Amoeblog

TEN YEARS LATER & DREAM'S LEGACY CONTINUES TO GROW

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2010 06:15pm | Post a Comment
Mike DREAM Francisco
Senselessly gunned down and killed during a random street robbery on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland ten years ago this month, Bay Area graffiti legend Mike "DREAM" Francisco's legacy has grown exponentially in the decade since his tragic murder. And tomorrow, Friday, Feb 5th friends, family, fans, along with those who never even met the late artist but who were somehow touched by his life, his work, and/or his spirit, will congregate en masse for the big annual DREAM DAY.

The sure to be packed event, which takes place at the New Parish on 18th Street near San Pablo in Oakland, will feature graffiti artists, DJs, b-boys and emcees all celebrating, through their respective elements of hip-hop culture, the life and legacy of the man known to many as King DREAM.

As well as graffiti art by DREAM's graffiti collective, the TDK CREW, there will be music provided by a long list, including F.A.M.E., emcee Equipto, DJ Apollo, Shortkut, Fuze, Myke One, Sake One, The Bangerz, and DJ Platurn. Former Amoeba Music Berkeley employee DJ Platurn is among those who actually never met DREAM but whose life was impacted by DREAM's work. "The first time I heard of Mike Dream was through Saafir's Boxcar Sessions. Not only did his art grace the cover but his voice on the record resonated with community and a sense of pride in his craft," Platurn commented earlier today. "I never knew the man personally, being a recent L.A. transplant around that time, but he was always someone that I knew to be a hero and legend in the Bay Area hip-hop game and I'm proud to honor his legacy in any way that I can."

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Heaven For Bay Area Graffiti Fans This Weekend

Posted by Billyjam, October 8, 2009 06:22am | Post a Comment
Style Wars
Bay Area graffiti fans should be in heaven this weekend, with so many amazing events celebrating the urban art form jumping off in both SF and the East Bay starting today, Thursday, and ending on Saturday with The 3rd Annual Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle (EIGB). This evening (Thursday, Oct 8th) kicks things off at the 1:AM Gallery in San Francisco with The Can Film Festival, which will include screenings of the two graf films, Style Wars and Bomb It. The films will be followed by a Q&A session with a panel that will include Kevin Epps, Suzie Lundy, Erin Yoshioka, Estria Miyashiro and will be moderated by hip-hop author Jeff Chang. Screenings start at 7pm but doors open at 6:30pm. Even better, this is a free event, so get there early to ensure admission. 1:AM Gallery is located at 1000 Howard St. (near 6th St.), San Francisco, CA . Click here for more info. Note that tomorrow at 1:AM gallery will be the last day for the exhibit Don't Sweat The Technique - Ode To The Spray Can Art Show, featuring art by judges and contestants involved in Saturday's Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle.

Then tomorrow (Friday, October 9th) is the big event at the Eastside Arts Alliance in East Oakland-- the Pecha Kucha Night Oakland: Don't Sweat The Technique - Graffiti For Social Change, which is being presented in partnership by the Eastside Arts Alliance, Hard Knock Radio, Samurai Graphix and Youth Speaks. The event is happening at 2277 International Blvd., Oakland, CA 94606 from  7:30-10:30pm tomorrow (get there early)! Its ten presenters scheduled include legendary graf archivalist Jim Prigoff (co-author of Spraycan Art, Walls of Heritage Walls of Pride and Graffiti New York), Spie from the mighty Bay Area TDK crew, Steve Grody (author of Graffiti LA), and San Francisco community activist Nancy Hernandez.
According to artist Estria, who is another of the presenters and who was instrumental in bringing this event to Oakland, "Pecha Kucha is a great way to expose your art to many professionals in other fields in one quick-fire burst."

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REST IN POWER MIKE DREAM FRANCISCO - 40th BIRTHDAY

Posted by Billyjam, August 15, 2009 03:55pm | Post a Comment
Mike "DREAM" Francisco 1993 interview @ No Justice, No Peace art opening

Exactly forty years ago today, August 15th 1969, Mike "DREAM" Francisco was born. But instead of what should have been a landmark birthday celebration today, this August 15th is just another sad reminder to those loved ones and friends and fans of the late, great Bay Area graffiti artist of how Mike "DREAM" Francisco's life was prematurely, senselessly halted nine years ago. On February 17th, 2000 on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, DREAM was gunned down and killed, the victim of a random street robbery.  Mike DREAM Francisco

Not only was DREAM (or "King Dream," as he is referred to by many) a gifted and prolific artist, with a passion for hip-hop -- having collaborated with countless hip-hoppers, including Hobo Junction over the years -- but he was also a most outspoken individual, one concerned about his community, and one never afraid to speak out against the ills of society.

Had DREAM been allowed to live today, you can bet he would have been at the front of the protests against the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police earlier this year. In fact, in 1993 he was one of the featured artists in the anti police brutality show No Justice, No Peace at downtown Oakland's Pro Arts Gallery. Above is a rare interview with DREAM at the opening of that show by A Debonair Affair's Melinda Bell which, despite the poor audio quality, gives you a great insight into the kind of person DREAM was: down-to-earth, fun, & witty, but also most passionate about his beliefs. I first met DREAM around 1990 and was instantly struck by what a genuinely good spirited and generous person he was, always upbeat and interested in what others had to say. But what is perhaps most profound about the DREAM interview above is how he defines what "reality" means to some people, like himself, as  "to brothers like us reality is watching people die on the streets everyday!"

MISSION MURAL PROJECT PART II

Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2007 08:04am | Post a Comment
This second part photo-series (following yesterday's AMOEBLOG) shows the almost-finished art project done by the H.O.M.E.Y. Project (SPIE, Trigger etc.) on 24th Street near Capp in the Mission District of San Francisco. These pictures were taken two days ago, as the painting was being finished up. The mural caused some controversy with the SF Planning Commission, who are funding the art project, over some of its Palestine content. At first glance the art might look the same, but there are a lot of new details filled in on the large and wide mural since the first batch of photos (posted here yesterday) were taken ten days earlier. 

The five pictures below are taken left to right (top to bottom) and almost capture the beauty of the piece, but really, if at all possible, the best thing is to go see it in person on 24th Street just down a bit from  Mission Street.









MURAL CAPTURES SOLIDARITY OF OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES

Posted by Billyjam, August 16, 2007 09:06am | Post a Comment

As mentioned in the AMOEBLOG posted yesterday about the late, great Bay Area graffiti artist DREAM, here are pics from a brand new large scale mural painted by DREAM ol skool partner SPIE and others from the SF based H.O.M.E.Y. Project. Still being finished up, it is in San Francisco's Mission District.   These pics were taken at the beginning of last week, which was exactly mid-way through the five week painting project that began July 14th. Next I will post pics taken yesterday, as the piece is almost completely done. Meantime if you want to go check out this socially and politically charged mural you can find it on 24th Street in the Mission in a parking lot off 24th St in between Capp Street and Lilac Alley. I took all these pics last week on a sunny afternoon as SPIE and several others were out en force. A part of the ten year San Francisco community/art based H.O.M.E.Y. Project, the new mural's artists also included Mike TRIGGER (pictured above), Nancy Pili, and Marina Prez-Wong (pictured painting below three pics down) among others. 

The large, colorful mural is sponsored by the San Francisco's Planning Commission, who bulit a new raised wall for the art. The space, in a parking lot off 24th, is completely fenced in with a big metal prison-like fence. This provided the artists with inspiration for the piece that was partially planned/sketched out and partially improvised. "The fence all around here kind of gave us the basis for the theme here," said SPIE. "We're commenting on a lot of stuff as far as content here. The theme is loosely about fences, walls and prisons in a sense being utilized to solve problems because this (the metal fence) is supposed to be put up to curb gang violence, which is not a healthy solution to a problem -- it's the gating and jailing of a community in a lot of ways. So we are making a comment about that and a comment about relating it not just local issues but worldwide from the Mexican/American border immigration issue that is going on right now. And you've got the Palestine wall right here which is a big issue...Overall it is about solidarity of communities of color and oppressed people -- black and brown unity..."  

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