Patricia Araujo

metropolis13's picture
Neighborhood: SOMA

Since the late 1990's, I've painted (in oils on canvas) the facades of both iconic city landmarks and abandoned downtown buildings of San Francisco's SoMa (South of Market) and Mid-Market neighborhoods. I continue to paint the central city's architecture, and have also focused with other projects alongside. From 2008 to 2010, I dedicated a series of works relating to an imaginary Tomorrowland, and as of most recent, I've devoted to painting the architectural wonders and forgotten treasures of "GGIE" (the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 at Treasure Island) - the last World's Fair of San Francisco Bay.

While living in SoMa, I was enchanted by its rich architectural history and its diverse styles, from Beaux-Arts tradition and Art Deco inspired, to factory warehouses and industrial sites, and now in contrast with the new high-rise and commercial buildings that continue to be built and expand for a new city. My paintings depict praiseworthy examples of the city architecture, some utilitarian and others grandly ornamental, from both old and new. My fascination with domes, towers, sacred and municipal structures began with daily observations of the Golden Gate Theatre at Sixth and Market. Other notable landmarks that I've painted include the PG&E thermal plants of 6th & Jessie, the Hibernia Bank, the Old Mint, the Warfield, Old Emporium, the Federal Building, the Palace Hotel, The Marriott, and the new high rise additions -the InterContinental Hotel and the tallest residential building in the city - One Rincon Hill.

My latest SoMa paintings were originally conceived from photographing at the 12th floor of SOMA Grand building (located at Market and 8th Streets), and where I witnessed the panoramic views that capture the South of Market and many of the sites that I’ve painted before and now collectively. In my cityscapes, I sense the presence of the silent stage uninterrupted by inhabitants. These paintings highlight the exteriors of complete structures and also depict architectural fragments. Their style is largely abstract. Playfulness of forms, juxtaposed against painterly skies. Painted in bright colors, and opposing to its usual grey fog and in the hopes to bring an up-lift from the blight that has been present. A marvelous city that is in constant flux and with plenty of inspiration for future paintings.

“Araujo reminds us that the buildings of our cities' commercial neighborhoods were architects' fantasies before they became assertive new realities and then, after the passage of time, objects of nostalgia. Her paintings as a whole, reaffirms the city's daydream of itself as a uniquely beautiful amalgam of past and present.” (By Jerome Tarshis, excerpt taken from Araujo's book, "SOMA SEEN")