Pico Sanchez - Street Murals and Public Art
Pico Sanchez
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Pico Sanchez

San Francisco, CA

"Project Artaud is a pioneering arts complex in San Francisco’s Mission District. It is home to 3 theaters and 2 dance studios, as well as to some 70 painters, sculptors, designers, photographers, filmmakers, writers, musicians and performers. Built as an American Can Company tooling factory in 1925, the building that now houses Project Artaud provided jobs for San Francisco Mission District families through the 1960s. In 1971, a group of artists moved into the abandoned industrial building, naming it Project Artaud, for French avant-garde theater artist, Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), who believed art should happen in non-traditional spaces.

The late Federico "Pico" Sanchez was a fixture there for twenty-five years; serving 10 terms as the project’s president. Born in Mexico City, Sanchez studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City and at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay. He was also a "Muralista Mexicano" whose work graces many walls in the Mission District. Sanchez described his art as being both sophisticated and naïve. It was his goal to be as naïve as possible, but it was a constant battle because of his years of training as a professional artist, or as he put it "contamination." From as far back as he could remember, he had been mesmerized by the colors, shapes and shadows surrounding him. In December 2010, Pico Sanchez died peacefully in his sleep at his live-work space at Project Artaud."