This short Documentary about my late Grandfather the Artist and Musician, Marcus Uzilevsky, and the fine art series he created by tearing pieces of old posters from the streets of San Francisco and repainting them at large scale.
Directed by Ryan Uzilevsky
Edited by Ryan Uzilevsky and Kevin Johnson
Music: Burningman - By Rusty Evans
In the 1970's, Marcus Uzilevsky fell in love with the tattered and torn remnants of old billboard walls he found during his travels in Europe, he snapped a few photos of these interesting textures, never developing the rolls of film until the 1980's.
By then Marcus had started his own printing company and was enjoying life as a successful artist. When he developed the film he was again inspired. He enlarged the photographs and began painting over them. He wandered the streets of San Francisco and tore off pieces of other billboards and advertisements to add to the collage. He began to incorporate images of music and cultural icons, partially torn and worn from the weather, with other more current faces sometimes partially plastered over them. He was fascinated by pealing back the layers of billboards and revealing the layers of time and the transience of fame.
He began a series of large scale mixed media works incorporating these elements and techniques.
In the artist's word's "time is always the victor"
The idea for the vignette was conceived by Marcus, who our family endearingly referred to as "Tata" called and asked if I would film him re-enacting an artistic process he practiced in San Francisco 30 years ago.
He drove down from his current studio in Marin County, and I suggested we meet in the Mission District, where I used to live in the late 1990's.
I suggested we check out 'Balmy Alley,' a sort of open air gallery street art gallery that had emerged between Mission and Valencia streets with the full block on both sides complete covered in street art and murals.
Marcus saw his Affiche Series as a cousin of street art, so the location made sense. I filmed him ripping pieces of old posters off the wall and using them in his collages back at his studio, much like he did originally in the early 1980's