On February 25, 2014, ArtPoint members and guests attended a panel discussion on street art and design, two mainstays of the Bay Area’s unique visual culture, at Ian Ross Gallery in San Francisco’s SOMA district, which graciously co-hosted both the discussion and a reception. Speakers included Ian Ross, a celebrated muralist who is making huge strides in the tech world; graffiti artist Eddie Colla, whose work is seen all over the streets of San Francisco and beyond; and ArtPoint’s own Jennifer Orne (today’s guest blogger), an interior designer who incorporates street art into her projects. The talk was expertly moderated by ArtPoint vice-chair Josh Reynolds.
Before opening his own beautiful gallery, Ross was the resident artist at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. His work has also been featured at numerous tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Oracle. On the evening of ArtPoint’s event, guests were fortunate to interact with his latest remarkable creation: the photobooth. Inside it, three walls of organic art envelop the viewer, who becomes the viewed, the main subject in a cleverly orchestrated manipulation.
After the talk, listeners came away with a better understanding of how influential the tech community has been on the fusion of street art and design. Sharing a similar philosophy, they speak to each other in the same digital and graphic languages. Tech industries run hackathons that are hyperfocused efforts to create and produce software within drastically strict deadlines. Similarly, a street artist has a limited amount of time to get his work done before he gets caught. This forced production under pressure leads to intensely creative works of art. Urgency creates immediate performance.
Many interior designers are incorporating the street-art look as well. A stunning example is Kelly Wearstler, who did the entire double-height foyer of her home in graffiti, a powerful and effective work that fills all four walls, capturing the viewer within the art in an otherworldly way.
Stay tuned for ArtPoint’s next street art-inspired program, coming this fall.