fifty24sf gallery

Sam Flores Print Signing

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.

Take it Acid Is by Mark McCloud

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 . 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.

PEZ and Joshua Blank

FIFTY24SF Gallery present’s “You Can’t Win” by PEZ and Joshua Blank, featuring collaborative works and zines by both artists. The title of the show, “You Can’t Win,” has roots in the year 2001 when PEZ and Joshua lived in San Francisco and collaborated on a zine by the same name. Both owned very little more than their bicycles and cameras and would set off on adventures with marginal characters in hopes of making and finding the inspiration for art; and the zine itself became a part of this adventure. Documenting tragic, erotic and peculiar situations, this culminated in the “You Can’t Win” zine. In 2004, Joshua moved to New York City to pursue fashion photography, and the zine lost momentum. After individually refining their talents and pursuing photography zines on their own, PEZ and Joshua’s reconvened in San Francisco last year, and this show marks the revival. Although the work that PEZ and Joshua were accomplishing during 2001 went largely un-noticed, in retrospect the immediacy and relevancy of what they were doing is easily evident.  Their work, unbeknownst to them, played an integral part in the larger graffiti movement of the past 25 years and has been recognized by the bigger players in the movement for its honesty and innovativeness; Shepard Fairey has even remarked that “Pez, a bike messenger, has crushed every city he’s live in…” Rediscovering these pioneering artists and bringing them to the public’s attention through these new works is what makes You Can’t Win one of the more exciting exhibitions at FIFTY24SF Gallery this year. The show runs from August 6th – August 25th with an opening reception occurring on Friday, August 6th at 7:30PM/

“We were and are both very depressed individuals and do not really view ourselves as really fitting into any group, but as persons who kind of sit on the cusp of several.  More as loners than anything else.” -PEZ and Joshua Blank

Jason Jagel - (I'll Fly) Into Your Heart - Private Preview

JASON JAGEL “(I’LL FLY) INTO YOUR HEART” Jason gel has been featured in numerous solo and group shows for well over a decade, from Tokyo to Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions of Jason’s work have been featured at Galleri Christoffer Egelund in Copenhagen, Denmark, and AMT Gallery in Milan, Italy. His monograph, entitled, Seventy-Three Funshine (2008), was created with an accompanying ten-inch vinyl record with music by Madlib and published by Electric Works, San Francisco. He was recently featured in a 12-page interview in Juxtapoz Magazine. gel currently resides in San Francisco with his wife and two daughters.

Regarding the title Jägel says: “(I'll Fly) Into Your Heart reminds me of the style of certain ’60’s soul songs where the inserted parenthesis creates multiple, simultaneous titles from one. It also appears as a statement of first-person dialog, leading the questions: Who or what is flying? To whose heart? For good purposes or ill?” Evident in this statement and throughout Jason’s work is a preoccupation with slippery meanings and storytelling.

“(I’ll Fly) Into Your Heart”, features new works on display at FIFTY24SF Gallery April 1-May 26, 2010.




"Character Assassination" Sneak Peak

It’s our favorite time of month, install for our latest show, David Choe’s “Character Assassination” opening this Friday. The week before an opening reception is an interesting time, we all start to feel the pressure of the countdown, the artist gets final details harnessed, and we get an intimate look at how he/she functions in a studio environment. Late nights painting the gallery walls, hanging work, and shootin’ the shit, we are regaled with stories of travel and adventures and we learn more clearly why we love these guys. In a nut shell, it’s the time when we re-affirm our obsession with art. Choe is no exception.

Fifty24SF @ The 1:am Gallery

Last night the 1:am gallery hosted thier One Year Anniversity with a tribute to Dia de los Muertos. The walls of the gallery screamed out thier testimonals with elaborate paintings, shrines, and scupltures on display for the ones lost. There was outstanding amount of talent produced in the show, as you had artist from around the nation on exhibition. Fifty 24 SF was there to catch the action.
Be sure to check out the rest of the show @ the 1:am gallery. 1000 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

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" 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'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

Behind the Brush: Che Jen


 I recently had the pleasure of spending a week with Che Jen, one member of the art duo currently presenting "Reverberations” at FIFTY24SF. Che Jen is an admittedly an abstract painter. What is an "admittedly abstract painter"?  It means that Che Jen chases the abstract.  She is an enigma, an exception to the rule. Singled out as a child to be a painter, Che Jen's life not is typical, nor are her paintings. Che Jen is as slick as the graceful and piercing line-work she uses to cut through a sea of typical.

She told me once that her paintings had to move, describing the feeling as "similar to catching that perfect line when you surf." Jen paints as if she is carving through stagnant energy.  Though she does admit, “Sometimes you don’t get to ride the wave as fluidly as you want, you get many thrashings before you even ride one out – I would imagine that’s how it would feel. I don’t know I never surfed."

I asked her what she's thinking about while holding the brush, and she told me that she was just being.  She was being every moment, every thought and life she had ever lived and she simply let her brush translate the ephemeral, to the concrete.

 “Painting is a lot of breathing out my thoughts and working through my words.  Trying to recall an experience and working that out on the wall.”  She laughed a lot, and told stories about her life while she painted the gallery walls. Watching was comforting and hypnotizing; you got lost in how easy she made it look.

Che Jen's paintings, though not landscapes or portraits, tell stories,  they tell the story of a woman who grew up in the epicenter of the hip hop and graffiti revolution. They tell they story of what it's like to cut through the b.s with grace and force.  Avid collectors of her work know they are not simply collecting a piece of beautiful art but,  a piece of a beautiful life. 

I wondered if her father had singled her out because he saw her gift long before she would ever grasp it... I asked her if she looked back on her classical training and was now grateful for where it led her.  She said that it was at times a hard road to accept but it has brought her to a place in life that is as unique and complex as she is, and for that she is grateful.