Classic San Francisco


5' x 5'9" x 3'3", 400 lbs.

Pigment ink, acrylic gel medium, acrylic paint, metal leaf, Giants World Series ticket and spar varnish on canvas over a fibre glass structure with steel support and base.

Large Heart was commissioned by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation and purchased by VISA. It is located through October, 2011, on Union Square, at the corner of Powell and Geary Streets, in the center of San Francisco. The Union Square management estimate that approximately 9 million visitors will see this Heart while it is on the Square.

I was honored to be commissioned by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation to paint a Large Heart for the 2011 series of Hearts in San Francisco. The Heart was first displayed at the Heroes & Hearts Luncheon in Union Square, San Francisco, on February 10, 2011. VISA purchased this Heart - thank you VISA. See the StarkInsider video article about the unveiling of the Hearts. An interview with me is featured at 1 minute 22 seconds into the video. Also see John Darakjian's YouTube video (an “artist's eye” tour of the Heart).

The Heart is painted with a full color depiction of the Golden Gate Bridge and other contemporary San Francisco scenes (plus a San Francisco Giants World Series ticket)on one side and black and white film noir scenes of San Francisco from classic films on the other side. The color side was based on my painting San Francisco Heart. The films featured on the black and white side include: Cops (1922), San Francisco (1936), Sisters (1938), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Dark Passage (1947), DOA Original (1950) and Vertigo (1958). The depiction of the Maltese Falcon itself was based on the Maltese Falcon sculpture in the historic John's Grill whose owner, John Konstin, was kind enough to grant me permission to photograph it. Actors featured on the film noir side of the Heart include Humphrey Bogart (Maltese Falcon and Dark Passage), Kim Novak (Vertigo), Buster Keaton (Cops), Edmond O'Brien (DOA), Spencer Tracy (San Francisco), Errol Flynn and Betty Davis (The Sisters). If you visit the Heart in person see how many of them you can spot!

This is a live "Heart Cam" video showing the large Heart I painted situated on Union Square. The WiFi streaming video Dropcam camera was kindly donated by Aamir Virani, co-founder of Dropcam - the source of convenient webcams with the ability to record and playback video history. Many thanks to Luke Weinstein, co-founder of the Weinstein Gallery, for kindly permitting the Heart Cam to look out at the Heart through his gallery windows. Do visit his gallery when you are in Union Square (after visiting my Heart, of course:-)

(If the Heart Cam is temporarily offline it is because of bandwidth speed limitations.)


Passers by enjoying the Heart...

The Heart by night.

The following three photos were taken at the Heroes & Hearts Luncheon on Union Square, February 10th, 2011, by Aubrie Pick for Drew Altizer Photography.

Me and Nathan Nayman, Head of State and Local Relations for Visa, the sponsor of this Heart


Me, former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. and Nathan Nayman


Pointing at the Giants World Series ticket with Pam Baer and her children.

Then the next day...

The Heart being rolled down Stockton Street on it's way to being installed on the southwest corner plinth of Union Square.

Here are some views of the Heart while it was in my studio during the painting process.

When the heart first arrived...a blank canvas!


In painting this Heart I combined digital with traditional art media. The design was originally painted digitally using Corel Painter software, a Wacom Intuos4 pen tablet, Macintosh computer and a 30 inch Apple Cinema display. Using an Epson wide format inkjet printer I then printed the front and back images onto a total of 32 feet length of 44 inches wide coated canvas. This canvas digital print was then cut up and wrapped around the huge heart and adhered to it with acrylic gel medium. Transferring a flat painting onto a curved, almost spherical, form provided it's own set of challenges and appreciation of the skill of clothing designers! I spent many weeks adding acrylic paint over the canvas. The paint was primarily applied thickly with a palette knife, with some brush painting as well. You can feel the impasto texture when you touch the Heart. I also added metal leaf and, as a tribute to the success of the local baseball team, a Giants World Series ticket (the World series was played as I was painting the Heart)! The whole Heart was then coated in multiple layers of spar varnish for uv and water protection.

Humphrey Bogart getting some paint applied in his hair.



The painted Heart leavingthe building.

All artwork shown is copyright © Jeremy Sutton
No reproduction or usage of artwork allowed without written permission of the artist.
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