7 San Francisco Bay Area Artists You Need to Know Right Now

There’s something special about the Bay Area that is hard to find in many places around the world. It is a hotbed for the most passionate, unique, innovative, and open-minded individuals.

We’re a crazy bunch, unafraid to go against the grain when it comes to the things we believe in, and local artists have made names for themselves by doing just that. From street artists that risk it all for what they love, to innovative contemporary artists set to take over galleries around the world, these are the 7 most notable Bay Area artists you need to know.

Name: Emily Fromm
Age: N/A
Profession | Art Style: Artist and Illustrator
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California
Current Residence: San Francisco, California
Website: emilyfromm.com

San Francisco-based artist Emily Fromm is known for her clean and simple urban landscape illustrations, reminiscent of retro Saturday morning cartoons. Since graduating from San Francisco State Universitywith a degree in Studio Arts in 2013, Fromm has worked as a custom muralist and curates community art shows at The Honey Hive Gallery in the Outer Sunset. Her work has been published in magazines and exhibited throughout Northern Californian galleries like 111 Minna, STUDIO Gallery, and Mighty Box Gallery.

Name: GATS (Graffiti Against The System)
Age: N/A
Art Style: Street Art
Place of Birth: N/A
Current Residence: Oakland, California
Website: instagram.com/gatsptv

You’ve likely encountered one of the many infamous masks donning the exterior walls of abandoned factories, rooftops, and other various objects while exploring the streets of the East Bay. Artwork by GATS, an acronym for Graffiti Against The System, can be found across the globe, but little is known when it comes to the elusive street artist. Unlike some of the millions of other street artists who simply tag their names “deface” property, GATS uses his art to tactfully address universal issues, like the rising costs of living and gentrification. GATS’s work has been displayed at some of the world’s most renown galleries, like Spoke NYC and Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.

Name: Jeremy Fish
Age: 43
Profession | Art Style: Illustrator & Artist
Place of Birth: Albany, New York
Current Residence: San Francisco,California
Website: sillypinkbunnies.com

Works by world-famous commercial illustrator and fine artist, Jeremy Fish, can be found on album covers, skateboards, vinyl toys, t-shirts, and sneakers. Fish has created a name for himself here in the Bay Area by incorporating various adorable and borderline-creepy woodsy characters and symbols in his colorful artwork. Most of Fish’s murals can be found in North Beach. Fish was announced the official resident artist at Coit Tower for the month of August. The work produced during his residency will be showcased at the grand opening of the new Haight Street Art Center later this Fall.

Name: Jim Campbell
Age: 61
Profession | Art Style: Contemporary Electrical Sculptor
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois
Current Residence: San Francisco, California
Website: jimcampbell.tv

With a reputation for jaw-dropping LED masterpieces that grace skylines around the world, award-winning electrical engineer and artist Jim Campbell has partaken in numerous public collections, including exhibits showcased at The MET, MoMA, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and SFMOMA. Next year, Campbell will bring his talent to San Francisco to create a light show featured on the top nine floors of Salesforce Tower. This massive installation will entail 11,000 individual LED lights beautifully depicting city and street scenes captured throughout the day.

Name: fnnch
Age: N/A
Profession | Art Style: Pop & Street Art
Place of Birth: N/A
Current Residence: San Francisco, California
Website: fnnch.com

Inspired by the likes of Banksy, Andy Warhol, and Frank Stella, fnnch brings otherwise boring cityscapes to life by adding his two cents in the form of subtle, additive nature, and pop art that the average viewer may perceive as a piece of commissioned art. Though fnnch is most recognized for his honey bear stencils, many of his works include his series of dog walkers, lips, and more found across San Francisco’s homes, sidewalks, and mailboxes.

Name: Ryan De La Hoz
Age: 32
Profession | Art Style: Maker Artist
Place of Birth: N/A
Current Residence: San Francisco, California
Website: ryandelahoz.com

Ryan De La Hoz is an artist of the maker culture, a technology-driven, contemporary sub-genre of art, derived from traditional arts and crafts. Hoz describes his work by explaining his frequent thoughts about “loss, hope, isolation, freedom from oppression, the destruction of natural resources, myth, magic, and the pursuit of happiness.” By the way he contrasts cutouts of dizzying white noise, optical art on faux marble, tie-dye, and other textures, viewers are able to grasp the tone of his work. Widely published, Hoz has traveled the world participating in solo exhibitions, and was the recipient of the Canson / Beautiful Decay Wet Paint Grant in 2011.

Name: Charmaine Olivia
Age: N/A
Profession | Art Style: Painter and Illustrator
Place of Birth: Encinitas, California
Current Residence: Oakland, California
Website: charmaineolivia.com

The self-taught, spiritual fine art painter Charmaine Olivia started her career as a professional artist at the age of 17 in Encinitas, California. Olivia uses oil paint to create masterpieces often featuring beautiful female characters accompanied by colorful backdrops meant to evoke the possibility of a physical world beyond the naked eye. Olivia’s impressive list of projects include work done for Burton, Cirque Du Soleil, Hallmark Lady Gaga, Urban Decay, Vans, and Volcom, to name a few.

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