Category Archives: Urban Tattoo

Few & Far Mural ~ 24th & S Alley

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A long stretch of blank wall on the CED building in the alley at Round Corners (near 24th & S) was brought to life last September by an all-women crew of street artists called, Few & Far (1). The crew, who flew in from numerous cities across the country to gather and paint together in Sacramento, created this amazing piece of work in one weekend.

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The Art:

Few & Far created this mural with an animal rights theme, and in this video called, It’s a jungle errr day, you can see the mural emerging under the artists’ hands. Scroll down to the bottom of this post, where you can see photos of the artists at work.

The mural includes a shout-out to Ironla, the sponsors of the mural (near the monkey), and, looking carefully, you can find many other notes tucked between the images including a poignant, “Rip Gavin”. Check out the Few & Far site which has a wonderful panorama photo of the mural.

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The Artists:

Few & Far is a a crew of women from around the world who skateboard and create graffiti/street art to beautify the cities and ghettos. They seek to build community through sharing art and friendships.

F&F connects women by creating social and artistic exchange, by showcasing art on the streets, on walls and in other high profile venues. Few and Far fosters and celebrates the power and expression of female graffiti and street artists. Importantly, Few and Far consists of a team of open minded, highly creative, cutting edge, dedicated women. (2)

Artists who painted this mural: Erin yoshi, Ursula Young, Jenn Ponci, Meme, Ksra, Hops, Reds, Agana, Dime, Merlot, R-Peezy, Megen Devine and Baybay-FNF Khonda TMD (#).

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Big thanks to Kenny Nonymous for the shots below! He met up with Few & Far over the weekend the crew was painting and snapped some action photos.

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Title: Few & Far Animal Rights mural
Artist: Few & Far (http://fewandfarwomen.com) including Erin yoshi, Ursula Young, Jenn Ponci, Meme, Ksra, Hops, Reds, Agana, Dime, Merlot, R-Peezy, Megen Devine and Baybay-FNF Khonda TMD
Date: 2012
Media: Paint
Location: Alley on 24th between R & S


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1) http://ransackedmedia.com/2012/10/01/downtown-eyesore-transformed-into-beautiful-street-art
(2) https://www.facebook.com/FewandFargirls/info
(3) http://fewandfarwomen.com/portfolio/fnf-sacramento/

Spanish Fly Mural ~ 1723 J

Joplin, Hendrix, and Dylan. A simple and compelling mural by local artist, Pete Bettencourt, on the Spanish Fly Hair Garage Salon parking lot wall.

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The Art:

Bettencourt’s imagery brings alive the expressive soul of these iconic musicians. The mural looks almost unfinished, and maybe more was planned, regardless, the open form with the use of few strong borders or edges draws me into the piece with curiosity in a different way than if it had a more finished look. We can see the early progress of the mural in this photo by Russ Andris.

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The Artist:

Bettencourt is a local artist who has shown in various galleries, created numerous murals, and collaborated with other artists such as 2hERMANO, Skinner, and John Stuart Berger. 2hERMANO posted a video of a freestyle collaboration mural he painted with Bettencourt. One of the local murals by Bettencourt was inside the former Nine16 Skate Shop (now out of business) and I’m sure the mural has been painted over. Fortunately, Russ Andris captured a photo of the mural featuring Bob Marley and other musicians while Nine16 was still open. Here’s a video interview with Bettencourt from his March 2011 show in LA titled “The Political Paintings of Pete Bettencourt.”

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Title: <unknonwn>
Artist: Pete Bettencourt
Date: 2008
Media: paint
Location: 1723 J


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Time To Wake Up ~ 17th & T

Letting go. Holding on. Waking up. Local artist, Shaun Burner, recently created this mural of metaphysical themes on the side of the Royal Market at 17th & T (1). Burner told Submerge that the open hand symbolizes letting go and the clutching fist with the oozing substance symbolizes holding on (2).

The Artist:
Burner’s work can be found numerous places around town including: Ancient Futurism mural, American Market mural, and Dimple Records mural.

He is involved in the artist’s collective, Trust Your Struggle (TYS), which is “dedicated to social justice and community activism through the medium of art” (3). Burner created an awesome mural in Guadalajara with TYS that incorporates the architecture of the building, including the window spaces.

Time To Wake Up seems like another part of Burner’s invitation to all of us for living life in creative flow:

Do the best you can with whatever you do. Don’t reflect on the past too much or worry about the future, but be present in this moment that is continually happening, and own that shit (4).

And PS…. with this mini-mural of Pat Morita around the corner (also possibly by Burner, 5), does anyone else see the resemblance to the Karate Kid in the main mural?

Title: Time To Wake Up
Artist: Shaun Burner
Date: 2012
Media: paint
Location: 17th & T


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(1) http://submergemag.com/featured/bicycle-mural-tour-2012/6135/
(2) http://submergemag.com/featured/bicycle-mural-tour-2012/6135/
(3) http://trustyourstrugglecollective.tumblr.com/
(4) http://submergemag.com/featured/bicycle-mural-tour-2012/6135/
(5) http://www.pbase.com/southyuba/image/144740963

Furlow Furrows Mural ~ 1716 L

“Things that crawl, bite, squirm, slither and cause serious harm; those are the things I dream about. Snakes, lizards, carnivorous mammals, birds, and insects with large mandibles are the most amazing organisms in my surreal world.” (Artist’s statement: The origin of my pathology)

And so we enter the surreal world of artist John Stuart Berger, local artist who “renders mutated organisms for your enjoyment!” Berger worked collaboratively with Dolan Forcier to create this expanse of mural spans a 200′ wall of the building that houses Old Soul coffee house and the Midtown Business Association.

The Art:

The sun is my favorite image in the mural. The quails emitting bright energy bubbles are kind of fun too. Russ Andris has a nice panoramic of the mural as well as some in progress images during the 10 days the mural was being painted. In this video interview, Berger talks some about the process and his meanings of the mural. He says; “I think we are kind of taking one of those bucolic nature scenes and turning it on itself.”

The Artist:

Berger’s day job is at the Short Center North where he facilitates art activities for people with disabilities (1). He has been drawing since he was a child when he began learning how to draw from field guides. Out of this and his zoology/science background emerged his style of crazy, rabid animals (2).

Operation Groucho:

Art can be fun and irreverent, like this mural and like Operation Groucho, which Berger was also a part of with the Badmouth crew here in Sacramento in 2006. Large Groucho glasses were custom-made to fit the disembodied head sculpture at 65th & Folsom.

This video shows the entire operation with glasses finally resting on the sculpture called “Matter Contemplating Spirit” by Stephen Kaltenbach. A News & Review article quotes Kaltenbach’s approval for Operation Groucho: “I’m sorry I missed it…. I thought it showed quite a bit of respect to the piece. Art is supposed to interact with people in different ways. Groucho is one of my favorites, too.”

Title: Furlow Furrows
Artist: John Stuart Berger with Dolan Forcier
Date: 2009
Media: Paint
Location: Parking Lot @ 1716 L St


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(1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBGvnOr4fOI
(2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBGvnOr4fOI

Nine16 Mural ~ 32nd & Folsom

Update 7/2012: Sadly, Nine16 closed up shop and the mural has been painted over.

Stephen “Vaquero” Williams created this mural for Nine16 Skate at 32nd & Folsom (http://nine16skateshop.com/ or http://www.nine16.net/). Nine16 is an independent skate/barbershop owned by local skaters, Bobby Ingle and Todd the Barber (1). Tom Sorci was also an original cowner but was tragically killed by a hit and run driver while riding his bike in Sept 2009 (2). Bobby and Tom were 14 when they started a 6 year campaign to launch a skate park in Rocklin, where a memorial bench and plaque for Tom were installed last summer (3).

This News & Review interview , given in May 2009 before Tom was killed, is a great read about all three owners and their dedication to skating and the community. Here are a few quotes:

Ingle: Our stuff is affordable, shitty economy or not. We’re not trying to get rich off nothing; we’re just in it for the love. Especially more than anything, it’s about camaraderie. The longest relationships I’ve had are the people I skated with. You meet up with people you haven’t seen in years, you go skating again, it brings you right back. Skating keeps you young, whether you’re 14 or 40. You can’t replace that with anything. That’s why we started this. I come to work and spend the day with my two best friends in the world doing what we love to do. That’s why the shop’s called Nine16, we want to represent everything Sac and the people here.

Sorci: We don’t only own the shop, but we’re out there with these kids all the time. We don’t hide at home; we skate every day with them and we want to give these kids a home and provide a positive atmosphere.

Ingle: Skateboarding is just an outlet. You put your energy into it, and you get something positive out of it, and that’s the image I want skateboarding to portray everywhere it goes.

So when did you guys decide to open a skate shop?

Ingle: I’ve been skating with Tom for going on 20 years, and we’ve been talking about doing this since we were 12 or 13. It’s always been a dream of ours.

The first reference I found to the artist, Steve Williams, was on Russ Andris’ post of the same mural. Andris also has a post on the mural by Williams that is inside the shop. The bottom right of the mural is a website address, theartofvaquero.com, but the page has yet to load. Googling, I finally found this Speak & Bheard blog post with a bio of Stephen “Vaquero” Williams. Williams was born in Sacramento and now lives in Portland. His website http://stephenvwilliams.com/ also has yet to load.

Nine16 has a skate team that competes and a youtube channel with a few skate videos posted. The channel has a tagged favorite video of a young pregnant woman singing Michael Jackson and dancing in her kitchen. It’s a crack-up!

One of their pro-skaters is featured in this fabulous photo ad for Nine16.

For some generally excellent skating photos (some associated with Nine16, some not), check out The World’s Best Photos of oliie and rail.


Title: (unknown)
Artist: Stephen “Vaquero” Williams
Date: 2009
Media: Spray Paint
Location: West wall of Nine16 Skate shop at 32nd & Folsom http://nine16skateshop.com/ or http://www.nine16.net/


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(1) http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=997239
(2) http://www.flickr.com/photos/casch/3903944344
(3) http://placerherald.com/detail/156243.html

American Market Mural ~ 24th & N St

Another corner market sporting an urban tattoo to liven the street. This mural is on the east wall of American Market & Deli and is attributed as a collective work by Shaun Turner, Daniel Osterhoff, and Miguel Bounce Perez (1).

Barbara Steinberg credits Bonnie Shafsky, a local landscape designer, with the term “urban tattoo” which refers to 21st-century murals (2). Steinberg describes her appreciation for urban tattoos:

One has to love this innovative wall art. Its edgy and funky appeal makes less attractive buildings seem born again. And our wonderful city streetscape is taking on a far-out chic appearance that is strangely reminiscent of the ‘70s psychedelic (3)

Earlier this month, I posted on another urban tattoo, Dimple Records Mural, which was created by Turner and Osterhoff in 2008.

Osterhoff is a mural artist and DJ. He is described as a “designer, artist, musician, all-around Midtown neo-Renaissance party man… surprisingly focused, even serious, for a guy who joneses to dance and deejays under the alias “DJ Whores.” (4). His website is http://www.myspace.com/djwhores916

Bounce and Turner are part of a group called, Trust Your Struggle, which “is a collective of visual artists, educators, and cultural workers dedicated to social justice and community activism through the medium of art.” (5).

Our collective strives through art and visual mediums to back and support anyone who is pushing to make the changes we all are looking to see in the world.We want you to believe that whatever you are going threw in the name of your peoples is valid and worth having faith in so we bring it to the frontline to remind folks that when it comes to the people’s struggle, well in the words of T La Rock “it’s yours!!” so trust it, believe in it, love it, give it your all, but don’t ever let nobody take it from you (6).

You can read more about the group at these sites: http://tys.mvmt.com/, http://www.erinyoshi.com/, http://trustyourhustle.blogspot.com/.

Many of the images under the ‘Paint’ section of Bounce’s website are hauntingly beautiful. I particularly love “NO MAMES GUEY”.

Russ Andres has nice shot of the entire mural that he took when the paint was still fresh and the trees had lost their leaves, making the mural more visible.

Title: (unknown)
Artist: Shaun Turner, Daniel Osterhoff, and Miguel Bounce Perez
Date: 2007 (not confirmed)
Media: Spray Paint
Location: American Market & Deli, 24th & N


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(1) http://www.beachcalifornia.com/california/urban-tattoos.html
(2) http://www.beachcalifornia.com/california/urban-tattoos.html
(3) http://www.beachcalifornia.com/california/urban-tattoos.html
(4) http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=1352985
(5) http://tys.mvmt.com/about/
(6) http://www.myspace.com/trustyourstruggle#ixzz0yfs7EgHe

Dimple Records Mural ~ 16th & Broadway

The Dimple Records building at 16th & Broadway was one of the original locations for Tower Records. Tower opened there in the mid-1960’s and stayed open for nearly 40 years (1). After Tower folded in 2006, Russ Solomon (the original founder of Tower) opened R5, an independent record store, and moved into the site.

In 2008, this mural of 13 iconic musicians was created for the R5 store by Shaun Turner, and Daniel Osterhoff painted the mural on the other side of the building (photos below) (2). Recently, Solomon retired, R5 closed, and Dimple moved in (3). Dimple re-painted the outside of the building but kept the murals mostly intact (4).

Iggy Pop •• J Dilla •• Lauryn Hill •• Stevie Wonder

Tower is so much a part of Sacramento history that it is fitting to include some of that story here:

Tower was founded in 1960 by Russ Solomon in Sacramento, California. The store was named after his father’s drugstore, which shared a building and name with the Tower Theater, where Solomon first started selling records. The first Tower Records store was opened in 1960 on Watt Avenue in Sacramento. By 1976, Solomon had opened Tower Books, Posters, and Plants at 1600 Broadway, next door to Tower Records (5).

… the chain spread to San Francisco and Los Angeles before expanding across the US and internationally. It opened its first store in the UK in the early 1990s, and closed its last shop there a decade later. By the mid-1990s there were more than 200 Tower stores around the world generating $1bn a year in sales. Its megastores boasted well-informed staff, extensive stock and long hours (6).

In 2004, when the group first filed for bankruptcy, the Solomon family gave up 85% of its holding. In the last fiscal year, sales dropped 10% to $430m, although only 13 of Tower’s 89 American stores were thought to be losing money. Retail music sales as a whole fell 17% in the US from 2000-2005 (7).

Debbie Harry (Blondie) •• Bootsy Collins (Parliament) •• John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)

I found another Turner and Osterhoff mural; created for Osterhoff’s father’s sandwich shop (called Dad’s Sandwich Shop) and you can see a photo of the artists with the unfinished mural on Russ Andris’ amazing gallery of public Sacramento murals.

James Brown •• Eric Dolphy

Turner is part of a group called, Trust Your Struggle, which “is a collective of visual artists, educators, and cultural workers dedicated to social justice and community activism through the medium of art.” (8). You can read more about them at these sites: http://tys.mvmt.com/, http://www.erinyoshi.com/, http://trustyourhustle.blogspot.com/.

Our collective strives through art and visual mediums to back and support anyone who is pushing to make the changes we all are looking to see in the world.We want you to believe that whatever you are going threw in the name of your peoples is valid and worth having faith in so we bring it to the frontline to remind folks that when it comes to the people’s struggle, well in the words of T La Rock “it’s yours!!” so trust it, believe in it, love it, give it your all, but don’t ever let nobody take it from you (9).

Here is a video of Turner painting the outside wall of Sol Collective, a community based arts education center in Sacramento. Amazing to see how quickly and skillfully he works (although I was bummed the Frida image was covered).

Miles Davis

You can see Turner’s entire mural in one photomerged image by Russ Andris.

A mural by Osterhoff covers the west side of the building. It is made up of mostly words for different musical styles (Rock n’ Roll, Reggae, Country, Metal, etc) in vibrant, expressive fonts. On the far end is a fabulous image of Billie Holiday.

Osterhoff is also a DJ. He is described as a “designer, artist, musician, all-around Midtown neo-Renaissance party man… surprisingly focused, even serious, for a guy who joneses to dance and deejays under the alias “DJ Whores.” (10). His website is http://www.myspace.com/djwhores916

Billie Holiday

You can see Osterhoff’s entire west-side mural in this photo by Russ Andris.

(Thanks to Joe H. and Daniel Osterhoff for helping me identify all of the musicians)

Title: (unknown)
Artist: Shaun Turner and Daniel Osterhoff
Date: 2008
Media: Spray Paint
Location: Dimple Records, 16th & Broadway


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(1) http://www.valcomnews.com/?p=199
(2) http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=644130
(3) http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=1458378
(4) http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=1458378
(5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_Records
(6) http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2006/oct/09/retail.usnews
(7) http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2006/oct/09/retail.usnews
(8) http://tys.mvmt.com/about/
(9) http://www.myspace.com/trustyourstruggle#ixzz0yfs7EgHe
(10) http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=1352985

Tree City Mural ~ 2524 J St

The images will speak for themselves here because not much information surfaced in my research on this mural. I like the flow of images following the mural up and around the side of the building. The way the birds fly across the space brings the window into the art as well.

Moving up the side…

And around the corner…

The mural is on the side wall of the Upper Playground store — the ultimate urban store and they also display a lot of local (I assume it is local anyway) art. When Joe and I went by to take photographs of the mural, the store was closed but we could check out the amazing wire sculptures displayed in their front room.

Sam Flores created this mural (one of his many) and he has a blog here, samflores-12grain.blogspot.com

Title: Tree City
Artist: Sam Flores
Date: 2008
Media: Spray paint
Location:Upper Playground, 2524 J Street


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Bon Air Mural ~ 2531 J St

10/18/11 Update: The Bon Air mural was removed earlier this month due to dry rot in the siding. Russ Andris reports that the owner plans to have a new mural take its place, hopefully by the same artist who created this original mural.

This spray paint mural was created by Joshua Silveira and Gabriel Romo for Bon Air Sandwiches in March 2007 (1). I found the term ‘urban tattoo’ from a blog article on local murals which says that innovative, funky, and edgy “21st-century murals [have been] cleverly and appropriately dubbed ‘urban tattoos’, by Bonnie Shafsky a local landscape designer.” (2)

Previously, the wall of the market was graffitied, and artists Silveira and Romo approached the owners of Bon Air about creating a mural (3). Since the mural, the wall has not been graffitied again. An article in Urbanites quotes Ham Nagin, co-owner of Bon Air, telling the story how the mural came about:

[The artists] approached us about painting the mural… Before, [the wall] had graffiti, so we sat down together and decided what to do. Now, the mural shows one person eating a sandwich, and they came up with [the idea] of another person having a drink, and they used my son as a model for that. Nagin says he’s gotten a lot of positive comments about the piece; a win-win-win for the artists, Bon Air and art lovers of all stripes (4).

As I was photographing the mural,the background image came into focus, and suddenly the Tower Bridge emerged behind the sandwich eater. Before that moment, my eyes hadn’t seen those shapes as anything but abstract elements of the mural. Viola! There was the Sacramento skyline.

The wooden birds are mounted using spacers to they come out of the wall at various depths, and a few birds are painted directly on the wall. Note the bird poop on the bird below. Graffiti artists may have respect for each other’s works but birds will crap anywhere.

You can learn more about the artists on their websites, joshuasilveira.com and www.myspace.com/2hermano

Title: Bon Air Mural
Artist:
Joshua Silveira and Gabriel Romo
Date: 2007
Media:
Montana Gold spray paint. Birds in wood. (5)
Location: East facade of Bon Air Market, 2531 J Street


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(1) http://www.pbase.com/southyuba/image/88779622
(2) http://www.beachcalifornia.com/california/urban-tattoos.html
(3) http://www.sacmag.com/media/Sacramento-Magazine/December-2007/Urbanities/
(4) http://www.sacmag.com/media/Sacramento-Magazine/December-2007/Urbanities/
(5) http://joshuasilveira.com/