Now in our 20th year! Since 2002, your old-school website for all things stencils.

Welcome to, home for 1000s of photographs, videos, and more. We never datamine user info nor do we use annoying pop ups to make you subscribe. We do not monetize content and we believe in keeping this project free and open.

How can you support this site (beyond submitting pics, videos, exhibit info, etc.)?

  • Visit the Stencil Archive Support page to purchase a copy of Stencil Nation, take a tour, or donate to this project.
  • Find the Stencil Archives' best original photos on Instagram and flickr.

Here's to 20 more years - Russell

More Photo Uploads to the Stencil Archive

Lapiz catches the zeitgeist

Thanks to: Jaime Rojo/Brooklyn Street Art, @Emily_Lykos, @GraffitiRadical, u/Everything4Everyone, u/nzrqrb, @StreetArtUtopia

Spinning: Freddie Hubbard, Dead Can Dance

>NEW< Epyon5 gets real horrorshow

Good advice in Rhode Island

One from Canada

One from Chile

Here and there in San Francisco

SFMTA outlines on Van Ness St., SF

One from Ukraine

One from Portugal


zir0 in Germany



timely one form Lapiz (posted on BSA)

Bump and Update for Our First History Post

Just saw over on Insta that the Stencil Stories exhibit in Heidelberg, Germany went up late last year during the pandemic. Though the exhibit says, via translation, stencil graffiti's true roots have been forgotten, we at Stencil Archive beg to differ! For our 20th year here, we just went through our very resourceful History category (recently updated Feb. 19) and updated some of the older posts (new videos, photos, formatting, etc.).

And we also just updated our first-ever History post, which was a bibliography used for the creation of the book "Stencil Nation". We added two books that were not on the list, and updated Josh MacPhee's "Pound the Pavement" zine series info.

Here are the two new books:

Cut it Out; Banksy; Weapons of Mass Distraction, publisher, 2004.

Stencil Project - Paris 2004 (with DVD); Collectif; CRITERES, publisher, 2004.

A Random Non-Presidential Photo Upload

BDSM Boring
Humor on the sidewalk in the Upper Haight, SF.

Thanks to: Esmeralda, Jaime Rojo/Brooklyn Street Art, @Emily_Lykos, @GraffitiRadical, u/Everything4Everyone, u/nzrqrb, @StreetArtUtopia, Josiah

Spinning: Sirens, Loki wailing downstairs with separation anxiety, a clock ticking, paper shuffling, keys typing, random bird sounds

>NEW< Japan


The Mission District, SF

Haight St., SF

Western Addition and Fillmore St., SF


Mr. Brainwash in SF



Street Art Copyrights and Suing Car Companies

Life in The Fast Lane: How Urban Car Ads Depicting 'Street Art' Can Backfire

Article By:

David Halberstadter
National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 27

Vehicle manufactures and their ad agencies really love to show off their driving machines in action. Television commercials depict sturdy, reliable trucks hauling tons of cargo; four-wheel drive SUVs navigating perilous terrain in extreme weather conditions; and sleek sedans cruising through cityscapes of gleaming skyscrapers and funky urban streets.

It is on the funky urban streets where car manufacturers can sometimes steer in the wrong direction. Their commercials often feature street scenes that may include recognizable landmarks, historic buildings, public art installations like sculptures and wall murals, and even distinctive graffiti. Carmakers aren't the only retailers entranced by "street art." Makers of athletic shoes and apparel like to incorporate graffiti-like designs into their fashions and ads, as well. Filming other people's art, even when in public view, can result in copyright claims, litigation and attorneys' fees, not to mention potential damages. This article offers a brief roadmap for avoiding such claims.

Graffiti - Jaytalking in 19th Century Paris

From Toulouse, a common public message since the 19th cent.

Graffiti: Jaytalking in 19th Century Paris

The files of Paris police from the late nineteenth century reveal the tumultuous politics of the time through the graffiti recorded in them.

By: Matthew Wills

January 24, 2022

American histories of urban graffiti tag Philadelphia in the 1960s as its birthplace, but people have been scrawling on and carving into walls around the world for millennia, long before the advent of spray paint. Scholar Elizabeth Sage digs into the Paris police files for examples from the late nineteenth century, the fin-de-siècle [Journal of Social History, Vol. 49, No. 4], when the police actively documented the “political, obscene, sincere, humorous, or just plain cranky” writings they found in public.

Late nineteenth century cities, Sage reminds us, were “often represented as politically, morally, and physically dangerous.” The streets of these cities were also—and continue to be—“places of spontaneity, disorder, and resistance.” In Paris, the “perception of streets as dangerous and ambiguous spaces,” where the classes mingled and could be hard to tell apart, meant that the “streets were closely regulated” by the police.

Sage uses urban theorist Andy Merritfield’s notion of “jaytalking”—like jaywalking, but meaning speaking where people are not supposed to—to explore graffiti chalked on “wall, tree, urinal, park bench, or sidewalk,” among other places, in defiance of police regulation.