Three Guys and a Fountain
oil on canvas
60 x 48 inches
James Jeffrey Stagg

James Stagg, the well-known San Francisco cityscape painter, died at age 49 on January 25, 2001.

Stagg's work, mostly oils of the streets of San Francisco, was widely known in California and beyond. Stagg is credited with launching a cityscape school characterized by bold slashing strokes and brilliant color that captured the beauty and energy of the urban scene, but always with an edge. His work influenced a number of other artists in the Bay Area and beyond.

Stagg burst onto the art scene in 1988 when he painted the Grand Tour, a portfolio of city scenes, for San Francisco Focus magazine. For several years after that, a new original Stagg was published alongside the magazine's lead restaurant review each month.

When Bradley Ogden opened One Market Restaurant in San Francisco in the early 1990s, he commissioned Stagg to produce a painting for his new venture. After tagging along on Ogden's early-morning trips to the food markets, Stagg painted the work that hangs in the bar at One Market.

Stagg had numerous exhibitions and was one of the Bay Area's best-known and most successful artists. Movie-star handsome and a bit shy, he was always a favorite at the annual open studios weekend at Hunter's Point, where he maintained a studio for more than a decade.

Stagg suffered a brain seizure in August 1999 and was in a coma until his death two years later at his home in Sausalito.

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