Yes that’s yours truly trying to be, avant-garde, creative, cosmic, or truth be told who knows what?
This is from way back in 1979. My rent was $105 a month. Myself and everybody I knew was on unemployment, and had plenty of time to do stuff like this.
I found that shiny plastic slinky toy thing around my neck at that old thrift store downtown. It was an old brick building that would have crumbled in the 89 quake. It was razed long ago to make way for that rolled up newspaper looking hi-rise at the base of California and market.
My dear friend Rick Maverick, who was a theater queen, cut the designs in my head and helped with my makeup. I must have been about 20 at the time, and wanted to be David Bowie.
I’m happy as clams at high water! Why? Because I’ve recently completed a third sale to my prolific art collector in Brooklyn, Mr. Ricardo Walton. Who happens to be very handsome too, btw. Here’s his Instagram: @ricardowalton2
It was an unusually hot summer afternoon, so I had to make my way to the Pendulum Bar to quench my thirsts. BTW, that was where the black men and those of us who chased them went. Thyrell on the left was quite the charmer, and worked as the doorman/bouncer. Chris Costa on the right was from Springfield Massachusetts, and attending law School in SF.
The two of them were joking and laughing outside like the world was their oyster. Tickling, groping, bitch slapping, and so kind to let me shoot off a roll of film while they horsed around. This is the one shot out of the bunch where they looked serious, maybe even poignant, and oddly enough the shot that made the most impact on me.
The Spy Booth
Just a trivial but fun side note, in the background you can see the South China Cafe. Family run for decades, closed for decades, but very popular with patrons at the Pendulum Bar. With a long counter for single diners one side, there were wooden, cabin booths for groups on the other side.
One particular booth about halfway in, if you sat on the outer seat facing the street, had a direct line of sight to the front door of the Pendulum Bar. I always tried to nab that seat, feast on my stir fried clams with oyster sauce, and monitor the comings and goings for potential, ummmm, models!
The first showing of “Thyrell And Chris” was in July 2019, part of my “Black And White Nostalgia” exhibit at STRUT SF. That edition was just sold to my handsome Brooklyn supercollector. This is it’s first publishing on the internet, other than the ebook/catalog from the show.
Shot on Kodak Tri-X film, and “pulled two stops”, I hand developed this film in the darkroom at Jebbe’s Camera Shop in the Excelsior district of SF. I did most of their darkroom work back in the late ’80’s.
The first edition was printed many years later, 2019, on Noritsu Premium photo paper by Oscar’s Photo Lab SF. The remaining nine editions will be printed on my favorite, Epson Hot Press Natural cotton art rag paper and come in the very convenient 8 x 10 size.
This limited edition also comes with a certificate of authenticity, bill of sale, and is shipped free to the US.
“Thyrell And Chris Outside The Pendulum Bar SF 1986” is currently selling for $100.
Price is guaranteed for the next three editions, numbers two, three, and four, through 2021.
If you’re interested in this fine piece of artwork, shoot me your email, I can send you a clickable invoice, and answer your questions.
I’m just so grateful for the positive response to the photo exhibit “Black And White Nostalgia”, my first photo exhibit in decades. It was up the month of July at STRUT SF, a gay men’s sexual health clinic in the Castro, SF.
If you missed it, do not despair! I created an ebook of the show, with the same title. Thirty Three big, beautiful, digital reproductions of the images in the show, plus a few extras that didn’t make the show. If you sign up for my new enewsletter “jimslist”, you’ll receive the ebook/show catalog as a special thank you.
This group of images was taken from the late 70’s through the late 90’s in gay San Francisco. I was shooting only in black and white back then, and hand developing and printing my own work at the Harvey Milk Photography Center, and at the San Francisco Art Institute.
The era was a wonderful yet terrifying period in gay history. The tail end of the golden era of gay, or the “good ole days”, transitioning to the difficult and challenging AIDS years.
When just the thought of being gay was dangerous, and the nation was gripped with the fear of HIV, here was a community not only surviving, but thriving; openly, defiantly, and flawlessly!
The artwork practically flew off the walls, I booked sales on twelve pieces from the show! We silent auctioned off two more pieces to benefit the “Elizabeth Taylor Gay Men’s Network”, a community group near and dear to my heart. Then we raffled off two more pieces!
I’ve delivered half of the artworks already. So my schedule is loosening up a bit from being so busy, you can expect to see more postings here on Photojimsf. Thanks so much for stopping by.
I’d like to thank everyone who came to the reception on Friday, July 12. It was a grand evening, lots of old friends and new, the wine was flowing, and so was the money!
There’s a few people I’d like to thank in particular.
My dear friends Wayne Tosti, Manolo Torres, and Rick Gerharter for helping hang the show. This being my first in decades, I was completely out of practice and I would probably still be there now trying to get the artwork up on the walls.
Baruch Porras-Hernandez, director of the art exhibit program at STRUT. His knowledge and experience with exhibiting artwork was crucial to the success of the show.
Alex Ray, director of the Bridgemen volunteer program at STRUT and an accomplished photographer, for his inspiration, encouragement, and his time helping run the opening reception. He also helps coordinate events for the Elizabeth Taylor Gay Men’s Network.
Vince Chrisostomo, director of the SF AIDS Foundation’s Elizabeth Taylor Gay Men’s Network, and btw 2018 SF Gay Pride Grand Marshall. He warmly welcomed me into the group which gives a feeling of belonging, and breaks a pattern of isolation and depression so common among the aging, but particularly among aging gay men.
Free eBook Of The Show
And last but not least, you! Whether you came to the show or not, you’re still here at the end of this blog post. Thanks for your interest in my work. As a special thank-you, here’s a link to sign up for “jimslist”, my new enewsletter that comes with a free ebook/catalog of the show “Black And White Nostalgia”:
photo: “Rodney Bacon At Ocean Beach SF 1985” B&w 8×10 $100*
“Black And White Nostalgia” Exhibit Is At STRUT SF Now
A photographic romp through gay San Francisco from the late 70’s through the late 90’s, by yours truly, Jim James. Aka Photojimsf. The exhibit is up now at STRUT SF.
I feel so lucky, and grateful for STRUT SF’s encouragement and support. Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Alex Ray, and volunteers make it happen, and throw a delightful reception with light hors d’oeuvres and flowing wines. I hope you can come, it’s Friday July 12, 8 to 10 pm.
Exhibition Dates: July 2 to July 27, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday July 12, 2019, from 8:00 pm to 10:30 pm Light refreshments and drinks
Location: STRUT SF 470 Castro St. 2nd floor San Francisco, CA 94114
Join My e-Newsletter “jimslist”
And Get the e-catalog for “Black And White Nostalgia”
For updates, teasers, and exclusives on the exhibit and more photo adventures, join my e-newsletter: “jimslist”. As a special thank-you, a free e-catalog of “Black And White Nostalgia” will be sent via e-mail. Thirty three big, beautiful digital reproductions from the show, plus several more that didn’t make the show.