San Francisco in the Barbary Coast days of the 1850s was a crazy place. The once sleepy town's population exploded almost overnight as it was flooded with all kinds, here to make their fortunes in whatever way they could. Prospectors, prostitutes, sailors, businessmen, criminals, hatchet men, preachers, and entertainers all had their stories to tell and their reasons for being there.
In preparation for his upcoming show, "The Ghosts of the Barbary Coast" at Fifty24SF Gallery, Mr. Fish has done his homework. Basing his collection of work on true stories from San Francisco's history, he conjures up the spirits of the rowdy, ruthless, insane, and notorious characters that populated the City's seedy past and re-tells their fascinating and often shocking stories to a new audience. Fish also explores parallels between the Gold Rush of '49 with the modern booms and busts of marijuana farming in the 1970s and the dot coms of the 1990s. Highlights of this collection include a series of tightly-executed and well-researched paintings along with amazing three-dimensional wood pieces. Fish plans to bring some real Barbary Coast style to his opening reception with a Gold Rush-style saloon, complete with grizzly bear. What better way to pay tribute to the folks who paved the way and established San Francisco's independent and rebellious reputation?