Let Us Now Praise San Francisco

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Untitled, 2008 C Print © Marx & Zavattero
Untitled, 2008 Silver Gelatin Print © Marx & Zavattero
Untitled, 2008 Polaroid © Marx & Zavattero
Let Us Now Praise San Francisco

77 Geary Street (@ Grant)
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
July 12th, 2008 - August 16th, 2008
Opening: July 12th, 2008 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM



Marx & Zavattero and San Francisco author/filmmaker Robert Mailer Anderson are delighted to present Let Us Now Praise San Francisco, a group exhibition contrasting the distinctive fiction of three local authors with the photography of three recent local art school graduates. Each of the participants has been commissioned to provide their own singular visions of our ever-changing city by creating new work specifically for the show, which will be on view July 12 - August 16, 2008.

The groundbreaking book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men - written by James Agee with photographs by Walker Evans - told the story of poor white sharecropper families in the Depression-era American South, and provides inspiration for this exhibit's premise. The prose and photographs, completed and shot in late May and early June 2008, aim to chronicle an extremely timely and distinct artistic view of San Francisco ranging from its gloomy urban underbelly to its quiet, startling beauty. This atypical exhibition, merging contemporary urban literature and photography in a gallery setting, promises to provide images and stories, both real and imagined, of a San Francisco stripped bare and awkward in all its tragic and sublime contradictions.

The complete short stories and selected images from the show will be documented in a book. A limited-edition printing of 100 copies will each be numbered and signed by the six participants in the show, promising to make the volume a sought-after collector's item.

As the son of migrant laborers, Victor Martinez was born and raised in Fresno, California. His first novel, Parrot in the Oven, depicting a story of a Mexican-American boy in adolescence going through poverty, family issues and hardships, won the 1996 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Peter Plate is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including One Foot off the Gutter, Fogtown, and most recently, Soon the Rest Will Fall. Known for his noir sensibility and expressively detailed descriptions of a dark urban landscape, he deals with violence, sex, crime, and human struggles as his subject matter.

Michelle Tea is the author of three novels, numerous short stories and newspaper articles. She is also one of the founders of the all-girl performance group called "Sister Spit: The Next Generation," which conducted three major nationwide tours from 1997 to 1999. Since she moved to San Francisco in the 1990s, she has been playing a leadership role in the city's queer and literary scenes.

Gregory Halpern is interested in the idea of the place and explores the socio-economic aspects of certain places as a photographer. He was awarded the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship and the Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowship award in 2005. Halpern was born in Buffalo, New York and currently lives in Ithaca, New York where he teaches Art at Cornell University. He has a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts.

Whitney Hubbs deals with human emotions such as loneliness, disappointment, love and happiness in her work. Capturing her experiences of everyday life in the form of portraits, landscapes, or pure snapshots, she approaches these universal themes with both autobiographical and documentary perspectives. Hubbs was born in Los Angeles and has lived and worked in various cities in the United States. She received her BFA in photography from California College of the Arts and currently is in the MFA program at UCLA.

Sean McFarland explores our understanding of the world around us and our sense of place by creating new landscapes. His collaged photographs come from the archive of several thousand photographs he took in places such as rooftops, parks, and sidewalks as well as from images he collected from the Internet and print media. After deliberately putting disparate images together by hand, he re-photographs on film and makes them into c-prints. McFarland has a BS from Humboldt State University and an MFA from California College of the Arts.