Last summer I was walking by Lost Weekend Video and saw a sign in the window that read “Herzog/Kinski T-shirts!!!” I ran right in only to find that there was nothing left but women’s small. Epic bummer.
Luckily, they did a second run a couple months ago, and I’m now a proud owner of the above Maria Forde masterpiece.
Raised on a farm in Iowa, Maria made her way to San Francisco and sampled several other neighborhoods before settling in the Mission. Among other things, she likes the warmth, the sun, Lost Weekend, Aquarius and the library.
The drawing-portraits-of-movie-directors-for-video-stores thing started back in Iowa City, but has blossomed right here, thanks initially to a friend who worked at Lost Weekend. Maria produced a series of pins for the store, and found that her cinematic tastes meshed well with those of proprietor Adam Pfahler, who then asked her to do an official shirt.
She’s now done a Polanski, a Peckinpah, and the Herzog.
“I liked the idea of connecting to people who shared my love of movies, in a neutral unpretentious place,” Maria says, “And also making something that I care about art wise but turning it into something that someone can afford to have.” And that’s the thing. I rarely go to art galleries and I never go to video stores. But this special piece of art compelled me in.
I bought one for me, I bought one for a friend, and we’re both enjoying them thoroughly. Then I looked Maria up on the internet, and got in touch. “Those folks at Lost Weekend are so genuine and thoughtful and just… good people,” she told me, “Everyone should go there and get movies.” And now I’m seriously considering eschewing Netflix and Hulu the next time I feel like a little cinema.
Tonight, Maria debuts new work at another neighborhood institution, Needles & Pens. Maria asked 10 of her friends to give her some advice and then she drew them. The result is an exhibition called Advice Portraits. Also, as part of her effort to better understand life, she spent some time last month with her grandmother and her neighbors at their retirement home. She found that they knew a little something about life. Longview, the resulting zine will be for sale.