We are delighted to begin our new Snoopify! project by sharing with you the enchanted domicile of our dear friends Virgo Paraiso and Tino Rodriguez, both painters who live and work in an apartment here in The Mission.

Tino + Virgo Fridge Beauty

We’ve been knowing these handsome boys for about eight years now—almost as long as they’ve known each other. Over the years, they have been a constant source of creative inspiration, mega-pretty turns of phrase, and sage advice.

A few months ago, Virgo answered our call to do something about the ceiling at the shop by bestowing his superlative hothouse touch, complete with handblown glass dewdrops and glittering hummingbirds. And while there’s been zero confusion about the fabulousness of our Frida Kahlo headdress-cum-light fixture, there have been a few questions.

shop ceiling

First, folks come in and ask us if the the flowers are real. Well, if by “real” you mean living and dying citizens of the plant kingdom that know how photosythesis works without having to look it up on Wikipedia, then of course the answer is no. frida kahloNo, they’re not real like that but of course you see they are real pretty. And my corollary question to such a visitor is generally, Are you nuts? Do you really think I climb up every day and arrange a bouquet of fresh flowers, suspended water droplets, and flitting small birds surrounding the very high-up light in my tiny shop? I do not, sir. Another No for you, kind shopping sir. And when you look at me like maybe I’m the crazy one for being so rude to a potential customer, then I tell you that in fact my dear friend Virgo Paraiso installed this magic upon my ceiling and you really oughta see his apartment down the street because the whole place looks like this. I mean, floor to ceiling, but even more shiny and lots more special. And that’s when the final question comes into play. How can that be? How can there be a place even more shiny and special and festooned with magic in this very same neighborhood? How indeed:

***Understand that the oddly appropriate music in the background was actually playing on Tino and Virgo’s stereo while we recorded their story and was not added in postproduction. Also know that this was my very first foray into iMovie, and while I’m pretty stoked with the results, I beg of you, let not the editing of this episode of Snoopify! reflect the talent of my dear Lisa Foti-Straus, an accomplished professional filmmaker as well as my honored partner in the shop, who had no hand whatsoever in this business. I alone take the blame for the poor sound quality, the cheesiness of the transitions, the habitual reliance on Helvetica. I also absolve Nile Nash, who helped me to obtain the raw material. Though in my defense, if she were to have edited it, she would have used even more Ken Burns Effect. So consider yourself spared.

Aren’t they amazing! Aren’t you pleased they didn’t lose all of their beautiful things in a fire disaster and don’t you admire the life lesson they took from it all! And no, not many of the flowers in their home garden are “real” either, but the bay window nook where they fully blossom is Virgo’s favorite spot in the apartment. Tino’s favorite zone is the loo, where he is daily reminded that every corner of his home affirms his impulse to create beauty.

Tino Rodriguez

I’m telling you, if you don’t find these two to be the sweetest, most generous, most hardworking pair, then watch our montage again until the light comes on for you. Certainly I know no other whose life and work are more happily or gorgeously entwined. Always painting, always listening to unplaceable ambient music, always making beautiful art. Their latest project was to provide art direction for the new Antony and the Johnsons video, Epilepsy Is Dancing. The video was directed by the Wachowski Brothers, venerated creators of The Matrix Trilogy.

Be sure to click through to Tino and Virgo’s own sites so that you can lay eyes on their completed paintings, which you may find even more astonishing than their works in progress.

Yungchen Lhamo, Virgo Paraiso

Our tremendous thanks to Tino and Virgo for letting us come Snoopify!, complete with sweet tea & seaweed crackers. Love!

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