Friday, October 24, 2008

TEASE: OLD PROJECTORS—The Evening Class Interview With Amos Goldbaum

It's time for a new sidebar here at The Evening Class, which I'm going to call Tease. One of the pleasures of retiring from the corporate sector was getting to set aside my suits, my ties, my slacks, my designer belts and shoes, and my argyle socks in favor of more casual attire: namely, t-shirts, jeans, white socks and sneakers. I don't miss dressing for success at all, as success was always a relative term, especially when—as Joe Campbell used to say—that corporate ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.

My first venture with Tease was actually The Evening Class interview with Steve Barretto and his "Brown Jesus" campaign. I now follow through with a conversation with street artist Amos Goldbaum, who I recently met in front of The Coffee Bean on Market Street on my way from a press screening to dinner with a friend. I was stopped in my tracks by one of his designs—a t-shirt that sported a collection of old movie projectors. For a better view of the image, be sure to check out his website, the store section, under shirts, where if you click on the image it brings up a large detail (and save yourself $3 by buying them directly off Amos at his street boutique).

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Michael Guillén: So where did this idea of the t-shirt with the old movie projectors come from, Amos?

Amos Goldbaum: I took out a Montgomery Ward catalog from the library. It was a collection of Montgomery Ward catalogs from the 1930s and I was drawing a lot of different old machinery from there and they had a series of models of old film projectors that they were selling.

Guillén: You traced them?

Goldbaum: No, I didn't trace them. I drew them freehand in pen and then went through the process of getting them on to silkscreen for the t-shirts.

Guillén: So what's your background? How did you end up being here in front of The Coffee Bean on Market Street promoting your entrepreneurial street boutique?

Goldbaum: [Laughs.] I don't know, man. I heard about this street artist program through my mom's friends and it sounded pretty sweet, y'know? Making money off your artwork.

Guillén: You have to get a license from the city?

Goldbaum: Yeah, you get a license. I just graduated from college so I needed to make some money and it's going pretty well.

Guillén: You graduated with an art degree?

Goldbaum: Yeah.

Guillén: Well, I gotta tell you this other t-shirt I bought from you….

Goldbaum: The Sutro Tower?

Guillén: Yeah, it's a hit with my neighbors up on Bernal Heights. They've actually stopped me on the street to say, "Hey, that looks like it's on Virginia Street!"

Goldbaum: I need to go back and see what street it is so I can tell people. I live just below there on Richland.

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