Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram


Young & Free Opening Sat, 9/10 @941 Geary

Written by Georgia Frances King   
Friday, 09 September 2011 13:27
Young & Free is the biggest Aussie street art exhibition outside Australia, ever, and it is exactly as chaotic as you'd imagine it to be. It features new artwork by Anthony Lister, Kid Zoom, Dabs Myla, Dmote, New2, Ben Frost, Meggs, Ha-Ha, Reka, Rone, Sofles and Vexta.

Having thirteen of not only Australia but the world's best street artists compressed into one city space is the artistic equivalent of a paint-splattered war zone. Tiny multi-coloured flecks of stencil cut outs adorn the floor like creative confetti, half painted canvases are stacked up against walls, dozens and dozens of boxes of spray paint are pilled in corners and the sounds of circle saws and dubstep are floating into the alleys of downtown Tenderloin in San Francisco.

The show opens this Saturday at 941 Geary and will be accompanied by a series of local walls painted by the artists. In-progress shots below. - By Georgia Frances King

The warehouse space as it looks on Day 1.

Meggs adding his own throw-up to the ‘laneway' with the iconic San Franciscan buildings reflecting in the front window of Geary 941.

Around half of the aerosol ordered to paint over five walls in San Francisco.

Young & Free: Class of 2011.

Dabs Myla getting started on their mural.

Some The Shining-esque drip down effects by Vexta.

Some of Vexta's stencils. She uses these to make stunning images of flying people with wings for arms, all in neon colours bright enough to illuminate a football field.

Reka tagging the entrance hallway to the exhibition. All of the artists are collaborating to make a bombed out space that resembles the street art strewn laneways of Melbourne, where over half of the artists are from.

Walk-by Tenderloin junkies adding some local color to a Ha-Ha stencil.

Sketches of the planned collaborative wall, fitting all twelve artists' work on one urban landscape. There are many other walls that are also being divided up between the artists.

Ha-Ha, an Aussie stencil artist by way of New Zealand, getting his spray consistency just right.

Vexta cutting out stencils.

Reka spraying one of his iconic throwies in the entrance hall.

Ha-Ha starting his most famous stencils: Ned Kelly. Ned was Australia's most notorious and lauded bushranger, idolized for rebelling against convention. He has become somewhat of street-art icon.

New2, one of Australia's original graffiti writers, pondering his massive wooden installation that will sit in a corner of the space.

Rone, Melbourne's most prolific poster artist, mapping out his assigned space.

Dabs Myla deciding what to paint on their wall. They are creating an installation similar to that of their incredibly successful LA show last month.

A local stopping to watch Rone finish a wheat-paste wall.

Rone's posters.

Ha-Ha contemplating his massive mound of stencils.

Ha-Ha's stencils in the foreground as Meggs tags a wall in the background.

More in-progress shots of Rone's wall. He uses these posters as a base and then sprays silhouettes of women's faces over the top.

Sketches of their mural.

Meggs' final unfinished canvas that he is completing literally on the wall where it will hang in a few days' time.

Sofles and Lister illegally getting up on the wall of a church. Sacrilegious.

Young & Free: represent.

Dabs Myla’s nearly completed installation, complete with angry dresser drawers and mini hot-dog cans.

Ben Frost helping Vexta hang her work, the only solo female artist in the exhibition.

A selection of Ha-Ha stencils sticky-taped to the walls. As a truly DIY artist he refuses to use art pins to keep the feel of his works.

Lister finishing spraying the face of a giant box that he has painted to look like a man’s head. He has also made baby boxes and is hanging work like earrings and hair clips on the face.

Rone printing out more works at Kinkos. He has been getting up around town more than any other artist and had already run out of posters.

The outline of a piece that Sofles is doing as part of a collaborative wall in the Tenderloin. He is now considered Australia’s best new graffiti artist, and was painting alongside New2 and Dmote, Australia’s original graffiti guys of the 80s, and Reka, who is notorious for his graf characters.

The wall is on Frank Norris St., across from a school. We had teachers and students constantly watching and approving of the mural. Frank Norris St. has had a sketchy past, so the locals are hoping that a massive international mural will help clean the area up.

The rest of the artists working on their pieces. From left to right: New2, Reka, Dmote and Sofles.

Reka’s technicolor characters were definitely the children’s favorites with the kids trying to guess what they were of. Some thoughts included spaceships and businessmen holding bunches of grapes, but really they’re studies of New York caps.

Ha-Ha stenciling the outside of 941 Geary with his iconic Ned Kelly heads. He has also done a series of Maori heads to represent his native New Zealand origins, as well as American Indian figures to pay homage to the area in which the exhibition is taking place.

Reka’s Hawaiian styling while spraying on the Tenderloin.

A passerby stopping to have a chat to Sofles.

Lister took over the sidewall of a restaurant off Polk Street to paint one of his famous rainbow eyed figures.

Meggs finishing up a stencil that will serve as the top tier of a giant cross that he has painted on his feature wall. His work is heavily based in super-heroes and other worldly figures.

Detail of Sofles’ piece, complete with sewerage paint drips.

New2, one of Australia’s original train writers, zoning in on his wall.

Dabs Myla and Justin, White Walls’ owner, finish hanging a few small canvases (which have already nearly sold out) on their installation.

Eight hours later New2 is still adding filler and texture to his futuristic, 3D masterpiece.

Sofles freehand painting on canvases sitting in his exhibition space.

Lister finalizing a box as part of his installation at 2am in the morning.

Young & Free: Australian Contemporary Street Artists
Opening Reception – September 10, 2011, 6-9 pm
On View through October 22, 2011,
@941 Geary
941 Geary St, San Francisco, CA

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!!

Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.


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

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle

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.