For 941 Geary founder Justin Giarla and graffiti artist APEX, it's all about the present. The two have co-curated "The City We Love," a large-scale group show of Bay Area artists at Giarla's cutting-edge Tenderloin gallery. The exhibit of new work by local artists highlights graffiti and street art culture from the likes of Chad Hasegawa, David Ball, Chor Boogie, John Felix Arnold, and more. “I just felt that it was time to focus on doing a show with just San Francisco artists," says Giarla. "There’s a stronger community in San Francisco than people realize. The artists that we work with are here because they love it."
Trail blazers and rule breakers from a bygone era sprinkle the soaring white walls of 941 Geary, all captured by legendary fringe culture photographer Glen E. Friedman. This man was one of the first to spray mainstream eyes with images of the gang of Z-Boys from Dogtown (like the middle finger-flipping Tony Alva and Jay Adams), volatile punk acts (like the devil-locked Glenn Danzig in full Misfits regalia, Bad Brains, and Fugazi), and hip hop pioneers like Run D.M.C. and Ice-T.
We've taken you from the conception to the grand opening of the city's sweetest new gallery, 941 Geary. Now get pumped for the exhibition space's most street cred-inducing show yet, F--- You All by photographer Glen E. Friedman, with never-before-seen collaborations with Shepard Fairey.
Friedman, the documentarian of the beginning of skate culture and the early punk and hip hop scenes, has an impressive repertoire, from edgy, fisheyed action shots of the Z-Boys to gritty portraits of the likes of Run DMC and a young LL Cool J. Pair Friedman with street art guru and longtime admirer Fairey and you've got several symbiotic collaborations that will be displayed alongside the original photographs they'll pay tribute to.
We scoped out Justin Giarla's (of White Walls and Shooting Gallery fame) new space, 941 Geary, in July. The gallery, hidden behind a smog check sign on Geary, is a sprawling 3,000 feet, with ambitions to bring internationally-recognized artists to SF and do some seriously large-scale installations. They're definitely delivering on those promises, lining up Glen Freidman and Shepard Fairey for an upcoming show and making a splash this weekend with their opening reception, something Giarla is calling an epic "Art Opera."
Remember when Tai emerged from her Cher and Dionne makeover in Clueless as a hot new babe? That's kinda like what happened to 941 Geary, a former smog and auto emissions check shop in the Tenderloin that has recently been reborn as a lofty-ceiling-ed, 3,000-square foot gallery space. It's brought to us by SF tastemakers Justin Giarla and Leigh Cooper, the minds behind such local game-changing galleries as as White Walls and the Shooting Gallery.