The CCC’s San Francisco Favorites #4: The de Young and BFFs

Recently, I had the good fortune of three wonderful visits to the de Young Museum. These visits were particularly special because I had some of my best BFFs (Best. Friends. Forever.) join me.  As the CCC, I never mind doing things alone but any activity is always so much more fun with a buddy or two.

We went see the de Young’s current show, Keith Haring – The Political Line.  For you SF-Bay Area locals, this show is a must-see.  For those of you planning a visit to SF, the de Young is a must-go. Orginally founded in 1894 as the Fine Arts Building, the de Young is now one of the preeminent museums in the western United States with its extensive American, African, and Oceanic art collections.  Its special exhibitions have included works by Dale Chihuly, Ruth Asawa, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, and now Keith Haring. (The show is on view through February 16, 2015.)

1 DeYoung Entrance 2
The Keith Haring show was one of my favorites. My memories of his work were from when I was a teenager. I think I had a Keith Haring Swatch Watch! This show highlights what a signficant and profound artist Haring was (and still is). His work continues to resonate with our current political and social landscapes.
2 DeYoung Exterior 4
In 2000 the de Young underwent a five-year renovation by the Swiss Architecture firm, Herzog & de Meuron. The design was controversial with many residents feeling it was ugly and didn’t fit with the overall sensibility of Golden Gate Park where it is located. Yes, change is always hard! Now the modern exterior is loved by all. Also in this photo are a 19th century sculpture of the history of wine making and a sphinx from the early days of the de Young.
3 DeYoung Exterior montage pdf 2
950,000 pounds of copper and 300,000 pounds of glass were used to create the building’s facade. The copper, over time, will develop a green patina reflecting the verdant setting in which the de Young is nestled. I love the varied circular themes and textures of this building!
4 De Young Garden
The de Young has a fabulous outdoor garden that must be enjoyed. It’s a perfect place to let your little ones run around and “get the wiggles out” as my mother used to say. I am not sure of the artist who created these strange, rather creepy, sculptures. Maybe they were put in the garden to make sure the kiddies don’t misbehave too much!
5 Cafe Lunches montage pdf
Of course, no trip to the de Young is complete without relaxing in the Cafe. The food is tasty and you can sit inside or out, weather depending. I LOVE the Les Charmes Sancere they have on offer! It has all my favorite qualities in a wine: minerality, cripsness, and just enough fruit (melon, I think). A perfect compliment to good conversation with good friends. (The food from left to right: chicken stew, butter lettuce and beet salad, chocolate chip cookie, cheesy quiche with greens.)

But enough about the de Young, the garden, the Cafe…the real stars of this post are my BFFs!

5 Kiki
Visit 1 with Kiki. Friends for over 20 years, Kiki is one of my life’s treasures. Who else could wear a shirt with leather ruffles for sleeves?
6 EM Carol necklace retouched
Enjoying lunch with Kiki. The beautiful necklace I am wearing was given to me by Kiki’s mother, Carol. Carol has known me since I was a twenty-something twerp.
7 Meera and Crystal
Visit 2 with Meera and Crystal. I met Meera in my first week of PhD school. We’ve been friends ever since. How lucky am I to have a friend like Meera? VERY! Crystal is Meera’s charming daughter. It’s easy to see where Crystal gets her good looks!
8 Lee, Bev, and EM
My sister, Lee, and my mom, Bev, also joined for Visit 2. A happy person is one who can count her family as her friends. Yes, I am a happy person!
9 Annie and EM
Visit 3 with my sister, Annie. Selfies are always better with a bestie!

After enjoying the Cafe and each other, we were ready to spend time in the galleries with Keith Haring, who is the REAL star! Keith Haring was born in 1958 and died of AIDS at the age of 32.  His work is colorful, playful, vibrant, and completely radical. Through his art, Keith Haring took on racism, capitalism, power, and repression.  He cared deeply about people and his work was an expression of that caring. To me, Haring was the Universe’s muse. The world and its most human concerns spoke through him. Perhaps this is why Haring never did sketches or any preparation for his work.  He just started painting, inspired by the human and cosmic energies around him.

10 Keith Haring Combo
These paintings were done on large, commercial use tarps. Here you can see Haring’s playful and dynamic spirit at work while taking on repressive power, religious freedom, and a human’s right to be who he wants to be.
Keith Haring 4
Annie enjoying the show and the accompanying excellent audio tour. The cartoon human and the barking dogs were prominent themes in Haring’s work. The dogs were frequent symbols of oppressive and violent power.
12 Keith Haring Outdoor Sculpture
One of the many sculptures Haring created during his short life. I hope this one stays even after the show closes. Haring was one of those people who makes you ask yourself, “how can I be a more positive force in the world?” For me, it starts with being ever grateful for the wonderful friends and family in my life! Thank you for the reminder, Keith Haring. And thank you dearest friends and family!

4 thoughts on “The CCC’s San Francisco Favorites #4: The de Young and BFFs

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