Welcome to StencilArchive.org, home for thousands of photographs, videos, and more. We have been part of the stencil-loving community since 2002. 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.
Thanks so much - Russell
Ensemble Réel est un duo fraternel, lié par la peinture au-delà du lien de sang. L’un gaucher et l’autre droitier c’est avec passion, poésie et provocation qu’ils décident de commencer à peindre individuellement avant de former l’artiste ambidextre qu’ils sont devenus aujourd’hui et ce depuis 2014.
Ensemble Réel is a fraternal duo, linked by painting beyond blood ties. One left-handed and the other right-handed it is with passion, poetry and provocation that they decide to start painting individually before forming the ambidextrous artist that they have become today and this since 2014.
The fraught business of removing and selling street art murals
Published on CNN, 20th January 2020 (LINK)
Written by Christy Kuesel
This article was published in partnership with Artsy, the global platform for discovering and collecting art. The original article can be seen here.
Banksy is well known for creating murals in the dead of night, frequently addressing social ills like homelessness or poverty. Tourists and fans gather around each of his new creations, often spurred to the site by a post on the anonymous artist's Instagram account. So the idea of removing one of these works from public view and selling it is bound to stir up strong emotions.
"It's against the street art world for items that are done in public to be sold," said Darren Julien, founder and CEO of Julien's Auctions, which specializes in selling pop culture-related items and street art.
Many businesses tagged by a famous street artist may not want the attention, or would rather take the financial windfall that could result from selling the work. The owner of a Valero gas station in Los Angeles certainly benefited from Banksy's creation of "Flower Girl" (2008) on their wall. The work depicts a girl with a basket of flowers staring up into a security camera, and was created late one night in 2008.
Another street artist, Mr. Brainwash, asked the gas station owner if his friend could stencil something on the side of the wall. The work later appeared on Banksy's website. When the owner of the gas station decided to sell the property, he looked into ways to save the mural.
How Julien's Auctions actually got a nearly 8,000-pound hunk of concrete to auction, however, is a bit more complicated. The auction house advanced the seller the $80,000 removal cost, and a construction crew came in and removed the section of wall on which the mural was painted. The 2013 sale of "Flower Girl," which brought in $209,000, was one of the first times the street artist's work had been auctioned in the US.
Sales of street art murals in general are divisive. Artists often object to the transformation of a work they created for public enjoyment into an art object to be bought and sold. Although Julien acknowledged the controversy around selling Banksy murals, he argued, "The other side of it is that [auctions are] really what made them famous."
Tiny particles floating in the atmosphere have a much bigger impact on the planet than you might think, and human activity plays a role.
BY ALEJANDRA BORUNDA for National Geographic
THE MOST VIBRANT sunsets, cloud-choked skies, and cough-inducing days all have something in common: They happen because of aerosols, tiny particles that float in the air. Aerosols can be tiny droplets, dust particles, bits of fine black carbon, and other things, and as they float through the atmosphere they change the whole energy balance of the planet.
Aerosols have an outsized effect on the planet’s climate. Some of them, like black and brown carbon, warm the Earth’s atmosphere, while others, like sulfate droplets, cool it. Scientists think that on balance, the whole budget of aerosols ends up cooling the planet slightly. But exactly how much, and how much that effect can shift over days, years, or centuries is still not totally clear.
What are aerosols?
The term aerosol is a catch-all for many kinds of little bits of stuff that end up suspended in the atmosphere, from the surface of the planet all the way to the edges of space. They can be solid or liquid, infinitesimally small or big enough to see with the naked eye.
“Primary” aerosols, like dust, soot, or sea salt, come directly from the planet’s surface. They get lifted into the atmosphere by gusty winds, shot high into the air by exploding volcanoes, or they waft away from smokestacks or flames. “Secondary” aerosols form when different things floating in the atmosphere—like organic compounds released by plants, liquid acid droplets, or other materials—crash together, culminating in a chemical or physical reaction. Secondary aerosols, for example—make the haze that gives the U.S.’s Great Smoky Mountains their name.
Aerosols come from both natural and human sources—and sometimes both at once. Dust, for example, is scoured from deserts, the dried-out edges of rivers, dry lakebeds, and more. Its concentrations in the atmosphere rise and fall with climate; in cold, dry, periods in the planet’s history like the last ice age, more dust filled the atmosphere than during warmer stretches of Earth’s history. But humans have affected that natural cycle, making some places dustier than they otherwise would be and keeping other areas damp.
Sea salts provide another natural source of aerosols. They’re whipped out of the ocean by wind and sea spray and tend to fill the lower parts of the atmosphere. In contrast, some types of very explosive volcanic eruptions can shoot particles and droplets high into the upper atmosphere, where they can float for months or even years, suspended miles above Earth’s surface.
Human activity produces many different types of aerosols. Fossil-fuel burning produces particles, as well as the well-known greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide—so cars, airplanes, power plants, and industrial processes all produce particles that can collect in the atmosphere. Agriculture produces dust, as well as other things like aerosolized nitrogen products, both of which affect air quality near and far.
On the turntable: Beck, Beatles, Rush (RIP Neil Peart)
Photo: Haight Street, SF (artist unknown)
Several dozen from Portland, Oregon
Berlin (thanks, Brooklyn Street Art)
mimi the clown (just one; thanks, BSA)
Colombia (just one)
The Mission, SF (just one)
The Tenderloin, SF (just one)
Fight against facial recognition hits wall across the West
The result is an impasse that has left tech companies largely in control of where and how to deploy facial recognition.
By JANOSCH DELCKER and CRISTIANO LIMA (POLITICO)
12/30/2019 05:03 AM EST
Face-scanning technology is inspiring a wave of privacy fears as the software creeps into every corner of life in the United States and Europe — at border crossings, on police vehicles and in stadiums, airports and high schools. But efforts to check its spread are hitting a wall of resistance on both sides of the Atlantic.
One big reason: Western governments are embracing this technology for their own use, valuing security and data collection over privacy and civil liberties. And in Washington, President Donald Trump’s impeachment and the death of a key civil rights and privacy champion have snarled expectations for a congressional drive to enact restrictions.
The result is an impasse that has left tech companies largely in control of where and how to deploy facial recognition, which they have sold to police agencies and embedded in consumers’ apps and smartphones. The stalemate has persisted even in Europe’s most privacy-minded countries, such as Germany, and despite a bipartisan U.S. alliance of civil-libertarian Democrats and Republicans.
Advocates for tighter regulations point to China as an example of the technology’s nightmare potential, amid reports authorities are using it to indiscriminately track citizens in public, identify pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and oppress millions of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang. Current implementations of the software also perpetuate racial bias by misidentifying people of color far more frequently than white people, according to a U.S. government study released just before Congress left town for Christmas.
“Facial recognition needs to be stopped before a fait accompli is established,” Patrick Breyer, a member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party Germany, told POLITICO.
"The use of facial recognition technology poses a staggering threat to Americans’ privacy," Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is prepping legislation to crack down on the software, said in June.
'We were lawless!' Banksy's photographer reveals their scams and scrapes
Steve Lazarides was the art renegade’s strategist, photographer and minder. As his shots are published [in a self-published book], he recalls the politics, parties and soaring price tags of ‘Matey Boy’
Stuart Jeffries (The Guardian)
Mon 16 Dec 2019 12.54 GMTLast modified on Mon 16 Dec 2019 16.50 GMT
One Christmas, Steve Lazarides and Banksy [his Stencil Archive] decided to kill Santa. “Reject false icons,” read the slogan hastily spray painted across their shopfront, behind a highly festive effigy they had created of Father Christmas dangling from a noose. Dotted around were signs intended to lure passersby into their shop, in the hope that they would join in the party and buy some artworks. The signs, however, may have had the opposite effect. “Santa’s Ghetto,” read one. “Stinking art piss,” read another.
“There were a few complaints about what we did to Santa,” says Lazarides, once Banksy’s right-hand man. “And about the noise. We didn’t care. It was a group show we did every year, so artists could make a little dough and punters could pick up some affordable art for Christmas stockings.”
Lazarides worked with Banksy for 11 rollercoaster years, initially documenting the artist at work back in 1997, then becoming his agent, strategist and even minder. The Christmas art shop had been rented from one of Soho’s last porn barons – but disaster struck. Liquid leaked through from the floor above, soaking an impromptu chandelier made of traffic cones. “I went to investigate,” says Lazarides. “It was a toilet overflowing. The crowd at the party thought it was part of the show. It wasn’t. It was literally stinking art piss.”
The art he and Banksy sold at Santa’s Ghetto was certainly affordable back in the noughties – but it could not be classified as such today. Lazarides recalls carrying armfuls of original Banksy prints to the shop, where they’d shift for £25. “At today’s rates,” he says, “I reckon each armful would be worth about half a million quid.”
One work, called Bomb Middle England, depicted three elderly women playing bowls with balls that had lit fuses coming out of them. In 2007, Sotheby’s sold a version of this image for £102,000, at the time the most ever fetched for a Banksy. It has since been eclipsed, with the title now held by the 2009 painting Devolved Parliament, which went for £8.5m earlier this year.
While Lazarides is happily reminiscing about the Santas of Christmases past, Banksy is on the streets of Birmingham making art about the scandals of Christmas present – in the form of his mural and video of two reindeer pulling, not Santa in his sleigh, but a homeless man called Ryan lying on a bench in the city’s jewellery quarter.
A Lesson in Street Art: how a movement morphed out of graffiti and into the art world (Part I)
By Katherine Keener Published on 9 December 2019 (art-critique.com)
PURPOSE OF THIS LESSON:
Street art is a relatively new movement that is becoming more and more prolific in the art world. In this lesson, we will explore the history of graffiti, which is what street art is born out of, and then explore how street art has become what it is today. Looking at the history of graffiti is critical to understand the nuances of graffiti vs. street art and to understanding the pros and cons of street art as a movement and how artists categorized as street artists have either embraced or responded to the movement. At the end of the lesson, students should have a better understanding of how graffiti paved the way for street art. They should also be able to think critically about an artwork to determine ways in which it is more kin to graffiti or street art.
This lesson is best geared towards secondary or high school level students. Here, we have presented the topic as an art history lesson but it could easily be adapted into a studio art lesson, too.
PART I: HOW GRAFFITI GOT TO THE 21ST CENTURY AND PAVED THE WAY FOR STREET ART
Earliest known cave art by modern humans found in Indonesia
Pictures of human-like hunters and fleeing mammals dated to nearly 44,000 years old
Hannah Devlin (LINK)
Wed 11 Dec 2019 18.00 GMTLast modified on Wed 11 Dec 2019 18.12 GMT
Cave art depicting human-animal hybrid figures hunting warty pigs and dwarf buffaloes has been dated to nearly 44,000 years old, making it the earliest known cave art by our species.
The artwork in Indonesia is nearly twice as old as any previous hunting scene and provides unprecedented insights into the earliest storytelling and the emergence of modern human cognition.
Previously, images of this level of sophistication dated to about 20,000 years ago, with the oldest cave paintings believed to be more basic creations such as handprints.
“We were stunned by the implications of this image,” said Adam Brumm, an archaeologist at the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution at Griffith University. “This was just mind-boggling because this showed us that this was possibly the oldest rock art anywhere on the face of this planet.”
The painting, discovered in 2017, is one of hundreds in South Sulawesi, including a red hand stencil, which was dated to at least 40,000 years ago. But the latest finding is exceptional as it is more than twice as old as any previously known narrative scenes and hints at ancient myths and an early capacity for imagination.
Back in 2010, Banksy promoted his documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" by painting walls across North America. He decided to visit San Francisco and started what I consider one of the first ever public Twitter frenzies: once a stencil went up, word got out, and the people amassed. I was in the middle of this fun frenzy, and made extra efforts to get up on roof tops for photos. A mutual friend, who had access to a bus, started giving tours of the Banksy pieces in the City. He contacted me after several people told him that I was the guy with the Stencil Archive site. On one of his last bus tours (the Banksy pieces eventually got destroyed; only two of about thirteen exist now), I was approached by a few people from a start up called Vayable. "Have you ever thought of giving a street art tour?" they asked. "I've given artists, journalists, and academics a few over the years. Yeah, I've thought about it."
Thus began my almost 10-year run walking the streets of SF (and Oakland) with friends, locals, strangers, journalists, minor celebrities, and artists (forever grateful to Icy and Sot and Ha Ha for taking a walk). Like many start ups, Vayable never took off and made people rich. It eventually gave the monster corporation Air BnB an idea to promote their own tours, which was probably the final nail in the small tour-based dot com's business plan. Now, many other dot coms also create frameworks for locals to give tours. The market is flooded. I never really pushed hard on capitalizing with my tours because I'm a "no one turned away" and "pay what you can" kind of guy. I didn't feel like posting the tour all over the place to maximize profits, etc.
With the demise of Vayable, the tours are once again DIY. Just like this site, and like I did before Vayable, hit me up if you want to take a tour. Donations are still appreciated, and I even have a few books left. Check it all out here. I'm not sure if I'll try to get them posted back on a supported site.
A big thanks to the folks at Vayable. Former CEO Jamie almost always replied to me if I had an issue and she sent many a journalist my way. June helped me nurture the first tour, which ended up inspiring me to make the other tours. After I got the farewell email from them, I asked Jamie if I could pull my content off the downed site. She replied, they put the site back up for a few weeks, and now I can share with you all the amazing reviews that folks left after taking my tours (read on below).
I really took these walks over and over for the people who booked with me. I love public art! I love sharing the history, techniques, stories, and opinions about it! I'll talk about it forever if you let me. Please read on and see how it got people interested in art, graffiti, stencils, politics, history, and even the complex issues that we literally walked through (capitalism, homelessness, gentrification, addiction, politics, etc.).
Finally, the artists on the walls (and sidewalks) here in the Bay Area are the best! Jet Martinez was painting on walls at the beginning and graciously shared his time and enthusiasm with the people I brought by. Xavi also allowed me to geek out with him at his wall. So did Amanda Lynn and Sirron Norris. Twisty Tie Joe was probably my number one cameo, usually pulling out one of his amazing creations to share with us. I contacted many other artists and let the know about my walks. I avoided the areas where Precita Eyes had amazing tours, and told every person on my walk to take all of their tours. I was humbled to explain to the guests why I wouldn't take them down Clarion Alley. The Bay Area has an amazing public arts community. I'm honored to have a few modest walls along with the rest of you!
ALL THE AMAZING REVIEWS
Both tours with Russell were soooo amazing. I became an avid street art lover and have found a passion that you can only gain through experience. This was my first tour of external public art, and I became emotionally abound by the consciousness, thought and imagery the art evoked in me. Russell’s knowledge and flexibility made the experience truly special. He customized the tour to the small group and offered a wealth of resources as well as made us feel comfortable by welcoming all questions and engaging us in our experience.
The tour far exceeded my expectations. It was clear to me that Russell is very passionate about public/street art, and also well-connected, so he had a lot of knowledge to share. He was able to provide history/background on the various types of street art, movements, artists, and individual pieces, and all in a way that was easy to understand. By the end of the tour, I was able to identify which artists were behind some of the pieces (although I was not very good at remembering names!), and I now find myself more aware of my surroundings as I have begun to take notice of things, art in particular, that I had overlooked before. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in getting to know this city a bit more intimately. Due to the constant evolution, it seems as though there will always be something new to explore, which is why I plan on continuing to participate every few months. Russell was kind enough to work around my schedule and willing to conduct his first night tour for us, which I really appreciated. Because it was a Friday night, we decided on a tour of the Mission instead of the Tenderloin, for obvious reasons. I brought my friend along who has lived in the city about two years, whereas I just moved to the city a few months ago. The tour had something for both of us, and we each experienced the tour and the art in a different way, which was great!
We took a tour with Russell around the Mission District in SF. Russell is an awesome tour guide! For one Russell really knows his way around the best street art in SF. Russell understands the theory and types of art and walks you through identifying these on the streets. Finally Russell loves the art around SF, knows a lot of artists personally and loves the vibrant diversity of the city and its expression! I’d go out scouting the streets of SF with Russell again!
Russell is an excellent guide with a wealth of information about street art, its creators, and its intricate history. He actually wrote a book about it! Russell gracefully navigates through SF’s Tenderloin and SoMa neighborhoods and points out the beauty sprouting out from the darkest corners, streets, and alleys. I personally have been looking forward to taking this trip for several years, but have never gotten around to taking it. Russell and the art he showcased definitely did not disappoint. I took a private trip, and it was wonderful. He gives you a new, beautiful perspective to the city. With so much going on, it’s easy to miss many of the artistic wonders that are right in front of your eyes. Russell points them out for you. I took a two-hour tour, which I thought would be more than enough. It barely skimmed the surface! I could have easily continued happily for an additional two hours! Russell knows such intricate detail and history about the artwork and the artists behind them, that with all the information he shares, you almost want to take out a notebook and take notes to reference later! However, there’s no need to take the trouble to do so! Why? Russell provides you with a link to a map of the places visited during the tour, as well as an email list of all the artists, and additional galleries and websites of interest. I really considered that above and beyond! I highly recommend this tour!
My best friend’s parents were in town from Charleston SC and we had an amazing time going on Russell’s street tour (btw Russell is a South Carolinian too: a wonderful bonding point for our group!) We covered an incredible amount of ground (physically and metaphorically) in 3 hours and Russell is an encyclopedia of knowledge on the changing street art scene in this city. Off-the-beaten path is thrown around a lot, and my first instinct is to say, don’t believe it, especially if it’s used to refer to the Mission. Well, I stand corrected. Russell took us off-the-beaten path in the most trodden, buzzed, blogged about, instagrammed neighborhood of SF. This is an amazing experience for a visitor or native San Franciscan--Russell will open your eyes to a whole new world within our 7x7 mile town. Be prepared to have your mind blown.
What is so special about Russell’s tour is that, afterwards, you are so much more aware of what is around you on the streets of San Francisco - you just see more! His stories about the artists and the scene are fascinating and involve you in a world that is new and hip and compelling. I can’t wait to do the tour again; he has so much knowledge to share. Thanks, Russell!
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed yesterday and how enlightening the walk was. I was a fish out of water when it came to street graffiti, stickers and stencils. I have a new appreciation, eye and lingo. I don’t think I would ever have done that tour if it weren’t for you and, since public art it is overtaking the Mission; I have come to realize it has a place in our culture. It is truly a growing art form and I thank you for introducing it to us.
INCREDIBLE TOUR, AWESOME GUIDE! But first, a little background: As an old-skool raver (think flyer art), and for other reasons, I have always loved graffiti & murals, with a large collection of photos I have taken all over the world. I knew next to nothing about the artists, history, inside meanings, etc. and only recognized one of the artist names rattled off by Russell throughout the tour (guess who... it starts with a B) However, I had my mind blown by the beauty and humor of most of the pieces we saw! San Francisco is probably home to the coolest, most mind-bending street art in the world, and I have lived here for 2.5 years, but I was still gasping with awe every 15 minutes or so at a hidden gem, or one I just never walked by. And our guide was PERFECT. A true veteran of the scene and artist himself, he was clear and detailed, incredibly knowledgeable (yet never making shit up the 2 occasions he didn’t know something), warm and humorous, and sharing the same contagious passion about street art as me. We could have talked for 3 more hours after the 3 hour tour but, unfortunately, he had another one lined up at 4pm. He left us with lots of great resources (of all different kinds of media) to continue our own research and urban art-hunting. Opened up a really sweet Pandora ’s Box of brain candy that I look forward to exploring. Worth every dollar. 5 stars out of 5 : )
Russell’s tour was interesting and engaging and I learned a lot. The 3 hours we spent walking the Mission flew by as we saw wall after wall of amazing street art. Russell is very knowledgeable about SF street art as well as the street art scene in general. I would highly recommend taking his tour and seeing all that the Mission has to offer!
I didn’t participate in Russell’s tour myself as it was a wedding gift for my little brother. Russell was very nice to communicate with. Fast replies with good information. And he kept the gift a secret until the wedding :) From my little brother’s feedback, the tour was very interesting and took them interesting places in the city they wouldn’t have found themselves. Can definitely recommend him.
Amazing experience! Russell was engaging and informative and tailored the experience to our small group. Will absolutely be recommending to everyone!
I highly recommend this tour! My 17 year old niece was visiting from overseas and selected this tour. We both enjoyed it tremendously. Russell really knows his stuff, and is friendly and easygoing to boot. I am a lifelong SF resident and I learned so much about my own city and the rich artistic history of street art in the Mission. 5 stars for sure!
Hi, I wanted to highly recommend the tour with Russell for anyone who is interested in Street Art in San Francisco. My wife and I found the tour to be extremely informative, interesting, fun and unique as it brought all of the urban surroundings to life with Russell’s amazing stories and interesting context as to every piece of art he showed us. Russell is a great guide/story teller, and customized the tour so it would fit our personal preferences. I understand he has several different tours in SF so we will definitely go on additional ones with Russell.
We had 3 great hours with Russell in the Mission District. Russell is friendly, kind, with a great sense of humor and he knows EVERYTHING about street art. He went straight to our heart and mind! Thank you, Russell!!!