Upper Playground, in association with FIFTY24SF, is pleased to announce a unique collaboration with SPARC - San Francisco's Premiere Cannabis Dispensary, and long-time UP artist Sam Flores. The collaboration consists of a limited edition run of Men's and Women's T-shirts and Sweatshirts, exclusively available through SPARC, as well as 2 new Sam Flores prints. The prints will be released this Friday 11/20, with an artist signing between 5:00pm-7:30pm at SPARC's 1256 Mission Street location in San Francisco. There will also be a new gallery installation of Sam's work on view and available for purchase in SPARC's Vapor Lounge.
About The Artists:
Benjamin Constantine: Benjamin is a predominantly self taught artist living and working in Brisbane, Australia. In his pieces, casts of anonymous characters interact, in states of anxiety or elation, elements within or around them often becoming involved and synonymous. Constantine's work has appeared in VICE comics, the Fantagraphics's publication 'Beasts!2' and in 'Secret Prison' amongst others.
Tina Lugo: Tina's work expresses a sexual and often tongue-in- cheek humor fueled by cartoons, animation and early 90’s television. The use of enamel and plexiglass in her work is to suggest that the smooth, hyper-gloss finishing of a world that allures us will always be beneath a transparent barrier we can touch but never enter-a replication of the voyeuristic qualities we all posses. Her style references and pays homage to her variety of modern influences which include: Takashi Murakami, Toshio Saeki, Hanna Barbera, Japanese animation, and Henry Darger. Tina Lugo was born and raised in the Bronx and recently moved to Portland. She studied at the School of Visual Arts.
Smithe: Born and raise in Mexico City, Smithe begain drawing around age 12. Influenced by the local graffiti artists in his neighborhood, Smithe would walk the city and look at the graffiti on the walls. He was intrigued by how quick you could get a message out. Smithe's art has opened many doors for him as he has traveled the world showing his work, with shows in England, Belgium and Germany.
Lauren YS: Lauren YS is a Bay Area based fine artist, illustrator and muralist. For "Devolution," Lauren has collected a host of her characters in states that play off her interpretation of the word: entanglement, malaise or playful struggle. YS graduated from Stanford in 2013 and showed her first artworks at FIFTY24SF. She has since completed a residency in Vienna at Rabbit Eye Movement and painted at several international mural festivals.
FIFTY24SF GALLERY in association with Upper Playground is proud to announce Mark Mc Cloud's "Take It Acid Is" exhibition featuring key examples of actual blotter paper from "The Institute of Illegal Images", the largest private collection of blotter art in the world and a selection of forensic photographic prints from BlotterBarn.com . Opening Friday June 26th at 7pm.
"They are a wonderful testament to the age of acid" -Terence McKenna
"This show focuses on the blotter art that I obtained or created through my 50 years of love for The Grateful Dead ." - Mark McCloud
Recognized worldwide as the preeminent collector of LSD art and holding a Masters of Fine Art from UC Davis and two-time National Endowment for the Arts recipient, Mc Cloud has been celebrated, vilified, indicted, acquitted and ultimately conscripted to the annals of psychedelic art history. Mark and his collection have been featured in Vice, National Geographic, Juxtapoz, Beautiful Decay, Cabinet, Salon, SF Weekly, SFAQ and The Bold Italic among others. He continues to acquire and preserve pristine examples of this, both global and Bay Area-centric cultural history to this day from his home in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. The Golden Road Gallery will also be on hand the night of the opening with an extensive collection of Vanity Blotter for collectors to purchase.
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.
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
218 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
For art inquires please contact: gallery@fifty24SF.com
This Saturday April 4th at 7pm, Fifty24SF Gallery in association with Upper Playground presents a print show by renowned artist Hajime Sorayama. The influential pin-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.
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.
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 gallery@fifty24SF.com.
Exhibition dates: April 4th – April 26th 2015 Opening: April 4th 7pm
Fifty24SF Gallery 218 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94117
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
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
We are pleased to announce our upcoming solo show 'Street Anatomy' featuring original artwork by renown Austrian street artist, NYCHOS. Recognized world wide for his unique style with distinct anatomical explosions as subject matter, Nychos brings his talent and vigor of the Rabbit Eye Movement to San Francisco. 'Street Anatomy' opens Friday, April 18th 7:00pm at FIFTY24SF Gallery located in Lower Haight, San Francisco.
Thanks to everyone who came out to support us for the opening of 'Artistically Transmitted Diseases'. Some photos from the special evening with Jane Choe and Christopher Fleming:
Fifty24SF Gallery is pleased to present a first solo show by Franky Aguilar titled 'CLICK HERE' "CLICK HERE" is a giant, robotic, slop-chopped'n screwed collection of digital artworks. This body of work examines the story of the data revolution, hardware, and it's subsequent connection to the internet. Eventually contemplating the obsession and addiction to being connected to the web. This is digital junk food for your eyes, CLICK HERE." -Franky Aguilar
Opening November 8th, 7pm.
Graffiti Artist, Illustrator, DVDASA host and entertainer, David Choe opens his first exhibition in four years at the Museo Universitario del Chopo today. His show, SNOWMAN MONKEY BBQ boasts an entirely new body of work that presents the continuation of Choe's signature "dirty style" through different mediums such as oil on canvas, watercolors, sculptures, found object installations, accompanied by a giant mural looming over the exhibition space.
SNOWMAN MONKEY BBQ by David Choe Opens August 17th, 2013 to Oct 27th, 2013
Museo Universitario del Chopo - Dr Enrique Gonzalez Mtz #10 Mexico City
For more information please visit: www.snowmanmonkeybbq.mx
Our Long time Upper Playground friend and Fifty24SF artist, David Choe is currently in Mexico City in preparation for his large scale exhibition, SNOWMAN MONKEY BBQ at the Museo Universitario del Chopo, opening this Saturday. Despite his busy schedule, Choe made his way to visit the Mexican Surrealist painter, Pedro Friedeberg at his studio to spend some time collecting ideas and collaborating in an exquisite corpse session.