Overview

San Francisco's Municipal Railway has assembled one of the most diverse collections of vintage streetcars, trolleys, and trams in transit service anywhere. Up to 20 of these vintage vehicles carry passengers along Market Street and The Embarcadero every day.

 

Mike Sanchez photographs and catalogs individual streetcars to understand this collection on a deeper level. To highlight the unique design features of each vehicle, he isolates the subject from its background and transforms it into a visual and historical analysis of form, color, design, and culture. The city of San Francisco is abstracted as an overlay of colors and skylines, situating each streetcar in its modern-day environment, while allowing the cars themselves to shine.

Mike Sanchez creates mult-layered, vibrant San Francisco Cityscapes capturing the joy, energy and history of this special place.  

Works
Biography

You could call him a photographer, but that too would miss the mark. Sanchez, who holds a BFA with a focus on photography from the University of New Mexico, takes a wider-lens approach to art.

You could call him a photographer, but that too would miss the mark. Sanchez, who holds a BFA with a focus on photography from the University of New Mexico, takes a wider-lens approach to art.

 

"I feel fortunate to have developed my photography skills during the transition between the film era and the digital," he says. "I learned classic darkroom techniques and how to create within the physical limitations of film, but was also introduced to the enormous potential of using digital photography to create whole new forms of art. Photography could become anything my mind could capture or create."

 

This genre-busting philosophy is evident in his work. His series Streetcars of San Francisco melds images of those familiar cars with retro-tinged graphic design for a collage-like effect; his photographs of Brian Goggin's Defenestration have the decided quality of surrealistic paintings; and his most current projects give one the sense they are viewing photographs...while macro-dosing LSD.

 

Perhaps it's inventing that is Sanchez's true craft. From the time he was a kid, he was drawn to whatever he could imagine and build, be it Legos or metalwork. So when he relocated to San Francisco and became quickly acquainted with the artist's reality here (hi, restaurant jobs), he had to get crafty to survive before eventually (over two years later) being able to support himself as a full-time artist.

 

"I've had to get creative with many odd photography and design jobs, and while incredibly challenging, it has also been immensely rewarding to have control over my career, and to craft together my life as an artist." -- 7x7 Editors

Exhibitions
Bibliography

7x7 Magazine

https://www.7x7.com/san-francisco-fine-art-photographer-mike-sanchez-2641155137.html