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Art and Gentrification: Everything Must Go....

[From Stencil Archive: At what point is public art part of the problem of gentrification? When is corporate manipulation and intrusion too much for a community to bear? Can public art be created without thinking about the environment, the wall it is painted on, and the community in mind? What are the limits of making money for one's art as opposed to the created pieces being part of the problem of massive evictions and migrations of lower-income and working class populations? These questions have been stewing for months now, and there is surprisingly little writing on these issues. Megan Wilson, co-curator of the Clarion Alley Mural Project, pushes back and contemplates these sometimes blurry lines between selling out and paying  the rent. Below is an essay she wrote that touches on some of the above questions. For a much better version, with photographs and links, please go to stretcher and read the original. Thanks, Megan, for allowing a repost of this important angle on some of the behind-the-scenes manipulations that are going on in the condo-boomtown that is San Francisco.]

The Gentrification of our Livelihoods: Everything Must Go…
by Megan Wilson

Preface: When I began researching and writing The Gentrification of our Livelihoods in early March 2014 one of my primary interests was the impact that the collaboration between Intersection for the Arts and developer Forest City’s creative placemaking 5M Project is having on the existing communities that have invested in and called the South of Market home prior to the tech booms. Having worked with many community-based organizations within the SoMa community for the past 18 years, I’ve had deep concerns about the development’s impact for the neighborhood and its impact on the future of Intersection.

However, I would not have predicted the announcement that Intersection made on May 22nd to cut its arts, education, and community engagement programs and lay off its program staff would come as soon as it did. What began as a reflection on the shortcomings of creative placemaking as a tool for economic development and its implications on gentrification and community displacement has become a cautionary tale for arts and community organizations to question and better understand the potential outcomes of working with partners whose interests are rooted in financial profit.

Activists Arrested for Chalking Sidewalk

4 Activists Arrested for Chalking “Save the Animals”
by WILL POTTER on JULY 28, 2015
in TERRORISM COURT CASES (Green is the New Red)

(<<< An example of activist stencil chalking)

Four animal rights activists have been arrested for allegedly writing political slogans on the public street using sidewalk chalk.

The four were arrested in Beaverton, Oregon, and face charges of harassment, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.

The chalking was done as part of the growing “No New Animal Lab” campaign, which aims to stop the construction of a new underground animal experimentation facility at the University of Washington.

Eclair Bandersnatch: Street Artist for the Snowden Age

Eclair Bandersnatch: Street Artist for the Snowden Age
Annalee Newitz, Gizmodo

Walk pretty much anywhere in San Francisco’s SoMa, Haight or Mission neighborhoods, and you’ll see one of Eclair Bandersnatch’s glittery stencils, often featuring “Saint Snowden” or Chelsea Manning. We talked to Bandersnatch about bringing art, tech and politics together on the streets.

Bandersnatch has been stenciling San Francisco streets for several years, and her subjects run the gamut from Godzilla to ladies who look like they’d be comfortable at a 1920s party along the Barbary Coast. Her vision is uniquely San Franciscan, mixing internet politics with a queer sensibility — and heaping dose of humor.

And ever since Snowden began to tell the media about the NSA’s secret surveillance plans, Bandersnatch has been turning the Snowden Age into street art. Here’s our interview with her.

Giz: Why are Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowden important to your work?

Eclair Bandersnatch: My work? They’re important to my life! And they should be important to everyone’s life!

Now Experts Are Issuing Warnings About Sunburn Art

Now Experts Are Issuing Warnings About Sunburn Art

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Sunburns are painful and potentially cancer-causing, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming an increasingly popular means of artistic expression.

Experts are now speaking out against “sunburn art,” a new social media trend in which people use stencils or strategically applied sunblock to create a do-it-yourself temporary sunburn tattoo on their bodies.

Participants then take pictures of their creations and post them on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

The trend is worrisome enough that the Skin Cancer Foundation has issued an official position on sunburn art, warning of the health risks associated with tanned or sunburned skin.

“Sunburns cause DNA damage to the skin, accelerate skin aging, and increase your lifetime skin cancer risk,” the statement reads. “In fact, sustaining five or more sunburns in youth increases lifetime melanoma risk by 80 percent. On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.”

Dr. Deborah Sarnoff, senior vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, said that people tend to underestimate the health hazards of sunburns.

The ultraviolet rays in sunshine or, for that matter, in the rays emitted by tanning beds, damage the DNA inside skin cells, making them more apt to turn cancerous, according to the American Cancer Society.

Further, the risk is cumulative, Sarnoff said. The more tans and sunburns a person receives throughout their lifetime, the more likely they are to develop skin cancer or melanoma at some point.

Shepard Fairey's Arrest Begs Question: Art or Vandalism?

How Shepard Fairey's arrest provides a new look at an old question: Is it art or is it vandalism?

By DEBORAH VANKIN AND DAVID NG (LA Times)

Shepard Fairey has never been one to play by the rules — and that's par for the course for someone in a street art community that exists on the cultural margins.

Or does it?

The L.A.-based street artist and graphic designer, best known for his 2008 "Hope" poster timed with Barack Obama's presidential campaign as well as the "Obey" image seen on posters and T-shirts worldwide, was arrested last week while passing through customs at Los Angeles International Airport. Authorities there noticed that Detroit police had issued a warrant last month related to two counts of malicious destruction of property.

Fairey, 45, had been accused of putting up posters, without permission, on private and government property in Detroit. But once he was in custody in L.A., Detroit police backed off: They declined to extradite the artist.

"In terms of graffiti, it's not as high as a murder or rape or something," Detroit police Officer Dan Donakowski said Monday, a day before Fairey surrendered to Detroit police and was quickly arraigned and released.

SF artist's Pride show squashed

SF artist's Pride show squashed by foundation, due to assault claims
By Chris Roberts @cbloggy (Examiner)

Street artist Jeremy Novy is no stranger to controversy.

Before he won commissions to put his signature stencils of koi fish on public and private property in The City, his art — pasted on sidewalks and buildings — sometimes broke the law.

Starting Monday, Novy — a rare LGBT street artist in the hetero-dominated world of taggers and stencilists — was supposed to have a monthlong gay culture-themed show in the Castro.

Called “PHONE SEX = SAFE SEX,” the show was to run throughout Pride Month at Magnet, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation-run sexual health clinic in The Castro.

That’s all over now.

4 June Stephane Moscato - Little Fingers (UK)

Opening this THURSDAY at the Pure Evil Gallery we're going to be showing artwork by

Stéphane Moscato - STF

STF little fingers

Stéphane Moscato aka STF has been archiving the living memory of the city of Marseille for ten years.

Peeling off layers and years of illegal posters, he uses the typography and patterns he finds on them as a guide. This 'rip it up and start again' punk rock culture enthusiast first applies the stencil back to front by pressing, then uses black paint to draw the outlines of the design. Giving a modern touch to the approach of Villeglé, Stéphane calls attention to his obsession with the human body, each time telling a different story with a different mythology and an ambiguous interpretation of his work.

We are very excited and a bit proud to be presenting his first UK Solo at Pure Evil Gallery on June 04 ...

Pure Evil Gallery ,
108 Leonard st,
London EC2A 4XS

Gallery Hours:
10am - 6pm daily 
or by appointment.

On the midnight prowl with one of S.F.’s hottest street artists

On the midnight prowl with one of S.F.’s hottest street artists

By Ryan Kost (SF Chronicle)
June 1, 2015

The street artist known as fnnch stands at the corner of Capp and 19th. It’s just started to rain, the sort of rain you can feel but you can’t see unless you catch it in a car’s headlights. He’s staring at a postbox just across the way, freshly painted, a blank canvas. “I really want to hit this box.”

But there are people near it, drunken and rowdy people, people who holler at the woman pacing in front of the corner store. “I got a dollar for you, baby. What’s up?”

Fnnch keeps watching them, and then, after a few minutes, he starts walking. “I don’t think they’re going to care,” he says. “There’s only one rule: Let me know if a cop is coming. Like, nothing else really matters.”

Woman convicted for posting street art on Instagram

Here is an update from a 2013 post about the arrest:

Woman Found Guilty of Criminal Harassment for Instagramming Street Art
by Benjamin Sutton on May 18, 2015 for Hyperallergic

Jennifer Pawluck, the Montrealer who was arrested in 2013 for posting a photo of a piece of street art on Instagram, has been convicted of criminal harassment and, on Thursday, was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and 18 months probation. Her community service must be completed within a year.

The 22-year-old college student has also been forbidden from posting any public messages on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and must restrict her use of the social media platforms to private communications for the next year, according to the Montreal Gazette. She had faced maximum penalties of up to six months in jail and a fine of $5,000.

Reached via Facebook, Pawluck told Hyperallergic: “I am unfortunately not responding to any media questions … following my sentencing I’d prefer to keep a very low profile.”

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