depending on the weather. . .

. . . this lovely mural @ Steiner and Haight can change like my mood.

 

In the Lower Haight neighborhood, there are many colorful murals to brighten up the city streets. . .

but this one in particular, was painted by the Further Collective.

 

I happen to be fortunate enough to know one of these talented humans and got to watch them as they progressed this masterpiece last spring.

Now that I work in this neighborhood, every time I stroll to grab my lunch or buy some film from my favorite photo store (Glass Key), I get to experience this epic painting again.

 

And every time its different in some way, like driving over the Golden Gate Bridge.

You never know what it’s going to look like or how it’s going to feel.

I relate to this, being a gemini and all . . .

If the fog is coming, or its overcast or raining, the wall takes on the same feeling.  It stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I saw it this way.  Details get dark, it becomes a little flat.  Cold like steele, mechanical, muddy… like the gears stopped turning.  It’s kind of frozen, a little sad.

When it’s sunny, you could get lost in the detail.  The multitude of blue grey tones become so saturated and disconnected, with layers you couldn’t see the cloudy day before.  So many layers with so many different hands applying, creating this movement. . . they knew what they were doing using this palette.

Making this machine start and stop with the city, and if you know SF you know what I mean.

When it’s windy you get caught in the sweeping strokes, the endless patterns you can’t see fade into wherever. . . vanishing and then reappearing again.

It’s very cellular to me.   Such a massive piece of art, but so many microscopic elements, biological forms just in your face.

 

What’s worth noting here, is the incredible amount of agreance, style adapting and overall communication and cooperation to get something like this to flow.

I mean, its hard enough to make up your mind and finish a project yourself.  So when there are 5 artists + an assistant involved . . .

I feel sure things could get a little, scattered or out of focus.  But from observing the masterpieces they create, they must always end up on the same page.

Also, there are no stencils or spray paint involved . . .

 

 

I asked my friend NoMe a few questions to get a perspective on collaborating . . .

{jess} :

 

I wonder, how does the idea or concept evolve as you work with 4/5 other people to create a congruent, cohesive piece of art?  Especially not really having stencils or spray paint, you know what I mean to have a consistency. You all just hand did this . . . did Mario have a sketch done and you looked at it, or did you all just start painting?  Was it just an idea someone started, and then you fell in line with each other?  Because even though you are all in the collective together,  and you have somewhat similar styles,  you’re still all very different.  Yourself included, you have these tangible surrealism, surrealist concepts going on . . . and not that they don’t but there’s juxtapositions of totally different styles and worlds going on to make a solid piece of artwork . . . and I’m just curious about the evolution of the process,

 

{NoMe} :

 

Okay for one . . . there’re no real concept.  I mean, for this mural in particularly we just decided on the palette; we’re gonna use the dark – well – I was saying black or some dark purple and then blue ending up being the thing so . . .  we started with that.  You know, when you have a wall so big and limited time, its easier for everyone just to not get into crazy color and stuff.  That wasn’t necessarily the idea behind just doing that color, but you know. . .   So, yeah there’s no real concept.  I mean we’ve all known each other for 10/15 years at least.  So, we all know each other’s style, working together so many times before.  Its like being in a band you know, like being in The Beatles or the Rolling Stones or you know . . . whoever.  You’ve played together for so many years that you basically know what’s going on before it even goes on.  

 

That being said, everyone’s got their own idea about what they want to do.  Some personalities are stronger than others, some people have some agenda and like myself, you know, I don’t give a fuck . . .   But yea, it just flows from the beginning.  Like with these abstract pieces like this, we just start making a mess.  We just start covering the wall.  

 

Some of its like dance, some of its just throwing paint around . . . some of its scrubbing paint around and then we all just kind of stand back and pick a place thats speaking to us and start working on it.  And then it just, evolves from there and you try to tie everything in.  I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me I just look at the piece as if its my piece and I’m trying to tie in . . you know like, all of the sudden some other part of me came last night and painted this part over here . . . and so now I have to figure out how to deal with that part and work it into . . .  its like 5 different parts of my personality or something working together . . .  and I have to like with my one concioucs part of myself . . .  like the other 4 are some dream characters and then this one part of me is the conscious one and I have to now come in and say. . . Well ok that’s there now, that’s going on there . . . what am I gonna do here to work with that, and not take away from that? . . . everyone’s got their different thing.  But I would say for me anyways, that’s pretty much it.

 

But yeah, its just like a Jazz band working together.  We all kinda have our sounds in our toolbox, and we pull them out and then hopefully, I mean for myself I like to experiment and try something different every time.  Some people like to fall back on similar things, but I like to try and push myself and do something new. 

 

{jess} :

 

What is the most rewarding part collaborating with other artist, what do you get out of it to work with other people?  Is it stressful at first? What all kinds of emotions do you go through while you’re trying to create with all these different ideas and hands to make something solid and make a statement and it make sense. { Which this totally does.}

 

{NoMe} :

 

And then secondly. . . what’s it like to work with a bunch of people, collaborating . . .as a benefit.  I mean on one hand its, uh again like a band, like being in a band or something.  In some way it’s like you’re a family, or you’re in this weird relationship.  And you know, we don’t see each other all the time; we’ve got our own lives, we’ve got our own art and stuff going on . . . so we come together every once in a while.  And it’s cool cause, a lot of times it’s like a reunion, you know.  We’re all friends and its fun to just talk and shoot the shit, philosophize, talk about different ideas and music and you know, each other’s lives.  So it’s really fun that way . . .  that’s one thing with music.  If you’re playing music, you can’t really talk but with painting, its cool cause you’re painting and you can talk and/or listen to music or whatever.  And I guess it’s beneficial because, no matter what any of us goes out into the world and does, eventually it ties into everyones stuff.  Because you know if someone sees my work, for instance, eventually their probably going to come across a picture of one of the collaborations and get introduced to one of the other artists.  Or vice versa.  Someone see’s so and so’s work work and then . . .

 

Yeah and this style in particular is definitely more of like a Mars, Damon, Oliver . . . [they] kinda work in that style on their own mostly . . and David too.  And I do every once in a while, but it’s more like when working with them.  I mean I love doing stuff like that and used to, I would do these crazy abstract paintings where I would just make a big mess and pull stuff out of it, and its basically the same thing. . . but I never really took that as my predominant style and went with it, which those guys kinda have. . . so I just hop in there and do whatever . . .

 

Again, there’s no real plan. We’re just . . . riffing of each other . . . 

 

It’s basically just visual Jazz.

You can see more of Further Collective's work on their site or instagram accounts.   Contributing artists to this mural are :
  • Mario Martinez / @mars_1_
  • Damon Soule / @damonsoule
  • Oliver Vernon / @oliver_vernon
  • David Choong Lee / @davidchoonglee
  • NoMe Edonna / @nomeedonna

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