Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Know Your Street Art: Calm Amidst The Chaos 

Wednesday, Mar 16 2016
Comments

Is the Mid-Market area around United Nations Plaza best described as "chaotic"? Anyone who has walked near the plaza, along Market near Seventh Street, might use that term, even as the area becomes increasingly connected to the high-priced buildings that are stretching out in all directions.

In January, artist Ursula Xanthe Young hung out across from U.N. Plaza for four days as she painted Calm Amidst The Chaos. Co-commissioned by a gallery that organized a conference at ACT's Strand Theater, which abuts the mural, Calm Amidst The Chaos features giant daisies set against a San Francisco panorama of blues. Blue houses. A blue downtown. A blue Bay Bridge.

"I saw some pretty sad and desperate sights in my four days on that block, and then juxtaposed by the new shiny office buildings — it's a certain kind of chaos," Young says.

Those swaths of blue were almost a mistake — until Young realized the hues had a physical impact on people who walked by: "I had inadvertently chosen these blue colors, and as soon as the tones started to build I had so many folks respond in the same way to it, telling me that it felt peaceful, calming, meditative and like a breath of fresh air," she says.

Her art effectively replaces the beautifully surreal Rush Hour that Zio Ziegler, Feral Child, and Cannon Dill first put up in 2012. Anyone who knows Young's work knows that she usually features doe-eyed girls in her art. None can be found in Calm Amidst The Chaos. Instead, what's there is the kind of "flowery, urban fairytale" depiction that is also a fixture of Young's work.

Beyond the blue hues and the title, it's the work's fairytale qualities that really make it a welcome addition to the mid-Market area — even if the "chaos" that Young references also applies to the economic ruptures that are roiling that part of San Francisco and may not subside for a long, long time. — JC

About The Author

Jonathan Curiel

Comments


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"