Street Art & Social Change: Lorenzo Quinn shows “Support” in Venice

With the state of the environment, many historic cities are facing the threat of rising sea levels.  In reaction, Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn highlighted this issue by unveiling his latest installation at Venice’s annual art installation, Venice Biennale 2017.

 

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Entitled, Support, the sculpture depicts two hands rising out of Venice’s Grand Canal toward the Sagredo Hotel. The hands reflect the two conflicting sides of human nature – the creative and the destructive.  Support highlights the idea that humans have the direct ability to impact the course of history and the environment. We could destroy the world, however, it is up to us save it.

Quinn aims to highlight climate change and the rising sea levels that could affect Venice along with the rest of the world.  Significantly Venice, a floating city, faces the direct effects of rising sea levels. With his piece, he encourages the world to act now in order to reverse the impact we’ve had on the environment. 

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Quinn draws inspiration from his own children. In an interview with Mashable, Quinn says “I have three children, and I’m thinking about their generation and what world we’re going to pass on to them. I’m worried, I’m very worried.” In fact, the hands themselves are molded after his son’s. Using a method known as “lost wax casting” he created a wax model of the sculpture and molded resin around it. Underwater, four 30 foot pillars hold the hands in place.

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Lorenzo Quinn intends to showcase “Support” as a rotating installation, with plans to bring the hands to other UNESCO World Heritage sites also facing destruction due to climate change.

More of Lorenzo Quinn’s work can be found at https://www.lorenzoquinn.com/

“Hope for the Future Gives Power to the Present” 1AM Mural

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While our mural artists often come from community input and careful thought with a predetermined wall, this particular mural’s message was in hand prior to having a wall to paint it.  When the opportunity arose to be part of the mural festival, SprayView (located in the SF Bayview district),  I knew I had found the right home.  So where did this mural’s message come from?

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For those of you that attended Lick Wilmerding High School, Coach Elliot Smith should be no stranger to you and was a major influence on me.  I’ll just share one example I’ll never forget of his positivity and wisdom.   Right after going through jv basketball team tryouts and getting cut, I was upset and went to Coach Smith to explain (aka angrily vent) that I felt I deserved to be on the team and was upset that Coach Mack (jv basketball coach) didn’t see my best performance.  Coach Smith’s advice was to go to the first day of practice and tell Coach Mack how I felt and prove to him that I deserved to be on the team.  I wanted to be on the team so badly that the hunger overcame my incredible fear of embarrassment of coming to the first day of practice after being cut and asking for another shot.  Coach Mack did end of giving me a shot to prove myself and I’ll never forget his words “You’ve shown tremendous heart, courage, and hustle in coming back that you deserve to be on the team”.

When I reconnected with Coach Smith last year, he remarkably remembered me and I asked him if he could say anything to the world, what would it be?  Thanks Coach for giving me hope to take action in the present.

For more info, contact murals@1amsf.com

Dropbox Swings by for an Exciting Workshop!

Dropbox did a great job with their custom mural at one of our corporate workshops. Our graffiti team building workshops are a great way to bring out your groups creativity while having an awesome day out of the office! For private class and workshop inquiries please contact vanessa@1amsf.com

 
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Behind the scenes of “Everyone Deserves a Home” community mural

“Everyone Deserves a Home” is a testament to the community of the Tenderloin and a promise of hope and security. We wanted to share some behind the 1AM scenes shots of this epic street art mural.   This mural, overlooking the recently revamped Boedekker Park, brings new life and vibrancy to the Tenderloin community. This project was made possible and in collaboration with DISH, Friends of Boeddeker Park, and the Community Challenge Grant Program by SF Beautiful.  For more info, contact murals@1amsf.com

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Oakland Athletics and Illuminaries Community Mural


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.

Street Art & Social Change: Za’atari Art Project

As the Syrian Refugee Crisis continues on, the Za’atari refugee camp in Northern Jordan has become the second largest refugee camp in the world. Founded in July 2012, the camp grew rapidly and has since reached nearly 100,000 inhabitants. While the camp is often referred to as a ‘refugee metropolis,’ the site is unmistakably destitute for such a large community. Food and proper accommodation are just two of the many human needs that the refugees are struggling to fulfill; others include constructive and productive activities for the youth. As education is not and cannot be a priority during times of strife, the children in Za’atari are faced with a bleak existence.

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US artist Joel Bergners recognized this need for community building activities that would provide positive experiences in the lives of the Syrian youth, and began the Za’atari Art Project in collaboration with several Middle Eastern artists, including Yusra Ali and Ali Kiwan. In this initiative, children participate in workshops that teach them artistic techniques and social skills simultaneously as they create murals for the camp walls. Yusra Ali is a female Palestinian artist who lives in a nearby town, who combines her artistic talent with her affinity for working with children. Kiwan is a Za’atari resident who collaborated with Bergners on many murals, joining street art techniques, children art styles, and traditional arabesque patterns to reflect the unique perspectives of the camp’s youth.

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The mural project provides children in the camp with an outlet through which they can express themselves, while also building relationships and learning important skills for life and art alike. Mural themes have included what the children missed most about home, what they dream of for the future, as well as the uplifting reminder that the future is in their hands. One demographic of the camp youth includes the “wheelbarrow boys,” young boys who bring items across campgrounds and sell them on the black market, a very dangerous employment for children. The art initiative taught the boys to paint, and allowed them to paint their wheelbarrows in vibrant, joyous hues, and the boys responded very well.

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As a communal entity, the children and artists have created a vibrant, uplifting visual culture within the Za’atari camp, providing a source of life and energy against the dreary background of the Jordan deserts. Many of these refugees would appreciate this, as they were forced to flee their lush, green oasis of Daraa in the midst of the Syrian Civil War. The Za’atari project provides a voice to the refugee youth, who are often overlooked in the crisis. Without a decisive ceasefire in sight, and with so many struggles plaguing the refugees internationally, these murals function as a source of community and hope for the camp inhabitants.

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Street Art & Social Change: ±MAISMENOS±

Lisbon-based artist, Miguel Januário, has made a name for himself in the Lusophone world through his graffiti interventions in modern urban cities. This project is titled ±MAISMENOS±, which translates to ‘more or less’ in English, is a series of textual pieces spray-painted onto urban walls, each of which makes humorously witty statements that carry somber undertones. For the viewer who can see beneath Januário’s humor, there is a profound cynicism towards modern life in the cities.
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Januário’s work proves that the even smallest change in a common phrase can provoke thought. Often, the artist focuses on the capitalist conquest of society, and what society loses as a result of this. The main loss emphasized in ±MAISMENOS± is human rights and recognition for the lower classes; however, Januário also decries the impurity of the government as a capitalist tool, writing “Vende-se Portugal,” or, “Portugal For Sale.”

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What truly comes out of the project is a sense of polar opposites: the black of the paint and the white of the walls, the seen and the unseen, the privileged and the unprivileged. Januário’s work has been seen in Portugal, Brazil, and Angola, and has directly led to political change, including the dismissal of the district commander for the National Republican Guard of Portugal.

Street Art & Social Change: Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

On the streets of Brooklyn in 2012, local street artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh decided that she had had enough of catcalling. After a stranger on the street asked her to smile for him, she used this as the basis for an ongoing series of street art entitled, Stop Telling Women to Smile (STWTS). Late at night, armed with a roller brush and some posters, Fazlalizadeh began wheat-pasting graphite posters on the walls of public streets, the most common site of catcalling. These posters are all portraits of women, some of the artist herself, but mostly of various different women from all kinds of walks of life. Fazlalizadeh realized as her project went on that street harassment was not restricted to women like her, but that women of all skin colors, religions, sexualities and gender expression were targets as well. In the end, this inspired the diversity and multilinguality of STWTS.

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These portraits are strong, they are sources of power for women. Fazlalizadeh interviewed several women before she made portraits of them. She wanted to understand how experiences differed from and paralleled each other, so that each figure took on her own identity and backstory. These women are direct, they do not allow themselves to be looked upon. They instead look back at their audience, authoritative and powerful. The power of the male gaze is impotent for these women, the only gaze they allow is their own.
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Each figure is accompanied by text, some in English, but also in Spanish, French, and other languages. The text is usually different for each figure, but the tone is the same: there is no debt women owe to men, no reason to be harassed, no place for catcalling. STWTS expands as Fazlalizadeh travels to new places with new cultures, and stands as a visual protest to a patriarchal society that has not learned the true power of the female.

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Opening Night Recap: “Get With the Program” by Pemex and Klops

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We’d like to send a huge thank you to all of our friends who came through last night for the opening of “Get with the Program” by Pemex and Klops. It was a crazy night of fun, laughter, and, of course, plenty of brand new art. Thank you for supporting your favorite artists and your favorite local art gallery! In case you couldn’t join us for the festivities, the show will be on display until April 15, 2017.

Congrats to Pemex and Klops on such a great opening night!

For inquiries or catalog requests contact artsales@1amgallery.com.

 

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Pemex & Klops on Widewalls

Pemex and Klops Join Forces in an Exhibition at 1AM Gallery

Last week we stopped by Pemex’s studio to check out the last few steps for his duo show with Klops, “Get With The Program”. Thanks Widewalls.ch for covering the studio visit! See the pair’s finished work at the opening reception at our downtown San Francisco gallery, this Thursday, March 2nd, from 7-10pm. To request a catalog preview: artsales@1amgallery.com.