Through the Looking Box: Mona Caron's Art Transforms Corner Into What it Could Be

Categories: Art

Photo courtesy of Mona Caron

You've likely walked by this mural a few times -- if not every day. We've passed it countless times since it was painted last year, and it wasn't until This is Colossal pointed it out that we noticed how the scene on the utility box at the corner of Church and Duboce works seamlessly into the surroundings.

But artist Mona Caron doesn't depict exactly what is there, but rather what could be there. She paints a more scenic and nature-oriented corner where the J-train dips below the ground -- the small mural replaces Safeway with a produce stand and the road with a bike path.

Caron says, "Local writer and activist Chris Carlsson wrote a futuristic novel situated in San Francisco, titled After The Deluge, in which he describes this particular spot the way I painted it."

The utopian future is a common theme of Caron's work, visible in her murals "Market Street Railway Mural" on Church and 15th Street, "Windows Into the Tenderloin" on Jones and Golden Gate, and the two murals located at the site of the Noe Valley Saturday farmers' market at 24th Street at Vicksburg.

Back at the utility box mural, "Manifestation Station," Caron notes those who usually see the optical illusion first are children. "It was fun, while working on it, to see little kids react quite immediately to the illusion as they passed by, while their parents didn't get it at all," she says.

Next time you pass it, take a moment to place your feet on the two footsteps painted on the ground, and bend down to the optimal viewing height (4 and a half feet), and see what she sees.

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My Voice Nation Help

I just adore her.     It makes me think of how glorious Hayes Valley Farm was, and what a travesty it was by the city to sell it off to condo developers.     Mona = hope!!! 

Julia Mae Thies
Julia Mae Thies

I have taken multiple photos of it and never noticed the illusion! :-D Duoh!

Alex Vazquez
Alex Vazquez

I see it all the time when I'm heading up the wiggle

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