Spencer Brown: Sunset, SF

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Nov 29, 2016 - Feb 13, 2017

Spencer Brown: Sunset, SF

San Francisco’s Sunset District, one of the biggest residential neighborhoods in the city, was once mostly sand dunes. As public transportation and the use of automobiles spread, the area was largely developed during the first half of the twentieth century, as a suburb of the city. For six months, photographer Spencer Brown chased street cleaning vehicles along the avenues, capturing relatively treeless scenes devoid of people and cars. The resulting wide-angle shots explore the play of overhead power lines against the sky and the district’s stark, repetitive architecture.

Brown began taking photographs as a high school exchange student in Bolivia. He packed twelve rolls of film for the trip with a Nikon FE camera given to him by his grandfather. In an era before email and cellphone communication, and when mail took six weeks to deliver, the images he documented on film conveyed his experiences to family and friends. Today, Brown teaches quarterly photography workshops at the Harvey Milk Photo Center in San Francisco. His work has been featured in numerous national publications, such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Esquire. Brown also served as the staff photographer at the San Francisco Business Times from 2003 to 2014.

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