Every Monday I attempt to get out of the office, meet up with an artist, ride bikes around and try and visit arty things in the city. Last week Jay Howell and I made our way around town, and this week Fecal Feller, Andreas Trolf and I made our way about town with little preparation except that we were to meet SF artist Kyle Ranson who was going to show us some of his recent work. Besides that we had fuck all idea where we were going. We did know it was retarded sunny and warm out and that it was a great day for a bike ride. Andreas fills you in with details below... if you have an idea of where and what we should check out, let us know. We wanna do some weirder shit next time. -Trippe
Yesterday was beautiful; the kind of day that announces the beginning of summer with trumpets and fanfare and bike rides and pointless exploration and a cold beer at the end of it all.
We met Kyle Ranson at Anthony Skirvin's printshop, Ape Do Good, where he was having some CD covers screened for when his band, Pale Hoarse, goes on tour in a few weeks. Then we rode over south of Market where Kyle lives so we could check out some of his newer paintings.
We gave Kyle one of our new tees. (get on HERE)
Ape Do Good has loads of great art on the walls. This was a Skirvin work that was at Fecal Face's BLK/MRKT show last October.
A Kyle Ranson on the ceiling
Damn, those Michael Leon boards were from a Fecal Face show like 4 years ago!!
While Kyle deals with his business I doodle.
Some art in the alley at Ape Do Good
Then on down to Kyle's apartment in SOMA.
I've seen some of Kyle's work before, most recently his show at Adobe, but hadn't seen too much, especially not any of his earlier stuff. I'd noticed an older piece of his hung at Ape Do Good and noticed a heavy Schiele influence that wasn't so obvious in newer work. Which is rad, because Egon Schiele was amazing and if you're going to emulate anyone's figure painting it might as well be him. Look at Ed Templeton's work, his older stuff is pure Schiele as well. My point, though, is just how much Kyle's painting has progressed in the past few years. He's found a style that's completely his, and to look at it you can't make easy comparisonswhich is a good sign.
Looking around Kyle's apt.
He showed us some of his recent work as well as his collection of other people's stuff. Art is everywhere in his apartment: on the walls, leaning up against furniture, stacked on the floor. Kyle's moving soon and his place looks as if there was some kind of explosion of art and food and weird, dusty knickknacks. His newer work is still figurative, but he foregoes the elongated ectomorphic characters in favor of rounder, more organic forms, which work really well because his characters are often built out of winding plant forms. I like it. It's rad.
After getting some lunch, John and I got back on our bikes with no set destination. Vagabonds, we are. After some hemming and hawing, we decided the best course of action was to take no action and just let the day take us where it would.
Until this orange fence was pushed out onto the sidewalk and into my handle bars... down I went.
So we rode down by the ballpark and then down 3rd into the Dog Patch, which is San Francisco's version of the Brooklyn waterfront. It's a decades-old and largely abandoned industrial area; a ghost town of shipping facilities that sit in rusted and crumbling disuse since Oakland took over as the Bay Area's shipping hub. And just like Brooklyn, in recent years SF's yuppie colonialism has started expanding, creeping out of the Mission and SOMA areas, and we were surprised to see million dollar live/work lofts sprouting out of the ground all around us. I'm sure in a few more years there'll be coffee shops and organic food markets on every corner and since the name Dog Patch doesn't sound too family friendly, that part of town will be renamed Puppy Meadows or something equally inoffensive.
We continued our ride down to the waterfront where we found some graffiti walls and also ran into our pals from Japan, Yohei, Pai, and Yuri. They told us about a dilapidated pier further down the road they'd just left, underneath of which people have been doing weird art installations. Yuri described it as a gallery, but when we got there I thought that maybe the word "gallery" was a bit generous. What we found was a crumbling pier, a snoozing hobo, and a hole in the concrete that we climbed into and found a dark, spider-infested cave. It was rad! People had evidently been arting there for a while, as almost every square inch of usable concrete was covered with stencils, wheatpastes, stickers, and etc. We found some hobo markings that labeled the spot as the former Southern Pacific Railroad depot, where all the itinerant travelers would arrive and make their pilgrimage downtown to SF's old skid row, 3rd and Howard. If you're unfamiliar with hobos, may I suggest John Hodgman's excellent tome, The Areas of My Expertise.
And then down to the "gallery" under the pier.
The gallery entrance.
The Bay lapped gently at the rocks and John wondered if we weren't overdue for an earthquake. I wondered how many dead bodies had been stashed down there. So we split and met Yohei, Pai, and Yuri for beers at Zeitgeist.
I got a sunburn. Also, if you ever go down 3rd past Islais Creek (old butchertown) there's this other weird industrial area made up of a gravel yard and a landfill. Just a word of warning: that block smells worse than anything else on Earth. Seriously.
later ran into the Shopkeeper who's got some rad ass old membership. If you've been skating for awhile, you know what these got you into.
Same facial expression there, Andrew.
Till next time... You work somewhere weird/ interesting that we could come and check out next Monday? Contact us and let us know!!
below are a few of Andreas's photos from the day.
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