As a visual artist, I’m magnetically pulled to California. Like Cape Cod, where I have my studio, the Pacific coast exudes a magnificent quality of light. But there’s another reason. Remember Scott Mackenzie, who sang “If you’re going to San Francisco, you’re gonna meet some gentle people there?” I find Californians go out of their way to assist you and converse with you intellectually. Plus they tend to have an innate penchant for art.
I seldom have to explain my photographic work to Californians, even though it is hard to classify. I am sort of a combination art photographer and street photographer—Weegee without blood and crime. As I walk the pavement, I click away with my Canon cameras, capturing any image that speaks to me.
This particular scene outside a San Francisco gay bar got my attention because of its Edward Hopper–like feel. The classic neon sign. The red light bulbs. The vibrant color contrast. Completing the picture is the scaffolding of black electric wires, pulsating energy. It’s the force that runs the Market Street trolley line. From Medford to California and beyond, I am never without a camera or sketchpad to capture fleeting moments like this one.
—Brendan Ben Feeney, G96