For his one-month residency at the de Young museum in San Francisco, painter and installation artist Brett Amory surveys the gentrification process, documenting the change that occurs to a neighborhood over the course of a few years, but in reverse. He starts by creating a city block that has already been gentrified, and will subsequently transforms the buildings, sidewalks, and streets step by step until the neighborhood achieves its previous character.
"Tall building of glass and steel replace mom and pop bakeries and bodegas. We have been witnessing the displacement of families and artists from major metropolitan areas in record numbers over the past few decades. Artistic hubs and the soul of neighborhoods are being destroyed in the name of progress; in the name of gentrification. Rents for these locals have become so high, they are forced to move further away from the cities. Artists start to rebuild their community again in areas that they can afford, but the same cycle continues. We have seen artist collectives and communal living increase so artists can afford to continue to work, create and afford to live in a thriving artistic environment. These unfortunate circumstances, as we have seen recently in the Ghost Ship Fire, can have absolutely devastating consequences. In one of the country’s priciest housing markets, artists are sometimes forced to choose to live in places where they can afford to live and create while tolerating some inconveniences or dangers seen in some of these underground warehouses. These are places that not only offer freedom to express and create; but also to be a part of a community, part of a bigger picture. This installation is not only a commentary on gentrification itself, it is an homage to the artist in all of us. And, in particular, in honor of those that perished in the Ghost Ship fire." —Brett Amory
Stop by and visit Brett Amory Wednesdays–Sundays, 1–5 pm. Admission to the Artist Studio is Free!