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Home FEATURES Artist Interviews Matt Furie Interview

Matt Furie Interview
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 03:01
"The Neverending Story was a big deal to me growing up"
We've known this SF based artist over the years. We've invited him to participate in some shows at Low Gallery and in some Fecal Face shows over the year and have been following his work for like the last two years. His work has just been getting so damn good recently that we had to get him up on the site. Below is a short interview conducted through instant messaging technology in two parts because we accidentally deleted the first part and had to redo the interview... Note to self, prepare questions further in advance when conducting an interview through IM and don't do it hungover... Oh, and so you get a vibe for the interview, this is what Matt looked like as he typed the interview you're about to read.

Howdy doo dee

yo yo

What's behind all those animalistic acts you draw? What leads you to that? Question submitted by Drone.

Hmmm... Well, we're all animals. I watch a lot of animal programs on tv and it reminds me of human behavior. I've been drawing animals since I was little and it's fun to draw scales and fur and stuff like that. Teeth and eyeballs, tongues, claws, feathers... what a world of wonder we live in!

If you were offered a cartoon staring your characters... what would it be like? Soundtrack?

It would be like sesame street or the muppet show-only animated. There would be lots of characters hanging out and learning lessons together. A lot of riding around on the backs of flying creatures and creatures of the land. There would be volcanos, the jungle, street style, water slides, pizza, lots of dancings, good vibes, animals wearing sunglasses, ect. the soundtrack would be totally o.c.

o.c.?

o.c. the tv show

What about sex? There's a lot of sex in your work.

I think about sex a lot and it's good exercise-one message to the kids--- safety has no quitting time- especially 'under the covers'.

Ok, you think about it, but would you include it in the show, and if so, how would it be there?

It would be hinted in the show-like a dog and a bird would go into a closet or something. What happens behind closed doors is up to your imagination.

Would they come out all sweaty? Would adults be the only people who get it or would the kids know that somethings up?

Adult males will get a thickening sensation in their pants, moisture for the ladies. The kids won't really know what's up unless they have pretty freaky parents who teach them to be "sex positive" at an inappropriatly young age.

Enough about cartoon sex... What movies were you into growing up? You can see a lot of film influences in your work.

"The Neverending Story" was a big deal to me growing up. That dog-dragon falcor was an instant friend and there was tons of cool and imaginitive characters throughtout the movie. Like that evil wolf with the glowing eyes-that thing was scary and awesome. I also like Pee Wee's big adventure- I was always into wacky stuff like that.

That is a great movie. Limahl rulez!... The princess was hot right?!... What do you do to pay the bills?

That princess was amazing. I work in the children's department of the community thrift store. I sort through a large amount of toys and clothes and games and stuff. I'm always keeping my eye out for ALF stuff and I have a large plastic pizza and hamburger collection going. I also build picture frames in the dogpatch with my best pal nasty Joe Neff.

Somehow that job makes sense for you- you must come across a lot of pretty cool shit... What's your worst personality trait?

Worst trait? I can be pretty bad at remembering names. I'm working on it... is that a trait?

You know you kinda train yourself to NOT remember names by telling other people that you can't... It's true. By trying more and being confident, you can remember people's names... Like I'll get someones name and am nervous or something and I'll not even hear them tell me... If you take a second to try, it'll work much better... at least that's me. I'm bad too, but when I try it's much easier... not saying you don't try.

It's true... it helps to take the extra effort.

What are some of your favorite places in the city? Drinking? Art? Neighborhood?

I've been making it a blockbuster night most of these days but when I go out I usually frequent the mission district. The Cassanova Lounge is a favorite after work spot. Delirium is fun because there's dancing going on there a lot. It's nice to have a few cold ones and then dance it up a little. I live in Bernal Heights now and I really enjoy going to Holly Park. Yesterday I watched the bucks beat Michigan on tv then strolled to the park to play frisbee with my friends and we had fun and watched an amazing sunset. You get a great veiw of the city up there. Artwise there are billions of places to check out- I always check out the Fecal Bay Area Art Calender to see where I can get my art on!

Describe your process please... you scratch out the paper first? Elaborate

My process is rooted in my work as a picture framer. There was always scrap mattee board around and I would chop little peices of it into 3in x 3in squares. I would sneak around drawing on these small squares at work with a ballpoint pen, then take them home and color them in. Because of the soft nature of the board itself, I noticed that when I drew overtop of where I erased lines were revealed. I eventually made purposful indents in the board with a printmaking tool and colored over top with pencils to bring out the texture.

These are my favorite of your work. So interesting looking.

Which ones?

The ones where you use this practice... like of the guy holding the owl... this is what you're talking about right? the pencil ones.

Oh ya-the black and white ones. I actually use this tecnique on almost all of my stuff. It's all ink and colored pencils. It's fun to just use blacks, whites and greys because it looks like early printmaking stuff.

What are your future plans?

In the future I hope to happy, healthy and strong. forever.

Ever almost die?

No, but a very close friend is hanging out somewhere in the great beyond. I think about death everyday. I think our mortality makes life important. it's good to live everyday knowing it's a blessing to be alive.

What's the origin of your name? Is it Italian?

yea-furie comes from the word "fiore" which means flower.

You have family in the mafia?

Not that I'm aware of-but my great grandpa was form sicily. My dad, my brother jason and I traveled there over the summer. We took a train from rome and ended up crossing the water by having a large section of the train actually pull into a barge. It was very sci fi.

Actually, you might... um, I'm so hungover today. It sucks. When a friend goes to close the bar and invites you to stay after hours and drink Fernet, say no.

Fernet is good, huh?

Too good and sometimes too painful.

Bad medicine

Do you like the Jurassic Park movies? I could see you being into them.

Definitly! My brother and I still say "hold on to your butts" if things are going to get hairy. (it's an obscure jurrasic park quote from samuel jackson I think)

I feel like such a moron for liking them, but man, they're always pretty good... anyway... What's your favorite SF gallery?

Creativity Explored!

Why do you have to make fun of mentally challenged people?

It's not making fun if you're an "outsider" artist like myself.

Nice one... I read somewhere that you describe your work as children illustrations for adults... If you were given the chance to make a book, what would it be about?

Well I have a comic book to be released next year by teenage dinosaur press titled "Boy's Club" you can preveiw it in my myspace blog. If I got to make like an actual book it would be full of creatures interacting, fighting, playing, ect.

Can't wait to check it out... How old are you?

I was born on august 14, 1979 at the ohio state university hospital. I'm a leo.

Describe your work space inlcuding music.

I've always worked in my bedroom. I have a bed, 2 desks, 3 flexi lamps, tons of colored pencils and paint, clothes all over the floor, some scented candles, a computer, books, ect. music... I'm listening to Smashing Pumpkins right now: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. I've been on a 90's kick lately. I sang "found out about you" and "hey jealosy" by the Gin Blossoms last week at kareoke and it was so much fun!

When you're not arting, what would you be up to? What fills your fancy?

I really like going for bike rides through the city and outside the city. Just walking around all day is really fun too. I like swiming at hotels and going in hottubs. I like going to parties, stuff like that.

I love this epic piece you did... can you describe it for us.

Yeah-with this guy I wanted to spend a ton of time on it and just let it develop on its own. I was thinking about war a lot-the current war and the concept of war thru the ages. I started it as a new years resolution... I was watching nature videos by David Attenborough as I drew and getting inspiration from the often violent animal world. Worked on a little section at a time.

So what's the deal with the one guy who has all the color shooting out of him and into the sky?

That's his spirit. I've never seen a spirit but that's what I imagined one could look like.

I'm always touching parts of my body like my sweaty feet or something and smelling them. I think it's a normal human thing to do, but it's weird. Why do you think people do shit like that?

Evolution?

Some basic animal stuff that sort of has no purpose... and since it doesn't kill ya, well, it's there?... I'm too hungover to think about it too much so I thought I'd ask you... anyway... Do you have a show coming up at Triple Base? I saw that you have a profile on their site?

No... but that would be a blast. We talked about doing a workshop.

Last question... What are your plans for tonight?

Well, a friend just dropped of a dog here at "man manor" where I live. I'm going to play with his and make sure he dosent miss his moms

Sounds good. Thanks for talking, Matt.

Alright! It's been a pleasure...how about Seinfeld's Kramer?

Mental, right? You think he was in some strange mental/ actor comedian state or something? Aiyana knows comedians. Do you think he was trying to be zany/ off-the-wall? or just fucked?

I've been going to the comedy club and hangin with Aiyana a lot and it seems that a lot of those dudes walk the borderline when it comes to racial stuff. Gets pretty tricky. Kramer said some crazy mean uncalled for bs for sure.

publicity stunt?

That's some bad publicity. I think he was in a genuine rage. It bums me out... did he formerly apologize or what?

He did apologize, but whatever, that shit was out of control and weird. It wasn't just saying nigger, he said some other crazy shit too... the guy sucks and doesn't deserve to be talked about.... going to layout the interview now! Night.

Night {moscomment}

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I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


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Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


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The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

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John Trippe, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

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High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

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"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

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Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.


Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.


"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".


"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.


Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.


Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.


John French with Hasselblad by Lola Dupre

"John French with Hasselblad", photo collage/ hand cut paper on wooden panel, by Lola Dupre which will be part of tomorrow's opening of "Salt the Skies" at FFDG in San Francisco. 2277 Mission St. (6-9pm) - RSVP here.


"Salt the Skies" at FFDG Opening Fri, Mar 21st

FFDG's spring show "Salt the Skies" is set to open on Friday, March 21st (6-9pm) -- Featuring works by Brett Amory, John Felix Arnold, Mario Ayala, Jud Bergeron, Curiot (Favio Martinez), Christopher Burch, Lola Dupre, Michelle Fleck, Matt Gonzalez, Hiro Kurata, Marty Machado, Mark Mulroney, and Nicomi Nix Turner


Brian Barneclo's 225' Food Chain Mural

San Francisco based Brian Barneclo was commissioned in 2006 to paint a HUGE mural on the side of Foods Co on Shotwell at 14th Streets. After some time on its own, it got pretty taxed by misc graffiti and pigeon shit.





contact FF

Nychos Friday @Fifty24SF
Thursday, 17 April 2014 10:46

SAN FRANCISCO --- You've seen the murals pop up around town the last week from this Austrian street artist as he prepares for his solo show at Fifty24SF opening this Friday, 4/18.

GET THE SHOW DETAILS --- a bunch of NYCHOS

 

Banksy's Mobile Lovers
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 10:47

Speaking of Banksy (wait, were we speaking of Banksy?)... In any case, love his newest creation "Mobile Lovers" located in Bristol, England.

I love you, dear.... Huh? Wut?

 

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 16:39


Jeremy Fish Opening a Solo Show in August at FFDG
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:33

Met up with Jeremy Fish last night to catch up and discuss his upcoming solo show opening this August at San Francisco's FFDG. Don't want to give too much away, but the guy is very busy these days. You know the giant pink bronze statue will be built and installed at the corner of Haight and Laguna welcoming those to the Haight (check) in 2015? Going to be incredible.

Check photos from his last San Francisco solo show in 2012, and mark your calendar for August as his next solo show opens at FFDG.

Beering with Fish at his favorite watering hole, Zeitgeist

 

///
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:56

 

Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community
Monday, 14 April 2014 10:20

Sculpture of Jesus as homeless and sleeping on a park bench is "freaking out" the neighbors of this wealthy NC suburb. The sculptor, who has an affinity for street art, created it to remind us that "We believe that that's the kind of life Jesus had," Buck says. "He was, in essence, a homeless person." ~READ ON

 

Art or Vandalism? See the World’s First Graffiti Drone
Saturday, 12 April 2014 10:30

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Think how high those throw ups can be now.

 

OB Shirt by Tucker Nichols
Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:01

Tucker Nichols emailed over this new OB shirt he did for our friends at Park Life which can purchased here for $28.

Speaking of Ocean Beach, if you know, you know, but if you don't... it's not what the average american thinks of when thinking of a California Beach (missing 14 yr. old yesterday). Can't believe we used to drunk naked swim at 3am in the dead if winter... being surfers probably helped us not dying.

 

Open House Sunday - Headland Center for the Arts
Friday, 11 April 2014 16:12

Have you been to the Headland Center for the Arts in the Marin Headlands?

Located in the beautiful ocean-side Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Headlands artists programs support artists of all disciplines—from visual artists to performers, musicians, writers, and videographers—and provide opportunities for independent and collaborative creative work.

This Sunday's Open House runs 12-5pm - FREE & DETAILS

 

Is It Curtains For San Francisco's Art Scene?
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 09:35

We all know that San Francisco is going through aches and (growing?)/ shrinking artist pains these days as San Francisco property values sky rocket due to the tech infestation going on around the entire Bay Area. Maybe you work in tech and love it, but since this is an art website, we're interested to how this is affecting artists trying to make ends meet.

Some galleries have been forced to close due to 300% rent hikes. Many artists have fled to Oakland, LA and NYC in search of affordable housing and a more vibrant art scene... But we wanna know what you think of how it's going here in San Francisco. How are you making it work? What's your take on the art scene or lack there of? Do you think things are on the up and up or down and out here in San Francisco? Are artists a bunch of complainers and every thing looks great or is it curtains for San Francisco's artistic community? Thoughts

The Rena Bransten Gallery is packing up their 77 Geary space to make way for tech company MuleSoft

 

Nikki McClure at Needles & Pens, Friday 4/11
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 09:42

SAN FRANCISCO --- Nikki McClure, known for her painstakingly intricate and beautiful paper cuts, returns to Needles & Pens with an opening reception this Friday, April 11th - She'll be showing original papercuts for the book, "May the Stars Drip Down" - show details

This approach was born and bred out of the Olympia, Washington independent music scene. There, local artists emphasized everything handmade and self-published. The idea was to do a lot with a little. The result was a rich community sharing artistry and ideas. McClure found herself deeply embedded in this community which shaped an ethic of hands-on and accessible artmaking. - show details

 

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010 11:50


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John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.


FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners


Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

Our buddy Flavio Samelo down there in Brazil does all kinds of great work including this recent mural project in downtown Sao Paulo in front of one of the most important modern buildings of Oscar Niemeyer from the 60's, THE COPAN.


John Trippe, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

John Trippe, founder, owner and curator of FecalFace.com and the Mission District art gallery FFDG, announced today that he will stepping down from daily operations of the two ventures to seek new career opportunities.


High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

I purchased one of the first digital cameras when Fecal Face went online in 2000. It was a massive Kodak with 2 mega pixels


"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

San Francisco based Schuyler Beecroft emailed over the great new series of paintings he's completed entitled "Touching Base", 16x20in on mounted wood panel. Like them.


Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.


Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.


"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".


"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.


Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.


Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.


John French with Hasselblad by Lola Dupre

"John French with Hasselblad", photo collage/ hand cut paper on wooden panel, by Lola Dupre which will be part of tomorrow's opening of "Salt the Skies" at FFDG in San Francisco. 2277 Mission St. (6-9pm) - RSVP here.


"Salt the Skies" at FFDG Opening Fri, Mar 21st

FFDG's spring show "Salt the Skies" is set to open on Friday, March 21st (6-9pm) -- Featuring works by Brett Amory, John Felix Arnold, Mario Ayala, Jud Bergeron, Curiot (Favio Martinez), Christopher Burch, Lola Dupre, Michelle Fleck, Matt Gonzalez, Hiro Kurata, Marty Machado, Mark Mulroney, and Nicomi Nix Turner


Brian Barneclo's 225' Food Chain Mural

San Francisco based Brian Barneclo was commissioned in 2006 to paint a HUGE mural on the side of Foods Co on Shotwell at 14th Streets. After some time on its own, it got pretty taxed by misc graffiti and pigeon shit.


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