We had the pleasure of meeting Caitlin Donohue, a culture writer for SFBG, last week. She and her friends were able to attend a sneak peek of The Classics with a private walking tour / commentary by Nate1, our curator and teacher extraordinaire . Check out what she thought of the show and Nate1:
Golden age remix: Bay graff gets its props
All photos by Caitlin Donohue
Nate1’s business card is totally dope. It’s front depicts a Kry-lon paint can, the brand most used for graffiti in the days he was coming up as a street writer in 1980s San Francisco. “Back then we used to have to make art with automotive paint,” he tells me at 1AM gallery, where his new show on the golden age of Bay tagging, “The Classics” opens today (Fri/10). “We’re talking about paint to paint red wagons and doors,” he remembers, smiling like a man that didn’t mind too much.
The card is striking because it evokes the sentiment behind this artist and the show he’s thrown up. “The Classics” is about those icons of SF’s early days on the graffiti scene, back before anyone with a few bucks could buy specialized Mammoth paint from 1AM’s retail section, cans specially designed for low pressure artistic liberty – but it’s also about where that art form stands today.
1AM owner Anna says that before he came up with the inkling for this particular showing, Nate1 would bring around scrapbooks to street art openings, forcing heads to remember the days when. Finally, they hit upon the idea to base a show on these old masterpieces. On the gallery’s walls are seldom-seen photographs of the “Psycho City” wall in SoMa, the only place where young taggers could work on their art in public, in peace from police presence and neighborhood complaint. UB40’s ubiquitous-at-the-time scrawl is present, as is shots of trains painted by King 157, and Rigel’s game-changing robot piece.
Word up, Caitlin! Many thanks!