Thursday, February 6, 2014


We have a new mosaic encrypting our costume loading dock at “Velocity Headquarters”

Concept by Gregangelo with Japanese Kanji mawaru script by Velocity Film Maker/ Media Director Hiromi Yoshida, and created by Cailee Corbett, our returning Illustration intern from Otis College of Art and Design in LA.

This is the second exterior mosaic with the implied message of “Look around You” encoded on this hard working artist entrance/exit.

 Cailee executing the mawaru design

The first mosaic designed by my niece Shiva Bayat, is in Arabic calligraphy and spells out “Unther Hawlek, which translates to “Look Around You” latterly down this artist entrance path. 

Click here to read blog post of Look Around You - Proverb in Mosaic

“Unther Hawlek” artist entry path

However, this one is more open for interpretation as the translation of the character, like a whirling dervish, is: to rotate, turn, go around, or revolve.

Ironically, the contemporary version of this Kanji character which in ancient times was a circle (a representation of a cosmic spiral) has evolved into a square…  

 The verb mawaru has two meanings: to circulate something or to revolve something.

To me, the deeper encrypted message is simply “Be Aware”. As a whirling dervish, I frequently point out that everything in nature or “reality” from the micro to the macro is revolving. From invisible sub-atomic particles to the majestic grandeur of spiraling galaxies, all matter and kinetic forces in between appear to be made of spiraling particles and motion. Contemplating this movement from a molecular level to a grand universal scale provokes such wonder and thought that span far beyond our daily and often myopic view.

Therefore, to “Look around You”, or to Revolve, Rotate or Turn are to “Be Aware” of existence on a grand scale.

A Spiraling Galaxy and perhaps precursor which inspired the ancient mawaru kanji glyph

On a day-to-day awareness note from my personal point of view;

 I commute everyday on old-school leather and steel quad roller skates to “Velocity Headquarters” through about 5 miles of the bustling, hilly streets of San Francisco. In doing so, I have learned to be acutely aware of my surroundings, scan every angle, sense all peripheral motion, anticipate the auto traffic, bikes, people, dogs, ever-changing terrain and other unexpected urban obstacles so as to avoid being killed at least three times before breakfast!

In this case “Looking around You”= survival.

As I safely arrive, these profound exterior mosaics greet me and the other artists every morning reminding us of our task to look around and beyond ourselves in order to entertain and perhaps even ignite a bit of inspiration and wonder in all of our audiences, whatever the project.

Click here to watch video of "Gregangelo, Roller Skating Commuter"

Now here is an embarrassing anecdote from a moment of not being so dervishly aware:

While behind the scenes prepping a crew of performing artists for an exhibit opening at de Young Museum in SF, our artist meal was served in the Green Room.
As there were many other vendors on site that night pushing for the production to be ready on time, we all rushed in line to fuel ourselves up in preparation to exert our energy for the guests. While in line, I am multi-tasking by barking directions at the costumer, makeup artists and managers, answering questions from artists, while simultaneously taking direction from museum staff and security. All the while, an unknown man next to me kept pointing towards the beautifully laid out foods and asking me what each item was. Not fully paying attention or even glancing his direction, I would simply answer after each request… “Guacamole”… “chips”…”fruit”…”Caesar salad”… “Smoked turkey”.  He pointed to something again, and in my gruff, urban demeanor I replied: WHAT? YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A TOMATO?! To which he did not reply. So I turned to catch his eyes and instantly became aware that he was blind, white cane in hand, and alone. Needless to say, I than explained to him every detail of that meal and walked away tail between my legs…


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