Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Down on Mission Street.

Simon left to fly to the UK. It was sad to say goodbye to such a funny and generous friend but we'll soon catch up again in London.

I strolled across town and bade farewell to Anna who was driving down to LA. We'll catch up there in a couple of days.

Owen and I ate in a diner (Lori's again) and headed over to the Museum of Modern Art. The door pressure was $25 but because Owen works in a museum he got us in free. I don't cultivate friendships for these benefits but they're nice little side effects. Gives a whole new meaning to friends with benefits.

The museum was ace. Brilliant. Spacious and modern c/o Swiss architect Mario Botta with a lovely shop, a sculpture garden, and a section devoted to fonts and typefaces where I could've parked Owen for a week.

Fans of Sonic Youth will no doubt be impressed by Gerhard Richter's Zwei Kerzen but there were also works by Cindy Sherman, Martin Kippenberger, Juan Munoz, Luc Tuymans, Ai Weiwei, Jeff Wall, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Andreas Gursky, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Philip Guston, Richard Artschwager, David Hockney, Sol LeWitt, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Anish Kapoor, Richard Long, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, and many more. Some of my personal favourites are pictured below starting with the Richter.

Ed Ruscha's 60 Watts wasn't anything like his pop art gas stations and looked more like the poster for a horror film.

Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park #67.

I was spellbound by Gabriel Orozco's Samurai Tree.

Richard Prince is a guy whose work rarely makes it to the UK. Here's Tell Me Everything.

On the 7th (yes - SEVEN) floor you're greeted by Jeff Koons' Large Vase of Flowers and the garden contains Ellsworth Kelly's Stele I.

You can listen to the music of Philip Glass or check out Jim Dine's Yellow Painting. British sculpture is well represented and, below, I've taken a photo of Guglie by Tony Cragg.

Duane Hanson's Policeman wasn't to be the last of the day but more of that later.

I thought Valley Streets by Wayne 'the cake guy' Thiebaud particularly stunning. Chuck Close's hyper realist Self-Portrait is almost beyond comprehension. That's a watercolour ffs.

Roy Lichtenstein's Figures With Sunset pays homage to Dali, Picasso, and Leger. It's huge - and it's beautiful. A different, more prosaic, beauty can be found in Bernd and Hilla Becher's Forderturne, Beligien, Frankreich. They're big faves of mine.

Untitled by Sigmar Polke is one of the highlights of a German collection better than any I've seen in Europe (including Germany itself) and from the balcony you can gaze out at skyscrapers - which, I'm starting to realise, never gets old.

Three hours and we'd barely done half of the place. The museum closed and we took an Uber to our new airbnb. The driver got pulled over by the San Francisco police for driving in the transit lane. It soon became apparent his documentation was out of date and the cop issued him with a court summons. Both cop and cabbie asked our opinion. Never have we perfected the innocent abroad quite so effectively.

Checking into 17th & Valencia on Mission it became obvious that the owner was something of a tree hugger. The WiFi codes were Grateful and Optimism. Another option, a neighbouring apartment I guess, was big_fat_dick!

It was a nice enough place though and close to all the action. We popped into Amnesia for bluegrass night, a couple of beers, and a chat. The Vivants were playing. They were pretty good but I'd have preferred something a bit more old timey.

We saw posters announcing Julia Holter was playing the Mission district. I love Julia so I was a bit disappointed that her gig is the day we leave for LA.

In the 500 bar Aussies loaded up the jukebox with Tom Petty and sarcastically thanked us for founding their country. I told them I wasn't on that particular job so no need.

There was another Brit there with her American friend. We'd had a few but our compatriot was pretty sloshed. She was on her way to Nevada for Burning Man so, I guess, her holiday will continue in similar vein.

As, no doubt, will ours.

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