Through 2015 - 2017 I finished a novel (working title: Golden Gate) which dealt in part with graffiti and street art in the Bay Area. While following a number of artists on Instagram, I happened to catch an invite from Bad Habits Lab to a private warehouse show in SOMA. Inside, a number of O.G. legends in the scene painted original pieces specifically for the event.
Sadly, the show was shut down after one night. Below are some shots from walls:
(The next to last image in the gallery is a "FLOODED" highway sign painted by Eye Spy. I got to take that piece home with me.)
In my novel Golden Gate, an alcoholic EMT who loses his job after failing to stop a teenage girl from committing suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge gets busted down to street cleaning. Not long after he begins removing graffiti, someone stencils the face of the doomed girl all over San Francisco. He is both haunted and hunting for the ghost. The novel circles surveillance, apparent and hidden cultures, disparity, and the wondrous, ever-screwing vice anyone who's lived in San Francisco or the Bay Area understands.
If you move on the level of the street, you cannot help but begin to pay attention to the evolution of the living texture. What at first seems visual noise becomes a hidden text. From the vandal's tag to the sanctioned mural, the signs and symbols grow to be companions in otherwise lonely or hostile environments. They stand against every surface being auctioned and monetized.
A little cut from the novel:
“Who knew who had collected their face. One day they would all only be known by their faces. They would never be able to escape them. The graffiti writers understood this from the start. Ninja masks wrapped from t-shirts, respirators, black hats, sunglasses before dawn. The future beyond names was fast approaching. If you hadn’t learned to live in the sixty-first minute of the twenty-fifth hour, you would be branded.”
I hope to have more news to share soon. Gratitude to all the artists who have taken the risks and shared their talent in San Francisco.