A new space for punk and underground art has opened, Fallout SF in North Beach

North Beach has deep roots in the counterculture. So perhaps it’s no surprise that an underground gallery and community art space dedicated to punk rock recently opened in a quiet alley off Grant Street. You won’t find a big hole in SF repercussions. But you might get a pick-me-up of your favorite punk band as you make your way through the steps to the place-friendly, dark basement location. And you will surely find plenty of irreverent and thought-provoking creations from over 30 evil and underground artists.

“A lot of people have wondered why we’re not in Mission or SOMA, but being in an underground space in North Beach is perfect for what we do,” says Farida Mazlan, an art curator who runs Fallout SF with her partner. Artist Craig Vincent. “He is super intellectual and has such a rich art and counterculture history. We are honored to be here.”

Fallout SF founders Farida Mazlan and Craig Vincent. | Image source: Dorothy O’Donnell

Fallout SF evolved from destroy artthe international punk arts management agency and online store the duo formed in 2020. Just before the pandemic shutdown, they put up a successful exhibition featuring works by 25 artists, including Vincent and their friend, well-known surrealist artist Winston Smith.

“We had 250 pieces of art in a little place in Castro,” Mazlan told Hoodline. “It was really cool – over 700 people came in. One week later, COVID hit. And I was like ‘What are we going to do with all this artwork?’

They decided to move everything to an online platform, and Destroy Art was born. The opportunity has also grown to expand their efforts to support emerging and established artists underground with a physical place from the pandemic. It is their friendship with Smith. He was the former tenant of the space that Fallout SF now resides in, having used it as a studio and gallery for 13 years. When COVID hit, he decided to leave town and move to Mendocino. So he offered the place to Mazlan and Vincent.

“We wanted to turn it into a community space where we could hold exhibitions and other events to support local arts,” Mazlan explains. “We want it to be a platform for musicians and artists who don’t really have much representation in the city in terms of their artistic style.”

Smith is among the artists featured in Fallout SF. In addition to being a Collagist, he’s also a respected punk designer who has worked with the likes of Dead Kennedys and Green Day.

“Federal Merit” series by collage artist and villainous artist Winston Smith. | Image source: Dorothy O’Donnell

“We’ve been a fan of Winston for many years,” Mazlan says. “He is an influential artist. We are very happy that he gave us this space.”

The rotating exhibits of Fallout SF also include guest artists such as legendary photographer Alison Brown, whose black and white photographs capture the raw energy of Southern California’s early punk scene. Brown’s portraits of punk kings like Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Joey Ramone (The Ramones), and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) are on view through August 14.

The work of punk photographer Alison Brown. | Image source: Dorothy O’Donnell

“We look forward to holding different types of events here such as fashion shows, book signings, and movie screenings,” Mazlan notes. “We want to be inclusive and open to all kinds of weird things.”

What exactly do you mean by “stranger things?” Think of a dark-themed puppet show. Or a girl spouting fake blood while performing with her band. Then there is the artist who wants to make a chandelier out of human bones.

Local artists currently rocking the gallery’s walls include Cliff Gleitch, Girl Mobb, Sick Pleasure, Somatic Sulfer, and Still Hear. In addition to art, Fallout SF sells band T-shirts, studded leather moto jackets, and other punk apparel.

Currently, you can see and buy some punk art in Fallout SF. | Image source: Dorothy O’Donnell

Fallout SF also hosts a collection of artist-designed clothing and prints by Destroy Art’s sister project, All Power 2 the People (AP2TP). Inspired by the community-centered ideologies of the original Black Panther Party, proceeds from sales of these items benefit the legacy work of the Black Panther Party Alumni Legacy Network (BPPALN). Destroy Art encourages its artists to create work that supports important social issues.

Fallout SF is located at 50-A Bannam Place. Opening hours are from 1 to 8 pm, from Friday to Sunday.

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