April 16, 2009

Benny Bufano mosaic / sculpture

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

E-Gods, so I shot the photo -- does that mean that I have to explain it?

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Actually, last time I shot and showed this Benny Bufano mosaic-sculpture I had no idea who the artist was, but Janice, of http://sunsetstyle.blogspot.com was quick to research it and determine it is a Benny Bufano.   You would think they would have a plaque or something.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Beniamino Benvenuto Bufano (October 14, 1898 - August 16, 1970) was a California-based Italian American sculptor, best known for his large-scale -- usually granite -- monuments. His modernist work often featured smoothly rounded animals and relatively simple shapes.

Bufano was born in San Fele, Italy, but was brought to the United States by his family at the age of three. He spent his childhood in New York City and was educated by private tutors, eventually studying at the Arts Student League from 1913 to 1915. He first came to San Francisco to work on a sculpture for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, alongside Dirk Van Erp. Afterwards, he traveled extensively before returning to settle permanently in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Considered an outspoken radical at the time, Bufano chopped off his trigger finger and sent it to President Woodrow Wilson at the onset of World War I as a protest against the war. In addition to his work as a sculptor, he taught at the San Francisco Institute of Art (but was dismissed in 1923 because he was considered too modern), the University of California, Berkeley, and Oakland's California College of Arts and Crafts.

Some of his best-known works include the statue of Chinese leader Sun Yat-sen in San Francisco's Chinatown, his 93-foot (28 m) sculpture Peace in coastal Timber Cove (near Jenner, California) and his Bear and Cubs at Kauikeaouli Hale in Honolulu, Hawaii. Examples of his distinctive and large-scale work can be found throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and there is a Bufano Sculpture Garden at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

((( source: Wikipedia )))

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This is the head that towers about twenty feet overhead.

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Plug1 said...

these are beautiful, especially the first two.

where are these?

Si's blog said...

Your picture for today, the tree and the headland, is spectacular.

Got to spend some time this past weekend with one of our daughters and a brother-in-law, both afficianados of modern art, at the Phillips and the Hirshhorn. Like "real art" better but really came to appreciate and understand modern art better.

Tomate Farcie said...

OK, but where did you shoot this one? That's really interesting work. I think I know the other one you mean in Chinatown, though, but I've never seen this one. Cool stuff!

photowannabe said...

I thought I knew about Benny Buffano but I guess I didn't. Really interesting history. The trigger finger thing is pretty radical protest. I guess it didn't hurt his sculpturing though.

Janice said...

Thanks for the shout-out!

Have you shot the Bufano on Brotherhood Way in San Francisco? It was at the SF Airport when I was a kid. Even today when I go to SFO I expect to see it. (Hope I'm not repeating myself from last time!)

AphotoAday said...

THANKS PLUG1 for checking in and the compliment...

AND HI SI, -- Yep, that shot of Bolinas from Mt. Tam through the craggly tree (not far from where they sail-plane and hang-glide) is kind of nice -- it's always a fun shot under different conditions...

AND HI TOMATE FARCIE -- Oh there I go, forgetting to cover all the five "W"'s (what, why, when, where, who)... It's at the east end of the meadow at Fort Mason -- it's hard to miss unless you're pointing the wrong way... There is also a statue of Philip Burton not far away...

And by the way, T.F., if you ever make it to Fort Mason for some reason, be sure to take a look at the community garden they have next to the "big house" -- some very pretty things going on in that garden... It's sort of a San Francisco secret at this point...

Getting back to Bufano -- I don't know about the Bufano in Chinatown, but in checking the net I found two other Bufanos -- one at City college and there is a Bufano at the Robert Mondavi Winery.

AND HI PHOTOWANNASUE -- Yep, cutting off his trigger finger WAS quite a statement, wasn't it...

AND HI JANICE -- I keep looking forward to a new installment on your blog -- but great to have you stop by mine...

Best regards, Don and Kitty

Brad said...

Thanx Donald for the information and Bufano history.

Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo has many Bufano animal sculptures.

Heh, I remember playing on them when I was a child; that was when the mall was all outdoors; it's enclosed now. And you see the same happening with children today - it's nice that sculpture is durable!

Louise said...

Very interesting. Have you read A Prayer for Owen Meany? That's what the trigger finger made me think of.

I normally would never say anything about my blog in a comment, but this post is a few days old, so not as many will see it...

I have some more bread of you over there if you have time! It's VERY good!

Tomate Farcie said...

I haven't been to Fort Mason in ages, visit is way overdue. Thanks for the tip.

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