Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bufano Sculpture at SF General Hospital

My favorite local sculptor (1989 - 1970) Bennie Bufano has many pieces stashed around San Francisco. It's one of my secret pleasures to find them and touch them, which is the wonderful thing about sculpture that you ought not try with paintings in museums. His use of extremely hard granite and mosaic as well as his distinctive shapes are signatures that mark his work that touches on themes of universalism, immigration, and peace. He was a political radical -- famously chopping off a finger and sending it to President Woodrow Wilson in protest of WWI -- who often clashed with San Francisco's conservative establishment. That adds to his appeal to me -- a sculptor who is, in his own life, a stone in the shoe of the powerful and whose work is so permanent in its material as if to say "you may not agree with me, but I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here for the ages and corrupt flesh will pass in the blink of an eye."

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