Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Favorite of The Week

Miguel in his Western Addition backyard
I can't even begin to explain how excited I was when I saw the story "Hang Time" on The Bold Italic's website. Since moving to San Francisco a little over a year and a half ago I have gone on many many walks. On one of my very first walks (yes, first) I discovered a not so typical San Francisco victorian home. It had a hanging fixture over the driveway made of plastic bottles, sea glass and bottle caps. I literally stood there, under the fixture, in amazement for about ten minutes. So many questions lingered in my mind. Who lives here? What inspires him to do such a thing? When, where and how can I meet them? 

A previous fixture made of bent wood chair parts, drift wood, string and glass
Miguel standing on a fifteen foot ladder, changing the batteries in the motion activated spider on his Halloween themed mobile

Titled Aquarium. Made of plastic bottles and papasan chair ring. 
A man named Miguel Gutierrez- Ranzi is the one behind it all. Miguel is originally from Colombia and moved to San Francisco in the 70's after attending Harvard University. His story is a tear jerker, let me tell ya. Miguel has been living in his San Francisco Western Addition home since 1985, the same year he found out he was HIV positive. Ten years go by and his partner is diagnosed with colon cancer and dies only a year later. As the years go by the hanging art becomes Miguel's creative and positive outlook on the situation. He enjoys giving back to the Western Addition community and in doing so he changes the art ten times a year, in the middle of the night, when no one is watching. Miguel's story completely inspired me, had me crying and made me so determined to meet him and visit his backyard fortress. Miguel, I adore your artwork and what you are doing for the neighborhood. I can't wait to meet you someday.

(Check out the full story from Bold Italic here )

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