One day, I received a text from Krupt of Illuminaries with a picture of this 100′ x 100′ foot brick wall with small writing that said “our next mural”. My first reaction was, “Top to bottom!?!?” I should have known that’s exactly what he meant. The Illuminaries have been blessing Oakland with ginormous murals for the last few years, busting back on the scene with the Steph Curry/Mac Dre Dubs piece, the giant Steph Curry mural off 880 South Bound, to the Oakland Marriott homage to “All Things Oakland”. I’ve known Krupt since 1996 when he was already coming up as a graffiti artist and entrepreneur. He was of the generation after my mine in the Berkeley graffiti scene. We lost contact for many years and next thing I know, Krupt and his fam Namm became the super crew Illuminaries and put it down in a major way! We connected through a Steph Curry activation and started building our relationship around me becoming a part of the team and lending my letters and brand management skills to Illuminaries. This time around, he reached out to me to do a commissioned piece for the Oakland A’s in the heart of downtown Oakland.
We at 1am had revamped our Oakland space and were looking for ways to engage with the Oakland arts community scene. Once I saw this wall I told my partner, Dan,”We gotta be involved in this! It’s 3 blocks away from our spot!” Dan agreed and we supplied a great chunk of paint and had our videographer Keith Halterman capture and put together an edit of the “Rise and Grind ” piece coming to life.
Namm of Illuminaries said the focus of the “Rise and Grind” piece, the elephant, was a continuation of a much smaller scale piece they had done previously at Broadway and 22nd in Oakland. When they connected with the Oakland A’s to do a piece commissioned by the A’s, it felt right for them to bring back the “Rise and Grind” concept in larger than life form. The elephant of both pieces symbolizes power, longevity, loyalty and its cooperative spirit as well as the A’s mascot. Representative of Oakland’s power, resilience, and cooperative spirit, this mural quickly has become a rallying point for Oakland Athletics’ fans as well as Oakland residents new and old. We at 1am are proud to have been able to contribute and stay tuned for future 1AM x Illuminaries collaborations to come! The Mural can be found on 19th and Webster.