Street Art

Our bike falls in love

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Our bike spotted this super clean tag in the Lower Haight the other day. It was drawn to the piece not just for its subject matter (you know how bikes tend to stick with their own kind), but also because of the composition. Check those lines! Dynamic! Hot. It was in love.  Read more »

Welcome to the neighborhood, museum mural

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Ellen and Lance Anderson are visiting their son in the Sunset, all the way from upstate New York. They'd read about the mural they're now standing in front of in the newspaper that morning, and decided to make a trip out to the Mission to check it out. “And maybe get something to eat,” Lance told me, looking around at the vendors setting up around us and the mural for the Mission Community Market's first day of 2011. 

No snacks being forthcoming, the Andersons settled on peppering artist Ben Wood with questions about the seven years of work that had culminated on the wall in question. Was he really the one who had photographed the 1700s mural on an interior wall of the Mission Dolores, a mural hidden for centuries by the main reredos? Read more »

Holy paint rollers

Mission street art takes a turn for the sainted

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Dan Witz gifts SF his finest S&M grates

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Given that he's best known for his series of tiny, jewel-like airbrushed hummingbirds, it may strike his hordes of ardent fans as dissonant that street artist Dan Witz's latest offerings are so, well, fucked up. His current show at White Walls (on display through Feb. 5) is comprised of fake grated windows that Witz sneak-bolts onto buildings. The windows reveal chiaroscuro women with ball gags in their mouths and wasted man-prisoners. Witz, a classically trained artist, has rendered them realistically enough to invoke stomach-lurching concern in the onlooker. WTF, right?

But the artist, who I called up at while he was working at his chilly studio in dead-of-winter New York City, doesn't see the birdies and the ball gags as being all that different. “Everything I do is an act of cultural aggression in some way,” he says. In 1979, when a young Witz airbrushed 40 of his now-famous hummers below 14th Street in Manhattan, their preciousness was a radical departure from the then-current trends in street art. Now, he says, his window grates onto depravity similarly represent what's lacking in today's milieu. Read more »

Boogie blows up

SF's spray can maestro takes Berlin — but what about those 500,000 euros?

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"It was an honor to be a part of history. The rest is history." Spray paint artist Chor Boogie (www.chorboogie.com) is hanging out amid spurts of December rain in Clarion Alley, standing before his mural debut in the heralded Mission community art space. But he's talking about a different piece, on a different chunk of creative community space, in a city halfway around the world: The Eyes of the Berlin Wall, which Boogie painted on an actual section of the Berlin Wall and was reported to have sold for 500,000 euros this fall.Read more »

360-degrees "Muralismo"

Streets of San Francisco: Mission meets de Young in a street-art whirl of hype and promise

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caitlin@sfbg.com

STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO In the late 1960s, when the muralismo movement began gaining strength among artists and community organizers in the Mission District, or in the 1970s when pioneer female street artists Mujeres Muralistas first picked up their brushes to trick out Balmy Alley, they probably weren't thinking about the de Young Museum and slick coffee table books.Read more »

Public screening

Three decades of posting the revolution with Mission Gráfica

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culture@sfbg.com

"Silk screening is cheap, easy, and you can do it anyplace," Calixto Robles says, looking over the busy workshop floor at Mission Gráfica. On any given week, the crowd might include a musician designing a CD cover, an activist creating a call-to-arms, an arts-and-craftser turning out calendars she sells online, or Robles himself, who teaches classes here and produces bright-hued prints filled with icons of Latino culture, from Teotihuacan to Carlos Santana.Read more »