For about two years now I have been living away from San Francisco, and I am constantly being confronted by the stereotypes people have of the art scene in the Bay Area. Apparently there are a lot of people who are quick to dismiss the art and artists in SF as being maybe not as serious as they are out here in New York. But by serious they mean hard work. Politics. Professionalism. Attitude. Getting Paid. Stuff like that. So I find myself wanting to tell the people I meet it’s not so simple, that it’s an apples & oranges comparison and that artists in San Francisco are not the crude stereotypes they make them out to be.
Still, it’s hard to fight a stereotype — especially one that has grains of truth in it. For better or worse, the San Francisco brand was writ large by the 1960s counterculture movement. Consider how, in 1967 during the Summer of Love at the first “Human Be-In,” Timothy Leary told a crowd of 30,000 people in Golden Gate Park to “Tune in, turn o... More