Photos: Silver Warner Benefit

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 23 May 2007
On April 19th, 2007 in San Francisco, a well-known and respected member of the local art community named Silver Warner suffered an emotional and mental breakdown that resulted in him causing a fire in his apartment, which escalated to three-alarms engulfing his building and briefly spreading to the neighboring structure. The details of the fire and Silver's state of mind at the time were widely reported in the local newspapers. After the fire, he went missing for several hours but eventually found his way to a hospital where he was subsequently arrested for arson.

Silver was born and raised in SF and has been a bike messenger since 1991. His photography is often featured in Hamburger Eyes and has been in many publications from Tokion to Nylon. He has also been a part of numerous gallery shows across the U.S. and in Europe and Japan. Aside from the fine art world, Silver has been an icon in underground street art and publishing some of the seminal 'zines to come from the Bay Area over the last 15 years.

He is now, and has been since the incident, incarcerated in San Francisco's County Jail. He is being charged with three felonies: arson, arson with damage over $100,000, and for a reportedly minor injury suffered by a firefighter at the scene. If convicted of all three of these charges, he could face life in prison due to California's infamous "three strikes" law.

Warner's father, Robert Warner, said that his son is a peace-loving vegetarian but was in "crisis" at the time of the incident. According to friends of Silver, when he "came to" at the hospital, he was unaware of what had happened. Those who know Silver attest that it is utterly out of character for him to do anything that would hurt another. His family put together this benefit to raise money for his legal and medical fees. They feel that he should not be incarcerated as a malicious criminal, but that he should be placed in a facility where he can get the psychiatric help that he needs.

The benefit happened last night, May 22nd, at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. Featured artists included Mike Giant, Tahiti Pehrson, UFO, Sam Flores, Oze 108, ReLoad Bags, and many others who are trying to help. Here are some photos of the art and the people who came out to support a fellow artist.

Photos by Ert O'Hara

At the small arts table

Hand-painted mini truck

Inside the ladies room for contributing artist Tara Lisa Foley's new mural

There's Tara in the mirror

Long-lived sticker party on the bin in the 111 Minna ladies room

Tahiti Pehrson's "Merry-go-Round", Angie Crabtree's "Bubble Bath"

Brandon "Big Kid Fun"

Pork-chop "Excepter"

"Free Silver" by Tahiti Pehrson

"Midnight Cowboy", "Don't Lie Times Magazine", and "Endless Summer" by Tahiti Pehrson

"Girl with Bike" two-color stencil on fabric by Leo Haefemeyer/Rev. Bronwyn Pan

Pez bag by ReLoad Bags

"Girl and Box" by SALT

"Sinful Chicken" by Greg Henderson

A-A-Hurry "Untitled"

"California" by Tahiti Pehrson

"Times Square Takeover" screenprint poster for B.I.K.E. by Ryan C. Doyle

Detail of "Times Square Takeover"

Silver's friends manning the table

Pez stickers on board

"Hot Pumkin" by Silver Warner

Photo by Silver Warner

"Hungry God" by Wolfgang Paperchase and Alleyn Evans/Allison Termine apothocary posters "Morning 40 Federation at Mardi Gras"

More goods, including the decked out Pez jacket

Me, Ert, and Hamburger Eyes' Ray Potes

Silver's dad, Robert Warner



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