Romantic Cityscape: Seeing the City Before the Google Grid

An essay on Paul Wonner’s Skyline with Three Bottles from Studies for Romantic Views of San Francisco. On Valentine’s Day 1990, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft captured a picture of our planet from nearly six billion kilometers away. The photograph of the “Pale Blue Dot,” showed Earth as a single pixel within an enormous galaxy, and it put the role of our planet and our species in brand new perspective. Now, our smartphones and Google Maps are constantly changing the way we see ourselves and the world. They’ve reduced the earth’s surface to a set of grids filled with digital lines, shapes, and surfaces. As users we zoom in and out of abstractions, moving deeper into a place while remaining at a

Leo Stillwell. Speckled eyes Speckled Eyes: When the Artist is the Beau

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - (March 17, 2017) The unpublished work of Leo Stillwell, a talented watercolor and oil painter who died at the age of 22, left 500 works of art to San Francisco State University. Leo Stillwell was born 1926, in the rapidly shifting social tableau that was San Francisco in the 1940's. While post-war San Francisco was transitioning from a wartime port city to a cultural mecca, it was also giving birth to the foundations of a gay community. The city was filled with former navy sailors, aspiring artists, actors, and designers looking to carve out a new role for themselves where their desires and loves were no longer restricted to the suppressed realm of the private and uns

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