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Home BLOGS Guest Blog A Week with Jeff Soto - Day 4

A Week with Jeff Soto - Day 4

Written by Jeff Soto   
Thursday, 09 March 2006 11:52
"After a couple years Twin Palms was a destination to come and see graffiti. People came from all over, even some of the “too cool for school” L.A. artists came out."

Registered to vote this morning. If you haven’t or have moved recently: http://www.eac.gov/register_vote.asp?format=none Thinking about the upcoming election is making me sick to my stomach. They just said on CNN that the Democratic Nat. convention attracted a couple hundred protesters and the Republican Nat. convention will be attracting tens of thousands. Cool. Rock on New York! Give em’ hell!

My voter registration. Take that Bush!

Stayed up late working on a drawing for Philadelphia Magazine. Going to do a nicer cleaner final drawing tonight after I get approval.

Got a call from an ad agency up in the SF area. They’re interested in using my work for an ad campaign overseas. We talked about it a while. Sounds like a fun project, I need to get them quotes tomorrow. Advertising illustration is usually pretty chill but they need several detailed pieces in about a month. Sheesh.

My brother Corey and I went to the batting cages today. We usually go once or twice a week but haven’t been for a while. I never played baseball, in fact I never did any organized sports, but I think it’s fun to try to smack the hell out of those yellow balls. It’s a good stress reliever. I used to go in the softball cages, but now I don’t fuck around, I go straight to the 90mph cages. I’m not particularly good, I have terrible form and I miss the ball pretty often, but it’s a nice feeling when you do connect. It’s smooth man. I’m working on my Garret Anderson swing.

50¢ per session. We spent about 5 bucks. It was too hot today.
Notice the last picture. Check out where the ball is.

We drove by our old neighborhood because we were in the area. This is my parents’ first house they owned. They lost it when the economy was so bad in the early 90’s. Lots of memories here. That's the curb I learned to ollie. At one time it was spraypainted and waxed for grinds.

Down the street was this big vacant lot we used to paint graffiti in. It was called Twin Palms. There were these big abandoned cement tanks that we painted on. I practically lived out here during high school. About a year ago I was sad to see that the city had bulldozed the walls and left a pile of rubble. I was pretty bummed out when i saw it. I imagine it’s how people felt who had painted in the Venice graffiti pit and saw it get destroyed (and soon to be Belmont). Twin Palms was our refuge, we spent many long hours perfecting our skills and making art. This is where I did my first piece in 1989. I painted just an outline at night on virgin walls. Went to look at it the next day and there was new graffiti all over, including the words “wack” and “toy” around my piece. The culprit was a piecer from L.A. who wrote Solek. He was visiting his girlfriend and had spied graffiti out in the field, so he went to check it out and ended up doing one of the baddest ass things I had ever seen. It was the first time I had seen ‘real’ graffiti in person. To this day Solek is my hero. I didn’t care that he labeled my graf as wack. He was right! It was wack!

Twin Palms today (used to be two palms but one was chopped down by kids).
These new signs are posted all over the fences surrounding the place. What did I get into all those years?

After a couple years Twin Palms was a destination to come and see graffiti. People came from all over, even some of the “too cool for school” L.A. artists came out. This was in like 1991 when you could paint outside during the day and the cops would see you but they didn’t really care because it was an old abandoned structure in a vacant lot. I was always into the piecing more than the bombing. Call me oldschool but that’s what it was all about in the early 90’s. Hex, Slick, NASA crew, Coax, Toonz, Zodak, it was all about West coast style piecing with lots of characters and fruity backgrounds and the “mysterious blue light” that was always shining on the sides of characters. Very different from what is “cool” in graffiti today. Anyway, we had a little crew called CIA, this was before we knew anything about the O.G. New York CIA (Subway Art was not available from our bookstore until 92). It’s always been about me and my painting buddy Maxx. Trek and Sag byatch. I’m going to post some of our old graffiti. Someone emailed and asked about it anyways, so here goes.

First color piece- Sotofish 1990

As “Kilo”. Look how sexy I am. 1992.

Trek and Sag 1993.

My stash of cans. 1992.

An abandoned vehicle that we painted on. The cool thing was that I saw it later on the back of a tow truck going by our school with my name on it.

Painting in Twin Palms.
CIA piece. Damn we were dorky! I like how we always tried to have tough guy sayings next to the letters.

Twin Palms in 1993. Maxx taking a picture.

There was this crew called E.K. that we were supposed to battle around Thanksgiving 1992. They never showed up and but we rocked this big 14’ wall anyways.


We painted this to commemorate the end of Twin Palms. It was getting buffed weekly and we were getting older. Also someone cut down one of the palm trees. R.I.P. Twin Palms!

My last piece at Twin Palms. 1995??

Sotofish in a drainage ditch in 95’ with Sag.

By this time we were known as “Bashers Crew” and it was a loose group of pretty cool people- me, Maxx, Jipsie, Emuse, PR, this dude Ralphy, RG, Scar, Sae, and some others that I’m forgetting. We painted Long Beach alot. Me and Sag 1995.

Getting crazy with Emuse (aka Christopher Ruess) in Hollywood.

I tried my hand at 3D styles. Commerce yard L.A. ‘96 with Jipsie and Sag.

Venice beach graf pit, 1996.

In San Bernardino with Sag and RG.
Commerce Yard L.A. with Sag. 1996.
At Koo’s as Kilo 1997.
With Mint and Deph in San Bernardino 1998.

A character painted in the LBC.

San Bernardino 1999?

Soto yard in East L.A. with Deph, Bee and Maxx. 2000.


Some posters. never did too much wheat pasteing. Too messy and I'm too afraid of getting caught.

For the last 5 years graffiti has not held my attention like it used to. It was so fun and pure back in the day. I was never into tagging, I did it ocassionally but never got good feelings from it. I was more into the "art" of piecing. But even that started fading. The last piece I did was in Riverside, in 2000. Haven’t touched spraypaint since then, well, except for that one night in SF with Maxx and Freddi C. The paint fumes were giving me problems so I decided to quit. I might get back into it someday but the circumstances have to be right.

My last piece. Riverside, 2000. I think it's one of my best.

So tonight Jennifer and I were supposed to go see our friends Jon and Lani and hang out with them and their new baby. I had to cancel because I have to redraw the piece for Philadelphia Magazine, get a quote together and take care of a few more business things tonight. It’s too bad because it’s always fun hanging out with them. Jon’s an old homie from high school. One of the few I still know. We once made our own crop circles out in a field at night (I’ll see if I have a picture). And we used to drive his mom’s car all over the I.E. getting into trouble. I’ll see if I can get their photo in here.

Goddamn it, Oakland won tonight. I’m starting to think they’re unstoppable.

Before I forget there’s a nice art show opening tomorrow night here in the I.E. It’s called “Tall Stories” and is at Wignall Museum at Chaffey college. Lots of art, PJay Fidler, Alex Gross, the Claytons, Jason Holley, Julie Murphy, Martha Rich, Souther Salazar, Erik Sandberg and yours truly. Here’s a link with the info: http://www.chaffey.edu/wignallgallery/currentframe.html
I’ll have a full report tomorrow.


Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

Los Angeles based Alison Blickle who showed here in San Francisco at Eleanor Harwood last year (PHOTOS) recently showed new paintings in New York at Kravets Wehby Gallery. Lovely works.

Interview w/ Kevin Earl Taylor

We haven't been featuring many interviews as of late. Let's change that up as we check in with a few local San Francisco artists like Kevin Earl Taylor here whom we studio visited back in 2009 (PHOTOS & VIDEO). It's been awhile, Kevin...

Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.

Jay Bo at Hamburg's Circle Culture

Berlin based Jay Bo recently held a solo show at Hamburg's Circle Culture featuring some of his most recent paintings. We lvoe his work.


Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.

Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?

Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net

ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

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In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.

Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.

Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.

John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.

FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners

Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.

Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.

Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.

NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.

Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding

"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

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Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.

Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.

Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.

The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.

The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.