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The Not Art Stencil is Meant to Inspire Wonder

The ‘Not Art’ Stencil Project Is Meant to Inspire ‘Wonder’
The tagger responsible for one of the most prominent outdoor art stencils talks about his motivation behind the paint.

By Steve Annear  | Arts & Entertainment  | January 20, 2014 3:01 pm


Some people view it as a message that calls attention to bland, often ignored objects in plain public view, while others have said that it’s pointless tagging that merely defaces local property.

But it’s that conversation between two sides of the argument, and the confusion that leaves people wondering what it means, that the creator of the “Not Art” stencil wants to happen in order to make a human connection based around his project.

“It creates this dialogue and gets people thinking. I feel like I have built something that works. I didn’t know if it was going to work at first, but it works,” said the Somerville resident behind the stenciling, who asked to remain anonymous.

The “Not Art” tag can be seen in numerous places in the Boston area, including along stretches of Mass. Ave. near MIT campus, emblazoned on construction signs in Back Bay, and splashed prominently on the abandoned gas station marquees near Somerville’s McGrath Highway.

In each setting, the artist said he relied on turning temporary objects—those found at construction sites or decrepit, abandoned pieces of property battered by the weather and left to decay—into the centerpiece for each individual artwork.

About 100 new uploads to Stencil Archive

Photo distractions for a lazy Monday ::::: 19,300 photos in the Stencil Archive and counting!

Thanks for the submissions and leads. Special Hamburg-focused upload coming soon :::::

>NEW< Amanda Marie (CO)

Afghanistan (military stencil graff)

Canada (just one)

>NEW< ZeroSix

Ha-Ha (just one)

Northern California (happy birthday, David Solnit)

Colorado (just two, thanks Mark)

NYC (just one)

South Carolina

xsacto (just one)

>NEW< Choppy Oshiro

>NEW<  CJ Grossman


Eddie Colla (just one)

Kate DeCiccio (just one, thanks Raven)

Lay it on Thick (just one)

Michael Roman

Scott Williams

Haight and Divisadero Streets

The Mission

Clarion Alley

Richmond District (just one)

Western Addition

The Castro (just one)

SoMa and the FiDi

Other neighborhoods

Until Feb. 1: Amanda Marie (SF, CA)

Amanda Marie

I Was Just Thinking


January 11 - February 01, 2014
Amanda Marie has a deeply rich visual language, with 100's of stencils creating a massive vocabulary of imagery that is both comforting and spooky at the same time. Never heavy-handed, but with subtle hints and nostalgic vision she pulls viewers into her work with imagery dominated by children and totemic animals reminiscent of Golden Books-era illustration. Upon deeper inspection, Amanda's character placement invokes powerful feelings on more mature themes like sexuality and the loss of innocence, greed, happiness, envy and elation. 

Ancient Graffiti at Church of the Nativity

Graffiti and selfies record pilgrims' progress at Bethlehem shrine
Academics are only now studying messages and paintings on the Church of the Nativity's columns dating back to the Crusades
Matthew Kalman in Bethlehem
The Guardian, Monday 23 December 2013 14.31 EST

Most visitors to the Church of the Nativity head straight for the grotto beneath the altar where, according to tradition, Jesus was born 2014 years ago. But among the throng of pre-Christmas pilgrims this year, Karen Stern, a historian at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, was more interested in the six-metre-high columns built to support the roof by the Emperor Justinian in the sixth century.

In the gloom of the ancient nave, Stern's torch picks out hundreds of tiny crosses scratched into the four rows of columns – a common practice of ancient pilgrims who wanted to make their mark on the holiest shrines in Christendom – long before Banksy helped transform the walls of Bethlehem into a canvas for world-class street art.

Stencil graffiti practically legal in NYC - if you're white and wearing a suit


I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System

By Bobby Constantino
Left to right: A snapshot of the author's graffiti; a "selfie" of the author, dressed in his suit and tie and ready to vandalize; a surveillance video still of the work in progress (Bobby Constantino)


This article available online at:

Q & A: The Eviction Stencils (SF, CA)

By Sarah McClure
From missionlocal.org: http://missionlocal.org/2013/12/q-a-the-suitcase-stencils/
Posted December 7, 2013 6:00 am

Of all Mission’s graffiti, none likely appear with as much ubiquity than the stencils of a wheeled suitcase inscribed with the words, “Tenants Here Forced Out.”

Photo: stencilarchive.org

Always strategically placed, the suitcase stencils materialize on the pavement in front of a building that enacted an Ellis Act eviction — one in which the owner evicts all tenants to then generally sell it.
Mission Local recently sat down with two anti-eviction movement leaders: Erin McElroy of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, and Rebecca Gourevitch of Eviction-Free San Francisco to learn about the suitcase stencils and how grassroots today are fighting displacement in the Bay Area.

Mission Local: What is the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project?

Erin McElroy: It’s a collective of people working together to map the evictions and displacement that San Francisco residents are experiencing and the ways that dispossession are being enacted.

ML: How many people are in the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project?

EM: There are about six of us — all volunteers.

ML: So, I’ve been seeing a lot of these pavement stencils around the city. How many stencils are in the Mission District?

EM: I would imagine there are 15-20 stencils.

Jef Aerosol a Marseille

JEF AEROSOL à Marseille

- mercredi 20 novembre à 18h : rencontre - signature des ouvrages "Parcours Fléché" (éditions Alternatives / Gallimard) et "Risques de Rêves" (éditions Critères) à la friche de La Belle de Mai / librairie Salle des Machines (41 rue Jobin, Marseille) http://www.lafriche.org

- jeudi 21 novembre à partir de 18h 30 :
vernissage de l'exposition "Les deux font la paire" (Jef Aérosol et Nicolas Rubinstein) à la galerie David Pluskwa Art Contemporain (53 rue Grignan, Marseille) http://david-pluskwa.com

- depuis le 1er novembre : "Deep Eyes" (8 grands formats de Jef Aérosol) exposés au Pavillon M (Place Villeneuve-Bargemon, Marseille) http://www.pavillon-m.com

- samedi 23 novembre de 15h à 19h : performance "live painting", Jef Aérosol intervient sur le M/U/R (modulable, urbain, réactif), panneau 3 x 5 m géré par l'association Juxtapoz  (angle cours Julien / rue Crudère, Marseille) http://lemur-marseille.tumblr.com

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.


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