If you’re going to San Francisco,
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
If you come to San Francisco,
Summer time will be a love-in there.
The popular 1967 song written by John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas and sung by Scott McKenzie, inspired thousands of young people to travel to San Francisco in the late 1960s and is still inspiring visitors and natives of San Francisco to this day. San Francisco in the summer time is the place to escape the heat and experience all forms of art and fine art, perhaps a place to create your own art.
Starting in the mid-20th Century and for many generations San Francisco has been a hotbed of art and is no less a major incubator of artists today than in any other era. Life’s rich pageant blooms in many colors and races in San Francisco. San Francisco is a collage of opposites, of old and new, industry and art, wisdom and foolishness, wealth and poverty.
It was the birthplace of the Sierra Club, the Exhibit Format Series, perhaps even landscape photography, the Beat Generation, earthquake insurance, the Summer of Love, the sexual revolution, the anti-war movement, Friends of the Earth, Earth Island Institute, Bank of America, Bechtel, Jefferson Airplane, Jerry Garcia, Courtney Love, William Randolph Hearst, Robert McNamara, Robert Frost, Jack London, Gary Snyder, Ansel Adams, Philip Hyde, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee, Val Kilmer, Steve Jobs, Jim Jones, O. J. Simpson, Rob Schneider, Jerry Brown and 407 other celebrities.
I visit San Francisco several times a year to go to San Francisco art galleries, photography galleries, museums and libraries for research and as ambassador of my father’s photography. When I am there I feel a quickening as I am artistically moved, culturally enlightened and creatively freed.
My father, who was born in San Francisco, escaped the city and spent most of his life photographing wilderness. Ironically, I was born in the wilderness and do photograph nature often, but feel like I could easily spend the rest of my life photographing San Francisco.
When I am in The City, as northern Californians call it, I often feel compelled to write about or photograph this diverse built landscape of fog, cable cars and the big red bridge.