S.F. Trippy Mission: Lives & Art 1989 - 2002

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Quick Overview

158 pages, soft cover
Published in 2014 by The Thing Quarterly in collaboration with the Oakland Museum of California and Chris Johanson
Designed by Macfadden & Thorpe

This document is from people who lived in San Francisco and spent much of their time in the Mission District during all or part of the period between 1989 and 2002. Emails and calls were sent to individuals with archives of show announcements and ephemera related to that time and place. Some of those people contacted other longtime friends who then got involved. Additionally more friends edited down the close to 500 pieces received to the 100 in the book. Like the way organic energy is, the project grew and flowed naturally like when you walk down a city street bumping into people and finding yourself in social situations. You gradually change and become part of, or make, something new. When thinking of art from San Francisco, and more specifically the Mission, it’s important to know that many people, working in so many mediums, were dancing, talking, jamming, sleeping, and playing with each other while individually finding their voices. Connectedness was in the air. This book is meant to give you a window into the collective movement of lots of coinciding people. We hope you enjoy connecting the dots and seeing how close so many people were, even now. Thanks to the sea of interesting people that come through SF.  

- Chris Johanson, August 22, 2014

Contributors include:  Julie Deamer, Harry Dodge, Courtney Fink, Scott Hewicker, Laura Heyman, Kevin Killian, Darin Klein, Alicia Mccarthy, Karla Milosevich, Ruby Neri, Corrina Peipon, Christine Shields, Kal Spelletich, Scot Velardo, Chris Johanson.

This book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California, presented at The Oakland Museum of California, September 20, 2014 – April 12, 2015.


Chris Johanson grew up in San Francisco and is well known for his paintings, sculptures, and installations depicting the human experience and the resulting physical world people inhabit together. Johanson has developed his own personal pictorial language, mixing many mediums and what he refers to as “selfish expressionism” or “the life arts.”

For over a decade, Johanson has been transforming the commonplace activities of the day-to-day into simple stories, frozen in time for us to observe. He comments on the age of consumerism, the corporate ladder, as well as modern psychological phenomena such as self-help and psychotherapy. He creates a world where nudist dancers, emotionally centered people, forest energy, abstract rainbows and “good vibes” exist next to a sinister comic edge sometimes reflecting the human experience’s darkest places.

Johanson has exhibited his works worldwide including exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

More information on Chris Johanson can be found here.   

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