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"Tender Is the Light" Book Release
Recent Installations: Arles & Memphis
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Southern Exposures
Real Pretty Toast
Burnt Toast
Where the Light Meets the Mud
Pain Perdu
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Burnt Toast
I went to San Francisco where I knew for some reason I would find the photographs to finish this
book. The end of the rainbow. Walking and wandering about. I couldn’t be certain what I was
looking for but I’d take its picture when I found it. The last day it rained and, without an umbrella, I
wrapped a plastic grocery bag over my head. I continued to walk with a camera tucked under my
coat and realized I had become invisible. Photographing attracts too much attention: you’d rather
be like a fly on the wall. But a plastic bag over your head helps prevent all that unwanted
curiosity. People pretend not to see you as they look the other way. The rain stopped but I kept
the bag on. The rain came and went again. Finally, at nearly 2 a.m., I found myself in the
Tenderloin District among the craziest concentration of humanity imaginable. The half-way
houses, methadone clinic, shelters and soup kitchens must all be there within a few blocks of the
Tenderloin police station. Removing the plastic bag from my head, I entered a bar for a last drink
and pointed my camera through the door to the outside. The Tenderloin late at night is quite a
sight. A carnival without rides. Countless souls wandering past the frame of that doorway,
bouncing and lurching about, bumping into one another, looking for the next fix once more in a
late-night dance of oblivion. A surprising calm hung over the place like a fog. Somehow it was
not a dance of desperation but an acceptance of the darkness. A pursuit of the moment which is
all we are sure to have. It felt comfortable to lose my identity there, appropriately at home among
the homeless in a world turned upside down.