That city feeling

June 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

“I LIKE SPEED, I like buildings, I like cars,” says painter Veerakeat Tongpaiboon. “It’s all art.”

Painting the energy of the streets

December 19, 2014 § 1 Comment

Veerakeat in his home studio | Photograph by Jennifer Blot

Veerakeat in his home studio | Photograph by Jennifer Blot


The destiny of artist Veerakeat Tongpaiboon had a lot to do with the windows of Academy of Art University’s Sutter Street gallery in downtown San Francisco.

Though he’s now a nationally recognized cityscape painter, the first time he walked by the gallery nearly 25 years ago, he was a waiter and recent emigrant from Thailand. Captivated by the painting of a nude in the window, he set about learning more about the artist, Craig Nelson. When he found out Nelson was director of painting in the School of Fine Art, he decided to enroll at the Academy.

Fast forward a couple of years to an evening when Thomas R. Reynolds, the editor and publisher of a San Francisco legal newspaper, passed by the windows and felt a similar connection to a painting he saw. He entered the gallery, inquired about purchasing two of the works on display and left a business card for the artist, an Academy M.F.A. student who went by one name: “Veerakeat.”

These serendipitous moments happened more than two decades ago, but Veerakeat’s relationship with both Nelson and Reynolds endures — as has his popularity as a San Francisco cityscape artist.
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From Thailand with talent

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Veerakeat Tongpaiboon and his paintings at the Fillmore Jazz Festival.

Veerakeat Tongpaiboon and one of his San Francisco cityscapes.

SAN FRANCISCO ARTIST Veerakeat Tongpaiboon has a new exhibition of his dynamic cityscape paintings this month at the Thomas Reynolds Gallery, his longtime artistic home at Pine and Fillmore.

It’s the 16th year he has shown at the gallery. But this time he won’t be shuttling between his art and his day job at his family’s restaurant. Neecha, the admired and affordable Thai spot at the corner of Steiner and Sutter, closed at the beginning of August.

“I’m a full-time painter now,” he says. “It’s about time.”

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A six week experiment

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Lafayette Park Light | Veerakeat Tongpaiboon

At his MFA graduate exhibition in 1994, a young painter named Veerakeat Tongpaiboon met Thomas Reynolds, a lawyer-publisher with an interest in art — and in the Fillmore neighborhood. When Reynolds learned the aspiring artist also lived in the neighborhood and featured it in many of his paintings, he rented a small space for six weeks to exhibit Veerakeat’s paintings. That six-week experiment has turned into a long-term partnership.

Read more: “From Thailand With Talent

A Veerakeat film

June 15, 1998 § Leave a comment

VEERAKEAT’S cityscape paintings are the star of this video short story.

Small rooms, vivid art

July 10, 1995 § Leave a comment


Jack Cassinetto | Russian River Redwoods

The air is hot, the meter maids are swarming like angry wasps and I’m wandering the Western Addition to see what’s burning. My first stop is the Thomas Reynolds Gallery at 2291 Pine Street, once a private residence that’s now a well-adapted space of small rooms and vivid art.

Reynolds is a pleasant and enthusiastic mover of his artists, a favorite seeming to be Veerakeat Tongpaiboon, a Thai immigrant still overwhelmed by the sheer joy of his paints, and the architectural and line possibilities of rooftops and streets. Bold color and a strong sense of space fill these exuberant pieces of town.

Tasty pieces of furniture quietly inhabit the rooms. A small space in back, reminiscent of the Dutch Masters room of the de Young, features a collection of contemporary landscapes in turn-of-the-century style by Jack Cassinetto. These beautifully framed impressions of eucalyptus and warm foliage help define the ambiance of this friendly, intimate gallery.

— BANA WITT, Western Edition

Painting the neighborhood

November 19, 1994 § Leave a comment

During the holidays, residents and shoppers in the Fillmore will find something new in the neighborhood: an exhibition of fine California paintings and hand-crafted furniture.

Scott Street | Veerakeat Tongpaiboon

Thomas R. Reynolds is mounting a special six-week exhibition and sale of historic and contemporary art. Many of the paintings depict local scenes or were painted by neighborhood artists. The exhibition introduces the paintings of Veerakeat Tongpaiboon, a young artist from Thailand who lives in the neighborhood and works nearby at his aunt’s restaurant, Neecha Thai, at Sutter and Steiner. He recently received his MFA degree from the Academy of Art.

“I am enthusiastic about bringing art into the daily life of the neighborhood,” Reynolds said, “especially this neighborhood, where so many talented artists then and now have lived and found inspiration.”

Reynolds has a special interest in early 20th century neighborhood artists, mentioning Arthur and Lucia Mathews, William Keith and Dirk van Erp as examples of nationally renowned artists who lived or worked nearby early in this century.

“I hope we can create something of a salon that will be a center of activity during the holidays,” Reynolds said. A series of special events, including gallery talks and presentations by the artists, will be held during the exhibition.

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