Alebrijes in the Haight

 Posted by on November 12, 2012
Nov 122012

1301 Haight Street




Jet Martinez, whose work is all over San Francisco is responsible for these colorful frogs.  It is titled Bosque de Alebrijes.

This is what Jet said on his Facebook page: Alebrijes are small animal figurines decorated with beautiful colors and patterns. They are really incredible on their own, but what is truly inspiring to me about them, is the fact that entire communities in Oaxaca will dedicate themselves to making this artform and have created an economy around the art they create. The art in turn, defines the community and creates the visual identity of the place. It’s deep and it’s incredibly inspiring to me as a maker. I wanted to celebrate that tradition, and give life to these animals… in a sense, give life to this community.

Alebrijes: The first alebrijes, along with use of the term, originated with Pedro Linares. After dreaming the creatures while sick in the 1930s, he began to create what he saw in cardboard and paper mache. His work caught the attention of a gallery owner in Cuernavaca and later, the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Linares was originally from México City, he was born June 29, 1906 in México City and never moved out of México City, he died January 25, 1992.



Professor Wangari Maathi

 Posted by on August 22, 2012
Aug 222012

Haight and Pierce Street




The main character of this mural is Professor Wangari Maathi.

Wangari Muta Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya (Africa) in 1940. The first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree. Wangari Maathai obtained a degree in Biological Sciences from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas (1964). She subsequently earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh (1966). While serving on the National Council of Women she began a broad-based, grassroots organization focused on women planting trees in order to conserve the environment and improve their quality of life. Through this Green Belt Movement she has assisted women in planting more than 20 million trees on their farms, schools and church compounds.

Wangari Maathai is internationally recognized for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation.

In December 2002, Professor Maathai was elected to parliament with an overwhelming 98% of the vote. She was subsequently appointed by the president, as Assistant Minister for Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife in Kenya’s ninth parliament.  In 2004 she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

She died in 2011 from ovarian cancer.

The remaining characters depicted are typical San Francisco residents.  The Street Sheet, held up by the man on the left is a homeless newspaper published as a way to disseminate information and for the homeless to make money.

There were two artists on this piece.Kate Decicco and  Delvin Kenobe. Kenobe is an artist who is very versatile in style from surealism, photorealism, abstraction, and illustration and animation. His goal is to create change in the world by creating socially conscious works that directly tap into the soul of the viewer.



A Ross – Ziegler Collaboration

 Posted by on July 9, 2012
Jul 092012

435 Duboce
Duboce Triangle/ Lower Haight

Ian Ross and Zio Ziegler





After these two worked together on a juxtaposed mural South of Market, it was an obvious step to combine forces.  The result is truly fabulous.  Obviously a temporary installation while construction is occurring behind this, but you have to love the person that decided this was a far better way to protect his construction site from trespassers than the standard metal gate.

The client is Doorman Property Management, they are the property managers for this mixed-use project of storefront and six residences. (scheduled to open in 2013)

Apparently there are also pieces of promotion in the mural as well.  Close inspection by Haighteration discovered these:

Thank you Doorman Property Managers for giving art to Duboce Street in such a fabulous and unique way.


Lower Haight – Love in the Lower Haight

 Posted by on April 18, 2012
Apr 182012
Lower Haight
Ursula Young

This is on the corner of Laguna and Haight Streets.  It is part of the Love in the Lower Haight Project.  I have showcased a few artists in this area before.  Started in October 0f 2010 the project is on the walls of a UC campus slated for demolition, as long as the walls are standing the artists project will continue.

This piece by Ursula Young is so very, very girls of San Francisco for me, it just made me smile.  According to her blog:

Over the past fourteen years illustrator, painter and designer Ursula Xanthe Young has become known for her unique flowery urban fairytale illustrations. Graduate of Parsons School of Design (Illustration, BFA, New York 1996) Ursula exhibits frequently in the Bay Area and has sold paintings in New York, London, Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong and all across the U.S.

Ursula finds inspiration in the organic yet urban landscape of San Francisco and its surrounds; the crossed wires, Victorian buildings and fog-filled horizons, that are often backdrop to her brightly painted doe-eyed flower girls. She is also highly influenced by her frequent travels to the far-flung reaches of the globe and the variety of colorful characters that she encounters – both real and imagined – along the way.

Due to her love of electronic music since the early 90’s, and the culture that surrounds it, Ursula’s art can be seen on CD & record covers of dance music labels including Om records, Safe In Sound Music, Loveslap recordings, 2 Block Radius & Panhandle records. Along with murals, apparel & club flyers, her art can be spotted in magazines & ipod covers and in boutiques across the city of San Francisco and beyond.

Originating from the green rural dales of Northern England, Ursula has spent much of her time since then traveling and has studied art in New York City, Florence, Vermont, Oslo, and London. After ten years making her mark in the Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco, she recently relocated to the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California – this time to a remote spot in the forest – where she’s busy finding a whole host of new inspirations.


Lower Haight – Murals

 Posted by on April 8, 2012
Apr 082012
The Lower Haight
650 Haight Street





Painted by Sam Flores, these were commissioned by the eight owners of the building.  They replaced murals done by small children in the same places, and while we all know it is important to encourage children in their art, I saw the originals and these are such a massive improvement to the area.

A New Mexico native, Sam Flores’ mythology is populated with costumed urchins and lithe beauties swathed in flowers; he is a painter of masked child-heroes with oversized hands. Flores’ subjects convey a melancholy power, resisting the gaze of the onlooker as if they alone understand how the world can be so painful and so beautiful at the same time.


This is what they look stitched together, you can see they really do tell a story.




Lower Haight

 Posted by on August 19, 2011
Aug 192011
Lower Haight – San Francisco
Oak and Scott Streets
This mural was painted by San and Escif.
Escif is a 28 year old artist from Valencia Spain.  San is 29 and from Madrid.  Earlier this year they traveled up and down the coast of California creating street art.  All of their inspiration culminated in an exhibit at Fifty24SF art gallery in July.  The exhibit, entitled “See you in Croatan” was described like this:  “For the past month, the two friends have journeyed all along the coast of California, gathering inspiration to create works on walls and paper and documenting it on their blog, El Tercero En Cuestion Regarding their project, “the mission was to work as far away as possible from doctrines, imperialisms and linear reasoning, searching for beauty in errors and fortuitous tools, working with intuition and hazard; trying to light relations, transitions and processes; working with research as the way itself; understanding chaos as an ideal space for creation”. The product of their journey was on display at the opening, which consisted of an installation of various drawings, paintings, sketches, keepsakes and photographs inspired by places they have visited, such as Death Valley, Tijuana, Yosemite, Los Angeles and San Francisco.”
In an interview with the two artists I found these quotations most interesting.  When San was asked his favorite medium:
I like to experiment with different techniques. I usually paint with Black 2G Montana Spray Paint and acrylic colors. I like to work with water-colors and crayons. Between, always with my Pilot 0.4 in a skeetchbook anyone.
Escif was asked about his favorite color, and then again about his favorite vacation spot and this was his answer.
I have no favourite things. When you said ” My favorite…” you are blocking new possibilities.

Oddities in San Francisco

 Posted by on May 27, 2011
May 272011
915 Fulton Street

This is Ron Henggeler’s Tower at 915 Fulton Street in San Francisco.  Ron is a collector, he started building this 45 foot tower after the Loma Prieta Earthquake.  He wandered down to where they were tearing up the Fell Street Freeway exit and scavenged the rebar, the tower grew from there.  Ron may seem like a nut, and in fact he is a major scavenger, but he is also an amazing artist, and quite the historian.  He is a very good photographer, and I have seen his scavenged items turned into some pretty neat things.  He is a waiter at the Big Four restaurant on the top of Nob Hill.  He has always been a waiter and has collected the one gallon maraschino cherry and olive jars from bartenders, to store his vast collection of stuff.   This Queen Anne is five stories tall and Ron lives on the top floor with his collection, there are 11 artists in the building and they have all shared this space for over 35 years.  With that many years together, I assume they are used to his quirky habits by now.

Apr 262011
Silly Pink Bunnies and Love in the Lower Haight.
In October of 2010 the long wall on the corner of Haight and Laguna that surrounds a series of buildings that once housed the UC extension campus became a mural collective. Called “Love in the Lower Haight,” the mural stretches 100 feet up Haight Street from Laguna Street and 75 feet on Laguna. The mural is granted for at least one year with the possibility of a longer extension.
An estimated 12 local artists worked on it, while an additional component let residents add their personal touch to the project.
Information about the piece above took me a while to round up, I first went to the artist’s – Jeremy Fish- blog and this is what I read:
“my gang, THE SILLY PINK BUNNIES, is celebrating 20 years of being a mean gang this year. coincidentally 2011 is the year of the rabbit. this statue and mural is a tribute to the the gang and our history in the lower haight. viva la bunnies! see you this easter.”
But then I found an explanation –
“[the gang] is basically it’s an inside joke that just got carried and carried and carried. For me, it’s just the fascination of taking nothing and making it into something, and also watching peoples desire to be involved in something. It’s fascinating for me to watch grown adults gravitate towards something that’s kind of stupid… I’m also fascinated by watching something I created grow into something that I’m not even farming anymore. To see stickers in places that you have never even been when you go there, or to talk to a friend that just got back from South Africa and said he saw a Silly Pink Bunnies sticker in the subway. You know, I’m like, ‘how the [expletive] did something go from being so dumb to something so big?'”
I love the concept he describes, while the silly pink bunny in the photo above, probably leaves many different emotions with different people, the concept that he talks about is truly what art is about.