by Jeremy Hatch
Jeremy Fish’s work is reliably goofy, weird, and hilarious. You may know him as the guy who brought Barry the Beaver to Good Vibrations, but he’s best known for his drawings of cute yet rather disturbing creatures, if they can be called that, built up out of skulls, pink bunnies, other assorted cute fuzzy mammals, frigates, pirates, tobacco pipes (a la Sherlock Holmes), internal organs, mermaid tails, that suburban 70s look, walrus-like people, classic San Francisco architecture, handlebar moustasches, and god knows what else.
His work of late — as you can see from the two examples above — has gone heavy on the moustasches, buildings and bridges. Bullets too. Hence the show of his work that’s opening tomorrow night on the upper level of FIFTY24SF Gallery (that’s at Fillmore & Haight). He’s calling it Ghosts of the Barbary Coast, and it will be on display until the 30th.
Basing his collection of work on true stories from San Francisco's history, he conjures up the spirits of the rowdy, ruthless, insane, and notorious characters that populated the City's seedy past and re-tells their fascinating and often shocking stories to a new audience. Fish also explores parallels between the Gold Rush of '49 with the modern booms and busts of marijuana farming in the 1970s and the dotcoms of the 1990s. Highlights of this collection include a series of tightly executed and well-researched paintings along with amazing three-dimensional wood pieces.
Fish plans to bring some real Barbary Coast style to his opening reception with a Gold Rush-style saloon, complete with grizzly bear. What better way to pay tribute to the folks who paved the way and established San Francisco's independent and rebellious reputation?
Gold Rush-styled saloon. With grizzly bear. (Not a drunk grizzly bear, we hope.) Can one resist? We thought not.
Opening reception is tomorrow, Dec 4., starting at 6 p.m. until 11 or so at FIFTY24SF (252 Fillmore). Free admission.