Silicon Valley De-Bug, Event, Abraham Menor, Posted: Feb 01, 2012
Editor’s Note: Mike “Dream” Francisco’s art brought together the worlds of art and activism. As the Manilatown Heritage Foundation displays his work through a commemorative gallery on display over the next several months in San Francisco, photographer Abe Menor reflects on Mike “Dream” Francisco’s work and influence.
I remember when we were kids we would take the BART up to San Francisco and Oakland from San Jose to check out the graff spots and catch flicks. For the most part we were kids looking for an adventure. We would run around places like Psycho City and the Mission in San Francisco and also the Fruitvale Station and the Coliseum Walls in Oakland. We would sometimes just walk the tracks or go to abandon areas in hopes to discover hidden treasures.
We didn’t really have graffiti magazines nor did we have the internet back then, so we had to travel to see graffiti or to meet the writers we either heard about or looked up to. I remember we went to Psycho City for the first time and I felt like I was in a fantasy world. All the dope writers were up and there was a sick production high up on the wall that blew us all away. It was a Spie and Dream production that hovered above everyone. These two writers we all looked up to. I remember they had style locked down. The one thing that got me hooked on these two writers was not only their styles, but the force they were coming with behind the culture, knowledge, and elements they always added to their art.
Spie and Dream came with a twist that always got me thinking. They made the effort to communicate some kind of message through their work. Spie and Dream highlighted the struggle of the oppressed and strife of the underdog. This is what attracted me more to their work. I remember meeting Spie and Dream at a community panel for KRS One and they were at the event making sure that the community was embraced by the arts. They were always known for their hustle to put the arts in community activism. They definitely knew how to use their art as a weapon of change.
A couple years later a tragic event occurred and Dream was murdered on February 17, 2000. Friends and family throughout the years have kept his art and legacy alive. Dream has left a legacy of not only graffiti and styles to the world, but the element of art as activism to spark change. Eleven years later Mike “Dream” Francisco’s art and legacy still continues.
With the help of Spie, Dream’s family, and the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, I had the opportunity to experience an exhibit showcasing the art and legacy of Mike “Dream” Francisco. This exhibit will give you a chance to see old school pieces from the 80’s all the way up to his last work of 2000. There are also great stories and testimonies throughout the exhibit from friends and Dream himself.
Check out this great exhibit to learn more about the art and legacy of Mike “Dream” Francisco at the International Hotel Manilatown Center in San Francisco. He is a true brother that inspired me to always keep the art and activism as one. Rest in Power DreamTDK
Legacy: The Art of Mike “Dream” Francisco, is on display through April 14, 2012 at the International Hotel, Manilatown Center, 868 Kearny Street San Francisco, CA 94108 For more information call: 415.399.9580 or facebook at ManilatownHeritageFoundation.
Abe Menor is a contributor to Silicon Valley De-Bug.
This article was first published by Silicon Valley De-Bug.
More photography by Abraham Menor can be found at: www.brainsoiled.com.