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about the art project

THE ART: "Fast Pass" consists of four 7' wide × 5' high framed panels all linked together for a total span of 28', for a grand total of 2880 old fast passes and 924 other dimensional collage elements. Fast Pass is a dazzling abstract visual based on compelling human interest. More ->

THE PROJECT: 5 years in the making, "Fast Pass" is unique in that it could never have been done without the help of hundreds of people from the local community. Completion of all four panels is scheduled for early March of 2009. The exhibit will take place at the de Young Museum from August 5 - 30, 09. More ->

THE NAME ( 9/08 ): From the beginning I have referred to this project as "Fast Pass" and over the last 3.5 years it has become known as such. I do want to mention that the name you will see at the exhibit is "The Facade - What Is Real?"

THE ART: Here's a look at the first of the four panels which was completed in August of 2004. Here we have a sea of fast passes - a patchwork quilt of colored stripes with 720 silver and gold holographic stripes glittering as they reflect the light. I then add 70 cd's which are abstract in nature and also have varying degrees of metallics. This first panel has the effect of kinetic art without actually moving. "Fast Pass" dazzles the eye and jump-starts the senses. As you move right or left you are interacting with the art.

Fast Pass panel #1

While appearing very colorful and decorative, the underlying concerns behind the art are most significant. Fast Pass contains a psychological depth as it explores our shared human experience, each of us searching for identity, meaning, purpose, and self fulfillment - as we navigate our busy day. Fast Pass reflects my preoccupation with the concept of Controlled Chaos and our need and attempts to create order and predictability in a chaotic life and deteriorating society. The art, like each of us, contains a rich and complex reality - behind the facade. The dimensional elements are a metaphor for individuals and their common, yet obscure inner realities. Fast Pass also hints at a unifying spiritual connection or oneness which we all share. Yet, to see this amazing and oppulent explosion of color and shapes - without these insights - the viewer might only guess as to what Fast Pass represents. top of page

HOW FAST PASS CAME TO BE: Over eight years ago, I experienced an interesting series of events. At the time I had designed, produced and maintained three major radio station websites for San Francisco's KKSF Smooth Jazz, 106 KMEL, and STAR in Los Angeles. It was great business - I won numerous awards and got nominated for "Webmaster of the Year." It was a full-time routine that paid fairly well. But one day, I was walking along and I got this strong inspiration to devote the rest of my life to my fine art which had been a secondary creative outlet during the last 33 years of my design career. "Well, how can I do that?!" I thought " And what kind of art would I want to do at this point in my life!?" Amazingly - a month later - I lost all the accounts when Clear Channel bought out my clients and went in-house. One door closed and another door opened! Coincidence?

With enough money saved to explore art for one full year - full time - the answer to "what do to" was right at my feet, where in our SOMA area - I began to find the most interesting and compelling crushed metal and found objects in the streets. I set my course and began a new series of process oriented and very architectural assemblages. Since I had the courage to trust my intuition, I decided to name my new series "Trust." ( view the series here ) The very nature of the new series relied on an intuitive process in which my emotional reaction to the materials and the energetic relationships created between them directed the creative process.

The Fast Pass prototype & the first large Fast Pass panel

After the 22nd piece in the series, I created a small - experimental collage using Muni Fast Passes which I had started to collect. I loved all the different colored stripes and the holographic strips in the center. This new work was different than the rest of the series. I called it Adult Pass. It was striking and quickly accepted in a jurried competition at Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland. About a year later, I was looking at the piece, and wondered what the concept would look like in a larger and more complex format, and with the addition of another dimension. I imagined that it would be quite striking, and after producing the first 7'×5' panel in the Summer of 2004, it was clear that I was right. The response from those who have seen it has been overwhelming. It was at this point that I envisioned the larger scope of the project... FOUR PANELS displayed horizontally.

The Project

In attempting "Fast Pass," I have received an unforeseen bonus - people and stories! The thing that is so unique about this project - especially when you consider its scale - is that it could not be done without the support of many individuals in the community. During the process of collecting the passes needed to do the first 5'x7' panel, a process that has taken over three and a half years, I have developed relationships with various people who have become regular contributors. Additionally, I have met and spent time with a number of people who have given me their large collections. Each person has been very interesting and full of stories. This process has added a human dimension, and a quality to this art project, which is unique to anything I have ever done before. As the passes appear in my mail box, I am especially touched by the many envelopes that come with one or two passes, and I am aware that this person went to all this trouble and spent almost half a dollar to give me their pass." Instead of just being a collage of pieces of paper and objects, it is a collage that incorporates many personalities, events and human stories. Countless trips to and from on Muni buses and streetcars. This concept of using recycled materials that are imbued with the energies of the past is consistent with all of the works in my "Trust Series." Many of my contributors have asked to view the art when completed.

The Exhibit

"Fast Pass" is meant to be seen by a very large and diverse audience: one made up of both art enthusiasts and the general public. The de Young is a great location for the debut. Also - if I could, I would encase it in plexiglas and put it on one of those rolling billboards you may have seen on San Francisco streets, and I would park it at designated locations where passers-by could have a look. It's not so important to me that they like it... but that they have the opportunity to experience it; and to reflect on how art can be made from everyday objects and materials. top of page

In Support of Public Transit

When you take public transportation you are helping to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion.

Life is good here, and there is so much that we take for granted. Muni may be one of those things that many people expect to be there and to work perfectly, but the reality is that our public transit system - despite the problems that crop up from time to time - is one of the best in America. I am impressed by the skill and patience that Muni drivers display as they navigate busy San Francisco streets. When you consider all the rude people, crazy drivers, and careless pedestrians I'd say that - overall - Muni drivers do a great job. For comprehensive information on Muni, fares, schedules, history, etc., visit the MUNI website.

And don't forget our colorful historic fleet of streetcars. Thanks to Market Street Railway ( a local non-profit all-volunteer organization ) we have the finest operational fleet in America. These wonderful old streetcars and cable cars add character to The City and attract people from around the world, offering them an unforgettable experience. In fact, riding the F-line streetcar has become so popular that these old vintage cuties are transporting twenty one thousand commuters each day! Market Street Railway originated the idea of adding an operational line of vintage streetcars to San Francisco's transit fleet in the early 80's via the first Trolley Festival on Market Street. MSR is instrumental in the locating, financing, restoration and maintainence of these vintage cars for Muni.

Learn more about Market Street Railway, our vintage fleet of streetcars and how you can support this great organization by visiting the MSR website.

I hope to see the "Fast Pass" project create an increased awareness of the positive aspects of Muni and our collective Bay Area transit system.