Tag Archives: Mark Bode

At the Broken Record, a pinup is born

Just east of Mission at Geneva, lies a whiskey bar called the Broken Record. It’s sure dark in there! But the cuisine in the back room is illuminated enough to have pulled in Food Network’s Guy Fieri to check out why patrons get hysterical over the off-the-charts fare.

Jason King’s owned  the Broken Record for 5 years. And for those 5 years, he wished he had something on the dismal, entryway wall. But as he told me: “I just didn’t know what it was.”  Well, that’s where master muralist Mark Bode comes into the story.

“I chatted with him one night and told him I was a painter,” said Bode. He showed Jason his work and rest is pinup history. Jason gave Bode a wall and he decked it with a seductive redhead lounging atop the front room archway. Done in the style of pinup greats like Vargas, Elvgren and Olivia, the bar now has a righteous  piece of pinup. [And she’ll always be close to Guy Fieri’s “Guy Ate Here” stencil. Guy’s head is well situated over her lusty thigh.]

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