Bay Area Hyper Naturalism - CODAworx

Bay Area Hyper Naturalism

Client: The San Francisco Arts Commission

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2019

Project Team


Robert Minervini



Mayer of Munich


Art Agency

San Francisco Arts Commission


San Francisco International Airport


“Bay Area Hyper Naturalism” is a permanent glass, ceramic, and marble installation at the Harvey Milk Terminal 1 at the San Francisco International Airport. The project was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission and is in the public art collection of the City and County of San Francisco, CA. This intricate mosaic mural measures, 9 feet high x 31 feet long. Diverse materials and techniques include hand-cut glass, ceramic and marble, and digital printing on glass cake with permanent, ceramic melting colors. The mosaic is one of several permanent pieces paid for by the San Francisco Arts Commission to honor the 50th anniversary of the city’s “percent for art” program.


The goal was to give travelers a view of San Francisco the moment they step of the plane. “I see it as an imaginary window at the airport, looking at the city center with a variety of still-life objects meant to playfully occupy the traveler’s imagination; it’s a meditative space for getting lost in the scenery and the variety of objects. The airport is an in-between space with travelers are leaving or arriving. The work “Bay Area Hyper Naturalism” invites the viewer to encounter San Francisco’s skyline and related culture. His adopted city for many years, Minervini offers both a fresh eye and an insiders’ perspective. It’s buildings, naturalism, sky- scrapers, and native or common flora are all there. “Some of the elements are autobiographically mine (the statue Minerva, my eponymous hero), some are iconically of the tourist (the Golden Gate bridge and Transamerica Pyramid building), and some are invented.”


After producing the original concept digitally, the artist created an acrylic painting at half scale, 5.5 foot by 15' foot, for the final design. The painting was documented and printed at full scale at the Franz Mayer studio in Munich, as a map for the mosaic work. Minervini visited our Munich studio twice, initially to discuss technique, overall approach, and to review materials and color. A second visit was made mid-way through the fabrication of the mosaic to further discuss the evolving progress and to make final decisions. Once the mosaic was completed and divided into smaller movable sections it was crated and shipped to San Francisco where a team from Mayer of Munich studio installed and grouted the full artwork onsite.

Additional Information

Robert Minervini is an artist working in painting, mural painting, printmaking, and site-specific public art. His work examines spatial environments and notions of utopia in large-scale cityscapes, landscapes, and still-life arrangements. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and his BFA from Tyler School of Art. His work has been exhibited nationally, including solo shows with Hirschl & Adler Modern, NYC; Edward Cella Gallery, LA; Rena Bransten Gallery, SF; as well as group and two-person exhibitions with the San José Museum of Art, Torrance Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Palo Alto Art Center, Schneider Museum of Art, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Minervini has completed multiple murals and public art commissions nationally including through the San Francisco Arts Commission, The Alameda County Arts Commission, and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Minervini’s work is in the collections of the San José Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the City and County of San Francisco, and many private and corporate collections. Robert Minervini currently lives and works in Oakland, California. Photo credit: Jennifer Crane