Meet the San Francisco-Based Muralist Behind _SF’s Cover Art

To solely describe Elliott C Nathan as a muralist doesn’t do his catalog justice. Yes, Nathan’s painted now-iconic outdoor art pieces across a myriad of local landmarks — like the “Loads of Love” mural outside Powerhouse and his sprawling kaleidoscope of colors and characters along the Dore Street-facing wall at 1345 Howard Street — but his creativity knows many media.

Nathan’s acrylic jellyfish are as adorable as they are mesmeric. His use of reclaimed wood to build multidimensional compositions is applaudable. How he wields both utilitarianism and flamboyancy to create functional theatre props is a talent few possess (at such scale).

Perhaps no one in the city knows their way around a can of spray paint better than Nathan, himself.

And the thirty-something artist, too, is also the painter behind the piece that currently covers all of our social media channels.

“This painting is one of a series of ‘Rainbow San Francisco’ paintings I have created over the last few years,” Nathan tells _SF in an email. “This piece was commissioned by two friends of mine who shared, with me, specific things about themselves and things that make San Francisco special to incorporate into one large cohesive painting.”

Nathan goes on in detail to describe how his painting reflects San Francisco’s innate weirdness — and queerness.

“I included various iconic places throughout the city in this piece, a nod to SF nightlife, along with their pup and wedding photo from SF city hall when it started raining and the wind flipped their rainbow umbrella inside out,” he adds before waxing about how this year has been filled with “personal struggles and growths” for all of us.

But through that series of triumphs and losses, Nathan’s wish for the city is that it will usher in a “new wave of creative life.”

“While the past two years have been incredibly draining on us all, beyond the pandemic, we’ve all had our personal struggles and growths, along with dealing with the rough political climate and moving forward social justice issues,” Nathan writes. “I hope we can become energized knowing that things are going to get better because we are going to make it better. Our city is resilient, and I’m excited to be part of the next wave of creative life here.”

To view more of Nathan’s catalog, as well as to reach out for a custom piece or mural for a home or office, visit @elliottcnathan on Instagram and

Feature Image: A painting from Nathan’s “Rainbow San Francisco” collection that’s serving as our new cover art — a piece that perfectly illustrates the left-of-center, unapologetically queer, all-inclusive SF we at _SF are keen on supporting for years to come. (Courtesy of Elliott C Nathan)

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