Pret-a-Reporter

'The Lonely Island's' New Wallpaper Is an Ode to the Bay Area

AP Images/Invision
The Lonely Island at the 2015 Oscars.

A new novelty for your NorCal friends to brag about.

If you have any friends from the Bay Area (you’ll know they’re from the Bay because they’ll tell you over, and over again) you might want to let them know about The Lonely Island’s latest venture. No, it’s not a follow-up to “I’m on a Boat” or “Dick in a Box,” but rather an ode to the Bay Area in the form of wallpaper. That’s right, “Bay Area Toile” is a thing now, and you can buy it online at Flavor Paper beginning tomorrow.

Jorma Taccone, one-third of the Lonely Island trio, decided upon the idea of wallpaper while remodeling his home in Brooklyn. While searching for the perfect decor, he happened upon Beastie Boys frontman Mike D’s own “Brooklyn Toile” (also available on Flavor Paper), which immortalized Brooklyn-born legends like Biggie Smalls in the delicate and ornate French style.

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“I’m from the Bay Area, as are Andy [Samberg] and Akiva [Schaffer], and I wanted the wallpaper to have a representation of something that was actually me while I live in New York,” Taccone told Pret-a-Reporter.

The former SNL writer reached out to his friend, artist Matt Ritchie (another Bay Area native) and together, the four brainstormed a list of eight people and eight places, which Ritchie then drew in painstaking detail over the course of a year. "He probably developed carpal tunnel over the last year doing this," joked Taccone.

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Like the Bay itself the icons featured are a diverse bunch, including everyone from foodie Alice Waters to legendary quarterback Joe Montana, as well as a few rappers who have collaborated with the group in the past, including E-40 and Too $hort. The BART transportation system, Oakland's Grand Lake Theater and UC Berkeley’s Sather Tower also make the cut. But narrowing down the list to just 16 images was no easy feat.

“Anyone from Berkeley is going to be bummed that Gordo Taqueria isn’t on there,” noted Taccone, also adding that Steph Curry will likely be missed given the Golden State Warriors' recent NBA championship win. “Amoeba Music should also be on there, but that’s also been claimed by L.A. now.”

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As for future projects, Taccone notes that now that the design is finished, possibilities for more home furnishings are endless. “It can be used for curtains and pillows and fabrics for dresses and shirts and all kinds of things,” he said. “Maybe I’ll be able to create a line of jackets out of it.” 

And if you're lucky enough to find yourself in the Bay Area this weekend, you can view the paper on display for a one-night-only exhibit at Athen B. Gallery in Oakland on Saturday, Aug. 29, from 7 to 11 p.m.  

Athen B. Gallery; 1525 Webster, Oakland, CA 9416.

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