SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – An internationally-acclaimed artist who painted a giant mural at UC Hastings got a rough view of San Francisco’s misery.
Faith XLVII’s piece titled, ‘Unbound’ is loosely inspired by the 1957 Peace Manifesto. She says, “It’s basically just a series of white flags in various stages of motion.”
For the artist, her experience working on this corner of the Tenderloin was not entirely peaceful.
“When I was painting the mural on Hastings, I really was not aware that the situation on the ground was going to be as dire as it was. There’s just like so much meth and heroin abuse out there. It was really quite disturbing to be honest.”
From her home in South Africa, Faith XLVII said Unbound has rather unexpectedly become a bit like her mural over Skid Row in Los Angeles, a lens that shifts perspective on the reality just below.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me how such a rich country could have such issues like this,” she says.
“I think being a law school in this environment is great, because we have students who come here because they want to represent vulnerable populations,” says Alex Shapiro, a spokesperson for UC Hastings.
For students and faculty at UC Hastings, the situation at the corner of Golden Gate and Hyde streets is, of course, a daily reality. There are drug dealers, users shooting up, and a Narcan-reversed overdose, just last month.
The mural brings art to that corner.
“We all benefit from having this artwork here that can give someone something to look up to as opposed to a blank wall,” says Shapiro. “I hope we can find more opportunities to do things like this.”
“Something that can create lightness, and be thought provoking, I guess,” says Faith XLVII.
And so, the corner of Golden Gate and Hyde Streets now has ‘Unbound’ but for the artist who created it, it was San Francisco that left an impression.
“Just to see people who are so broken, and need help. There just needs to be better social services to deal with this kind of thing.”