You can find this sign near the Ferry Building in San Francisco.Â The little guys arms, waving in the air are inspiring.
I do have one import problem with this sign.Â Namely,Â it seems to beckon me to take it down, schedule a meetup at the edge of the dock then sit back and enjoy the ensuing chaos. I admit this is probably more of a problem with me than the sign though.
This is another stencil that can be found across the street from Dolores Park in San Francisco.Â A woman with an arrogant stance holding a paint brush and pallet.Â Â Nintron is printed underneath and after a quick web search the artist’s site comes up. This is one of the few stencils whose creator’s identity easy to track down.Â It is also a reminder that most of the stencils in San Francisco are related to artist or studios trying to promote themselves.
This stencil can be found in the back streets above Polk street in San Francisco. It has the blend of Asian and West Coast art that is now persuasive in the San Francisco art scene. I love this piece for how Â beautifullyÂ kitsch it is and for its great use of hair.
Rip It Up, as I call it, is one of my all-time favorite stencils in San Francisco. Anyone who has lived here can attest to the seemingly endless parade of people tearing up a street, paving it over only to tear it up again one month later.Â The city would benefit greatly from a little coordination in regards to street work.
Along Oak street in Hayes Valley you can still see two or three faded versions of this piece.Â It is a fairly complicated stencil with lots small details making finding a crisp version a rare find.Â I usually like cleaner designs but the subject matter along with the iconic imagery makes this one a personal joy to stumble across.
This cuteÂ stencilÂ design bringsÂ PlanetÂ of the Apes to mind which, when living in a city, seems like a fitting topic. Â It was found in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. Â I wish they did more with the hair -maybe a curl or two. Â I do admit, however, the bold red hair makes the face stand out and thisÂ stencilÂ is hard to miss. Â IÂ loveÂ the chimp’s blankÂ expression as if it is bored silly of of gazing up at the pedestrian walking by -even if some of them are wearing skirts.
I found this bit of graffiti while visiting Paris a few years back. Fitting to the French, it is the naughtiest piece of graffiti that I like. Overall, the French graffiti was much more stylized and expressive than the US’s. Often the graffiti in New York or San Francisco seems like it had been planed for months and is carefully designed to fit perfectly into the artist’s portfolio.Â The French seems to be spur of the moment, more emotional. I actually enjoy it more than the perfectly crafted stencil.Â However, it may have something to do with how hard the police and business owners crack down on street artists.
This wonderful mermaid was found well off the beat path, near the MusÃ©e nationalÂ Gustave Moreau.
I have seen this stencil severalÂ placesÂ around San Francisco but I took this in the Mission Distinct Â in front of a second handÂ clothingÂ store about 3 years ago. Â It is a Â bit understated but makes me think of Hawaii which is always a good thing. I love how they use shadows making theÂ stencilÂ seem to pop out of the pavement. Â I suspect most of theÂ stencilÂ work in San Francisco is done by two or three groups. Â I know one of them is “associated” with a design studio.
This is another fun stencil I found in the San Francisco Mission District on Valencia Street. Â The wording is a bitÂ fadedÂ but it is a duck quacking the words “I Like You”.Â We could all use a little positive reinforcement now and again -even if it is coming from a duck. The duck has a subtle motion which IÂ appreciated. Â This is a duck on the move, a duck who is going somewhere.
Five years ago I had the idea for a site focusing on graffiti I liked. I kept procrastinating by trying to do as much research on the artists as possible before launching and then Exit Through the Gift Shop came out. This took the edge off the idea.Â But, even though graffiti is utterly “in” right now, I will post a few of my favorites every so often. It is not the street artists’ fault the whole thing became a commercial mess.
This one is one of my favorites.Â It was taken four years ago in San Francisco Mission District near Tartines.Â I amÂ sucker for cute. Unfortunately, this cute little critter was painted over in less than a week. I love the elegance of its cuteness. A plump, tear-shaped body, cute ears and a big tail on a fire hydrant just waiting for a passing dog to notice.