Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oakland Mural on Telegraph and 28th

My first mural, actually not my first mural but my first all aerosol and the first I've worked on in Oakland.

Here's the quick version of how I got hooked up with these guys. I got a speeding ticket on my birthday last year and an expired drivers license citation (bc I completely didnt think of the fact that the license expires on your birthday) so I had a date with the judge. He gave me the option of paying the exorbitant fine or opting for community service. I of course took the community service option, I thought of it as an opportunity to check out a part of Oakland I would never otherwise. They gave me a whole list of possibilities, I naturally chose MOCHA (which is a misnomer bc its actually an art center and not a museum) given that I liked art and working with kids. So while working on the project hanging some kids paintings on college ave I met this dude Sam, an intern at MOCHA, he was all late and tired, an iffy first impression. Anyhow over the course of my stint we got pretty cool and then one drunken night he put me in his crew (this apparently isn't the first time hes done this). And I later found out that he touted me as the secret weapon, I don't write, so he had to talk up my drawing ability. Anyhow we started having these crew meetings and other members were showing up initially but after a certain point I was the only one there besides Desi. Now Desi, the guy heading the meetings is also the founder of Community Rejuvenation Project, an non profit organization that works to beautify Oakland through murals (I mean that's what I think the is vision..I'm still not completely sure. I know it sounds good when he so passionately talks about it). So the CRP is one aspect of the then yet to open Oakland Green Youth Arts and Media Center, the building where we'd meet. At some point in the not so distant past the CRP team was tasked with doing the signage and painting the outside of the building in time for the grand opening. Since I was the only one showing up it was defaulted to the two of us to design and start the mural until the calvary would show.

Here are some in progress flicks:

Tase painting the signage:

This is one of the major portraits I did, the one on the left:

This is the other one:

I guess we worked on it for 8 days. I use spray all the time in my paintings but I've never really rendered a full character until this mural. I was literally learning the technique as I went, there's no better way to pick this stuff up.

Here's a time lapse flick put together by Abakus but the footage was all Deb:


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