URBAN EDGE Artist:
Scott Fin’s photo-based work takes his own original images and transfers them onto re-used San Francisco street signs.
In 1998, after teaching high school in the Czech Republic, Scott returned to his hometown of Atlanta and enrolled in a summer photography program in Missoula, Montana. In 1999 he migrated from Atlanta to San Francisco’s East Bay in order to earn his teaching credential at Mills College (2001). His dream was to live in second and third world countries while creating and sharing intimate photographic essays about local cultures. With this goal in mind, in 2002 he moved to the bush in Kenya to be the teacher / photographer on a reality TV show called “Five Go Wild.” Unfortunately, the deal collapsed once everybody reconnoitered in Kenya, leading to two magical years living in East Africa. In the time since, Scott has pursued his love of photographing people, urban landscapes, events and abstracts while teaching middle school in Sweden, taking care of a relative with Alzheimer’s, and teaching in the Berkeley Unified School District. He has been a full-time photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2010.
I love to explore hidden, secret, abandoned places, and feel compelled to tell their stories through my lens. I sense their past and feel led to latent compositions in chaos, neglect and dereliction. The more orphaned a subject, the more inviting and intriguing its tale. Photography and painting with light allow me to illuminate and share my interpretations, facilitating an experience with the viewer where desires are developed, imaginations inspired, and fantasies kindled. By shooting off the beaten path, my art documents the unknown, catches moments in history, and reveals the undiscovered. My images are inherently balanced and because I, the witness, am everywhere in each of them, they exude their own energy.
My quest is not only in finding these mystical places — which are frequently just a few steps off of, above, or even under the main stream — but then which chambers to penetrate, which nooks and crannies to reveal, and how to compose and light a scene. Periodically I sense being accompanied as by a force until I feel a tableau before me, which I do not fully see until I arrange the camera and look through the viewfinder a few times; a complete composition might reveal itself entirely formed.
People frequently ask me if that’s “what it really looked like.” No, it’s not; more often than not I can’t see my hand in front of my face because it’s completely dark. My use of vivid color intentionally evokes positive associations; dancing swirls of light add a sense of levity and playfulness to an otherwise disturbed environment.
Avenue 12 Gallery
1101 Lake Street (at 12th Avenue)
San Francisco CA 94118