Saturday, September 29, 2012


Manny, San Francisco, CA near Union Square, September, 26, 2012.

Nothing really shocks me these days. Perhaps I have been desensitized over the years seeing so much evil and so much grotesque imagery in the press and in entertainment. In trying to create shocking imagery, I decided to avoid the obvious traps of sex and gore. Too easy. Since shocking is so subjective, I don’t think I could have the temerity to claim to have created a shocking image. The first thing I thought of was the cover for the Jane’s Addiction album “Nothing's Shocking”, the two naked siamese twins with their hair on fire. Interesting that since then, their lead singer Perry Farrell has given up trying to be shocking. Joining the mainstream by forming the Lollapalooza festival and endorsing 
Nothings's Shocking, Jane's Addiction

I looked through my David Lachapelle book with its portrayals of Jesus in modern day with gangs and card players, naked porn stars and women deformed by plastic surgery. Somehow, looking back, it all looks rather anodyne and desperate, but I gobbled it up.

I thought about what shocks me. Materialism. Homelessness. Callousness for our fellow man. Lack of connection between humans amidst such a crowded world. I can see all these things at Union Square in San Francisco. Panhandlers in wheel chairs, filthy clothes and hand painted signs beg for help amongst the riches of Neiman Marcus, Gucci and Chanel. I decided to connect with these people. I realized I needed their help to communicate my shock at their plight. So I asked them, “Can you help me?” Not one hesitated to say yes. I told them I was taking photos and would like to hire them to pose for me for $5. They were magnificent in helping, volunteering their information and posing as they were instructed. Shockingly, a connection was made instantly. I hope these photos are shocking in their honesty and the humanness of these people in our midst, so often ignored as we march by with thousands of dollars of merchandise in our bags. 

All these photos were taken near Union Square, San Francisco, CA on September 26, 2012.
Elmo, San Francisco, CAS near Union Square.
Harvey Redd, San Francisco, CAS near Union Square.

Latrice H, San Francisco, CA near Union Square.

Phillip Collins, San Francisco, CA near Union Square.

Silent, San Francisco, CA near Union Square.

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