arts atmosphere to the show.

Winogrand, at the end, didn't even bother to develop his film, let alone print it. Nor did it bother him if the horizon wasn't straight or his shadow fell across the subject. We doubt he even fiddled with focus much, relying instead on a wide angle lens. What is, becomes.

Dozens of careful images on two walls at Rayko. Hundreds of prints in room after room after room at SFMOMA.

When we left the museum, we walked by a well-dressed fellow bent over his mobile to make a point just outside the St. Regis Hotel, not realizing (as Winogrand would have) he was also bowing to a rusty sculpture just opposite him.

And in the streetcar we sat across from two young men facing opposite each other who had rested their heds on the pole between their back-facing seats. One meticulously dressed for an interview, the other slouched like the Rodini Pieta. Another shot Winogrand wouldn't have missed.

Total immersion in Winogrand had certainly had an effect on us. But so had the carefully printed images at Rayko.

When we got back to the bunker, we rolled up our sleeves to judge the PhoozL Me, Myself & I self-portrait contest with a new appreciation for the vision of others.

You might say we had come, via a circuitous route, full circle.

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