After almost fifteen years living and working in the same space here in North Beach, I stumbled into one of the greatest art studios of all time. 1501 Grant Avenue was the French Italian Bakery for almost four generations, until the ovens were condemned a few years ago. It was purchased by my good friend, Pete Mrabe and his associates. Pete is a born and raised San Francisco chef, and owner of the world-famous Don Pistos and Chubby Noodles restaurants here in North Beach. These new owners have had a hard time finding anyone to lease and develop this 5500-square foot, 40 foot ceiling, three-level old bakery. Until someone is able to develop this crazy, light-filled, brick paradise, the owners have very generously let me use this big open space and storefront as my studio for the last year or so. I have produced two bodies of work in this space since I received the keys. I made a series of 24 drawings here for my first ever sold-out show last April with Mike Giant at Black Book Gallery in Denver. More recently, I created a whole San Francisco-based, fog-themed body of 26 paintings and drawings called The Fog Lovers Club for Hashimoto Contemporary. I have done some fundraising events using the "take out" window in the storefront to help direct sales and foot traffic to my neighborhood. I also hosted a massive party for my rapper friend Action Bronson's first solo art show here last spring.

Fish Studio 4

An ideal studio in San Francisco is one that is either inexpensive or free, waaaaay below market value, and preferably here in North Beach, where I attended art school, and where Francis Ford Coppola, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and a ton of others contributed to an incredible creative neighborhood art history lesson. I have been very fortunate to have spent the last quarter-century drawing pictures for a living in these crazy, incredible studio spaces, in the shadow of these legends, in the most expensive city in the USA.

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I had really high hopes that this humongous space would open me up to making a bunch of larger paintings. I prefer to sit upfront in the storefront, drawing 11" x 14" black-and-white ink drawings, my preferred medium these days. Just watching the world go by through these giant floor-to-ceiling picture windows. Jeremy Fish