Driveway Railing by David Booth 2009

Charlotte and I were wandering around the October 17th San Francisco Open Studios. We stopped at several artists’ studios and Charlotte found many orange and bumpy paintings to admire (she has a thing for orange and bumpy, but that’s a story for another time). At Fort Mason we found ourselves in one room, she was totally keen on some paintings by Jeff Grove, including one with a plastic garbage bag on it. That one turned out to be a terrific painting of a woman in rope bondage, covered up to keep the neighboring Kinkade devotee artists from freaking their shit out. While they chatted, I wandered over to some photos on the wall. There were some nicely shot “common” architectural images… doors, front stoops, cars. Some nice work with light play. And then I fell in love with the most unusual image.

Railing by David Booth 2009

I got in a conversation with David Booth, the artist. After a while he asked me what I liked about it and I said something like, “It’s just such a curious image. I’m looking at this railing and I see how perfect it is in this boringly common scene and I want to ask ‘why is this railing here?’ Why would it be put there? I mean, nobody needs a railing in just that spot, so what’s it doing there?  ‘Why are you there, railing? Who put you there? What are you doing, being so perfect there? It’s like your hanging with turkeys when you could be soaring with eagles! You’re just sittin’ there like all in your quiet perfectness. And what are you doing there anyway? I can’t see why you’d be put there, nobody needs a railing there. Nobody would spend all that effort to put a railing there. Come on, tell me what you’re doing there! What are you really doing?’ And then I realize that I’m yelling at a railing in an alley in a photo and I laugh and I laugh and I laugh!”

David was excited. He said he had a similar response to the railing and was glad he could project that in this art. He had walked past it many times, hardly giving it any notice and then it struck him!

You can find the magical railing here, at about 1941 Stockton / 100 Fielding. Here is David Booth describing to me where to find it.

I have a much higher resolution version of this image but I thought it appropriate to only post this low res version. David Booth is an excellent artist and deserves the recognition.

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