Published January 2, 2014
By Sam Whiting
Ask for Andrew McClintock at the front desk of Ever Gold Gallery and he answers from directly above. His office is up a narrow staircase. The overhead is low – 6 feet, max – but McClintock, 29, has inches to spare, even with his high hair. That’s how you survive for five years as an art gallery on the ground floor of a residence hotel in the Tenderloin.
Q: Describe your occupation.
A: I am the owner and director of Ever Gold. I also publish the San Francisco Arts Quarterly. I print 15,000 copies, four times a year. It’s the only free designated art magazine in the city.
Q: Ever Gold sounds more like a malt liquor than an art gallery. Where did the name come from?
A: This used to be a jewelry store that made gold teeth, like bling. We decided to keep the name, so sometimes people still come in and try to sell me suspicious jewelry.
Q: Describe the ambience of Ever Gold.
A: The intention of Ever Gold Gallery is to create a space where artists can execute large ideas that are not normally supported by commercial galleries.
Q: When you first started out five years ago, there were four of you. What happened to the others?
A: Within a year, two of them decided to step away. Then it was myself and another guy. I took over completely this past May. We’re all friends still.
Q: How are the neighbors treating you?
A: It’s still pretty crazy around here sometimes. But they’ve noticed that I’ve been here as long as they have at this point. So they leave me to my vices, and I don’t bother them.
Q: Latest project?
A: My five-year anniversary group show. It has 80 artists ranging from age 19 to 81.
Q: How can you fit 80 artists in here?
A: That’s part of it. It’s humorous, the fact that I’ve put myself into a corner with trying to fit 80 people into a show here, with 500 square feet and 13-foot ceilings in the gallery. There’s going to be a lot of stuff hung vertically. Maybe some stuff on the ceiling and definitely on the floor.
Q: Why go to all that trouble for a four-day show?
A: Sometimes art doesn’t make sense, and it’s also inherently based in absurdity, so I figure why not embrace those qualities as much as possible.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: Born and raised here in San Francisco. I grew up in North Beach.
Q: First job?
A: Washing dishes at Caffe Sapore at Lombard and Taylor. I was 13 or 14.
Q: Where do you live?
A: Over by the Haight.
Q: Neighborhood hangout?
A: Club Deluxe has great jazz and good cocktails. There are still some good dive bars here in the Tenderloin, like the High Tide and the Brown Jug. There is also the Geary Club, which is one of the only bars where you can still smoke in the city. They have no sign.
Q: Have a pet?
A: A cat named Owl. It stays up late. Very annoying.
Q: Pet peeve?
A: People being pretentious. Fancy shoes are always a sign.
Q: Who is your hero?
A: Edward Snowden.
Q: That’s pretty radical for a kid from the Town School for Boys.
A: I got kicked out of there.
Q: Go to art school?
A: I did, the San Francisco Art Institute. Then I worked there as the interim director of exhibitions.
Q: Artistic talent?
A: I was trained in photography. I do mixed-media installation stuff now. The last one I did was to make this big saltwater battery. I showed at Eli Ridgway which, unfortunately, closed like a lot of other galleries in the last couple of months. There have been a lot of galleries losing their leases. Pretty sad.
Q: Are you safe here?
A: Yeah. I’m going to sign another five-year lease next month.
Q: Then what will you do for the 10th anniversary show?
A: Maybe blow up the building or something. I need an exit strategy.