Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hunting for Banksy

London-native street artist Banksy, has apparently made a trip to San Francisco, California. About 2, or so, weeks ago spray-painted stenciled images started appearing around the city. For longevity and survival, Banksy acts in a clandestine manner, always hiding his face and identity. No one knew of his venture in California until his work started popping up all over the city, showing at least 6 works total. As an avid Banksy supporter, I decided to use this rare opportunity to scavenger the city for his work. I apologize for the poor image quality, I had to use my phone to capture the photos...

The first piece I saw was on Haight Street in between Cole and Clayton. On the upper wall of the Red Victorian building (yes, the one that Jimi Hendrix used to live in) there is large rat, a signature of Banksy, with a long red line circling the second floor of the surrounding buildings. At the end of the red line, there is text written in red spray paint saying, "this is where I draw the line."

The second piece I saw was on Mission Street at Sycamore, directly on the back of Cafe Prague. This piece is a stencil of an American Indian sitting on the ground holding a "No Trespassing" sign.

The third is on Valencia Street at 20th. The text reads "This'll look nice when its framed."

The fourth, and last, piece I saw is in Chinatown at Grant Street. This is my favorite of the bunch. Banksy took pre-existing graffiti of a peace sign and heart on the side of a Chinese bakery and added a stencil of a doctor with a stethoscope. When I was outside the business taking pictures, the owner was installing plexiglass over the artwork in order to preserve it. How beautiful is that?!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish the scavenger hunt, because the process took too long with MUNI. I started at 5 and was out hunting until 9. I hope to see the other two works sometime soon, before the city or business owners paint over them. Every lover of subversive art should spend the time to witness Banksy in person. Or maybe you will just happen to catch a piece while you're out on the town. Either way, it is definitely worth it.

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