ForeverMissed
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Share a special moment from James's life.

Jim

Shared by Abdul Premji on April 26, 2021
April 26th, 2021

I’ve known Jim since 1981 when I worked for him for a short time at Levi’s. In the intervening 40 years I met up with him on several occasions (too few in hindsight) and he introduced me to the magic and beauty of street art. During one of those occasions he presented me with his SprayCan Art book and I was hooked. I was amazed at what he had achieved by recording the street art around the world and bringing it to people like myself who were completely unfamiliar with this art form. My most vivid recollection of Jim occurred in the past year during the middle of the Covid pandemic when Jim offered to take me around Oakland and view and record the BLM street art after the murder of George Floyd. I was amazed that a 93 year old man, driving himself was able to conduct a tour of the Oakland street with such eloquence, knowledge, energy and passion. I was exhausted by the time we ended up at my place for lunch but Jim, like the energizer bunny kept on going and continued to regale us with stories of his world travel, adventures of recording the street art and his immense joy in being alive and engaging with people of all ages. Jim was particularly affectionate towards my wife Massey and she was touched by his attention and his magnanimity. Subsequent to the June 2020 tour of the Oakland Jim offered to show us the street art in Sacramento and I along with a friend, Bill Demarest descended on him in Sacramento and he indulged us with the art scene in Sacramento. He was particularly fond of the Johnny Cash mural on a side of a building in downtown Sacramento and pointed out the intricate details of the mural. Whether it was a premonition on my part or not Bill and I visited Jim on March 10th of this year and he once again took us to see the art we had missed during our previous visit. Alas that was the last time I saw Jim and he was as usual his gregarious, generous and gracious self and we parted with the knowledge that we were privileged to have known him and engaged with him. I will miss you Paz and wherever you are in the celestial heavens I know you are regaling the universe with your stories and the people you left behind.

Rest In Peace my friend, Rest In Peace.

Abdul

By Laura Stein

Shared by laura stein on April 25, 2021
I meet Jim on a chat from Richard Russell we became friendly and I loved his wisdom When I went to S.F we would meet for lunch and he would always tell me wonderful stories and the love of his family Jim was a gentleman always
Laura

An amazing friend

Shared by Frank Steam156 Malt on April 25, 2021
Around 1986 I wrote to Thames and Hudson book pubishers in London asking them if they would kindly put me in touch with Jim. I never for one minute thought I would hear from him but I was amazed when he kindly wrote to me back then. For about three years before the internet we traded around 130 letters sending each other various info about walls and trading photos etc. Around 1990 I decided to go visit Jim in Sanfrancisco and he kindly took me around the city to photograph the graffiti and meet various artists. It was an amazing trip thanks to Jim looking after me.

In later years Jim came to the UK and stayed with me and my Nan on various occasions and I returned the favor and showed him around the UK to photograph walls and meet various artists. I remember on one occasion Jim renting a top of the range BMW to drive us around in. I must say Jims driving in the UK was a bit scary he could not get use to round abouts or level crossings here in the UK. He always said to me wait until you come back to Sanfrancisco and I will show you what a great driver I am. So on one of my trips to Sanfrancisco he took me down the most crooked street in the world at a fast speed. 

Jim was a wonderful kind lovely man and I will miss him a great deal , He always believed in me and what I was doing and I was so greatfull for the times we shared together. 

A Fountain of Youth Named Jim

Shared by patrice milillo on April 24, 2021
Today Jim's grandson Jake and I were going back and fourth on Instagram. He explained that he was, "grateful he had friends like [me] to keep him so young and energetic." I thought about it for a second, and then realized that the truth is that Jim is the one who kept everyone around him young.

In 2017 I informed Jim about a film screening in San Francisco for the Can't be Stopped documentary film. He immediately said that he would attend, and a few hours later, I see Jim taking pictures, mingling with crowds of people, and projecting his famous smile. He had driven the 90 or so miles from Sacramento and looked fresh as if he had just stepped outside of his front door. 

We had a few hours to kill before the film started, so Jim, myself, and a group of CBS crew members decided to hang out in a nearby bar that was completely packed and noisy. The conversation was energetic and jim was as attentive of a listener as he was an engaging conversationalist. He didn't just listen, but he heard what people were trying to say behind their words. Jim took the time to really get to know people and he cared about their individuality. A quote that Jim wrote in his book Spraycan Art illustrates this trait reads, “Kids write graffiti because its fun. It is also an expression of the longing to be somebody in a world that is constantly reminding you that you are not.” Only a person with a deep sense of empathy and understand could ever pen such insightful lines. 

Another occasion that stands out is the time Jim wanted a graffiti tour of San Jose. I was out of town, so I connected him with a friend. When I called my friend to see how things were going, he explained that every time Jim saw a mural, he would ask him stop the car. Then Jim would rush to the wall with his camera and snap as many shots as he needed. My friend was shocked at how much energy and enthusiasm Jim had. 

These are just a few examples of Jim's passion for life and humanity. He possessed the curiosity, excitement, and sincerity of a child, which is how he was able to  befriend so many people around the globe and maintain a rare level of energy and health. I learned so much form him and I always appreciated the bagels with lox that he would give me when I visited. 

Jim

Shared by Fetal Ape on April 24, 2021
Rip Jim Prigoff. Thanks for the pics of my activism, painting & murals since I was a fuckn kid. You supported the Zapatista cause and loved graffiti, that’s all I needed to know that you were a solid cat. Thanks for all that unsolicited attention in my life, when I thought no one gave a shit you would always pop up like magic rebel spirit outta thin air, no warning, ever. You will be missed and always remembered!!!!

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