Tag Archives: painting

Bode

So yesterday I mentioned the lovely mural that seemingly popped up overnight near Hollis & Peralta… The sign read “Peralta Mural project coming soon…”

This got me to thinking.
About how art can transform, not only the passerby’s immediate experience in the world, but on a larger level, the whole look & feel of a neighborhood.

A couple months ago I shot some images for an article in Oakland Magazine about a puzzlemaker whose workshop/home is located in the Jingletown district of Oakland. This area is known for its profusion of artists and art spaces, re-purposing many of the industrial buildings that are no longer used for manufacturing and heavy industry.

I got a little lost and found myself wandering around a neighborhood in which nearly every large building’s walls had been beautified by some incredible piece of mosaic art… large murals constructed of tiny bits of glass and ceramics, installed by artists and community members working through Oakland’s Institute of Mosaic Arts (IMA). I’ll focus on the Institute and many of the pieces it’s installed in future posts.

But there is no denying that these works of art transformed this neighborhood, from streets confined by monolithic blank walls that seem to make us feel small, to streets framed by large works of art filled with color and sparkle, that not only invite the viewer’s attention, but dazzle with their beautiful spectacle.

And in seeing the notice on Hollis Street about the coming mural project, it seemed at least one artist had a similar vision for one little corner of West Oakland.  That artist is Mark Bode.  He’s a tattoo artist, comic book artist, muralist, and more.  And the other day I caught him in the act, adding the next installment to the Peralta Street Mural project.

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Check back tomorrow to see the finished product!

Mural Project coming soon…

So this is where it all started…

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My Oaktown Art blog that is. It really began with this mural, and a small inscription that read “Peralta Street Mural Project coming soon… Please Respect.”

I had driven or biked past this stretch of Hollis Street hundreds, if not thousands, of times over the last decade or so… it’s on the way to Home Depot, the Post Office, my bank, my work, Trader Joes, and more. It’s practically a daily occurrence. And one day… a few weeks ago, this gorgeous girl caught my eye. She had materialized literally overnight.

Check back tomorrow when I’ll fill you in on more of the story, including my meeting with the artist…

Welcome to my first post… WOO HOO!

My goal is to highlight all of the amazing public art that exists in the incredible city of Oakland, California (aka ‘Oaktown’ – my hometown).  One piece of art per day.  Every day.  If possible.

Here’s my first… Suits & Soldiers

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oaktownart_20090901_dtlOk… so technically, this mural exists in Emeryville (corner of Adeline & San Pablo) which I’m sure seems a strange choice for my first post about Oakland art.  But I choose this piece as my starting point for three reasons:

  1. It is literally a stone’s throw from the Oakland border. Close enough in my book…
  2. It’s simply awesome.  I love it!  Reminiscent of the work of the unbelievably talented Bansky.
  3. You won’t be able to see it much longer.  The adjacent lot is currently under construction (note bulldozer) and will soon be filled by a new Lanesplitter’s Pizza, which I guess won’t be a horrible addition to the neighborhood, but I will miss this mural.  Go see it now while you have the chance!

The artist is Matt Reynoso… 1/2 of the talented artistic duo behind the Compound Studios & Gallery, a studio and gallery space for over 20 working artists in Oakland.  They’re doing neat stuff.  Check ’em out.

Oakland is COOL.