This mural is entitled “Fear Head” it was installed as part of the Wonderland exhibit in 2009. The creators are Roman Cesario and Mitsu Overstreet. Wonderland was the brain child of a teacher at SF Art Institute, Lance Fung. Wonderland created a lot of interesting chatter in the blogsphere at the time. Adrienne Roberts of SFMOMA wrote of her concerns, that I felt were a tad highfalutin regarding bringing art to the tenderloin. You can read her article, Wonderland a World Turned Upside Down, here.
For those that don’t live in San Francisco, it is “considered” the last bastion of serious poverty and homelessness in the city, read “scary” neighborhood. I prefer the take of locals (expressed by a blog (sadly closed) called livintheloin) for a more honest take, they greeted and appreciated this whirlwind of art that arrived in their backyard.
This is the description of the piece by the artist:
In San Francisco there is a giant monster watching the people of its neighborhood walk by its enormous head. It sees its residents and visitors with six enormous eyes walk by with the looks on their faces and the experiences that happen day by day. This monster has a face of fear. Why is it in a state of fear? Well you see this enormous head is fed everyday and its food is saturated in this horrible emotion. The homeless feed it everyday every time a police officer is on the same block. The Police feed it everyday when ever they get a call about violence. The onlookers feed it as they watch the police and the ambulances wail through the streets. The immigrants feed it everyday as they try to assimilate themselves into San Francisco and the United States. The Prostitutes feed it every time they meet a new John. The drug addicts feed it when they don’t get in contact with their dealers. The drug dealers feed it when they go meet their clients. The Tourists feed it when they walk a bit too far from the plaza. This head eats and eats and has become to be in a permanent state of fear. Every time it eats it gets bigger snorting lines of the poverty stricken and getting drunk on the urine of the schizophrenics as bedbugs infest its skin. It can taste the worlds fear pouring down its streets. It fiends for the unhealthy. It looks at the unemployed like its staring down at a buffet.
This enormous face and head is a mural and it lives in the Tenderloin.