On the Town
With Jason Jagel
Sunday, October 7, 2007
|On The Town|
Jason Jagel is a San Francisco visual artist whose work has appeared on releases by underground musicians such as Our Lady of the Highway and MF Doom, as well as in galleries nationwide. He didn't have to look far for inspiration: His father, John, was a celebrated artist who, in the in the '60s, designed a handful of iconic covers for jazz greats John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. Jagel holds degrees from Stanford University and California College of the Arts, where he teaches painting and narrative drawing. He will be one of the featured artists at Park Life's November anniversary group benefit show. In the meantime, we asked him for a list of his favorite spots around his Mission neighborhood. "My studio is in my backyard, so sometimes I need to invent reasons to get out of the house," he said.
24th and York Street Mini Park. "I've two young daughters, 1 and 4 years old, so my outings often tend toward family-centric destinations like the park and the grocery store. Right around the corner from my house is a newly redone kid's park. There are some of my favorite idiosyncratic Mission murals on its three walls, all pre-existing. As for the new parts, a giant, beautiful mosaic serpent spirals out, halfway submerged in the ground, around a fountain with orchestrated water spouts that can be activated by two color-coded 'panic' buttons."
La Taqueria, 2889 Mission St. "It's some of the best-tasting steak I've had in the city. Eight or 9 dollars for two tacos? Worth every penny, if you've got it."
Mission Pie, 2901 Mission St. "Full as can be, it's still hard for me to resist Mission Pie, whose yummy seasonal pies let my belly experience apricot, peach or strawberry season firsthand. The rich, spicy and not-too-sweet sweet potato and caramelized peach pies have been my tops. The shop is a wing of Pie Ranch, a 14-acre farm on the San Mateo coast that grows the ingredients for the pies and has an educational program that invites urban youth to experience our relationship to food production.
Queens Nails Annex, 3189 Mission St. "One place I enjoy visiting into the late night is Queens Nails Annex, an art gallery started in 2004 by Bob Linder and Julio Cesar Morales. Whether championing international art projects and performances or hosting music and audio projects, they throw mighty friendly parties. The events, where I can count on running into first-class genuine people, often migrate next door into the cozy, neighborhood bar the Argus, whose super bartenders, old-wood bar top and low-key space make it humble magnificent. Some good DJs there too, including Brolin Winning, Urban Yetti, Juan Luna-Alvin and, on the rare occasion, myself."
Mission Pool, 19th and Linda Streets. "A beautiful, outdoor municipal pool that feels not too chlorinated. Thanks to the local lobbying of district supervisors, it's open until January instead of just the summertime. And there's nothing like how hungry I get after swimming and nothing better for it than the shwarma experience of Truly Mediterranean on 16th at Valencia. Yum."
Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia St. "One of the oldest and stalwart nonprofit arts spaces in the city. Seeing vibraphonist Stefon Harris in that intimate, formal and, most importantly, unamplified space won me over completely. Besides which, their theater programming, including the Hybrid Project and resident artists, is always enticing."
Electric Works, 130 Eighth St. "A print shop, art gallery, publisher and book/sundry store. The brick building was built for the Buzell Electric Works in 1925 and now features a 'general store' of select items, including books and prints by a host of fine artists published there and elsewhere. Together, we're publishing a book called "73 Funshine" comprised of my paintings and a 12-inch record with songs by Monk Hughes and the Outer Realm, Young Jazz Rebels and the Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble."
Park Life, 220 Clement St. "Situated in one of my favorite, and often below-the-radar, San Francisco neighborhoods, and besides their great selection of things for sale, they formed Paper Museum Press and published 'Ulysses: Departures, Journeys & Returns: The Artwork of Andrew Schoultz,' a beautiful tome from a beautiful artist. When I opened the book, having not seen his work in a while, I was blown away by his horse and ship paintings and his 2-D/3-D installations. Boom."
E-mail Aidin Vaziri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared on page G - 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle