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Stencils in the Shadows: Two Artists on a Mission

Stencils in the Shadows: Two Artists on a Mission
Devin Holt, SF Weekly
link: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/exhibitionist/2013/11/stencils_in_the_shadows_...

The house on San Jose Avenue was perfect. There was plenty of sidewalk out front, and enough light to see clearly from the streetlamps overhead. With a couple of quick glances up and down the block, the pair set to work. They laid their handmade outlines down on the sidewalk, adjusted them to assure proper alignment, and then pulled out a spray can. The stencils were painted with a few quick hisses, and everything was packed back up in less than a minute.
Three messages now looked up from the sidewalk. "Tu Casa es Mi Casa," "The New Mission: Haute yet Edgy!" and "Tenants Here Forced Out."

The house wasn't chosen because of its ample sidewalks, but because of the occupants. It was the home of René Yañez, a Mission district artist known for his work at Galería de la Raza, and for bringing the famed Dia de los Muertos celebration to San Francisco. Yañez is currently facing an Ellis Act eviction.

It's places like this, pivotal scenes in the city's ongoing culture wars, where "Stripe" and "Estrillata Jones" leave their stencil art.

Exclusive: An Interview with Banksy

By Keegan Hamilton Wednesday, Oct 9 2013

http://www.villagevoice.com/2013-10-09/art/banksy-better-out-than-in-new...

"Confidential."

That was the beguiling subject of an e-mail seemingly randomly addressed to the Village Voice in mid-September.

"I represent the artist Banksy," the message began, "and I would like to talk to you at your earliest convenience." The name and phone number of a British publicist followed. There were no further details or explanation. It was mysterious and intriguing. The secretive graffiti artist had been silent since last year, when his distinctive stencils appeared in London during the Olympics. Because Banksy rarely grants interviews, the cryptic message also felt like the prelude to an elaborate practical joke.

A few minutes of sleuthing confirmed the identity of the publicist, Jo Brooks, who represents several British artists (not to mention Fatboy Slim), and turned up evidence of her professional relationship with the elusive stencil master. A subsequent message from Brooks revealed more: a draft of a press release announcing that Banksy was on the verge of unveiling an audacious new project: The artist intended to create one new piece on the streets of New York each day in October, a "unique kind of art show" titled "Better Out Than In." Billed with the tagline "an artists [sic] residency on the streets of New York," the show was to include "elaborate graffiti, large scale street sculpture, video installations, and substandard performance art."

Brooks promised the Voice an exclusive interview with Banksy, who "feels an affinity with people who provide quality content for free on street corners."

Elusive graffiti artist accessorizes for work

Original (with photos) here: http://blog.sfgate.com/cityexposed/2013/10/06/elusive-graffiti-artist-ac...

“She found us. She came in here and asked for permission. She’s taken over,” said Anissa Malady, the center’s librarian, who has watched the artist’s work evolve for the past two years.

“She is definitely a San Francisco eccentric,” Malady said. “I’ve never seen any other street artist in high heels.”

She’s known as Eclair Bandersnatch – the last name is a fictional creature in several Lewis Carroll works, elusive and hard to catch. They’re traits that San Francisco’s Bandersnatch also possesses.

1,000s of Stencils Mark Peace Day on Normandy Beach


Haunting reminder of millions of lives lost in war as artists stencil 9,000 bodies onto Normandy beach to mark Peace Day

British led project covered the famous coastline in poignant silhouettes
A team of 500 artists and volunteers contributed the moving installation
The 'fallen' were left to be washed away by the tide at the end of the day
By Aaron Sharp

PUBLISHED: 08:05 EST, 23 September 2013 | UPDATED: 12:20 EST, 23 September 2013

Source (and more photos): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2429903/Peace-Day-Reminder-milli...

A pair of British artists have created this stunning installation of 9,000 silhouettes on a D-Day Landings beach to mark international Peace Day.

The project, named, 'The Fallen' is a tribute to the civilians, German forces and Allies who lost their lives during the Operation Neptune landing on June 6, 1944.

The design was the brainchild of Jamie Wardley, 33, and Andy Moss, 50.

Together with a team of volunteers the pair travelled to Arromanches beach, Normandy, to create the silhouettes, which were individually drawn into the sand.

Graffiti Conference Seeks Public's Help

Graffiti conference seeks public's help
S.F. CRIME
Neal J. Riley
Published 4:51 pm, Thursday, January 17, 2013

Graffiti is a more than $20 million-a-year problem in San Francisco, and though city officials put out a call Thursday to eradicate graffiti blight, there's still disagreement on how vandals should be punished.

At the first Zero Graffiti International Conference, hundreds of people from around the world gathered at St. Mary's Cathedral to discuss fighting graffiti and browse products to take spray paint and markers off any surface.

"Graffiti vandalism is a drain on our city's resources, impacting our neighborhoods and quality of life," said George Gascón, San Francisco's district attorney. "We ask the public to help out by reporting graffiti crime."

Split over penalties

Mohammed Nuru, the Department of Public Works director, said his agency takes an average of 3,000 calls a month about graffiti and has seen an increase in tagging on trees and artists' murals.

Alcatraz Historical Graffiti Restored

Alcatraz pays tribute to Indian occupation
Carl Nolte
Updated 1:48 pm, Monday, January 14, 2013

The National Park Service does not usually approve of graffiti. "It's a federal offense," said Marcus Koenen, site supervisor for Alcatraz, the former prison that is now part of a national park.

However, the government has made an exception for graffiti left behind during the Indian occupation of the island - and it helped restore signs painted by hand on a landmark water tower.

"PEACE AND FREEDOM WELCOME HOME OF THE FREE INDIAN LAND," the writing says in red letters 4 and 5 feet high.

"We restored it because it has a social significance," Koenen said recently. "It is part of what this park is all about."

Banksy's Haight St. Rat Turns Up in Miami

I sell a rat

By caitlin
Created 12/18/2012 - 6:02pm
Public street art as private purchase? Banksy's Haight Street rat turns up in Miami

STREET SEEN Like many of his Bay Area art world peers, the beret-wearing rat that Banksy stenciled on the side of Haight Street's Red Victorian hotel in 2010 was in Miami for Art Basel week.

But sadly, our stenciled friend wasn't available for air-kisses. The rodent-adorned chunk of wall hung behind a velvet rope and its own security guard in the VIP lounge at Context, a new-this-year contemporary wing of the sprawling Art Miami art fair.

The rodent was one of five reappropriated Banksy walls being shown in an exhibition that was controversial even by the standards of Basel week's art-star-big-money whirligig. A local weekly newspaper helpfully pointed out that the wheelings-and-dealings in Miami during Basel involve art worth roughly the GDP of Guyana. (Check out the Guardian's Pixel Vision blog for our full report on the week's best showings, scenes, stilettos.)

Knoxville, TN: AC Stencils DIY Bike Route Arrows

http://www.metropulse.com/news/2012/may/30/anonymous-cyclist-blazes-bike...

EXCERPT

Earlier this spring a small stenciled image of a bike appeared on the pavement at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Luttrell Street. An arrow painted beside the bike pointed to the right. What’s this? I thought.

Later, I noticed more of the small stenciled bikes zigzagging through North Knoxville, leading the way down quiet neighborhood streets and little-used roads near industrial parts of town. They perfectly matched the route my husband takes when he bikes our child to school in the bike trailer.

“You did this!” I said.

He denied it.

Still, it must be a personal route, I thought, marked by a cycling enthusiast with an anarchist streak, pointing the way to a party; or maybe it was part of a whimsical scavenger hunt. But, the marks were quite consistent, the distance covered was large...could it be a city-sanctioned route? And yet, the stencils were a little low-tech to be official. They seemed to hover in a gray area somewhere between city traffic markings and graffiti.

After going through a short list of suspects, I got a promising tip, and one day I received a call from a man I’ll call “AC.”

Arab Art Breaks Spell of Oppression

How Arab revolutionary art helped break the spell of political oppression

Graffiti, murals and other dissident art have transformed public spaces and mobilised public opinion in the Middle East

    Julia Rampen and Laurie Tuffrey
    guardian.co.uk, Saturday 5 May 2012 08.00 EDT
    Article found here

In January 2011 the Tunisian dictator Ben Ali fled Tunisia. Ten months later, his giant smiling face appeared on the side of a building in the busy port city of La Goulette. At first people just gathered beneath it and stared. Then they started to get angry. Urged on by the crowd, a group of men pulled the dictator's image down. The poster crumpled – and revealed a second poster: "Beware, dictatorship can return. On Oct 23rd, VOTE."

Half-ad, half-performance, this was one of the examples of art as political statement selected by Professor Charles Tripp, a specialist in Middle Eastern politics, who spoke at the University of East London on Tuesday night. He argued that graffiti, murals, posters and other visual art forms helped to "break the spell" of dictators like Ben Ali, continuing to mobilise protesters against threats to the revolutionary ideals.

For instance in January this year, as tensions between Egypt's interim military leadership and the crowds in Tahrir Square grew, the prominent street artist Ganzeer declared: "Art is the only weapon we have left to deal with the military dictatorship". When the authorities put up barricades around Tahrir, they were soon transformed by the city's artists. The use of visual tricks further undermined the installation of the barricades - many of these paintings simply depicted the forbidden street that lay behind.

At 23, the Spray Man Becomes Syrian Liberation Graffiti Matyr

A Syrian Graffiti Artist, Defiant Until Death

Original Article appears here

They called him "the spray man" for his graffiti that appeared all over the Syrian capital of Damascus. But in truth, 23-year-old Nour Hatem Zahra was an activist like any other activist.

He started protesting in Syria last spring. Back then, the opposition thought it would only take a few months to get rid of President Bashar Assad, as it had in Tunisia and Egypt.

Then Syrian forces started killing protesters, detaining them, torturing them. And the people started fighting back.

But still, there was Nour Hatem Zahra and his friends — organizing protests, hiding activists from the dreaded security forces, ferrying medical supplies to those who were injured but terrified to go to a government hospital.

Then late last year, Zahra got caught. Under torture, one of his friends had given up his name. Zahra later forgave the friend.

He was locked up for 56 days. As soon as he got out, he was at it again. He and his friends went around spraying the suburbs of Syria's capital, Damascus, with slogans against the Syrian president: "Down with the traitor." "To the trash heap of history." Pictures of the president with the word "pig" scrawled underneath.

A few weeks ago, Zahra and his friends declared "Freedom Graffiti Week." The Facebook page calls their work a mix of civil disobedience and peaceful expression.

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