Visual Artist

Oakland, California


By: JC Rodriguez

I landed in San Francisco and settled into my Airbnb. On the ride in from the airport you can't help but see how San Francisco is changing. The influx of tech companies is evident with the continued change in the city's skyline. Towering office buildings, increased traffic and rent, to some are signs of progress. The dichotomy of two worlds colliding. Very few places in the world can you see so evidently the gap between the haves and the have nots. I make my way over the Bay Bridge toward Oakland. A city many predicted would share the same fate of tech takeover, but it just hasn't happened. What's taken over Oakland? Cannabis. With designated "Green Zones" there is another takeover sprouting in the often discarded brother to the now gleaming San Francisco. The end result, areas typically home to artists like Eddie Colla, are now being overtaken by "higher" rent paying Cannabis start-ups.

We made our way to Oakland to meet with Eddie Colla, one of the most influential and well know artist of the Bay Area. Originally from New Jersey, Eddie has been exposed and is attracted to the normally discarded parts of town. In his work, he connects that influence to life itself. Life can give you some bumps and bruises, but there is beauty within. This is the essence of Eddie Colla's work and we are happy to see past the decay and discover the history that's etched on.