Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thom Ross's Buffalo Bill

Mercifully the fog returned today so I ventured down to Ocean Beach to see Thom Ross' Buffalo Bill & Indians art installation. It doesn't have anything to do with Sunset homes, but I know the beach is near and dear to many of our hearts.


The installation is a recreation of a 1902 photograph of William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody and his Wild West Troupe, which was taken at the same spot, below the Cliff House. There's a reproduction of the photo at the event, but photos weren't allowed.

Here's an article at the Chronicle where you can see the original photo and photos of the event when the sun was out. Donald Kinney also has some great photos on his site.


It runs through next weekend (Sept. 14th). The artist was there dressed in western garb and the flyer they handed out says on the 12-14th western historians will be in attendance.

He actually created 200 Lakota and Cheyenne figures in 2005 to represent the Battle of Little Big Horn and placed them at Medicine Trail Coulee. As I understand it, many of the Indian figures are from that installation. It is mentioned in the flyer and I overheard that artist explaining that he didn't create a historically accurate recreation of the photo, but the feeling comes through.

I think his statement about the installation, "The 'meaning' of the installation must be determined by the individual viewer; what they feel when they view this piece will be the 'meaning'", sums up how I feel about the beach. It has many uses and invokes varied reactions. It's a place for recreation or solitude. A place to feel connected to nature or to people. A place to feel the power of the ocean and your own place on the earth.

5 comments:

KennethSF said...

I saw this installation yesterday. It looks quite impressive, just to see these towering warriors against the crashing waves. I think this kind of creativity is one reason I can never leave San Francisco.

Al_Pal said...

Awesome! Must make an effort to see this, especially with overseas friends in town! :D

Dave Richards said...

I saw this installation on Monday and today (Wednesday). My co-worker's grandfather is in that original 1902 photograph.

Thanks for posting these!

rawtoast said...

Very cool site! I'm a virtual tour provider, and I was on the way back from a shoot when I saw the exhibit (I did not know about it prior to actually seeing it).

If you'd like to view the tour I created today - copy and paste bayareavr.net/?p=88.

Cool site though. I'll definately bookmark it. We should talk about collaborating in the future :)

AphotoAday said...

Very cool...
I bet your little boy really enjoyed it too...

I like your photos because they show the size and scale of the artwork -- something my photos lack...