Four years after he painted it, Cannon Dill’s giant bird and bird house are still there. So, too, are the additions of Brett Flanigan and Zio Ziegler, who collaborated on the wall that overlooks a big parking lot in downtown Oakland. But lots of other artists have added their own figures to the wall, including a head with floppy ears that reaches out of a hole. Who did that? Dill isn’t sure. But the head — and all the other work — will soon disappear.
“We are actually planning on repainting the whole wall” later this month, Dill tells SF Weekly. “I guess somebody painted a big cartoony rabbit thing above our piece and never even finished it, so we are just going to repaint the whole wall.”
Dill, Flanigan (who did the work’s hour glass and colorful shapes), and Ziegler (who did the intricate right-side figure) collaborated on the Oakland wall around the same time they did Rush Hour, on San Francisco’s Market Street near Seventh Street, which has since been replaced with another street work. That Market Street piece featured Dill’s memorable wolf-like creature. Dill’s oversized bird with strange eyes is a remnant of a period when the Oakland artist was experimenting with his subject matter.
“At the time,” he says, “I was painting a lot of bird figures. It was right before my first solo show which I had a lot of similar works. I’m pretty sure I haven’t painted anything like that for years — I don’t remember why exactly I chose to paint that image, but I know I was pretty stoked on it at the time, especially getting to paint with the same group of people again.”
A short walk from the Oakland wall, on Broadway and Sixth Street, are two electrical boxes that Dill has painted over with images of bricks and eyes. Sponsored by the Jack London Improvement District, the work shows Dill’s range, and his growing public presence around Oakland.