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.
“Tom Bowers San Francisco 1984” by Your’s Truly, Jim James Aka Photojimsf
This was edition number four of ten, now there’s only six more available. It went to my esteemed Brooklyn collector Ricardo Walton (Instagram: @ricardowalton2).
Tom Bowers was that gorgeous carpenter who paraded around The Castro wearing cowboy, indian, and leather outfits like the Village People. He threw house parties in the grand SF tradition; costumed, with tambourines, stimulants, pot brownies. Entire and often multiple relationships were initiated, consummated, and then broken at these affairs.
Here he is in the attic with his old Ducati motorcycle. Tom loved this picture so much. After he saw it, he always referred to me as “my photographer”.
It’s first public appearance was at Fred’s Cafe, the legendary but now defunct cafe with the killer view at the San Francisco Art Institute. 1985.
The most recent showing was at my “Black And White Nostalgia” exhibit at STRUT SF, a gay community and health center in The Castro. July of 2019.
The image was shot with Kodak Tri-X black and white film in 1984. I developed the film and printed by hand, the first three editions on 11×14 Agfa Portriga Rapid paper. I gave the first two to Tom, and exhibited the third until it sold at the STRUT exhibit.
Since then, I’ve had a high res drum scan made from the negative, very sharp and crystal clear. The remaining editions are giclee art prints using fine pigment inks on Epson Hot Press Natural cotton art papers. This mimics the original Afga papers; warm and creamy, ever so just off white and a whisper of sepia.
The prints are 11×14 inches, the image is printed “full frame” with a thin black outline and thick white borders.
This limited edition comes with a certificate of authenticity, bill of sale, and shipped free to the US.
Current price for “Tom Bowers San Francisco 1984” number five of ten is $150.
Interested? Shoot me your email, I can send you a clickable invoice and answer your questions.
I’m happy as a dog with two tails to be included in this big group art show. I have two vintage black and white photographs from 1979 in the exhibit, they’re for sale. Would you like a sneak peak? Click here to see, with an option to sign up for my e-newsletter:
The show is up for a full month starting June 22, the date of the reception. Director Dave Christensen knows how to throw a good art opening, and everyone who’s anyone will be there, including you!
Stonewall-50 Years — 2019 Art+Pride Exhibit
Exhibition Dates: June 22-July 21, 2019 Opening Reception: June 22nd, 2019 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm Location: Harvey Milk Photo Center, 50 Scott St. San Francisco
In honoring the Stonewall riots 50 years ago, Harvey Milk Photo Center proudly present you the Stonewall 50 Years Anniversary Art Exhibit. This exhibit is intended for local artists to showcase their best contemporary artworks focusing on celebrating LGBTQ community.
Dave Christensen, Director, Harvey Milk Photo Center Nicola Bosco-Alvarez, Entertainment Producer Illustration by Gordon Silveria
“‘Black And White Nostalgia — Vintage Gay S.F.” is the working title for my upcoming photo exhibit; July 2019 at STRUT SF. Reception on Friday, July 12 from 8pm to 10pm.
Here’s a few teaser images, out of dozens under consideration for this show.
Castro Street Fair, 1990 ish. He was intimidating at first, but was happy to pose. I gave him my card, but never heard from him. A collector mentioned he may have made a few adult films. Anyone know who he is, leave a comment below?
The first ever “Up Your Alley” festival, on Ringold Alley, July 1985. These crazy queens were selling kisses and beer.
Consuela Del Rio, drag mother at the Black Rose, 1984. The Black Rose was a rough and tumble drag bar in the gritty Tenderloin. I felt safe because she took me under her wing, and nobody messed with Consuela.
I came across this historical gem, taken back in 1984. It’s Eric Pendigar, leather master and craftsman, alternative music dj, and a breathtaking example of manliness. This was at the first ever Folsom Street Fair.
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