It's raining here again today in the SF bay area so I thought it would be a good time to fill you in on SPA in the Bay. The following is an observation I made while visiting the city of San Francisco in search of a SPA named Miguel whom I had seen spraying in many videos posted on youtube. The most identifying feature of this operation is their use of a red downdraft table that has its work surface surrounded on four sides by glass. Here's an example:
Between the two tables I saw being used there were 9 people (employees?) that had something to do with what was going on there. 4 actual painters 4 'assistants' 1 "manager of operations"
THE PAINTERS: After an undetermined period of time, either every hour, every 10 paintings or something of the sort, a new painter would rotate in and begin working. They ALL created the same exact piece over and over and over and over. As it turns out the painters have nothing to do with any of the other completed paintings which encircle them. Each of the paintings laying on the ground are actually stacks of identical pieces that were done off-site by who knows how many other people. Many of them appeared to be airbrushed in certain places and, down to the last molecule of paint on the paper, EXACTLY IDENTICAL TO EVERY OTHER PIECE STACKED BELOW IT! LOL
THE ASSISTANTS: There are 2 assistants assigned to each location. They both have specific responsibilities which are vital to the operation. Assistant #1 - This guy is the lead assistant. He never interacts with the painter except to lead the applause and yell out the prices each time a piece is completed. He's also in charge of sales and is responsible for handing the customer their chosen piece (or pieces as multiples were purchased many times as I was looking on) and collecting all the money. Two or three times during the making of each piece he would also yell out the prices. Occasionally, he would ask for help from assistant #2 who would immediately drop whatever he was doing at the time and follow orders. Assistant #2 - This guy is the low man on the spray painting totem pole. He basically does whatever anyone else tells him to do. His responsibilities include prepping the boards for painting, keeping the generator filled with gas, taking the completed pieces from the painter, prepping the completed pieces for sale, he keeps the piles of pre-made paintings stocked, goes to get drinks or food for group, empties the trash can, replaces empty spray cans, etc.
THE MANAGER OF OPERATIONS: This guy basically stood around and did nothing except take the money from both #1 assistants.
PRICES: Everything that was already made and laying on the ground was ONLY $10 (Gary's gonna hate that) and, if you wanted to buy the piece the artist just finished it cost $20 Judging by what I saw (it was a slow day) I'd estimate the daily take of this operation to be somewhere in the neighborhood of about $2,000 to $3,000 TAX FREE CASH between both of the tables.
I'd hate to see what might happen to anyone who gets in their way! ---------- Now, lettuce spray for Whirled Peas. "Friend" me on Facebook: Eric Bartholomay, Denver, Colorado -Bart
Last Edited by on Feb 13, 2012 8:02 PM
that is wierd, you make them sound more like hustlers than artists lol,... how did they react when you told em you were an artist? They must get so bored doing the same picture over and over ... :( fair bit of cash to be made though ---------- Joe
Last Edited by on Feb 14, 2012 9:44 AM
You can tell they do the same paintings over and over again. I would still totally buy one of those. I was born in the bay area. =) thanks for sharing Bart. Be careful out there! ---------- ~~~*Ashley*~~~
The identical stacked pieces (the $10 art) were of course, prints? Remember my daughter's story in Hawaii. She was not very familiar with spray paint art, but knew I paint with this medium, and after seeking out Sebo, telling him she wanted to buy a piece of art for me, she ended up with a color copy, signed with some sort of paint pen, the latter being the only thing that was "wet paint." The painting was curled in common transportation fashion, and taped to allow easy carry. She was shocked when she gave it to me and I let her know it was not an original painting. Her inexperience, and their lack of making it clear to her that what she was buying was not an original painting disappointed her, altho it is a very attractive print signed by the artist. I'm not saying what happened was intentional deception, just that like most things in the world, buying artwork is "buyer beware."
---------- 99GT (Marty) Visit my web page http://www.myspacepaintings.com/Ninety9GT
Marty... I inspected the $10 pieces on the ground before I bought one and they are indeed painted, although some appeared to have been airbrushed in certain places. At first I thought they surely must be prints. Perhaps some of them are stencil over print I didn't look too closely. The one I purchased for $10 is 100% spray paint, I'm certain of it. ---------- Now, lettuce spray for Whirled Peas. "Friend" me on Facebook: Eric Bartholomay, Denver, Colorado -Bart
Wow Bart, it looks as though you have your work and space cut out for you. You be carefull. I personally wouldn't want a painting that everyone else has also, just wouldn't feel unique. Those guys obviously know what they are doing but if you think about it - no matter how often you make the same painting over and over, you will never in a million years get the same texture and pattern over and over even using the same colours. It's nothing do make prints and spray a coat of clear over them to make it look original. (those stacked ones). Scamers know how to scam. They are professional in every way and sure have got something going big time. You take great care. Your feedback is important for all of us and I want to thank you for that.
They sound like a complete hack. I stand by the fact that if your not willing to progress and express your not really an artist but rather a hack. I completely disagree with prints of spray paint art sense it takes us 10 mins max to produce a copy from scratch. Such a shame. Looks like i will have to one day travel to San Fransisco to throw a monkey wrench in their system. ---------- Http://www.stellarpaintings.com
I'm origionally from the bay area, and when my wife and I went back 2 years ago for my grandfathers funeral we took a day and went to San Francisco. We saw him painting and I was enthralled so i stood watching him for several paintings before I bought one. When i got home i immediately started watching videos and bought a bunch of paint and started my SPA love.
Even though it's like an assembly line I love the finished product and if it wasn't for him being there I might not have gotten into SPA.
Have fun on your travels and have a safe trip. Brian
Thanks for the well wishes... Even if this is not how you, personally, would run things... One MUST respect this whole operation for doing EXACTLY what it was designed to do... Make loads of tax-free CA$H... THOUSANDS EVERYDAY!!! ---------- Now, lettuce spray for Whirled Peas. "Friend" me on Facebook: Eric Bartholomay, Denver, Colorado -Bart