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Visions of Frisco: An Imaginative Depiction of San Francisco during the Gold Rush & The Barbary Coast Era


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ISBN 10: 1587901404 / ISBN 13: 9781587901409
Published by Regent Press, 2008
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Visions of Frisco: An Imaginative Depiction ...

Publisher: Regent Press

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Wilfried Podriech (1939-1982), aka Satty, emerged as an artist during San Francisco s psychedelic art movement of the late 1960s. He worked in the tradition of collage, at first with materials cut from contemporary magazines. He was soon attracted to the graphic qualities of the black and white illustrations found in books and magazines of the 19th Century, a graphic source used by the Surrealist Max Ernst in the 1920s. From these Satty cut images and carefully, seamlessly composed them into surreal and visionary works of art. Satty began work on a series of San Francisco collages in 1975. From reading historical accounts of the early city, he realized that most of the existing pictorial record, photos and paintings didn t match the colorful literary descriptions of that chaotic era. He decided to graphically re-create the era, to evoke the visual and emotional experiences of the early city in combination with relevant eyewitness accounts. He researched the writings of early immigrants, later residents, and many other writers who visited the famous spectacle of the developing city. Satty created collages until his death in early 1982. As an interested historian, and a friend for ten years, Walter Medeiros had often been closely involved with him, and especially during the last year of his life. Satty discussed the project with him and took pleasure in showing him work in progress. Satty s will left the project to Medeiros. Although there was a quantity of research notes, and indications of texts under consideration, none were assigned to specific collages. Nor had a workable book format been developed. The only prepared text was in the form of typed captions applied to many of the artworks. As editor-collaborator, Medeiros closely examined the large body of diverse collages and selected those which might be arranged into a suitable narrative form. Through a review of Satty s notes and books, supplementary research, and consideration of the content of the artworks, a generally chronological format was eventually developed, based on historical events and the prominent themes and topics found within the body of the selected collages. As to selection of texts, most excerpts are taken from first-hand accounts; from journals, letters and books of people who participated in or otherwise closely observed the historical events and social conditions of the era. Many texts have been edited for brevity or for relevance to the artworks. Some texts match the illustrations quite closely; for other texts the relationship may be indirect. A developed draft of the book was completed by 1983. In 1984 an exhibition of this material, entitled An Imaginary History of San Francisco, was presented at the California Historical Society, in San Francisco. While this project sprang from Satty s personal experience, it was also related to his serious interest in social and political trends of American culture, especially the impact of mass media. He was both participant and close observer of the energetic, assertive, often transgressive counterculture of the 1960s, which struck him as analogous to the chaotic, culturally formative era of the Gold Rush. Visions of Frisco an impressionistic history. Such is the nature of the art works, and that imaginative, associative mode rather than a linear, strictly descriptive one has informed the creation of this book. Satty s art is a tour de force of historical re-creation. The city he loved becomes vividly animated, peopled with faces, costumes, attitudes and activities that chronicle half a century.

About the Author:

Walter Medeiros lived in San Francisco during 1966 & 1967, and has been a resident of Berkeley since 1968. He began studying the San Francisco Rock Poster Art in 1971, in preparation for a Master s Thesis in Art History (U.C. Berkeley, 1972). He conducted extensive interviews with the major artists, the proprietor and staff of the Avalon Ballroom, light show artists, printers of the posters, and many others involved in the culture. His research, writing, consulting and lecturing established him as the prominent historian of the psychedelic rock poster art movement and the various cultural sources that influenced it. He has maintained contact with many of the original artists, and with the extensive Bay Area community of the 1960s era. As Guest Curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in 1976 he organized a retrospective exhibition (252 posters) of the San Francisco Rock Poster Art and wrote the exhibition catalogue. The catalogue identified the major artists and discussed the sources and significance of their most prominent works. He has served as consultant for many other exhibitions, and his research and essays have been included in several books.

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