Photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) is an anomaly. There’s little consensus about the nature of his work beyond its unusualness. Throughout the late 1950s and 60s, Meatyard drove his wife and kids to dilapidated farm houses outside Lexington, Kent., where he used them as models for his photographs. He adorned them with cheap masks and accessorized the settings with broken mannequins, mutilated dolls, and other props that he would obtain from thrift shops and junkyards. He ultimately created a series of heavily shadowed, black and white photos that are chilling (but sentimental), surreal (but in an everyday sort of way), and at times, plain weird (I guess?)
On the purposefully unmarked road heading into Bolinas, there is a very wonderful spot you don't want to miss. The Gospel Flat Farm is a family-run organic edible haven, with an honor-based farm stand that is open 24 hours a day.
Sam Love and I were introduced to the farm when we met a couple of wonderful free spirits, Kalie and Scott, while hiking in Samuel P. Taylor Park a few weeks back. Scott is the resident bread baker at the farm's wood powered oven, and he and Kalie invited us to a photography show and autumnal equinox gathering down at the farm. So last Friday, after a sun-soaked hike on Mt. Tam, we wended our way down the hill to Bolinas to explore the farm.
"I once split my pants photographing a Finnish spitz on the cliffs above Sutro Baths," the lovely, energetic Kira Stackhouse laughed over drinks at Blackbird Bar in the Castro last week. She was recounting some very interesting stories about her ambitious Project Dog -- an attempt to meticulously photograph woofy representatives of all 170 official American Kennel Club registered breeds next to purebred counterparts from dog rescue agencies.
"A big part of my mission is to photograph as many of these dogs as I can in iconic San Francisco and Bay Area settings, sometimes I'm trying to shoot five or six dogs a day. It's not like I travel around with a change of clothes --but apparently there's no lengths I won't go to! So I just tried to hold my legs together until I got the shot."