One year ago on Instagram I ran across a post from Jeremiah Kille. He painted the old Davenport Pier and it was amazing. Not only did he paint the structure but he also replaced / upgraded the swing. It was one of the most beautiful works of art I have ever seen. For the next couple of days I kept seeing others on Instagram take their shots in from and on the newly painted pier. I knew I had to go check it out for myself in the next couple of days… but then it happened. Someone sprayed graffiti all over it. I could not believe someone could do that. I was so disappointed. Months later I talked to one of Jeremiah Kille’s friends who told me that Jeremiah was ok with it, that he knew it was temporary. Flash forward to a catch up meeting with a good friend, Christopher Chandler at Verve on the westside. We have not seen each other in a while so it was good to check up with him. I don’t think we have done a project together since he filmed the NEXTies for us years back. After our meeting I went home and checked out his website and saw the video he made of Jeremiah painting the old Davenport Pier and I knew I had to share it with our readers. I also learned after talking to Chris more later about his good friendship with Jeremiah that we should explore that. So Chris and Jeremiah were nice enough to write about their experience working on the Davenport Pier and about their complimentary work together.
I met Chris about six years ago when he was working for Verve Coffee Roasters. Early on in my art career I worked with Verve quite a bit and at the time I was looking for a wall to practice doing a mural on, the owners allowed me to paint a wall in their roastery in their midtown location. That was the first time that I worked with Chris, he did a short time lapse edit of the mural that I painted in the space. Since then we’ve worked on multiple projects that I’ve done, it’s been a symbiotic relationship. Over the years we’ve become friends and have had a lot of fun working with one another, bouncing ideas back and forth and trying to push another creatively. It’s a lot of fun working with Chris, we’re both visual artists but working within different mediums. His art form adds another dimension to what I do.
A direction that I would like to take my art is reappropriating abandoned man made structures or objects, primarily in natural settings. Up the coast from Santa Cruz is an abandoned pier where all is left is 14 foot tall pilings. The three structures extend out into the Pacific and are an interesting reminder of the ephemeral lives that we live. Everything that we create or build comes to an end sooner or later. I find structures like this to be fascinating, they tell a story, a story of those that have come and gone before us.
A year ago I finally made the trek up the coast to paint the first piling of the three. I think that objects like this can make an interesting canvas and interact with the natural space creating a commentary of sorts. I told Chris about the project and he was super keen on the idea of shooting a short edit of the project. It was the absolute most dreamy couple of days ever, it was fall and it was super warm and there was a huge swell that made it difficult to paint the structure but made for some dramatic shots. To this day this was my favorite project that I’ve done, no deadlines, no paycheck attached, nobody giving me their creative direction. Just me on my ladder in a beautiful place painting with my friend Chris.
I started this company (Christopher & Company) with the goal to help organizations tell their stories effectively by using video and photography. After 9 years we’ve had the opportunity to work with a large range of clients, from startups in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, to global public companies.
I’ve always been drawn to photography and video as an art form. In high school, each year I took a class in one of the two subjects. When I graduated I began reaching out to local companies to create commercial and promotional videos for them. As I worked on my general education at Cabrillo, I interned in the marketing departments at PayStand and Verve Coffee Roasters. I’m forever grateful for the people I met and the skills I learned there.
Verve ended up hiring me and that’s when I met Jeremiah Kille. He was painting a huge mural in the roastery, and it was my job to create a co-branded video edit from the content he and his photographer had captured. From there I moved to San Francisco to pursue my education in film at SFSU. Fast forward and now my wife, Danielle, has joined me in the business, and we run Christopher & Company together from our home in Santa Cruz.
Working with Jeremiah has been an awesome journey. Ever since I’ve been back in town, Jeremiah periodically shoots me a text about the next piece he’s working on and I come out to document it. Recently Jeremiah set out on a passion project to paint the abandoned pier in Davenport. Over the course of two days, we loaded our equipment up and down the harrowing cliffs of Davenport (very carefully, because they’re constantly eroding) and I captured video of his process. Painting something so big poses interesting challenges. In this case there was a solid Northwest groundswell, causing overhead waves in the area, which didn’t make it any easier. His attention to detail and his ability to bring the original vision to life inspires me as a filmmaker.
As our friendship has grown so has our artistic collaboration. I’m excited to see what we will work on together in the future. We definitely have some ideas brewing…
All images by Christopher Chandler.
Don’t miss the 2020 NEXTies happening on March 20. Nominations are open now on the NEXTies page.