Painting the town ill
On the sleepy Labor Day streets of Nob Hill, the alley between Flying Star and the Slice Parlor attracted quite a crowd. Three artists jammed out to hip-hop while keeping their brushes to concrete on the 100-foot long wall. Everyone passing by stopped to watch, dance, talk and take pictures.
The psychedelic street art is a mishmash of images and colors reflecting the styles of the collaborating artists: Jaque Fragua, Ernest Doty and Ryan Montoya. A sickly green skeleton hovers in the smog of a nuclear reactor above the message “A good Indian is a live Indian.” A large Native/east Indian spirit guide with four eyes looks on. The hands of God descend from the sky controlling marionettes.
Fragua says he sees the piece as a parody of what he calls “art slavery” along Route 66 where billboards advertise Indian wares for tourists. “We’re advertising the truth,” he says. “It’s something that doesn’t require money to look at, just attention.”