Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Proposed North Beach Diner Murals

Twelve years ago I was asked to paint some murals in a diner in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco by a Persian architect, with whom I had collaborated on that pizza and salad bar place in The Old PG&E Building on Beale Street a year before. He wanted murals that imitated the style of those in Coit Tower. He said that if I wanted I could simply copy some of them. Instead I made a pastiche of these frescoes painted by Rivera's San Francisco Circle. I also studied Miguel Covarrubias's Pageant Of The Pacific murals, which were then still on display at the Ferry Building.

I hurried to finish the drawings while I was in New York, but when I returned to San Francisco the architect postponed our meeting and then never called me again. When I called, his assistant said he'd contact me. He didn't. I guessed that the project fell through and he didn't have the courtesy to tell me; so this is as far as this project progressed. I believe these designs capture something of the history and spirit of the place.

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