Pop culture permeates Daniel Green's mixed media works 

San Francisco native Daniel Green takes things that could be seen as banal— daytime TV, 1980s movies, Internet school fight videos — and turns them into paint-on-wood, drawing and text-based art.

Green, who graduated from Mission High School in 2007 and lives in The City, communicates his passion for pop culture (TV, movies, video games, music and sports) in “Days of Our Lives” at Creativity Explored, a studio and gallery in the Mission that provides workspace, materials and publicity to artists with disabilities.

“Days of Our Lives” is the first solo show by Green, who has autism and difficulty communicating verbally. Previously, his work was in the traveling exhibit “Create” at the Berkeley Art Museum in 2011 and “Outsider Artists” at the Oakland airport in 2013.

His sketches, which range from cartoonish to realistic, depict pop culture icons, such as cast of “Star Trek,” the Beatles and San Francisco Giants players.

Drawn on weathered pieces of wood, the pictures are surrounded by lists of TV schedules, weather reports and wild ideas Green makes up – for example, the “world’s greatest Samoan church fight videos.”

“Sometimes, the teachers give him images based on things he’s seen; sometimes they’re things from his imagination,” says Eric Larson, an artist and studio manager at Creativity Explored who curated “Days of Our Lives.”

“When we first met Daniel as a high school student, we recognized that he had something unique and different,” says Larson, describing Green’s art: “It’s very contemporary, with the multiple screens we deal with, and he’s a kid of this age.”

Many of Green’s pieces blend aspects of his own life with the fantasy world of popular culture. An image of a woman who works at Creativity Explored is surreptitiously added to a picture of the “Star Trek” cast, and events from Green’s own life are mixed with TV schedules.

San Francisco pride also plays a role in Green’s art, and he focuses on the Giants, perhaps because his father and sister worked at the team’s stadium.

Green, who is half Samoan, also touches heavily on Samoan themes, from traditional dress to contemporary music in his art.

Larson points to the breadth of the Creativity Explored show: “It’s not inspired by TV per se. There are deeper meanings. I chose the name ‘Days of Our Lives’ because it’s his life we’re seeing chronicled, but also the life of our studio.”


Days of Our Lives

Where: Creativity Explored, 3245 16th St., S.F.

When: Daily, through March 4

Admission: Free

Contact: (415) 863-2108, www.creativityexplored.org

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Chloe Johnson

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