From "The Memoirs
When I first saw the little place on Fourteenth Street in the fall of
1975, I noticed the Natoma
side of the building was under-used. There were two small windows,
long ago painted over, and a back door to the place, it too boarded over
and never used. I cleaned them all off.
I noticed the space
around the windows was an almost "golden rectangle," perfect for a mural
of some sort. I decided to incorporate the two little windows into
a trompe l'oeil gothic structure. It got a lot of attention in the
Here's Joy walking by.
I had recently gotten a nice, big Getstetner machine
from Cara Landry and I was producing copies of news photos.
Russell's friend Chester Howard was then working at the S.F. Chronicle
and would bring me photos off the wire services. I did several of
Pat Nixon, of course, and I did one
of Richard Nixon and the two Nixon daughters entering the hospital to
visit Pat, who was there with some sort of ailment.
I liked it a lot and decided to
reproduce it mural-size on the side of the building. Everybody
recognized it, of course, but nobody knew what to think. Well,
that's my style.
Morris Luis was always a
favorite pop artist of mine and I thought his "veils and unfurals" would
look nice on the studio. (Gee, isn't that Pat Nixon looking out the window?)
In April of 1987, I had my
one-man show at the Lab Gallery on Post Street and was doing a lot of
these funny-looking heads. I figured a little extra publicity
By now, the poor wall was encrusted with layers and
layers of paint. It was bubbling up and cracking in places.
For the next mural I decided there was nothing to do but to scrape the
whole thing clean and starte afresh.
We decided to reproduce one of everybody's favorite
artists. Raymond and Jonathan came over and gave me a hand.
It was fun to sign "Miro" at the bottom.
By the end of the eighties,
Russell and I had been going back and forth to Mexico quite a lot and I
was taken with everything Mexican. On one trip we visited the
studio/museum of Frida Kahlo in the Coyocán district of Mexico City.
I decided to do a tribute to Frida, set in the Mission District of San
Francisco. I drew up a plan of how it would fit in the space.
It looked good and was up for
a long time.
It got a good little bit of attention in the local press.
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...NEXT: A FAR OUT FOURTH