Category Archives: Graffiti art

Ballad of MadC: artist and visionary


Singularly brilliant. Artist MacC. She looks like a normal human. But what she puts on canvasses around the world looks like it came out of a superhuman.

The Berlin artist is doing her first West Coast show, called “Over the Edge.” I met her today as she was preparing and pulling the show together at San Francisco’s
1:AM Gallery. Here she is laying out giant pieces of signature MadC pink vinyl across the floor using the gallery as her canvas. They looked like super tight pieces of post-modern Colorforms.

Photo: Angela Frucci


Mark and Vaughn Bode go heavy metal

There are moments when you should step away from a large lizard. “You’re going to get tox’d out,” Mark Bode warns me. He flips on his respirator mask, then rifles through a box overflowing with Krylons and MTNs.

The mural artist was getting ready to block out colors on a human-sized lizard. It resembled a metalic cookie cutter. The reptile’s one of 51 characters  for the show “Metalmorphosis,” opening this week (8/24) at SFrancisco’s 1:AM Gallery.

Bode collaborated with Metal Man Ed, known for making life-sized subway car cutouts to spec. MME + Bode give new, 3-D abstractions to the Bode family of characters. Mark and his father Vaughn Bode, continue to morph, side by side.

First, the lizard’s head gets blocked.

Mark works on a flat surface so there’s no paint dribble.

One of Mark’s favorite colors, cyan blue.

A metalmorphosis has fully occurred.

Photos: Angela Frucci

Mark Bode Takes His Graffiti Art Down Under

Mark Bode (left) with Buttercup painting and Tad Arbogast

I’m standing in Mark Bode’s living room. He points his finger to the floor: “It’s there, down under.” He’s talking about his first-ever tour to Australia, a two-week journey that will take him from Sydney to Melbourne on February 11th. Along the way he’ll be painting giant murals with Australian artists, exhibiting a new collection of original work, and performing cartoon concerts in both cities.

Bode lives in Daly City, California, and is the son of Vaughn Bode, the maverick cartoonist and graffiti guru, who died in ’75. He’s kept his father’s dynasty steaming along for two generations. Their legacy of oversexed lizards, mutants and Bode Broads has had an indelible effect on graffiti and street artists all over the globe.

Australia has the biggest graffiti community anywhere in the world outside the U.S. and Bode gets tons of fan mail from Aussie nation. The trip has been a dream, years in the making. Bode is traveling with Tad Arbogast; a friendship that goes back 30 years. Abrogast will do a lot of the fill-in and background work on Bode’s giant murals, which look to be some of his most ambitious ever.

“I’m most excited about painting the murals I’m about to paint because they’re two of the most difficult pieces in the arsenal,” Bode explains. One piece is “Whores of a Different Color,” from his “Lizard of Oz” comic book. The other is “Buttercup,” a sultry butterfly woman with a lizard in her lap. “Buttercup” is a piece that Vaughn Bode did in 1968, and the younger Bode re-painted in 2001.

“People are fighting to get a spot by me,” said Bode. He’ll paint 10 ft.x 10 ft. centerpieces flanked by the work of other artists. Bode’s shows will take place at China Heights, in Sydney, and House of Bricks, in Melbourne.

Australian spray can company Ironlak has donated 200 cans to the Bode tour. (And with ‘da Bode on tour, that’ll keep the Krylon fumes out of my hood for a couple of weeks.)

Photo: Angela Frucci