San Francisco is a particular type of U.S. city in which the a majority of its residents are not native-born, and where many look to the city as a place of opportunity or freedom. This makes it an attractive city with a rich, diverse population, but also at times an epicenter of divisive debates of who or what “belongs”, or even argumentative finger-pointing of what positive or negative traditions, histories, or culture of the city is lost or gained with each wave of a new populace. Like so many others, artists have traveled to the City by the Bay to begin their careers and many have flourished creatively and professionally. With the arrival of a second “tech boom,” in the past decade, which caused a significant displacement of the city’s creative community, the entire city has felt a monumental shift in multiple ways. Luna Rienne Gallery’s current exhibition, “What’s Left S.F.” asks its participating artists to reflect upon both “what has left” and “what is left” from this latest moment in the city’s history, fostering a continued dialogue about what some may perceive as both a “diaspora” and “cultural divide.”
“What’s Left S.F.” is brings forth voices of artists with all experiences of S.F. citizenry: from Reuben Rude, the child of hippies who met in the city during the Summer of Love, to NoMe Edonna and Damon Soule who moved here in the 1990s, and T.W. Five and Nathan Tan who chose San Francisco to begin new chapters of their lives in the U.S.A. Monty Guy’s painting, “Endure” directly confronts the schism of old and new with a striking image of an idyllic Victorian home, the iconic architecture of San Francisco for over one hundred years, engulfed in the new condominium complexes that proliferated the city, fabricated completely oblivious of the city’s aesthetic history. Other works, like Damon Soule’s abstract, “Go Giants!” and Nathan Tan’s figurative cityscape entitled “415 Love” are pure, evocative illustrations of the enduring love for S.F. The local sports team will always rally San Franciscans new and old around hoping for a win, and the city’s natural charm and timeless beauty will continue to inspire.
“What’s Left S.F.” will be on view at Luna Rienne Gallery 3318 22nd Street, San Francisco through December 5, 2016.