Upperplayground News


by Ariadna Zierold

El Mac recently stopped by Phoenix in Arizona a few monthas ago where he created this large-scale mural entitled “Nuestra Gente” (Our People).

el mac, nuestra gente, phoenix, arizona, mural, the citrus report, upper playground

The background designs around the face were painted by Mando Rascón, and the outer images on the ends of the mural were painted by Pablo Luna.

Mando and Pablo were known in the 90s as pioneers of graffiti in Phoenix. Pablo began painting graffiti in the early 80s and became one of Phoenix’s most prolific painters, while Mando perfected a style of intricate lettering that was unique and influential.

el mac, nuestra gente, phoenix, arizona, mural, the citrus report, upper playground

The American artist painted the center-part which is featuring a beautiful portrait painted with his signature striation technique.


by Ariadna Zierold

Back in 2010 and long before “Digging Up The Marrow” became a motion picture, artist Alex Pardee handed Director Adam Green a mini-art book from his galley exhibit for “Digging Up The Marrow” that sparked their 4 year collaboration on the film together.

alex pardee, digging up the marrow, collection, film, the citrus report, upper playground

The collection focuses on monsters and unique creatures that just may be living underneath our feet in a place called “The Marrow.”

alex pardee, digging up the marrow, collection, film, the citrus report, upper playground

A ton of art from Pardee is put on display in the found-footage horror film. Wise’s character, who discovers monsters in the marrow, has an artist create an interpretation of what he’s seen. They’re 90% accurate, according to Wise’s character in the film.

alex pardee, digging up the marrow, collection, film, the citrus report, upper playground

Pardee’s self-proclaimed influences include 1980s horror movies, pop art, graffiti and gangster rap. Alex has been featured in magazines, gallery shows, and notably in the designs for the clothing company he co-founded, zerofriends. He is best known for illustrating The Used’s album artwork.

Time Lapse: Sam Flores and Ronnie Budders Paint Mural in San Francisco

Check out this time-lapse video photographer Gareth Gooch made of the recent Sam Flores and Ronnie Budders mural on Linden Street in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. The project was coordinated by William Buckley of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association and supported by Fifty24SF Gallery in association with Upper Playground.

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DEVOLUTION: Group Exhibition Opening August 1st at Fifty24SF Gallery

Fifty24SF Gallery in association with Upper Playground presents “Devolution”, group exhibition featuring the work of Smithe, Tina Lugo, Lauren YS and Benjamin Constantine. “Devolution” Opens August 1st 2015, 7pm at Fifty24SF Gallery.



Benjamin Constantine

Tina Lugo

Lauren YS

About The Artists:

Benjamin Constantine: Benjamin is a predominantly self taught artist living and working in Brisbane, Australia. In his pieces, casts of anonymous characters interact, in states of anxiety or elation, elements within or around them often becoming involved and synonymous. Constantine’s work has appeared in VICE comics, the Fantagraphics’s publication ‘Beasts!2’ and in ‘Secret Prison’ amongst others.

Tina Lugo: Tina’s work expresses a sexual and often tongue-in- cheek humor fueled by cartoons, animation and early 90’s television. The use of enamel and plexiglass in her work is to suggest that the smooth, hyper-gloss finishing of a world that allures us will always be beneath a transparent barrier we can touch but never enter-a replication of the voyeuristic qualities we all posses. Her style references and pays homage to her variety of modern influences which include: Takashi Murakami, Toshio Saeki, Hanna Barbera, Japanese animation, and Henry Darger. Tina Lugo was born and raised in the Bronx and recently moved to Portland. She studied at the School of Visual Arts.

Smithe: Born and raise in Mexico City, Smithe begain drawing around age 12. Influenced by the local graffiti artists in his neighborhood, Smithe would walk the city and look at the graffiti on the walls. He was intrigued by how quick you could get a message out. Smithe’s art has opened many doors for him as he has traveled the world showing his work, with shows in England, Belgium and Germany.

Lauren YS: Lauren YS is a Bay Area based fine artist, illustrator and muralist. For “Devolution,” Lauren has collected a host of her characters in states that play off her interpretation of the word: entanglement, malaise or playful struggle. YS graduated from Stanford in 2013 and showed her first artworks at FIFTY24SF. She has since completed a residency in Vienna at Rabbit Eye Movement and painted at several international mural festivals.

Opening Reception: Take It Acid Is by Mark McCloud at Fifty24SF Gallery

Mark McCloud’s exhibition “Take It Acid Is” opened Friday, June 26th at Fifty24SF Gallery in San Francisco. The large crowd viewed a collection of blotter art, with many in town take in take in “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” in Santa Clara just a day later. The perfectly timed show, featured actual blotter paper from “The Institute of Illegal Images”, the largest private collection of blotter art in the world.

Recognized worldwide as the preeminent collector of LSD art, McCould stated, “This show focuses on the blotter art that I obtained or created through my 50 years of love for The Grateful Dead .”

In addition to a large selection of forensic photographic prints provided by, the Golden Road Gallery was in attendance with an extensive collection of Vanity Blotter for collectors to purchase.

Check out select shots from the opening below. “Take It Acid Is” is currently on view at Fifty24SF Gallery.