Fog. For me, the word evokes San Francisco at its most mysterious and exciting, the San Francisco of 1930s detective fiction and film noir. Picture Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall finding love while dodging bullets in the ghostly grey streets of the City. Or see Fred Lyon’s iconic photos from the ’40s and ’50s, so memorable for the dramatic way his shadowy figures seem engulfed by the fog as they go about the ordinary course of the day.
San Francisco’s fog plays a pivotal role in Jack London’s great novel “The Sea-Wolf,” which begins with a ferry collision caused by the thick fog of the Bay. “I fell to dwelling upon the romance of the fog,” he wrote.
Calling it “the grey shadow of infinite mystery,” he experienced a vision of humanity groping blindly through the fog, driven with a relish for work, and riding “steeds of wood and steel through the heart of the mystery.”
London could be describing the passion that drives great artists, those who grope through the “heart of the mystery” each day.
And so it is that the art world unites each year at the very edge of the Bay for the FOG Design + Art Fair to celebrate those artists. Held at the Fort Mason Center, the event showcases the newest and best offerings from over 40 dealers and galleries around the world.
This year those who arrived at the fair were greeted by Stanlee Gatti’s magnificent installation, “21 Pop: Cut it Out,” a black and white space celebrating the art and design of cut outs, and featuring wonderful pieces made of ceramic, leather and paper.
It was sponsored by Penny and Jim Coulter, the Fisher Family, Lisa and John Pritzker, Courtney Roberts-Preston and Steve Preston and Catherine and Ned Topham, and was the most photographed part of the fair.
Gatti also designed a tribute to David Bowie — a graffiti piece titled “David Bowie Forever,” which served as a backdrop to innumerable photos by fans.
Among those attending the opening night gala were Steering Committee members Douglas Durkin, Stanlee R. Gatti, Katie Paige, Roth Martin, Allison Speer and Catherine Topham, Honorary Co-Chairs Christine and Pierre Lamond, and guests including Sako and Bill Fisher, Brian Chesky, Trevor Traina, Matthew Paige, Yves Béhar, Susie Tompkins Buell, Carter Cleveland, Mark and Alison Pincus, Vanessa and Billy Getty, Hosain Rahman, Gina Peterson, Christine Suppes and many others.