“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
HARUMPH! It’s been quite some time since I’ve painted anything other than logos or perfect lines of text. The Urban Camo Seed Bomb project demands a certain photo-realistic precision and that series has ruled my brain for longer than I care to remember. “Out, damn OCD; out I say!” should be my creative mantra – in both good ways and bad.
But obsessive, anal-retentive work is better suited for gloomy winter days indoors; spring calls for more spontaneous, lively, and organic art. So in honor of the season I’ve decided to add some more delicate and painterly pieces to my seed bomb repertoire. Consider this a change of pace and an aesthetic declaration of “Fuck off winter, it’s time for sunshine!” Let me present the first additions to the Faberge Egg Seed Bomb Series. Continue reading →
I love using maps to visualize data. It’s often the only method that allows me to see/think through my spatial blind spots. So of course I had to throw my Urban Camo Seed Bomb data into Google Maps to help gain perspective on future placement sites. Turns out that using Google Street View in my neighborhood is FASCINATING. I blame the rain, my various winter colds, and the resulting cabin fever for this newfound interest in digital urban explorations. Google Maps Hole!
So after thoroughly exploring the pixelated contours of this particular Map Hole I’ve found some special tidbits and interesting urban puzzles worthy of sharing. Consider this the best of the weird from Fruitvale and Google.
Both of these Urban Camo Seed Bombs disappeared within one week. The Pyramid Brewing cap is from the Bay Trail near the High Street Bridge. The Holiday Shiner cap is from the freeway onramp at 40th Avenue and 12th Street.
I really wonder where these go. Are my neighbors collecting them? Are magpies and crows scooping them up? Are dogs wolfing them down? I guess I’ll never know. But in the future I should probably aim for more covert seed bomb placement.
I love the Grand Lake Theater. Oakland has some beautiful buildings and some exquisite theaters but I only have eyes for the Grand Lake. It’s the sign that does it for me – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more spectacular sign in my life. Brimming with grandeur it speaks of a time when movies were Important and seeing them was Special. A time before the multiplex and artificially buttered popcorn and watching Netflix in your underwear. Classic, sophisticated, and BRIGHT it’s quite the piece of work.
The sign mounted on top of the Grand Lake Theater is the largest rotary contact sign west of the Mississippi River. It measures 52 feet (15.85m) high by 72 feet (21.95m) wide and consists of 2,800 colored bulbs and was designed by Theodore Wetteland. The firing sequence is controlled by a device much like a music box. The sign is typically lit Friday and Saturday, from dusk until the start of the last show of the night.
Obviously a sign of that scale will leave an impression on a neighborhood. So I walked around Lake Merritt and up the commercial corridors of Grand and Lakeshore to count the murals depicting the Grand Lake Theater. On my walk I found four.
The latest Urban Camo Seed Bomb. Well, actually this was the first one I painted – I just didn’t get around to documenting it until now. Now it lives on an onramp embankment in East Oakland. A sad little spot full of weeds and trash; it seemed fitting and perhaps a more fertile locale than a sidewalk tree well.