Famous head pokes above freeway wall!

Driving north on Interstate 5 near Old Town, have you glimpsed the top of a huge head poking over the freeway wall? Just past the Courtyard by Marriott?

It’s the curly-haired head of Michelangelo’s famous sculpture David!

The Head of David mural was painted on the side of an apartment building back in 1984 by San Diego Mesa College physics student Jeff Sale. The entire mural used to be visible from the freeway, until a wall was built by Caltrans that conceals much of it. You can read an old article concerning the artist and his creation here.

Yesterday I walked through Old Town to see if it’s possible to get photographs of the two story high Head of David from a spot away from the freeway. By standing in the cul-de-sac just north of the Marriott, I took these pics.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Pandemic art: Paintings from the Confinement.

The COVID-19 pandemic was difficult for all of us. Tragically, many would not live through it.

We all remember the long days of uncertainty, fear, loneliness, forced isolation.

If you head to Balboa Park today, you need to stop by the San Diego Museum of Art to experience Paintings from the Confinement. Today is the final day of this emotionally moving exhibition.

I viewed the small egg tempera paintings, created by San Diego artist Marianela de la Hoz, at the urging of my museum docent friend Catherine.

The images are symbolic, spare, often grim. There is darkness. There are claustrophobic spaces. There is flat human life on small cold screens. But there are a few rays of hope beyond the confining walls. Thank goodness those walls have now mostly come down.

The artist found it hard to honestly paint her many feelings. In particular, it was very hard to portray death.

In her statement, Marianela de la Hoz explains the only treasures I have are my loved ones, family, friends, and art; everything else remained as non-essential.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Wild beasts invade San Diego Museum of Art!

The Clearing, André Derain, circa 1906. Oil on canvas.

The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park has been invaded by wild beasts!

Les Fauves is French for Wild Beasts, and paintings by early 20th century artists known as the Fauves are running rampant in one amazing gallery!

These particular paintings are part of a wider exhibition titled Monet to Matisse: Impressionist Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation. I visited the San Diego Museum of Art back in May and blogged about the exhibition here.

During my visit yesterday, my docent friend Catherine took me through several of the museum galleries and explained how Impressionism evolved into Post-Impressionism and other avant-garde movements.

Fauvism was a modern movement that shocked art lovers in France between 1905 and 1908. It was led by Henri Matisse, André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck.

Looking at these canvases, museum visitors can see how the Fauves loved strong contrasts, saturated colors and bold brush strokes producing abstract, often weirdly unexpected forms.

Trees can appear as gangly streaks of pure color. Thick smudges and dabs of paint create startling still life images and brilliant landscapes.

In a strange way the dreamlike effect is similar to the gauzy, delicate work of the Impressionists. The viewer feels the momentary impression of a place or object. But these particular dreams are quite vivid!

The more I looked at these unique works, the more I appreciated the artistry and visionary genius of the Wild Beasts.

Head down to the San Diego Museum of Art and experience this famous artwork with your own eyes!

Monet to Matisse: Impressionist Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation was to end in August, but it has been extended through October 10, 2022.

The Gulf, Henri Manguin, circa 1920. Oil on canvas.

Still Life with Fish, Maurice de Vlaminck. Oil on canvas.

View of Chatou, Maurice de Vlaminck, circa 1907. Oil on canvas.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Wildlife mural at SDG&E Park in Chula Vista.

An amazing mural depicting wildlife was created earlier this year at SDG&E Park in Chula Vista. The artists of Ground Floor Murals, assisted by students from nearby Castle Park High School, painted a sunset scene filled with beautiful wildlife!

You might recall that several incredible Padres baseball murals visible in communities around San Diego were also painted by Ground Floor Murals.

This very colorful work of art can be found on the side of a building in San Diego Gas and Electric Park near Hilltop Drive.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Stories, woven and Unwoven at the Timken.

An exhibition of fine tempera paintings created by San Diego artist Marianela de la Hoz is now on view at the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park.

Destejidas – Unwoven showcases the carefully crafted work of the Mexican born painter, who was an artist in residence at the Timken earlier this year. Visitors to the museum had the ability to watch her complete the piece Penelope’s Hands.

Marianela de la Hoz incorporates surprising symbols in her very personal artwork. Figures taken from literature, mythology, fairy tales, world history and religion are often inserted into more contemporary scenes. The many disparate elements can be jolting. They reveal the inner character of her subjects. The strange combinations might make us consider our own lives.

Human experiences in this complex world are cleverly combined with well known stories that were first told long ago. Our own secret stories are unwoven, then rewoven.

Destejidas – Unwoven can be enjoyed at the Timken Museum of Art through September 4, 2022.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad World, 2015.
Lilith, the Other Letter of God, 2019.
Mary Magdalene, 2019.
The Hands of Penelope, 2022.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Painting the windows of Starbucks for Comic-Con!

Isabel Garcia is painting the windows of Starbucks for 2022 Comic-Con! I saw her today as I walked behind the convention center near the Hilton San Diego Bayfront!

Isabel is a local artist and muralist, part of Arte Atolondrada. Her creative partner is Shirish Villaseñor, who paints the windows of nearby Sweet Things Frozen Yogurt during Comic-Con!

If you’d like to check some of their mural work around San Diego, click here or here or here!

In the past few days, I’ve photographed the progress of Shirish’s windows for 2022 Comic-Con. You can see that here and here!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

New murals at California Center for the Arts, Escondido!

In the past few weeks, three amazing new murals have been painted at California Center for the Arts, Escondido!

The colorful artwork was created in conjunction with the center’s new museum exhibit Street Legacy: SoCal Style Masters. I’ve already blogged about the exhibit here.

A large new mural covers the south wall of the museum. I was told it was painted last weekend. It’s by Kenny Scharf. The book In Absence of Myth concerning the artist’s life is available in the museum’s gift shop.

Two walls along the walkway that lead to the parking lot north of the museum have bold new murals, too!

I noticed the signatures of San Diego artists Carly Ealey and Christopher Konecki on the first mural, which depicts a mountain lion and the word UNTAMED…

On the opposite wall, a beautiful bird and flowers have been painted…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A beautiful mural full of hope in City Heights!

A beautiful mural was painted last month in City Heights that is full of hope. You can find it on the side of Corey’s Market Liquor at the corner of University Avenue and 36th Street.

Created by artists Melody Del Los Cobos (@chicanalilly) and Armand Montiel (@artbyarmand), this is the 30th mural of the ever-growing #theavenuemuralproject drive-through art gallery, which stretches along University Avenue between Interstates 805 and 15.

A whale in the vast lonely ocean gives life to a tree, and has its own lighthouse for direction. It is swimming into butterflies, a symbol of transformation. There is always hope and new life lurking there within one’s own self.

To the left of the whale mural is a small tree painted red, white and blue. It is the work of Skyler Montiel.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

ARTS youth add more smiles to National City!

A few weeks ago a corner store in National City was brightened by the young artists of A Reason To Survive (ARTS).

The Munchies Corner Store, at the corner of 18th Street and Palm Avenue, has been painted colorfully with many fun, smiling characters! (Including a few of the tasty snacks that await inside!)

The mission of A Reason To Survive is to lift and encourage South Bay youth to become confident, compassionate, and courageous community builders through the transformative power of creativity. As you can see, these young painters have made a positive contribution to their community!

Enjoy some photos that I took this morning. You can plainly see how the efforts of ARTS and inspired young people are making National City more welcoming and beautiful…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

The shining new Timken Museum of Art!

Oh my goodness! I stepped into the newly renovated Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park today and my mouth dropped open. The first thing I noticed: all that brightly shining brass!

Had I stepped into a golden palace?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the Timken was closed to the public, not only was a new high tech air filtration added to the museum, but works of art were rearranged, gallery walls painted a pleasant slightly bluish off white (which works perfectly with the many painted masterpieces in gold frames), and all of the building’s brasswork was polished. I’m talking lots and lots of ornate brass, both inside the museum and out!

The building is now more light-filled and elegant than ever, but also less stodgy, more inviting. And it’s still free to view some of the very finest paintings on display in San Diego, including our city’s only Rembrandt.

I learned those two tapestries that used to hang in the central lobby were removed to preserve them, and that the Mercury sculpture has been moved into the outside garden. It’s visible in one my photographs.

The museum’s huge windows not only invite in ample light, beauty and life from the outside world, but the collection now extends itself into that outer world, as well!

I noticed two pieces recently added to the Timken’s world-class collection are now on display, including the fantastic Salomé, considered the most famous painting of artist Ella Ferris Pell.

You might enjoy reading something I posted four years ago, after an architectural tour of the Timken’s remarkable building. The sleek building is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of mid-century Southern California Modernism and the International Style in the nation. You can find that blog and see those photos by clicking here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!