The website of the SFMOMA (where incidentally I had a Tony Bennett sighting when I visited this museum some years back!) has been featuring the work of California-raised and recent New York City transplant Christine Wong Yap, a self described interdisciplinary artist who creates art that “invite viewers’ optimistic and pessimistic attitudes, perceptions and emotions.” Every Wednesday through June, SFMOMA’s blog will post works from Christine’s weekly series “Positive Signs” that will highlight “interpretive diagrams, quotes, and speculations on creativity, optimism* and the lives of artists.”
Clockwise from upper left: Larry Sultan, “My Mother Posing for Me,” (1984) Henry Wessel, “Southern California,” (1985) William A. Garnett, “Contour Graded Hills, Ventura County, California” (1953) and Ansel Adams, “Clouds, from Tunnel Overlook, Yosemite National Park, California” (1934)
Children growing up everywhere, in the middle of nowhere, middle America or in the backwoods of the Northeast all have specific visions of California. Of all the states in the country, why California? Why do people I meet today tell me how when they were children all they wanted to do was go to California? One reason: photography. Whether their impressions are of the Ansel Adams variety or the vastly more popular surfer/life guard/beach bum/eternal party culture California, they can all be traced back to specific images from photography both low (think neon bikini postcards) and high.