What Got Me Started In A Big Way

Graffiti Door To Graffiti-Berkeley

This came from an abandoned warehouse in Berkeley, off Gilman by the tracks. The story is the owner let artists go in there and go to town. Then he locked it up again.

For years after this people continued to go in, setting up ladders and going in the 2nd floor.

Initially, I was told how to get in through a jimmied window off the tracks. I was blown away. It was so epic and beautiful and overwhelming. I didn't take nearly enough photos before the sun went down. A lot of my time was just spent wandering around staring at things, the way visitors in a museum stare at masterpieces. The emotion was palpable, it hung in the air. I was with a then-boyfriend, not an artist, who was even more gobsmacked than me. He would lose me in thought and awe.

I contacted the owner for years after, trying to get back in, but he wouldn't respond.
Recently I went back there and I couldn't even recognize it. The homeless guy living out front told me that the roof caved in and months later a body was found in the rubble. It's a sad story, and I pictured him laying there in the rubble in pain and fear. I wonder if he was an artist.

But this piece sums up the initial experience for me, just art on art on art. Color, pattern, skill. I wonder what each person was feeling, and thinking. How were they interacting with each other? What is their background? Who are they? I imagine it's like how archeologists feel when they stumble on a good dig.

 The color, the patterns, the different levels of view. This is an artist's dream. So lush and rich. So many places to look and soak up the experience. What a beautiful, magical journey.

I keep chasing the treasure.