All work remains © copyright 2000, the artists.
Photos and text below copyright 2000, Jim Prigoff
RIP Dream - February 2000 - Poem, Krash, Stare - Tattoo Shop - Oakland - Destroyed
Dream RIP - February 2000 - artist unknown - Oakland Tracks - Oakland
Dream Lives Tag - February 2000 - artist unknown - Tattoo Shop - Oakland
DUG (RIP Dream) - 2000 - Dug - Florida, south of 17th - S.F.
Dream RIP - 2000 - Jay Garcia and Precita Eyes - 20th and Bryant - S.F.
Dream (RIP) - 2000 - Mear and West Coast writers - La Brea near Melrose - Los Angeles
Dream - 1999 - Dream - Oakland Tracks - Oakland
"In memory of King Dream" Poem, Vogue, Estria & Schmoe © 2000 - 51st. and International
Jim Prigoff remembers ...
Mike "Dream" Francisco's spirit and images are still with us, but his living presence is profoundly missed by his many friends and the communities where his work was a living testimony to the significance of his life.
Since the early 80s, Mike had painted hundreds of pieces all over the Bay Area and beyond. We were always amazed how he could write his name so many times and yet each piece was different and special. In that respect, he was like Blade from NYC because of the amazing variety of forms he could shape with the letters of his name. He had excellent can control, color sensitivity and was a style master.
In the early years Dream and Vogue did huge blockbusters along the Oakland tracks, often painting with Schmoe, Krash and Poem. It was always exciting to go to the tracks to see what was new. In the more recent years Dream and Spie collaborated on the San Francisco side of the Bay and there was often a touch of sadness in the RIPs to Plan B and Pak One that Mike included in almost every piece.
The Dream - Spie piece high up on the Psycho City wall for the Zulu Nation event lasted until the walls were permanently buffed. Who ever "Dream-ed" that RIPs would be painted for Mike. When the fateful phone calls came, we could not believe that Mike had been gunned down. Life was full of promise for him and his new son was just six months old. Nobody has to point out that life in general is hard and tough on the inner city streets, but Mike was a survivor. One of the stories he told was that of being chased late one night from the Oakland tracks by the police. He ran all the way down to the Bay, jumped into the frigid water and floated under the dock until the coast was clear.
So many thoughts come back. In 1997 arrangements were made with a Boston advertising agency for them to shoot a TV commercial on the Oakland tracks for Converse. Dream, Vogue, Dizney, Raevyn and Neon painted the wall top to bottom over a three day period. The agency shot over twelve hours of extraordinary footage. All of this effort was necessary to put together a thirty second spot commercial. The agency people and the photographers were even talking about putting together some sort of documentary based on the excellent footage they had taken. The pay was fine for the crew, regular artists/actors scale and there was already talk about the possibility of reruns and residuals. Except ... Somewhere along the way, someone at the top of the decision chain must have said, "graffiti - we can't use that" and the whole project hit the cutting room floor.
There was the excellent show a few years back of Philippine Muralists at the Asian Art Museum. Mike was invited to bring together some youthful artists to create art for the outer lobby of the show. The Museum put together an event attended by some 300 people to see a showing by Tony Silver of "Style Wars" and I did a slide show of Spraycan Art from around the world. [KR, Spie, 808 and others had pieces on display.]
In earlier times there were calls to come and photograph work done with school kids in Alameda. There were also panels and controversy as Mike always had a strong point of view about the art form, the streets, and what was real and what was not. There wasn't always agreement, but the friendships held fast and respect was always there.
Possibly the last major piece that Mike did (with Spie) was on the wall at the juncture of Route 280 and the 101 in San Francisco. [The huge production at the farmer's market on Allemany]
At the funeral service, the church was filled with family, local friends, relatives, writers from all over the Bay and many others who had come to know and admire the painting of this very talented young artist. The deaths of Plan B and Pak One and now Dream are traumatic for their community. It is abundantly clear that the country in which we live perpetrates violence externally as well as internally. It is time to change the rhetoric, examine the social system and take action in behalf of a more caring society that focuses on its people rather than the profits from the marketplace.
Dream's Pieces on Art Crimes
Memorials and Dedications for Dream and Pak TDK
Official Dream.TDK site: dreamtdk.com