Obi Kaufmann, Desert & Denim, Joshua Tree, California

Obi Kaufmann

instagram @coyotethunder

twitter @obikaufmann


cell 925-951-7501

address  > P O Box 3170, Oakland, CA 94609

Poet and artist Obi Kaufmann is an advocate for wilderness defense and conservation. His written and visual work always makes reference to a deeper mystery where an inner world of adventure and wonder meets the outer world of evolution and natural history. He illustrates for Bay Nature Magazine,, and the Bureau of Land Management. In 2016, he will participate in artist-residencies with both the Human Condition Labs Artist in Research Program in NYC and the National Parks Conservation Association.

Currently, Obi is working on a massive project: CALIFORNIA, A FIELD ATLAS. A compendium of hundreds of hand painted maps that Obi has drafted over his many years of combing the California backcountry.  “I see all around us, evidence for a deep narrative of Californian ecology that transcends its present human occupiers. Ancient and enduring systems, defining the wild character of natural California, which while never completely static, remain intact and steadfast despite the forced stresses imposed on them from the contemporary human ecology and society. The Field Atlas will describe my journey towards understanding California as a single breathing, moving, living system that holds one epic narrative:  a thread of natural history bright, poetic and undeniable.”

Published writing samples include:


Born 1973, Hollywood , CA
Education BA, Art Studio, University of California , Santa Barbara , 1995


2016 Winner of the James Phelan Literary Award, San Francisco Foundation
2016 Complete California, A Field Atlas, to be published by Heyday Books, 2017
2016 Artist in Residence, Human Condition Labs, New York City
2015 accepted “excellent partnership” award from Conservation Alliance
2015 published featured articles for Another Escape Magazine, and Refueled Magazine
2015 designed new packaging for the entire line of Juniper Ridge
2014 published The Mountain could not Remember your name for @coldsplinters publishing
2014 self-published The Astral Guides, a card game
2012 employed visual arts writer for the East Bay Express
2011 founded Live Art Wednesday, Levende Gallery and Restaurant, Oakland, Calif.
2010 exhibited “Warflower” a solo-show of Paintings, Five Points Art Gallery, San Francisco
2010 owned Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery in the Compound Gallery, Oakland, Calif. 4 years
2009 accepted “Curator of the Year” award for Oakland Art, Montclair News
2007 self-published 10 issues of SWEETART, Bay Area Visual Art
2006 directed, MFDA art catalog, Guerilla Gallery, Oakland, California. Through April 2009
2005 employed chief storyteller with Juniper Ridge through Jan 2016

Selected Print and Video Bibliography

2015 “Ambassador Profile Interview with Obi Kaufmann” Conservation Alliance
2015 “1000 Portraits of the Sun, on the Trail with Obi Kaufmann”
2015 “Wilderness & Alchemy” Another Escape Magazine
2015 “Scents of Place” Travel & Leisure Magazine
2015 “Capturing the Wild” Refueled Magazine
2015 “An Interview with Obi Kaufmann & Hall Newbegin” audio, Monocle Magazine
2014 “Wilderness Perfume” Ancestry Magazine
2014 #4 in the Top Ten of the California Coast, Pen Magazine
2014 “Winter Redwood”
2014 “Obi Kaufmann – Street Style” It’s My Darling, Seattle
2014 “Mount Tamalpais, Spring Equinox” Video, The Future Positive
2014 “Obi Kaufmann Passes the Mic” San Francisco Magazine
2013 “Inside the Wild Mind of Obi Kaufmann” Makers Workshop
2013 “Manly Makings” Esquire Magazine
2013 “Obi Kaufmann is the Real Deal”
2013 “Tracking a new scent” Men’s Journal
2012 Visual Arts Writing Archive by Obi Kaufmann, East Bay Express
2012 “Good Smella Interviews Obi Kaufmann” Video, Good Smellas
2012 “Obi Kaufmann in New York City” by Glenn Biltz, video
2011 “Live Art at Drawing Wednesday” Oakland North
2011 “Drawing Wednesday” SFGATE
2011 “The Thunderbird paintings by Obi Kaufmann” SFGATE
2010 “Obi Kaufmann, new paintings” by RWM
2010 “Kaufmann Makes Warflower” by Todd Kerr, Berkeley Times
2010 “Obi Kaufmann, Shamanism in the 21st Century” by DeWitt Cheng
2010 “Art Buzz” by Obi Kaufmann for the Berkeley Times
2009 “Kaufmann delares the Buzz is Back” Piedmont Post by Ross Todd Kerr
2009 “Art and Commerce Collide” Oakland Magazine.
2009 Piedmont Post, Curator of the Year, Obi Kaufmann
2009 Video Feature., regarding ArtQuest
2009 “Obi Kaufmann at Mama Buzz” Art Business
2009 Interview with Obi Kaufmann.
2009 Review by John Casey, January 2009
2008 “There! New art from Oakland ,” KQED video feature, Gallery Crawl
1999 “Local Artist Corner with Obi Kaufmann” The Evergreen
On-line exhibits of #trailpaintings
2015 Day of the Red Raven
2014 The New Sasquatch
2014 The Mountain Versus

Paintings C.V. – Solo Shows, live in Gallery

2013 Turquoise Daughter, KitKitDizzi, Nevada City, CA
2013 Everything at its Most Alive, Marisa Haskell, Oakland, CA
2013 Athena, Oakland Surf Club, Oakland, CA
2012 Ghost on the Mountain, Coffee Bar Gallery, Truckee, CA
2011 Thunderbird, Victorian Rat Gallery, Oakland, CA
2011 The Vampire Tree, Bedlam Gallery, Seattle CA
2011 Angeldriver, Levende, Oakland CA
2011 Jesus was a Jaguar, Hotel Biron, San Francisco, CA
2010 WARFLOWER, Five Points Art House, San Francisco, CA
2010 Queen of Goats, Bedlam Gallery, Seattle, WA
2010 The Feathered Serpent, Oakbook Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 The Perfect Demon, Bedlam Gallery, Seattle, WA
2009 The Robot Volcano, Paintings about Psychology, Premium Gallery, Oakland , CA
2009 Aliens in the Surf, Buzz Gallery, Oakland , CA
2008 The Werewolf Simulacrum, , Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland , CA
2008 Radio Wine, Paintings about Language, Issues Gallery, Oakland , CA
2008 Making Audrey, Swarm Gallery Project Space, Oakland , CA
2007 Spaceship, Paintings about Math, Cricket Engine Gallery, Oakland , CA
2002 Bird Flies Frozen, Little City Studios Gallery, Moscow , ID
2002 Queen of Heaven, Another Moon, Portland, OR
2001 The Musician, Medicine Hat Gallery, Portland , OR
2001 Tigre Emotiae, Glass Gods Gallery, Pullman , WA
2000 The Characters of Creation, Glass Gods Gallery, Pullman , WA
1996 Concrete Dream, FACT Gallery, Pullman , WA
1995 God is a Process, FACT Gallery, Pullman , WA

Selected Group Shows – Paintings C.V.

2014 The Passage, Orinda Public Library, Orinda, CA
2012 The World Saving Device, Hive Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 Mercurius, with Robert Porter, Swee(t)art Drawing Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 Improvised Branches, the Oakbook Gallery, Oakland , CA . Curated by Theo Auer
2009 Art in praise of Wine, Zza’s Wine Bar and Gallery. curated by Obi Kaufmann
2009 Strokes of Black, 1234go!. Curated by Matthew Decker
2009 Heavy Hitters, Cricket Engine Gallery, Oakland, CA. Curated by Lexa Walsh
2009 Heroes and Villains, RPS Gallery, Oakland , CA. Curated by Teppei Ando
2008 Art from Oakland, Di Rosa Preserve, Napa , CA . Curated by Michael Schwager
2008 Dead Spaces, Lobot Gallery, Oakland , CA . Curated by Derek Weisberg
2007 Nest Gallery Launch, Nest Gallery, Oakland , CA . Curated by Michael Friedes
2007 The There, There. Esteban Sabar Gallery, Oakland, CA. Curated by Theo Konrad Auer
2006 Sweetart Artists, Red Ink Gallery, San Francisco , CA. Curated by Obi Kaufmann
2005 Local Voice, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek , CA

The Curation History of Obi Kaufmann

2012 “The World Saving Device, Oakland Art 250 years from now”  Hive Gallery, Oakland, CA
2012 “Bacchinae” Group Show, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2011 “The Orb” Solo Show, Elliot Fredericksen, Zza’s Wine Bar, Oakland, CA
2011 “New Voodoo” Solo Show, Steuart Pittman, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2011 “Travelage” Solo Show, Nathaniel Parsons, Levende Gallery, Oakland, CA
2011 “Roar” Solo Show, Holly Wach, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2011 “Trees Are Trees” Solo Show, Ryan McJunkin, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2011 “SAFE” Solo Show, Alison OK Frost, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2011 “Black and White” Group Show, with Kevin Clarke, MacArthur Barthur Gallery, Oakland, CA
2010 “I Have Already Forgotten the Name” Brian Caraway, Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery, Oakland, CA
2010 “Entangled” Solo Show, Alex Rosmarin, Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery, Oakland, CA
2010 “The Blood Drawings” Solo Show, Dan Nelson, Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery, Oakland, CA
2010 “A Simple Bestiary” Steven Barich, David Seiler, Dave Higgins, Michael Eli, Moises Aragon
2010 “This Invented Earth” Group Show, John Colle Rogers, Kara Joslyn, Micke Tong
2010 “Protoform, Drawings by Sculptors” Group show, Carrissa Bowman, Bruk Dunbar, Crystal Morey, Lucien Shapiro, Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery, Oakland, CA
2010 “Lessons and Life” Solo Show, Alissa Goss, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2010 “A Sideways look at Science” Solo Show, Alison Tharp, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland CA
2010 “Trophy Room” Group Show, Five Points Art House, San Francisco, CA
2010 “Pastoral” Solo show, Hunter Mack, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2010 “DIY” Solo show, Patricia Gillespie, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA 
2010 “The Space Between Things, a Love Story” Michael Patton, Zza’s Wine Bar, Oakland, CA
2009 “The Worship of Water” Patricia Gillespie, Raymie Iadevaia, Nathaniel Parsons, Bert Bergen, Savanna Snow, Shannon Ingraham, Kerri Johnson Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 “The Bright Darkness” John Casey, Mike Eli, Dara Harvey, Jaime Lakatos, Kelly Monson, Casey Jex Smith, Alison Tharp Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 “Farewell Horizontal” Solo Show, Jason Byers, Zza’s Wine Bar, Oakland, CA
2009  “The Living City 2” Group Show: Bruk Dunbar, Jane Elliot, Marcos Lafarga, Marc Landes, Jeff Riley, Alex Rosmarin
2009 “Guaranteed Genuine Pure” Solo show, Martin Webb, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 “We Are Not Response for Any Belonging” Solo Show, Theo Auer, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 “Red and White, Art in Praise of Wine” Zza’s Wine Bar and Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 ArtQUEST2
2009 “Trees and Their Roots, Girls and Their Boots” Solo show, Alex Rosmarin, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 “Husk” Solo show, Sarah Filley, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland , CA
2009  “The Tyranny of Harmony” Solo show, Brian Caraway, Solo Show, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery , Oakland, CA
2009  “The Living City” Group Show: Dave Higgins, Nathaniel Parsons, Jaime Lakatos, Jake Watling, Task1, Manifesto Bicycles and Gallery, Oakland , CA
2009 ArtQUEST
2008  “Embroidered Illustrations” Solo show, Dana Fenwick, Solo Show, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery , CA
2008  “New Work” Solo Show, Dave Higgins, Zza’s Wine Bar , CA
2008  “Design is Dead” Solo Show, Marcos LaFarga, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery , CA
2008  “Meditations of Italy ” Solo Show, James Hall, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery , CA
2008  “Give and Take” Group Show, Robert Porter and Carrissa Bowman, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery,  Oakland , CA
2008  “Birds and Branches” Guerilla Gallery at Nest Home Design, Oakland , CA
2008  “Characteristics/Prototypes” Solo show, Dan Nelson, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland , CA
2008  “Fields and Streams” Solo show, Nathaniel Parsons, Zza’s Wine Bar Gallery, Oakland, CA
2007  “Sharing Spaces, Sharing Visions” Group Show, Robert Porter and Carrissa Bowman, Co-curation with Lexa Walsh, Cricket Engine Gallery, Oakland , CA
2006   “Sweetart Featured Artists”, Red Ink Studios, San Francisco , CA

Swee(t)Art elsewhere in Print and Video

2012 World Saving Device, Oakland Art Enthusiast
2012 World Saving Device Jon Carling Tumblr
2012 World Saving Device, Bunnywax
2012 the new East Bay Express Arts Writer, Obi Kaufmann
2012 reviews for the East Bay Express by Obi Kaufmann
2012 Bacchinae at Zza’s by Ryan McJunkin
2011 Live Art Wednesday in Diablo Magazine
2011 Live Art Wednesday, Oakland North
2011 Live Art Wednesday, WTFDTO
2011 Marcos Lafarga, Live art Wednesday, Oaklandish
2011 Alison Tharp, Live Art Wednesday, Oaklandish
For 2012 Exhibit reviews by Obi Kaufmann, Link here
2010 In gallery interview, Angela Woodall, Oakland Tribune
2010 Alison Tharp on Bunnywax
2009 “Art and Commerce Collide” Oakland Magazine.
2009 “In the Mix” Oakland Magazine
2009 Piedmont Post, Curator of the Year, Obi Kaufmann
2009 Video Feature., regarding ArtQuest
2009 Interview. Sprayblog.net
2009 “Obi Kaufmann Declares the Buzz is Back” Piedmont Post, by Ross Todd Kerr
2009 “Fine Stitching” Piedmont Post, by Isabelle Ringer
2009 “Brian Caraway at Zza’s” Blankspace blog
2009 “January Art Walk” Bunnywax Art Blog
2008 “Month Ahead in Oakland Art” Dec 2008, Feb 2009,, by Theo Konrad Auer
2008 “Resurrection: Dead Spaces” East Bay Express, by Dewitt Chang
2008 “Over at Zza’s Friday Night” Angela Woodall, Oakland Tribune
2008 “Zines rock the art and paper worlds” Oakland Tribune, by Angela Woodall
2008 “There! New art from Oakland ,” KQED video feature, Gallery Crawl:
2007 “The There, There” San Francisco Guardian