March 12, 2013
In 2017, San Francisco will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love, and with it the artistic renaissance of the hippie movement that began in summer of 1967. The Haight-Ashbury district was the center of it all, alive with music, psychedelic drugs, marijuana, sexual experimentation, political extremism, beatniks and hippies. It is a neighborhood that defines the culture of our city and where many people are still drawn to, longing for a glimpse of a memorable moment in San Francisco history.
Visitors to the Haight can walk by “The Red House” which sits above a smoke shop near the famous intersection where Hendrix reportedly lived with his girlfriend. The neighborhood was the stomping grounds of epic musicians including Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, who all chose to live close to the famous intersection of Haight and Ashbury streets.
To reflect and honor the summer that will always be remembered, Bay Area artists Ernest Doty, Max Ehrman, and Sean Griffin undertook a mural project to celebrate a memorable time in history by re-doing a portrait of Hendrix on the side of the Red House.
Sean Griffin, aka “Griffin One,” took on the challenge of replicating this iconic legend and dove head first into the project. Starting early each day carrying supplies and inspiration to the roof, Griffin said, “It is a great honor to have had the opportunity to paint a piece inspired by and dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, with fellow artists in such a great location. We felt it was important to try and capture Jimi’s essence and keep his electricity alive in such a historic and intergalactic place like the Upper Haight.”
Ernest Doty stops for a minute to look down at the colorful street on the roof of the house that is still painted red. With the Twin Peaks tower visible in the background, Doty looks over at the house that was the inspiration for Hendrix’s blues song, “The Red House.” Doty is a passionate street artist who seeks justice and vision in his pursuit for more wall space. He maintains a surreal pop-art style that is always politically and environmentally motivated. He is constantly pursuing to not be comfortable and always have a message behind everything he paints. When you see his work, you may love it or hate it, but you will remember it.
Max Ehrman, otherwise known as his graffiti name “Eon75,” is a freelance designer, architect and artist. Although Ehrman’s formal training is in architecture, over the past few years he has focused more on his career in art. Residing in San Francisco, Ehrman’s art is heavily influenced by organic, natural forms that are clearly seen in the psychedelic elements of this mural.
These three artists met while participating in East Bay’s “Special Delivery Show / Endless Canvas 2012” and connected with each others styles and personalities. They have since collaborated on many projects. For this particualr project, the design created was perfect for the Rock legend. It is psychedelic, bold and exudes royalty while reflecting the colorful history of the Upper Haight.
“The Red House Project” was funded by these artists and they are eager to paint another mural on the other side of the house. If you would like to donate and support these artists to do a mural at the Red House, to be enjoyed by many for years to come, please contact Rachel Michelle at Rachelmichelleartadvisor@gmail.com.