Friday, February 8, 2013

Street Art In the Bay Area and Big Apple

This building in SF caught my attention a few years back.
Last week when I shared examples of L.A. street art it brought to mind some of my San Francisco meanderings a couple years back and the street art I saw there. The building at the right here was striking because I'd never seen anything like it. Instead of graffiti or bright murals, it was a living sculpture with furniture falling out from all the windows.

What triggered my memories of SF was an article at ARTINFO.com on the 20 Best Spots to See Street Art in New York City. As the slide show demonstrates, the New York street arts community is quite talented, and busy. Personally I hate most articles that claim to designate ten or twenty things as the best of everything else, like the best actors of all time and top ten Dylan songs of all time. Usually it's just a person speaking authoritatively about his or her own opinion. Nevertheless, these kinds of articles do cause buzz or a bit of chatter amongst friends who get a chance to say, "Well, what about...?"

It used to be that graffiti artists worked on walls beneath underpasses and other out-of-the-way spaces because the work was unsanctioned. (i.e. illegal) Today's graffiti artist is now a street artist and their work is receiving a much higher level of recognition. Certainly building lathered with color are more interesting than abandoned structures that have been condemned but are yet to be dismantled.

I went to a Vegas auto show party once in which two dozen graffiti artists had been flown in from Detroit to create a wall of art during the course of the evening while suited executives sipped cocktails and talked about the industry. It seemed an odd juxtaposition.

For what it's worth, we have some really exceptional walls in Duluth and Superior, and I'm looking forward to seeing more in 2013.

The images below are from a wall in SF circa 2010. I wake earlier than everyone else so I walked the streets with my camera. How many times I've wished my eyeball were a camera, but there are a lot of fairy tale wishes in life that just ain't gonna happen.

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