Most of you will know the neighborhood I was walking that early evening in from The Wire. In fact, the school where season four was shot was a few blocks away. That TV show is an eternal point of reference for Baltimore's Greenmount West neighborhood, which Open Walls, the town's first street art festival which I was in the hood to cover, was hoping to combat. The festival, going since March, will conclude with a closing party on May 25. Read more »
Ever since I visited the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami during the shock and awe of Art Basel 2011, the concept of street art as an agent of neighborhood change has been loitering around my brain space. What does it mean that an art that was once deemed outsider is now on the radar of bankers and real estate brokers alike as a means of increasing property value? Read more »
In 2003, artists from a San Francisco-Indonesia cultural exchange painted murals on one of the outer walls of Project Artaud, a non-profit art collective in the Mission that provide live-work studios and exhibition space for artists. Within nine years, the expansive mural became a part of the street’s geography — adorning the street like colorful flowers or trees — and was loved by neighbors and passersby alike. But starting last month, tags started to appear on top of the paintings, and within a 24-hour span, the mural faced its tragic and final destruction. Read more »
Swoon's work has been haunting me. On a recent trip to DJ Rusty Lazer's house in New Orleans it was there, bedecking a rundown Bywater neighborhood fence that concealed a village of homes that can be played as a symphony (she also designed a structure for the mini-city, a dream tree house atop stilts). As one strolls though the world one sees it here, there – fairy webs of delicate wheatpaste strands on city walls.
So it's no surprise that the Mission's been eager to replace the wheatpaste Swoon (also known as Caledonia Curry) installed on Tony's Market at 24th Street and Hampshire. Rejoice: after the original was defaced in August 2011, the female street artist's new piece will finally adhere to Tony's on Tue/28. Read more »
“Graffiti is anti-corporation,” says Optimist, a long time Bay Area street artist in a Guardian phone interview. “Whereas advertisements on billboards are trying to sell you something, graffiti is trying to open your eyes to see who else is alive out there.” Spurred by this love of street art, Optimist partnered up with fellow street artist Plantrees to curate “Truck Show SF,” a group show which opens at 1AM SF gallery on Fri/10. Read more »
All I did was program in the coordinates of a wall my friend was painting in the midst of Miami's mega Art Basel weekend and all of a sudden I'm in mural heaven. Going traffic snail-slow down the Wynwood neighborhood's Second Avenue (at one time a Puerto Rican enclave, now a place where corner restaurants are popping up with floor-length windows that display spindly humanoid statues clad in multi-colored sweater), all I could see were flood light-illuminated muralists in the finishing stages of turning the street into the most painted lane I've ever seen. Read more »
Every once in awhile, an festival comes along that seems so seamless, so positive, and so needed that it's like it sprang from the Bay Area gods. Such an event is the Life is Living Festival, which took over West Oakland's De Fremery Park last Sat/8 in big, happy puppy pile of art and kids and music. Read more »
These paintings are the answer to your friends' endless Facebook albums of street art they discovered on vacation. Greece, Washington D.C., Lima -- look, people write on walls here too! Le sigh -- quality over quantity despite user-friendly upload options, please (unless you're Steve Rotman).
Jessica Hess -- whose work will be on display at White Walls starting Sat/3 -- creates captures that fight the point-and-click street art photo glut. Check out the Boston-based artist's paintings of scenes that she's a. found on her urban wanderings/as the title of her solo show suggests, found her on her urban wanderings or b. she's spray-painted in her head. Maybe c., a combination of the two, exist somewhere in there as well.
Fred Radke buffs Banksy and can't stand public mural walls, even when they're meant to inspire hope in his post-Katrina NoLa.
Joe Connolly deals with the death of his 11-year old son by zealously trucking around cans of paint and paint-removing chemicals, occasionally throwing up his own tag as a caution sign to the other, bad, graffiti artists.
Jim “Silver Buff” Sharp will even take down signs for lost dogs in his mission to purge Berkeley's streets of DIY expression.