el mac

New El Mac Mural in Mexico

mural mexico

Past exhibiting artist and our good friend Mac, just painted this mural in Campeche, Mexico for the Seres Queridos project. Mac painted Manuel Lee Chang, known locally as "el Chino"(despite the fact that he's of Korean descent) with his Guacamaya (Macaw).

As Mac wrote on his blog:

I thought this would be an interesting and important image to paint because it shows a blending of cultures. Anybody familiar with me or my work may have realized that this is an important theme for me. The Asian community in Mexico is not really that visible, and I thought it would be interesting to show Manuel with his Guacamaya, as these birds are very representative of that region. The photo at the end is from when Manuel, his bird, and his family came to see me goodbye at the airport, which I really appreciated.

Opening Night "Faces of Life" Recap -MAC

Wow, What a show! Thank you to everybody who came out to the show on Thursday . And a huge THANK YOU to Paperworks Laboratories for their absolutely stunning print "Song of Songs" For those of you that were not able to score a print  at the opening there are still a few available at Paperworkslab.com.

As for the opening Reception- the show of support was amazing. 7 o'clock rolled around and a crowd was already forming in front of the gallery doors. By 8 the place was packed to the brim! Fans flocked from far and wide to give props and take in the sights.  Friends flew in from Mac's hometown Phoenix, drove up from La, San Jose, Seattle, and every major graf artist in the city stopped by to say what's up to the man of the hour El Mac.

Visitors had to maneuver their way through the massive crowd swarming Mac to say 'hello' and have their advanced copies of Mac and Retna's new book "Alianza" signed. Mac patiently signed autographs for close to two hours straight. His patience and humility won the crowd over and everybody left more enamored than ever.


Shots from the madness for your enjoyment:


A very special thanks to Juxtapoz Magazine  for providing copies of the subscriber issue # 103 for fans

Upper Playground for releasing advanced copies of "Alianza" ( now available online at Upperplayground.com)

Thomas at Paperworks for his generosity

Alex at Montana Paints for hooking up the supplies

Dan at 1AM gallery for saving the day with the last two cans of black Montana in the entire city!

And everybody who came out to make the show a great success.

Check back for pics of Mac's new mural going up on the side of FIFTY24SF Gallery.

New Print by MAC Advance Release

Our good friends over at Paperworks Laboratory have generously sent us a few advanced copies of  Macs newest print "Songs of Songs" to be released at the Opening Reception...


A 7 color hand pulled serigraph edition of 50

Printed on black Stonehenge 310 gsm 100% cotton archival deckled edge paper

30"x40" inches.

Only five of these massive prints will be available at the opening reception  this Thursday August 6th, 2009.

DSC_0540 copy

Check out these progress shots...

DSC_0572 copy
DSC_0574 copy
DSC_0559 copy

See you at the show!!

Please contact Lynzy@upperplayground.com for more information regarding El Mac's "Faces of Life"

Working in the heat of the night...shots from Mac's studio

August 6th will be a momentous day for street art. Legendary, international badass EL MAC celebrates the opening of "Faces of Life". Working late into the night in still sweltering temperatures, El Mac puts the finishing touches on one of the pieces for his upcoming show and answers a few questions for the curious…

  • I know you're a busy man these days so I'll cut to the quick,  when did you first start painting?

I first remember drawing at about 3 or 4 I think... didn't start painting with spraypaint or acrylic until maybe around '94 or so...

  • what led you to explore the world of aerosol?

A combination of friends in grade school that were painting graffiti, seeing the book Subway Art, and my obsession with the movie The Warriors.

  • when you first started out were you aiming for photo realism or is it what came most naturally to you?

From pretty early on I kind of felt that the more realistic or representational the work was, the better, which I guess is kind of a simplistic, classical way of approaching art. I think photorealistic/representational art is especially hard to pull off well, so I'm sure I've liked the challenge of it. It's only been slowly over time that I've opened up to more abstract elements. I don't think this stuff was ever deliberately thought out though...if I liked it and it spoke to me then that was enough. You just kind of know when some art has that "extra something".

  • how do you feel after a painting/piece is finished? Do you hate to look at it or are you stoked that it turned out the way it did?

I'm usually pretty happy with it. Sometimes I won't like my stuff, and it's usually when I'm rushed, but for the most part I do my best to take time & make sure I'm happy with my art. Da Vinci said "Art is never finished, only abandoned"...so even if I do have to abandon my pieces I try to hang in there and spend quality time with them whenever possible.

  • What do you love about what you do?

I just really love to make art...to create...it's very satisfying. Pushing around colors to make images that communicate something to other people. It feels like I'm doing something important, like I'm fulfilling some kind of duty. I feel like making art is some way of rising above basic instincts towards survival and reproduction, and trying to connect with the spiritual. even if it's just a nice tag or a doodle of a hot chick or something. I think music, dance and literature, etc are the same way. It's about growth...trying to make life better & more enjoyable and meaningful, I guess? I'm still trying to figure this out...


Yielding a spray can as masterfully as an oil painter with his brush, El Mac kills it.

"Faces of Life" opens August 6th, 2009

Opening Reception- 7- 9:30pm

FIFTY24SF Gallery

248 Fillmore St. SF