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Shepard Fairey Interview
Written by Manual Bello   
Tuesday, 14 August 2007 07:49
I don't think Shepard needs an intro... If so, you've been living under a log for the last 10 years... Our East Coast correspondent Manual Bello brings us a great interview with this art legend.

Back in the mid 80's there was a skateboard subculture growing fueled by punk rock, grimy skate magazines, and the youth who participated in it. Shepard Fairey was among them. For some it was a passing phase that lasted a year or two, for Shepard it became culture. He has moved from the early underground world of skateboarding and punk rock into the lowbrow counter culture world of propaganda street art and beyond. In his mid 30's Shepard Fairey is still holding true to his core punk rock values while applying it to his own street art campains, gallery shows and various other international art causes around the world. With dark undertones of pop culture irony, and underlining hints of hope and prosperity. You can not deny the timelessness of his work and the message behind it. Shepard Fairey is more than just an artist, he is also an activist and something tells me he has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Especially with this show in London at the Stolen Space Gallery he has in the works.

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Manuel: So Shepard, first off tell me how did a kid with a father who was a football captain, and mother who was the head cheerleader grow up to be a dirty skate punk?

Shepard: (laughs) I grew up in South Carolina and around 1983 a bunch of my friends got skateboards. In Charleston, surfing was in and skateboarding was becoming more in the peripheral of that. I think people were just starting to get skateboards as toys with the trend. None of them took it too seriously. I was like "ah, I'm not going to get in on that. It's just dumb." Until a friend left his board over at my house and I just started tick tacking around and really enjoyed it. Prior to that I had really been into tennis and football and soccer and all the usual sports. I hated having to always have someone to go play these sports with, and when I started skateboarding it was just something that I could totally just go do by myself. It was totally creative, and it was like "fuck having to call people." Then for my 14th birthday February 14th, 1984 I got a skateboard. My mom would not out-rite buy me a skateboard, but she said if I paid for half she would pay for the other half. My parents thought skateboards were for hoodlums and I guess they were right. So that day I drove out to the surf shop and it was the same day they had got Skate Visions', the very first Vision Skate video. With the soundtrack by Agent Orange playing in the shop as I was picking out my board. It really made me want to skate more because of all these tricks I had never seen. Plus with the punk rock sound track. I was like oh, and I gotta get all the music too. So pretty much in that one day the rest of my life was starting to take form. Which is pretty crazy, right? If my friend had not left his skateboard at my house I probably would not be the person I am today.

Manuel: How do you think skateboarding and punk rock influenced you in the art sense?

Shepard: From that day on, skateboarding and punk rock became all I cared about, and my parents hated it. I once broke into the school to get into a friend's locker because he said he had a Thrasher Magazine in there. It was a huge influence all around. It was not some huge thing back then the way it is today, so if you managed to get your hands on Sex Pistols tape or Black Flag or whatever, you really had to work for it, and you really took a lot of pride in it. Plus skateboarding in the mid 80's was super do it yourself. That was what got me into making t-shirts and screen printing. At first I just cut stencils and spray painted shirts. Then I realized my art teacher had a real primitive screen print rig in the back room that no one was using. Then I started screen printing some shirts for myself and couple extra for friends. You could see that in a short time in 1984-1985 my whole career was beginning to form based on that stuff.

Manuel: I am a few years younger than you but I went through that whole skateboarding revolution period of 1 inch noses on boards to the big companies like Powell Peralta and Vision giving way to the new school companies like the original Blind, Plan B, & H-Street, all those, so I know that mold you are speaking of.

Shepard: Yeah, that was the time when skateboarding was really exciting. The creativity and progression was with every new magazine and video that came out. There was just all this amazing stuff happening. I do think it was a revolutionary time in that culture. I still think skateboarding is great but it's become saturated.

Manuel: I know that Vision Skateboards was among one of your first skate influences. Then in the early 90's with the street skating revolution coming into power and the vert scene losing its momentum Mark Gator Ragowski / Anthony fell off and Vision basically imploded. Then in 2003 Helen Schickler did the movie Stoked capturing that time and the events that led to the fall of Gator. What was it like for you personally to be involved with the branding of that movie and to be able to do the artwork associated with that documentary.

Shepard: I had mentioned that Vision video earlier and Gator was the star of that video. So yeah, I totally worshiped Gator in the 80's then as Vision started becoming more dorky I moved onto other stuff. But when he killed the girl, got arrested and went to jail and everything, that was a pretty crazy thing to happen in skateboarding. That whole thing was sad, but it was also something that the whole skateboard industry kinda tried to sweep under the rug because it made skateboarding look bad. What is interesting is I had actually done a graphic in 1993 of the original Gator graphic with the spiral swirl and it had Obey in Gator type and had the Andre the Giant face super imposed into the spiral. Then in early 1995 Helen did a documentary on my work and I had that stuff in my studio which she asked about. She had heard a little about the Gator story and she was really interested. She began to research it and actually worked on it for the next seven years. She really put a lot into this film and I don't think that anyone had ever really come close to scraping the surface compared to what she was able to achieve with that. So it was amazing to know that I partially catalyzed her interest in that. When I was doing the art I did in the style of that time and what I was surrounded by and super excited by in those times, it was cool, pretty surreal actually.

Manuel: I know you grew up in South Carolina and then eventually went to art school in Rhode Island . What was it that eventually led you to southern California?

Shepard: Pretty much what we have been talking about. I was always really into what was going on in the skateboard industry and living in South Carolina and Rhode Island I was pretty far removed from what was really going on. When in Rhode Island I was working for a company called Jobless Antiwork Wear doing some t-shirt graphics . Everyone there was telling me you can't really make it in skateboarding unless you are out in California because at that time that was just where everything was happening. Then I became friends with Andy Howell, I know you know who that is. He said "Hey man if you're really that frustrated with Rhode Island then why don't you just come out here." I jumped at the opportunity to not only work with someone who was one of my idols being an artist and designer, but also to live in the heart of where that culture was. I had done a lot of bombing along the east-coast and I also thought it would be exciting to go to California and have a new area to hit up. I had spent some time in San Francisco and really like it, spent some time in San Diego and eventually ended up in LA. I love it in LA, the weather is great and there is a lot going on. But it was basically skateboarding culture that brought me out here.

Manuel: Being an activist to some degree and being very aware of consumerism and consumption do you ever feel inner conflict when taking on projects for some larger movie studios, record labels, and whatever other corporate giants may approach you about taking on a project?

Shepard: The only thing that I feel uncomfortable with is people's assumptions about it. I hear these rumors like "Oh, he did a job for Mountain Dew and made a million dollars". Which is complete bullshit. It's really funny how people exaggerate shit. One thing I will not do is take a job from someone who I have a ethical conflict with. Hummer had offered me work, Camel Cigarettes had offered me tons of other shit that I turn down because I don't agree with it. Then there is also the other stuff that I think about. The money I can get from this job or project far out ways boycotting the it, especially when there is tons of other designers lined up to take it. I am not going to be able to stop people from drinking caffeinated beverages. But if I take the money I can fund all these other projects that I want to do like: the street art campaign that costs money, the gallery that I have out here in LA that loses money, Swindle that loses money but is definitely dealing with art and politics, and other aspects of culture that I want to put the spot light on. So for me, even though I would like to get people to consume with discretion and heighten their awareness of all the manipulations of capitalism, I am not anti- capitalist, there is a big distinction there. The sad thing is that there are so many people out there making everything really black and white, like: "Oh' it's whack to do things for corporations", when in reality they are sitting there working for some company, working for the same system, and not even on their own terms. That is the difference, I do everything on my own terms so I have a lot more control. Am I going to be victimized by capitalism or am I going to use it to my advantage. These are a lot of subtleties, but there will always be the guy who is like: "Ahh man, that ain't keeping it real!" Meanwhile they are still collecting checks from their parents every month while drifting through college. The real world means that you are going to have to live with the forces of capitalism (at least in this country) so I just try to do it in the most constructive way I can. Like I said, I turned down a lot of things because I either don't support them and it would just take away from the art projects I would rather be doing. I am sure you can understand being an artist and designer yourself. Some projects are too good to pass up. The Smashing Pumpkins just asked me to do their new album cover. When I dig the band and agree what the message they're putting out there. Especially with this record which is perfectly aligned with my politics. Why wouldn't I do it? It's an awesome opportunity.

Manuel: I remember in about 1995. I bought a 7" record that contained a Andre the giant has a posse" sticker in it, which was when I first noticed your stuff. Then a couple years later I saw this Mtv add with this subway entrance out in some random spot, a park or something leading to know where almost with this dreamy like feel to the commercial. And there was this massive OBEY post on the subway sign. How did the subway Mtv ad come to be, was it just random?

Shepard: Well, on the 7" thing, I always sort of circulated my stickers in the punk underground. A lot of bands would tell me about a record they were putting out, so I would print out a couple thousand stickers to give them to put in records. Yeah, it cost me money, but I knew they were going to cool people. That has sorta been my philosophy even on the most grass roots level. Then the Mtv thing happened and I was in New York for a show and a guy that worked for Mtv said: "hey can we go and film you putting up posters and run it as a bumper on Mtv". People pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get there stuff exposed on Mtv. So this guys is offering it free to me, but the thing was I did not really want to be in it. So I was like: "Listen, here is some posters. You guys can just do what you want with them." So they did. They went and filmed a little spot by themselves and just ran it. That was a crazy at that time and a really big kudo for me to have people in Kansas saying "what the fuck is that image?" Once again, there was the backlash from the "keep it real" kids who are like "he sold out to Mtv". I didn't get a dime from Mtv and they did not get a dime from me. No money changed hands. It was just some guys who worked at Mtv that thought it was a cool image and wanted to use it and I was ok with that. I mean for me it was always about the project and getting it out to as many places as possible and for me that was really awesome exposure and I can see you have paying attention for a while.

Manuel: I remember a few things from way back, what I just mentioned and then there was this particular time driving maybe mid 90's thru Arizona and spotting another huge poster that was at least 50 miles from the closest town, not knowing of you, just knowing that image, which leads to my next question. During that time were you sending out posters and other Obey campaign propaganda stuff to get the message out and the shit up?

Shepard: I have always tried to be good about getting stuff out there. Anybody that wrote and wanted stickers and stuff I would send them stuff. Part of what I was always doing was making t-shirt and selling posters just so I could fund all the shit I was giving away for free. Whether I was putting it up or a friend or people that I did not even know. I am an optimist, so if someone is liking what I am doing then I will send them stuff. That end of it is actually cool and in many cases they put it up. They might even learn something from it and put their own ideas to play with some of the ideas that I have learned over the years and maybe accelerate someone's learning curve. I am really excited about that. My spirit is still total punk rock, do it yourself and will be no matter how big this may get.

Manuel: I know pop culture is a huge influence in your work but in the past I have heard you reference some well-known graffiti artists like ESPO, and Futura. my question is how much has graffiti influenced you over the years?

Shepard: Well, graffiti really influenced me a lot in the beginning just by being out there and seeing the lengths some people would go to get their art out there. And just seeing a guy like Revs (for example) who could do so much in a city like New York. Then you start to say to yourself "it's possible". Seeing the level that they bring it to with graffiti is just amazing and to get your work out there and get it seen without having to wait for a phone call from a gallery to show your stuff. On the streets, there is no bureaucracy, I could just do what I wanted to do and get my work out there.

Manuel: You have been compared to the late Andy Warhol, what are your thoughts on this and how much of an influence would you say Warhol has had on your work.

Shepard: Ya know, I like Warhol a lot and I am always flattered when I am compared to him and there is really only one Warhol. What he did, he did at a specific time and it shook up the art world because of when it was done. And now, doing pop art items is not really that revolutionary because Warhol already did it. If anything, I would just want to be build on what Warhol was doing. Taking it just a step further and rather than just letting the art community see the art, let everyone see it, everyone can now have an opinion on art by seeing it on the streets. I think a lot of people are intimidated by art but street canvases if you will, are much less intimidating. So what I would hope in some way is that I am just expanding on what he did.

Manuel: Johnny Cash once said he wears black because the world is black. How much blacker do you feel our world has become in the last seven years or so?

Shepard: Well, I wear a lot of black too, but it's because my hands are dirty and it hides the dirt. I love Johnny Cash, I did the poster for Walk the Line. But the world has always had problems. We collectively as human beings make the same mistakes over and over. I think that even though people do make the same mistakes again and again, there is always that possibility for change. Create good and counter act some of the bad. That is what I am trying to do. I really feel like I have no choice and as an artist I am trying to communicate and might as well speak my mind through my art.

Manuel: Right now there are a lot of splashed pastes around the NYC area, and there has been a particular one on spring street that I have seen for a couple years pretty regularly. Then a couple months back it was splashed along with many others. What are your thought on the splasher?

Shepard: Apparently there is someone going around splashing all the street art they don't like and leaving a little manifesto "Art is excrement of action with its evil blab blah blah, bullshit..." I don't have it in front of me. I am paraphrasing, but to me it is just somebody who is maybe a failed artist that knows enough art jargon experience to go out and do something that dis.'s people that have made a real genuine effort to get their work out there. To me it is just purely destructive. There is nothing positive about it at all. At the same time that is how graffiti has always been. Usually with someone who had some other beef with you for some other reason either real or manufactured. Making street art, you are dealing with the worst side of all the elements. Building owners who don't want the stuff on there. City worker that want to clean it. Cops that want to arrest you. Other artists want to deface it (because they are jealous). Everything points to it as being a bad thing to take up. However, I stick with it. I do it anyway because I still do see a lot of possative sides to it. If the splasher is doing shit or not I am going to keep doing it. It took them months to splash everything I did in a few nights and they still have not got to many of the pieces. I am clearly more motivated than they are. (laughs)

Manuel: How much public space are claiming these days?

Shepard: I am still bombing, but have not been bombing that much in LA lately getting ready and working overtime preparing for gallery shows. I was out in San Francisco a couple months ago, through some stuff up there, and New York. I am still really active but I don't have as much free-time as I used to. I am still getting out there and I think with as much shit I am doing in other area I am still up a lot more than some of these kids who should really be crushing it. I just try to make the most of my time with everything. Making time for the street, the magazine, clothing and everything else that comes along. Just trying to rock it all. You only live once.

Manuel: Well Shepard this is the end of the line, do you have any famous last words?

Shepard: Measure twice, cut once.

Thanks to: Shepard Fairey, Dan Flores, Debra Anderson, & the Jonathan Levine Gallery
Photos: Manuel Bello, Dan Flores, and Kyle Oldoerp.

Interview conducted by our NYC correspondent, Manuel Bello. {moscomment}

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SF Giants' World Series Trophy & DLX
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 17:21

I'm not sure how many people are lucky enough to have The San Francisco Giants 3 World Series trophies put on display at their work for the company's employees to enjoy during their lunch break, but that's what happened the other day at Deluxe. So great.

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SF skateboarding icons Jake Phelps, Mickey Reyes, and Tommy Guerrero with the 3 SF Giants World Series Trophies


 

Alexis Anne Mackenzie - 2/28
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:21

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The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur
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When works of art become commodities and nothing else, when every endeavor becomes “creative” and everybody “a creative,” then art sinks back to craft and artists back to artisans—a word that, in its adjectival form, at least, is newly popular again. Artisanal pickles, artisanal poems: what’s the difference, after all? So “art” itself may disappear: art as Art, that old high thing. Which—unless, like me, you think we need a vessel for our inner life—is nothing much to mourn.

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Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? --continue reading

 

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Work by Meryl Pataky

 

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Ron-Turner

Ron Turner of Last Gasp

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Solidarity
Thursday, 08 January 2015 09:36

charlie

 

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tiburonbridge

The San Francisco Bay Area is renowned for its tens of thousands of acres of beautiful parks and public open spaces.

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1/5/14 - Going Back
Monday, 05 January 2015 10:49

As we work on our changes, we're leaving Squarespace and coming back to the old server. Updates are en route.

The content that was on the site between May '14 and today is history... Whatever, wasn't interesting anyway. All the good stuff from the last 10 years is here anyway.

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NYPD told to carry spray paint to cover graffiti
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 10:37

nyc_graffitiNYC --- A new graffiti abatement program put forth by the police commissioner has beat cops carrying cans of spray paint to fill in and cover graffiti artists work in an effort to clean up the city --> Many cops are thinking it's a waste of resources, but we're waiting to see someone make a project of it. Maybe instructions for the cops on where to fill-in?

The NYPD is arming its cops with cans of spray paint and giving them art-class-style lessons to tackle the scourge of urban graffiti, The Post has learned.

Shootings are on the rise across the city, but the directive from Police Headquarters is to hunt down street art and cover it with black, red and white spray paint, sources said... READ ON

 

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


Headlands Center Fundraiser -6/4/14
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 07:54

SAN FRANCISCO --- The Headlands Center for the Arts is preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year set to go down on June 4th at SOMArts here in the city. Art auction, food, drinks, live music, etc and all for helping to support a great institution up in the Marin Headlands. ~details

ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

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Los Angeles based Alison Blickle who showed here in San Francisco at Eleanor Harwood last year (PHOTOS) recently showed new paintings in New York at Kravets Wehby Gallery. Lovely works.


Interview w/ Kevin Earl Taylor

We haven't been featuring many interviews as of late. Let's change that up as we check in with a few local San Francisco artists like Kevin Earl Taylor here whom we studio visited back in 2009 (PHOTOS & VIDEO). It's been awhile, Kevin...


Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.


Jay Bo at Hamburg's Circle Culture

Berlin based Jay Bo recently held a solo show at Hamburg's Circle Culture featuring some of his most recent paintings. We lvoe his work.


NYCHOS @Fifty24SF

Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.


Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?


Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net


ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.


BANDES DE PUB / STRIP BOX

In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.


AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.


Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.


Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.


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.


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