Marianne Bland - Artist
From a young age, San Francisco struck me as the culmination of what I imagined the American Dream to be. People had traveled here from across the continent and ocean for decades – including my ancestors– to build better lives. United through common ideals of hard work and freedom, they persevered through adversity and succeeded in creating a living harmony of dualities. San Francisco exemplified this with its blended cultural heritage, its respect for the old combined with its excitement for the new, its weight and significance balanced with its irreverence and sense of humor about itself.

The city’s street lamps, windows, doorways, signposts, alleys, intersections and shadows bear silent witness to the experiences of everyday people, directing the viewer towards these places where layer upon layer of lived experience imbue a collective history into shared spaces.

I am a modern realist, intrigued by the beauty of everyday life, clinging to the romantic notion of a once flourishing middle class. Cityscapes allow me to examine my own changing perspectives as well as those of American society. Night scenes emphasize the dichotomies that increasingly define us and make me wonder if I’m documenting the last gasps of a falling empire or the dark before the dawn.