History / Inspiration
This shirt is based on the "Giraphics" mural by Dan Fontes. Seven different giraffes are painted beneath the 580 freeway on the freeway support pillars and walls at Harrison Street in Oakland. This particular giraffe is 32 feet high and 8 feet wide. They were first painted in 1983 thanks to Oakland's Office of Community Development, and then repainted in 1994 after a seismic retrofit, thanks to CalTrans.
There are lots of interesting personal stories from the thousands of people who've contacted Dan about the giraffe murals including an admirer who used to trim the bushes to make the giraffes look like they were feeding on the foliage! Many have expressed how they take out of town visitors by the site as a way of introducing people to the art of Oakland. Another person told a story of how her children would ask her to drive by the giraffes every Sunday on the way to their grandparents house. Another person said her children would call out, "long-neck deer," in Chinese every time they drove by.
About the designer
Dan Fontes is best known for his Giraffe murals beneath the 580 freeway at Harrison St. in Oakland. Dan has worked on over 100 public art works throughout North America, and has won 6 Best of the Bay awards. Visit his site.