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Kurt M. Schwartzmann, Artist / Owner  - Yellow Line Art
Kurt M. Schwartzmann, Artist / Owner - Yellow Line Art Kurt is a visual artist. His drawings of well known subjects and landmarks reveal new sides of ordinary objects, and his photographs make a vivid impression.

Kurt's Resume

Kurt's Podcast on MUNI Diaries Live

Artist's Statement: 

I was born and raised in Fresno, California, about 200 miles from San Francisco.  As a boy, seeing the skyline of San Francisco for the first time I was WOW'D by the triangular building! The Transamerica Pyramid was forever associated in my mind with the excitement, creativity and fun of the big city. As a young gay man traveling to San Francisco in my white '67 Volkswagen Beetle the skyline took on a deeper meaning; freedom of expression and refuge from intolerance. The first sighting of the Transamerica Pyramid as I approached the Bay Bridge always gave me a big sigh of relief and a feeling of finally being home in a way that no other place ever has or ever could.

In 2006 I lost all vision in my left eye due to complications of AIDS. I draw in plein air and my limited vision gives me a unique ability to focus in on my subjects and their surroundings, while blocking out external influences. My preferred drawing format is tall and narrow, 3 1/2 " x 16 1/2”, because each drawing shows a slice of life as I see it. I am grateful that my world is still full, rich and colorful even though my field of vision is half of what it was.

In the first half of 2007 I was homeless and living on the streets of San Francisco. MUNI buses, running around the clock, often provided me the only safe place to sleep at night. My first series of 64 drawings depict my view of what's in front of the "Yellow Line" as a tribute to the hard working Operators of MUNI that put up with SO much drama and still manage to keep our city moving efficiently, rain or shine.

My next series, "36 Views of the Transamerica Pyramid', completed in 2017, was influenced by previous artists who have created series depicting iconic symbols of their era; Katsushika Hokusai who, in the 1830's, created a series of large, color wood-block prints depicting 36 views of mount Fuji, and Henri Rivire's 1902 series Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower.

The media that I used to create these drawings include Pen and Ink, Watercolor, Colored Pencil and Acrylic Pen on Watercolor Paper and Collage made from my bus transfers, collected while drawing the Yellow Line series from February though July of 2015. The monoprints in the series "36 Views of the Transamerica Pyramid" were created using colored ink on cotton paper. Each drawing is unique in media, design, and style. 

In 2018, I started the series 'MUNI Landmark Destinations' depicting some of the unique vehicles that comprise our famous public transit system and the iconic locations that they serve. I created four drawings in this series before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, shutting down my bus route and many others.

During the pandemic I collaborated with fellow artist Dierdre Weinberg, a renowned muralist in San Francisco on:

- The Love Project at the Buena Vista Cafe, painting murals around the outdoor dining area

- The Hearts in San Francisco project benefiting San Francisco General Hospital. The giant heart we painted together is on permanent display in front of the Bank of America at 18th and Castro Street in San Francisco

My latest series in progress is called 'Your Favorite Street in San Francisco'. These large pastel drawings show some of the most hidden gems of the city.