Interview by Jy-Ah Min for Upper Playground

J: We are excited to present original works by BSF for the first time in the US. Tell us a bit about the origin of the name, Bicicleta Sem Freio which translates to “Bicycles Without Breaks”. When did the name emerge?

BSF: The name came about when we were in college, we went to a congress of students, we saw many lectures professionals and decided to come together and work. At first we wanted a very unpretentious and fun name. We had no idea what was going to happen after.

J: So Art, Design and Rock & Roll. How do you combine all these elements in your process?

BSF: We believe that there are no differences between these concepts. Music, art and design are for us completely mixed as they are all part of our day to day life. We have always been doing poster design first for our friends and we love this form of illustration.

J: We often view Art and Illustration as a very subjective and personal process for the artist. So it’s rare to see two individuals work so closely together under one banner. What is the work dynamic like for BSF?

BSF: In the beginning we were designing together, but over time each one developed more personal traits and style. But the process is always shared and jointly agreed. We consult each other a lot. We are our own critics.

J: The title of the show, “This Is Not A Poster” refers to new works that reflect on all the years you’ve spent illustrating posters for music bands and festivals. But these new works have no band and no music behind them right? Or do they?

BSF: People are used to look at posters with an information to read. One of our intention is to hold the viewer, making him look more purely on the visual and feel free to imagine and create his own interpretation of it.

J: It’s interesting to hear that your aim is to free the imaginations of the viewer instead of guiding them to a specific direction.  Could you tell us about how you determine what goes into each work? Is it an instinctive process or more layered and systematic in determining how the details come together?

BSF: Our work is pretty much instinctive and very experimental. We are always adding new elements and taking some off. We try new colors all the time, very weird sometimes and also new patterns too. We don’t have any idea of how it will end up and look like. We try to have fun during the process and to not repeat ourself. If not it will be like a formula and we will be quickly bored and probably our public too.

J: So your visual strategy to hold the viewer results in works that have a lot of random energy, movement and color with a lot of detail. When do you know when it’s done?

BSF: Well its never done to be honest, i could work on these pieces forever as we love details but at some point we need to give up and move mostly because of dead-line (lol) or space on the sheet or canvas!

J: If I am a fly on the wall in your studio, what would I hear?

BSF: We enjoy Hellbenders, its a band from our city.

This Is Not A Poster by Bicicleta Sem Freio at Fifty24SF Gallery, Opening May 1st 2015

Fifty24SF Gallery in association with Upper Playground and JUSTKIDS is proud to present “This Is Not A Poster” by Brazilian duo, Bicicleta Sem Freio, opening May 1st 2015.  The exhibition at Fifty24SF Gallery in San Francisco will be their first solo show in the United States.

Recognized worldwide for their expressive line work and warm, vibrant color schemes, the multi talented Brazilian illustrators and muralists, Douglas de Castro and Renato Perreira will showcase original work inspired by their love of Poster Art.

Over the past decade, Bicicleta Sem Freio has been pursued to realize posters for Vampire Weekend, Jurassic 5, Kings of Leon and Beck among many others, and have produced custom work for some of the best musical talents in the industry.  In continuation of their creative output inspired by music, the artists aim to playfully pay visual homage to the Art of music posters by presenting a body of work for fictitious bands and themes.

“The essential idea is that we love posters and we past almost 10 years doing it for local bands and festivals and we wanted to do a show with fake posters with no info, the letterings are only ornamental and don’t mean anything” -BSF

Bicicleta Sem Freio’s signature style, which draws references from their roots in music, Brazilian culture, their love for 80s and pop culture iconography, have been emerging on large-scale public installations all over the world, including one of the largest artist mural in Downtown, Los Angeles just painted last year.

In conjunction to their first ever show in the United States, a second mural is planned for Bicicleta Sem Freio in San Francisco, with more information to be announced soon via Upper Playground.

Exhibition: May 1st – June 15th, 2015

Opening: May 1st, 2015 – 7pm, Artists in Attendance

Fifty24SF Gallery 218 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94117

For art inquires please contact:

For upcoming details about the show please follow: @fifty24SFgallery, @justkidsofficial, @upperplayground, @bicicletasemfreio

Coming Soon to San Francisco: Hajime Sorayama Print Show - April 4th 2015


This Saturday April 4th at 7pm, Fifty24SF Gallery in association with Upper Playground presents a print show by renowned artist Hajime Sorayama. The influential pip-up artist, recognized for his "sexy robot" paintings, gives fans and collectors a rare opportunity to see his art in person, as this is the Vargas Award winner's first time showing his work in San Francisco.  A selected collection of new and old prints will be available for purchase at Fifty24SF in Lower Haight, San Francisco. Below is a preview of some of the selected prints by Sorayama.


Prints will be available online starting 7PM PST at or contact the gallery directly at

Exhibition dates: April 4th – April 26th 2015 Opening: April 4th 7pm

Fifty24SF Gallery 218 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94117

Print Show by Hajime Sorayama Opens April 4th 2015 at Fifty24SF Gallery - San Francisco


Fifty24SF Gallery in association with Upper Playground is pleased to present a special print show by renowned Japanese artist, Hajime Sorayama, opening April 4th, 2015. Sorayama is recognized world-wide for his uniquely imaginative, erotic style of paintings. The sleek chrome aesthetic of robotics in a hyper-sexualized feminine form has been a signature style for Sorayama that has spanned over 4 decades. Sorayama is a Vargas Award winner, the highest achievement in air-brush artistry. His art displayed in permanent collections at the MOMA, Smithsonian Institute and the US Library of Congress.

Considered as one of the most influential pin-up artists of our time, Sorayama will be making available for the time in San Francisco, a selected collection of his new and old prints. This will be a rare chance for his fans and collectors to see Sorayama’s work in person.

For more information about the artist and available prints please contact

hajime-sorayama-print-show-fifty24sf 002
hajime-sorayama-print-show-fifty24sf 002

Exhibition dates: April 4th – April 26th 2015 Opening: April 4th 7pm

Fifty24SF Gallery 218 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94117

Usugrow completes new mural in Marrakech, Morocco

With support from Valeie Liais du Rocher of Studio IWA and Upper Playground, Usugrow made his mark on Morocco with a mural in Marrakech's historical spice square, Rahba Kedima. The painting features his signature hand style stretched across the facade of the renown Cafe Des Epices, evoking influences from Kanji (Japanese), Arabic and English calligraphy.

Photos by Ralph Liais for Upper Playground

"A light in the Darkness" by Sam Flores

We're pleased to announce Sam Flores' upcoming solo-exhibition at FIFTY24SF Gallery entitled "A light in the Darkness", opening Saturday December 6th at 6pm, during the Lower Haight Art Walk.

Artist Statement:

The continuous theme in my work is "balance". The balance of good vs. evil, light and dark.

Throughout this new body of work, I'm focusing on light that comes from a dark place. People at one time or another experience negative moments in their lives, situations they feel that they can't outrun, like they are stuck in a shadow. No matter how dark things get, the most important thing, is to be able to hold on to the vision of that light, in order to keep hope and faith alive.

Without darkness you would never be able to notice how bright something can shine. I want to illuminate the human spirit and inspire people to hang on, strive for something better, keep their dreams, passions and love alive by holding onto the light, no matter how dark things seem around them. I have been fortunate enough in my life to have people shine a light on me, help keep me on my path and keep me from getting lost. Having someone there to help us navigate our own darkness, whether it's our subconscious, a thought, idea or even a creature, we all need to have "A Light in the Darkness."


Join us for an in store book signing and limited edition print release with Usugrow at the Upper Playground store in Lower Haight, San Francisco this Sunday, September 28th from 3-6pm. Pick up a copy of the book and print and have them signed by the artist himself.

INKFLOW, a solo-exhibition by Usugrow

FIFTY24SF is pleased to announce INKFLOW, a solo-exhibition by Usugrow, Opening Saturday, October 4th at 7:00pm. Book singing for his highly anticipated book "Works 2007-2013" and limited edition print release will be held Sunday, September 28th at 3:00pm at Upper Playground 220 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94117.

Usugrow began his own artistic activity by creating flyers in underground punk and hard core music scene in early 90's. Since then, he has been involved in various album cover designs for bands and musicians regardless of genre, art directions and merchandises, and also collaborating with lots of skateboarding brands and fashion brands.

Usugrow expanded the range of his activity and done several solo exhibition at art galleries in Japan and overseas since 2005, and published his first monograph. In addition to his solo exhibition, he has been curating the group exhibition and book projects with Japanese artists since 2009.

He currently works on mainly illustration, painting and calligraphy as well as live painting, collaboration project with other artists and three-dimensional artwork.


Dennis Mcnett's Mask and Sculpture Installation

Dennis Mcnett has been carving surly block prints for over 18 years. His encouragement as a kid came from his blind grandfather, who told him over and over again that his drawings were good. Later influences came from the raw high-energy imagery pouring out of the early 80's skateboard & punk rock scene and Norse mythology, particularly the nordic half-god half-wolf Fenris. Mcnett's work ranges from masks, installations and sculptures to unique hand-carved wood cut pieces, traditional relief prints, and graphics. Participating in both the fine art and design worlds, Dennis has created series’ for Anti-Hero skateboards, designed shoes for Vans, filled the windows of Barneys, NY, and participated in the Deitch Artparade. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Juxtapoz magazine, Thrasher and Complex Magazine. He wants to live until he dies. Breathing is good.

Wolfbat Leopard Snake
Wolfbat Leopard Snake
Wave Meditation
Wave Meditation

'THÉSIS' by renowned Mexican street artist Jesús Benítez

We are pleased to announce our upcoming solo-show entitled ‘Thésis’ featuring original artwork by renowned Mexican street artist, muralist and fine artist Jesús Benítez, formerly known by the moniker, Dhear. Having completed one of his most challenging tasks to date, a large mural for the Hospital Homeopático in Mexico City D.F. Benítez now looks ahead to his upcoming solo-show at FIFTY24 SF Gallery in early July. ‘Thésis’ opens Friday, July 11th  7:00pm at FIFTY24SF Gallery located in Lower Haight, San Francisco