San Francisco’s rich and varied history comes to life in a tiny Mission district exhibition space at Guerrero Gallery, which is featuring works by local photographers Andrea Sonnenberg, Ted Pushinsky and Travis Jensen, each showcasing different eras, stories and individuals on city streets.
At only 23, the self-taught documentarian Sonnenberg, who calls herself “Teen Witch,” captures an intimate perspective on street culture, particularly young people.
“Mission Street Bunny” is a large print of a person in a bunny suit walking down the street, seemingly lonely, “Ramona Smoking” is an image of a green-haired girl wearing holographic glasses and “Seward Slides” shows another young woman, this time ecstatically plunging down slopes in the Castro.
Jensen’s street photography focuses on the grittier side of San Francisco, both haunting and heartfelt. “Crime Scene... Call in Calahann” is an image of handprints on a window pane. In another touching portrait, an elderly Chinese woman stands in front of the words “I Haven’t Told Anyone Until Now.”
Having grown up in The City as an at-risk youth, Jensen, whose work appears both in print and online, donates most of the proceeds from his photo sales to Larkin Street Youth Services, a nonprofit assisting youths living on the street.
Pushinsky, who has been shooting black-and-white photos for four decades — and whose work has been exhibited internationally at Tokyo Nakaochiai Gallery in Japan and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art — offers a unique take on time in his often mysterious photographs.
“Approach-24th and Mission,” taken in 1983, might just as well be 1953 or 2003, while “Bars-Tenderloin” from 2004 is eerily timeless as it peers into the eyes and hearts of young boys looking through inner-city iron bars.
Yet “Mosh-Civic Center,” from 1984, is an action-packed scene of a crowd dancing and fighting, as well as a view of a city monument in another time.