Benicia’s waterfront is a magical place: part commerce and port activity on the east side, part yachting, sail boating, paddle boarding and canoeing on the west side along with marshland, parks, public and hidden beaches and serene beauty.
This photo shows the late Robert Arneson’s Benicia Bench, 1991, a self-portrait, at the Benicia Marina. A Benicia native son, Arneson was a famous sculptor and ceramicist, with important works at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Museum and others as well as many private collections. Considered to be the father of the funk movement, he taught at UC Davis for many years.
Perhaps his most famous work is the bust Portrait of George. The highly controversial piece of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, depicts the assassinations of Moscone, and refers to openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in the writings below. Moscone and Milk were shot in 1978 by fellow supervisor Dan White, who was charged with manslaughter instead of murder in what was dubbed the “twinkie defence.” The piece is now part of SFMOMA’s collection, acquired from a private collection in June 2012. Originally rejected by the City of San Francisco due to its controversial depiction of bullets holes and other details of Moscone’s life on the graffiti-laden torso, it has returned to the City for which it was made.