4.154 De Young, pirates

Thursday 05/04/2023

The main activity today was to drive with Jean to the City, to meet up with cousin Darlene and Jessea, and tour two exhibits at the de Young art museum and possibly another at the Legion.

Jean showed up as planned just before 9, and off we went. Traffic was smooth on 280 and not really congested on 19th avenue and we were into the Park and to the Music Concourse parking garage by 10. We went into the de Young and waited around for Darlene. No cell signal on the lower floor but eventually I got a message, she was running a little late, go in without her. Also Jessea wasn’t coming.

So we went in to tour the “Ansel Adams in our time” exhibit. This had a lot of his pictures arranged roughly chronologically, plus pictures by current photographers inspired by him or in the same locations. Everybody’s seen Adams’ pictures but there was one that was new to me and I thought was the best in the whole exhibit, although neither Jean nor Darlene agreed. And my cell phone pic of it doesn’t do it justice.

The actual print has such depth and the shapes of the tree and the rocks just jump out, so beefy and real.

The other exhibit was “Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence”. Wiley’s specialty is rendering black people in the same classic sculptural and painted style as the renaissance masters used for saints, Jesus, or Roman warriors. I liked his sculpture.

Not so much his giant oil paintings, not because of the figures but because of the floral backgrounds they all had, which I just didn’t get at all. If you want to do classical, and he clearly can do, then paint a classical background, not wallpaper.

We had lunch at the de Young and then drove in our separate cars to the Palace of the Legion of Honor where we ran into a problem: there was no parking to be had. They have a small lot and then parking on a winding drive that goes down a cliff face overlooking the ocean, and every damn spot was taken. Darlene got the last spot. We conferred and decided that Jean and I would bail and head home.

And now for something completely different. From 5 to 7 I helped the Peninsulaires, a large male barbershop-style choral group, set up in our auditorium. They brought their own sound man, so my only job was to turn the system on and stay out of the way, except that I was also going to record the event.

It was all corny fun. They guys sang very well, and hammed up the pirate thing, and great time was had. In the middle I took a short video, first looking at the screen of my MacBook to show what I was recording, and then panning around to show the audience from my little corner.

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