Thursday, May 20, 2010

The San Francisco hills are alive!

Well, maybe not with the Sound of Music but with Banksy fever that’s for sure!

What an exciting couple of weeks for fans of great street art. Banksy ( was in town and brought out some of the best, like Zoltron (

Great new stencil art sightings all over town, but mostly in the Mission/ Valencia Street area. But you had to scramble to see them because unfortunately they were defaced and painted over as fast as they went up.

Point in fact; Saturday I walked by the progression of the Zoltron’s on Valencia (on construction plywood, with permission of owner) and Sunday, they were covered over with movie advertisements (without permission). Gone in one day. What a statement this is about our culture, or lack there of. Banksy’s art has lasted for years in Europe. Here, his work and Zoltron’s is almost immediately defaced. Sad. This is a progression of modern street art, not gang tagging. It’s a judgment call, yes a fine line, but whether you agree or disagree, it certainly is interesting to think about. I for one believe it enhances the public art space in the city, if done in those neighborhoods that embrace the avant garde.

“Bus stops are far more interesting and useful places to have art than in museums. Graffiti has more chance of meaning something or changing stuff than anything indoors. Graffiti has been used to start revolutions; stop wars, and generally is the voice of people who aren’t listened to. Graffiti is one of those few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make somebody smile while they’re having a piss.” Bansky

In fact, it has felt like a mini public “art” renaissance. Just this week new grates are being installed on Valencia Street for the new trees (construction is still a mess, but it’s going to be great with Boulevard style sidewalks – hope we get lots of sidewalk cafes and new galleries).

And just a couple of others along the way.... Odd Fello in the Dubose Triangle/ Lower Haight and the bike in Hayes Valley.

Busy, good kind of busy… Friday April 23 was opening reception of the Mission United Artists Spring Open Studios, then following Friday, was opening reception at the Artist Xchange Gallery. It was Miss Taxie Cab-ernet’s first opening, and as The 202 Studio Pup, she took her job of “meet and greet” quite seriously. She was not alone, this being San Francisco, other pups were there to give her pleanty of conversation (and, well, since Taxie has recently discovered her ‘big voice”, there was a bit of conversation). I want to thank friends, family and the dog for joining me, had a great time.

I think Taxie must have cracked a joke? Sara, Anne and Taxie in 1st photo. 2nd photo looking into gallery with my paintings showing. 3rd photo Isik checking it out. 4th photo Taxie in “heavy, what is life, what is art” discussion with other dog.

Then on Sunday the opening reception at STUDIO Gallery.

Phew... now back to painting!

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