WHEN DESCRIBING SOMETHING AS TOP TO BOTTOM, ONE MIGHT BE REFERRING TO PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE DEFINED IN ITS TOTALITY. USED THAT PHRASE IN ONE BREATH WITH THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO HOWEVER, MIGHT GIVE IT A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MEANING. AND THAT IS PROBABLY EXACTLY WHAT ARTIST MATTHEW TERRELL HAD IN MIND WHEN CREATING HIS SERIES AND EXHIBITION "SAN FRANCISCO, TOP TO BOTTOM".
It is often said that San Francisco is the most European-like city in the United States. Now there is probably no city in Europe – save for Lisbon – that even remotely looks like the Golden Gate City, and than we’re just talking about the presence of a red suspension bridge and the very likely possibility of a massive earthquake somewhere in the near future. No the comparison refers more to the open attitude of its inhabitants. San Francisco is most probably the most open, most liberal and most progressive city in the United States. And it is that reason why Matthew Terrell chose this city for his photographic documentary San Francisco,Top to Bottom.
Top to bottom: a city seen through the eyes of a man known for his experimental photography and writings about sexuality. Top to bottom: a view of a city that is on one hand open, cheerful and colourful and on the other hand hidden, gritty and dark. Top to Bottom: a reference also – clearly – to the San Francisco’s LGBT-friendly history that goes back to the early 20th century. Matthew Terrell, who works as a writer, photographer and communications director in Atlanta took more than 2 years of documenting the Bay Area through photography. Using surrealist-inspired photographic techniques, he created fantastical images where San Francisco’s bright, cheery exterior melds with the hidden parts of the gay community. Bodies, architecture, plant life, street art and other element collapse into dreamy compositions revealing the connections between these different worlds.
San Francisco,Top to Bottom is the first solo show by Matthew Terrell. The show opened on October 2 in Magnet, a community organization in San Francisco known for providing sexual health services for gay, bi, and trans men including HIV & STI testing and community events, Terrell’s show being one of those events. If you are in the area, then we need to disappoint you. Matthew Terrell’s San Francisco, From Top to Bottom closed on October 31. Not due to a lack of interest, but simply because Magnet is moving to another location. If the show will have a reprise we can’t tell. But we can hope. In the meantime, you can see Matthew's work on his blog, from top to bottom –BM-
MATTHEW TERRELL | BEAUTIFULMAG
MAGNET | BEAUTIFULMAG