Some art is timeless. A line drawing of a nude model or a watercolor depicting a bowl of fruit can transcend space and time--unmooring from its historical context by providing few clues as to where or when it was created.
The exhibit of new work by San Francisco painter Patricia Araujo, "The City from SOMA Grand," may be the opposite of that. Araujo's paintings are profoundly connected to the circumstances of their creation, depicting a neighborhood in the process of rapid transformation.
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Araujo's collection explores architectural geometry of the South of Market area as seen from upper levels of the SOMA Grand condos. Even devoid of people, the pieces' bright colors show the area for all it bustling vibrancy. The hand-drawn quality of the images give the urban landscape, which can often feel cold and impersonal, a sense of intimacy and warmth.
A former architecture student, Araujo has been painting the buildings of SoMa since the 1990s. Since that time, the neighborhood has undergone staggering change. Tech offices and luxury condos have replaced warehouses as the landscape has become increasingly dotted with towering high rises and the one-of-a-kind Federal Building draws the eyes of fans and detractors alike.
These changes are precisely why Araujo's work seems so essential--as a document of a neighborhood in flux.
Four of Araujo's large paintings from the series are being displayed at the SOMA Grand until December 15. A book with the full series, entitled "SoMa Rising," is also available.
Check out some more of Araujo's works: