A few weeks ago, I’d reported rather sadly that the cloud mural was gone, the one that formerly graced the Public Storage building at Mission and Duboce. Gone after I don’t know how many years, because I first saw it at least 20 years ago.
So today, I’m delighted to report … it’s coming back! Yesterday, when I drove by there, I saw that a couple of panels had been repainted. So today I went back and got a photograph.
I stopped by to ask who the artist was and who was responsible for this. The clerk, busy with a customer, didn’t know and didn’t have time to investigate it. “But when it’s finished the artist will put his name on it,” he said.
So I’ll have to keep an eye out. If anyone knows, please do leave a comment.
[Edited to Add, 4 March 2012: They did sign it, and here’s the attribution. The designer is Gary Graham, (phone 530 477-1019) and the muralist is Peter Collins (415 706 1462).]
It was an unexpected grace note amid the freeways: a mural of clouds in a blue sky viewed through a colonnade. What was impressive was the transformational effect. A boxy concrete building became a canvas. It was spectacular.
And located as it was on Duboce, close to our area’s nearest access to 101 and the Bay Bridge, I saw it often.
So it was with great sadness I noticed, recently, that it was gone. The side of the building’s been painted a matt gray. Only a small sample of the former beauty remains, in a matching panel on the front of the building. I regretted not having taken a picture earlier, when it was all still there.
[ETA: Here is my “re-creation” of the mural — made with a public domain photo of clouds, and a computer-art program. You can check it against the Google link below to see how close I got.]
Usually, for a place like San Francisco, it’s relatively easy to find pictures on the Web. Lots of people out there with lots of cameras. But I didn’t find this one — perhaps because the best view of this mural came from a freeway where people wouldn’t be hanging out taking photographs.
The best I could do is find this view on Google Maps… I don’t know how long it’ll be up, but for now clicking on it shows a picture of the mural as it was. (It may take a little time to load and appear blurry while it does so. It needs Adobe Flash, and even has a 3D mode — which I think needs the kind of 3D specs with one green and one red lens.)
[ETA June 2011: The mural is being repainted!]