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Thu December 5, 2019

Neon Monuments: The Bars, Businesses, and One-Stop Shops That Shape the Tenderloin

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Elliot Bamberger wants you to look twice at San Francisco.

To Bamberger, a San Francisco native, the city's small businesses are less like old buildings and more like odd characters. Described as portraits, the neon-lit bars, liquor stores, and laundromats that Bamberger focuses on in his photographic series, Neon Monuments: The Bars, Businesses, and One-Stop Shops That Shape the Tenderloin, are charming--and enduring--testaments to classic ideas surrounding opportunity, enterprise, and resilience.

Evoking endearing, personal qualities that are more closely associated with individuals rather than architecture, Bamberger believes that the Tenderloin's mom-and-pop shops are what unify the area's motley, immigrant-heavy community. "If there was just a bunch of conglomerates and chains, [San Francisco] would definitely feel like most other cities in the country," says Bamberger. "Rather than just treat [San Francisco] like a utility, think of it as more of a character or experience."

But in the commuter era, how do you look at a city for what it is, rather than what it provides? And in this age of uber-convenience, will these small businesses survive? Featuring photographs of bars, liquor stores, and laundromats, Bamberger's latest exhibition, Neon Monuments: The Bars, Businesses, and One-Stop Shops That Shape the Tenderloin, pays homage to the familial businesses that make San Francisco unique--and urges viewers to engage with San Francisco's diverse, urban landscape.

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About the artist:

Elliot Bamberger is an LA-based, SF-born portrait artist who gets his influence and inspiration from exploring San Francisco, as well as spending time at its many vista points. Over the past seven years, Elliot has created portraits of places all over San Francisco with an emphasis on architecture, geology and culture.
Elliot Bamberger wants you to look twice at San Francisco. To Bamberger, a San Francisco native, the city's small businesses are less like old buildings and more like odd characters. Described as portraits, the neon-lit bars, liquor stores, and laundromats that Bamberger focuse...
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Art, Museums

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Tenderloin Museum 2 Upcoming Events
398 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

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