Artist Statement by Terbo Ted
On Mars Salon Installation, Summer Solstice, 2011.
Show at 210 Fillmore at Haight in San Francisco through the end of August.

(On Mars Salon link)

Thank you On Mars Salon!

Twenty years ago I spent much of my time in Lower Haight, during the early 90s rave heyday here in San Francisco.  I lived at Haight and Scott for awhile, and couch surfed the neighborhood for awhile too, which included sleeping in Alamo Square or Duboce Park at times between girlfriends.  In that era I dyed my hair every color of the rainbow, and wore wildly multicolored clothes with clashing collages of patterns on them.  It is a complete thrill for me to return to this neighborhood with an art installation that visually ties into these personal roots.

Art makes me happy.  Making art makes me happy.  Having my art live outside of my world makes me happy.  I get off on immortality gratification, the idea that I live beyond our lifespan by my works.  Certainly, I’ve created various images, sounds and writings that will outlive all of us and be experienced after we have left this physical plane.  When making objects, I make them extremely durable and rugged, and present them distressed, weather-ready, rustic, set for a long unknowable journey through time and space.

I work in series, squares, on plywood, all designed to tile together as shown here, like LEGOs or TETRIS.  Once you start collecting my works, you’ll see how the new pieces over the years will fit with ones going back this past decade.  The visual subject matter of this installation relies heavily on personal motifs, including: my never ending love of stargazer lilies; pinups (done in the current street art style), and op art.

I’ve really been feeling op art in 2011, and so have many others.  There are lots of strongly favorable reactions to op art right now, both in my works and works by other artists.  I’ve been heavily studying the past fifty years of op art, as well as optical illusions, and how the eye works.  I’ve been studying how the human eye sees with chemical reactions in a series of cones and rods; we have three kinds of cones that see: purple-blue; blue-turquoise-green; green-red, and rods that see dark/light/contrast/nightvision.  Some of the op art in this show draws heavily on 90s retro, such as the fractal looking spirals, the old patterned fabric prints available by AMEBA clothing on Upper Haight back then, and early desktop computer graphics, like what I was creating for rave party flyers all those years ago.  I’ve also been studying op art further back into the 70s, 60s, and 50s, some of that shows here as well.  I’m trying to hurt my own eyes, after decades of staring at and creating trippy visuals.  Constantly getting better at it, refining the vision.


Some of the pinups here- the ones on the distressed blue plywood- are from a set of seven from this spring I call my ‘Blue Period’, a Picasso joke.  When he was around 20, Picasso had a friend die and for several years afterwards painted depressing, very blue images of old, broken people.  My spin on this is that now I’m a broken down middle aged man, and spring has passed me by, my sex life passing before me, realizing how short our time on earth is.  So instead of painting sullen, depressed people, I glamorize youthful female form, fertility, life, while I am alone.

Everything here is for sale.  Buy one or a pile, cash and carry, take it with you, the show is asymmetrically installed in a manner that allows it to visually work in a deconstructed state.

Feel free to contact me through my website,, (link) and say hi!

Ted Terbolizard aka Terbo Ted
Summer, 2011

@3 years ago