RayKo Photo Center

Confessions for a Son

photographs by McNair Evans

Event has passed (Wed Nov 20, 2013 - Fri Jan 10, 2014)
Galleries, Photography


Confessions for a Son
Photographs by McNair Evans

Thereís an image of two barely clad children running across a summer lawn. This negative must have been damaged. Water, fire, smokeÖthere is a haze, like memory, something fleeting. Culled from the past, itís a photograph found in a box, forgotten, and rediscovered. This photograph was taken by McNair Evansí father, whose death drove the artist to revisit his childhood home, his origins, and to dig through his history, his fatherís history, and his familyís secrets.

The innocence of this picture resonates deeply with me. Itís innocence before discovery, knowledge, understanding, and acceptance. There is only the pure bliss of running naked and barefoot across a lush, green lawn. That was before decades passed and children grew up. I love how this picture reaches into the past to show us McNairís father in the beautiful light of an emotional truth. Of course, the exhilaration of running barefoot is dependent on terrain.

A series of devastating fires, bad crops, and high interest loans fractured the familial and financial stability of McNairís childhood. In a search to better understand his father and the events that lead to insolvency, McNair retraced his fatherís life to photograph the lasting psychological landscape surrounding his death.

This latest culmination of McNairís projects, Confessions for a Son, combines the artistís photographs with images taken by his father and photographs found by McNair in his search for answers. Included in this exhibition for the first time are timed exposures capturing complete video interviews with men that knew McNairís enigmatic father, as well as reinterpreted paraphernalia such as displaced checks collected from his fatherís failed business and printed like sacred negatives through a mural enlarger. All of these pieces coalesce in an empathetic portrait of a man and an emotionally complex family heritage. Illuminated above all is the heartrending journey of a son.

McNair Evans created this work during his artist residency at RayKo Photo Center. Heíll be in attendance at the opening reception, so stop by and revel in his journey and his images. For more information on McNairís work, visit his website.

About RayKo

RayKo Photo Center & Gallery is a comprehensive photographic facility, located near the Yerba Buena Arts District, with resources for anyone with a passion for photography. Established in the early 1990ís, RayKo Photo Center has grown to become one of San Franciscoís most beloved photography darkroom spaces; it includes traditional b&w and color labs as well as a state-of-the-art digital department, a professional rental studio, galleries, and the Photographerís Marketplace Ė a retail space promoting the work of regional artists. RayKo also has San Franciscoís 1st Art*O*Mat vending machine and a vintage 1947 black & white Auto-Photo Booth.

RayKo Gallery serves to advance public appreciate of photography and create opportunities for regional, national, and international artists to create and present their work. RayKo Gallery offers 1600 square feet of exhibition space and the Photographerís Marketplace, which supports the work of Bay Area artists. RayKo also has an artist-in-residence program to further support artists in the development of their photographic projects and ideas.

RayKo Photo Center & Gallery
428 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
415-495-3773 (ph)
Tuesday-Thursday: 10-10 pm
Friday-Sunday: 10-8 pm
Monday: closed

*RayKo is located in the SOMA arts district of San Francisco within walking distance of SFMOMA, the Moscone Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, as well as AT&T Ballpark.


RayKo Photo Center
428 Third Street
San Francisco, CA
Event has passed

More Info

Contact Form (account required)



  1. RayKo Photo Center
    428 Third Street, San Francisco, CA