Stumbled into a restaurant, El Balazo, on the Haight the other day to grab a burrito and was blown away by all the art. It was everywhere, on the walls, on the furniture, on the signage and even outside on the patio. There were paintings, cut-out stencils and free-hand, silkscreened Hispanic and Day of the Dead images. Beautiful colored angels, devils, Frida Kahlo, dancing skeletons, Mexican dancers, cowboys, Che, and musicians… all boldly emblazoned on canvas, boards, walls and chairs.
The fantastic artist who did it all is a local, Michael Roman. While searching him, I couldn’t find much, mainly due to his name being so general – I got a lot of “Roman” art and other artists with the same name. It looks like he did a show in LA at Urban Sanctuary recently and also showed in a number of shows over the years, at a gallery in the East Bay, Eclectix. Michael currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco, where also teaches classes to aspiring and students in the Mission district.
The restaurant had some pretty good mexican food and is part of a chain. While looking at their website, it seems Michael did all the art and decor for their other locations as well. So get out and see this wonderful kickin’ art and grab a bite in your local area. Better than most gallery shows out there!