Not a stencil story, but worth posting as a classic reminder of human's urge to get up:
KILROY WAS HERE!
In 1946 the American Transit Association, through its radio program, "Speak to America," sponsored a nationwide contest to find the REAL Kilroy, offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person who could prove himself to be the genuine article.
Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim, but only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts had evidence of his identity.
Kilroy was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the war. He worked as a checker at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. His job was to go around and check on the number of rivets completed. Riveters were on piecework and got paid by the rivet.
Kilroy would count a block of rivets and put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk, so the rivets wouldn't be counted twice. When Kilroy went off duty, the riveters would…
For ten years now, the legal wall on Valencia Street in San Francisco's Mission District has hosted hundreds of pieces of art. Pasted posters represent the vast majority of the wall's art, but also includes anything from stenciled posters, stencils, stickers, and even children's drawings. Artists like Swoon, Shepard Fairey, SAW, members of Just Seeds, and many more have put up stencils on this wall over the years. I have been photographing this wall since I moved to San Francisco, and so has Bruce Tomb, the owner of the former Cop Shop that had the wall as its facade. Tomb has documented the wall at least once a… Read more
I have been photographing stencils and stencil posters on this wall for 10 years. This meeting is from Southern Exposure Gallery.
January 30, 2008 6:30 PM
As part of Bruce Tomb's project, the (de)Appropriation Project Archive, you are invited to a public meeting to discuss the wall at 1240 Valencia Street (btw 23rd and 24th Streets). This wall is privately owned, but its owner condones wheat pasting and graffiti on the wall's surface and has been documenting it for the past 10 years. Southern Exposure invites all to voice their thoughts around the (de)Appropriation Project Archive at a public meeting. Have you tagged the wall? Do you consider it an artwork? A nuisance? Does it build community? Degrade it? Come and share your thoughts with the community.
Photo, from WI in 1970, updated 2019 (thanks, r/gratefuldead)
Was reading an interesting article/interview about LSD pioneer chemist Owsley "the Bear" Stanley and hopped over to his site for further reading. In 1969, Stanley and artist Bob Thomas worked out the Grateful Dead logo to mark the band's equipment (here's his story). At first, it was just the three-colored lightening bolt, and was used as a stencil.
In the account, Stanley describes how it became a stencil:
"At the warehouse I told Bob the idea that I had, and he made a quick sketch. A mutual friend, Ernie Fischbach, who was visiting with…
Thought you might know some folks who would be interested to know about this weekend's planned whitewashing of graffiti at tire beach, aka toxic beach or "warm water cove." If people aren't familiar with the area, it's the park at the east end 24th at the bay. The walls adjacent to the park are covered with great graffiti--a testament to the area's long history as as a space for free, unrestricted public art. A few city sponsored groups are soliciting volunteers to "reclaim" the park from "graffiti vandals" who they say have targeted the park. This saturday the 4th, between 9am and noon, they plan to whitewash over the graffiti as part of efforts to make the area cleaner and safer. Safer for development, and for the inevitable mission bay-ing of the dogpatch, I guess.
This is a terrible idea. Tire beach is one of the most beautiful spots in the city, as-is, and one of sf's last bastions of… Read more
Two days after Mr. Cooper’s arrest, a group of people showed up at the
Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Chelsea, where a reception was being held
for Mr. Fairey. Without identifying themselves, they distributed copies
of a 16-page tabloid with the title “If we did it this is how it
would’ve happened,” with a cover photograph of an image created by Mr.
Fairey defaced with paint.
Inside were reproductions of the communiqués that were pasted next to
the sites of many paint attacks and appeared to draw inspiration from
the writings by the Situationists, a group of political and artistic
agitators formed in the 1950s, and a 1960s anarchist group called Black
In often bombastic language those fliers condemned the
commercialization of art and included statements saying that the wheat
paste used to affix the fliers had been mixed with shards of glass. An
essay in the paper given out at the gallery scoffed at those who had… Read more
After being lost in an old mail folder, I finally found Steve Paynter's
great dissertation "Subversion of Public Space." He gave me the paper
in 2005, so I'm glad that I can put it up for you all to enjoy. Go here to download the PDF file, read, and discuss.
Apologies to Steve for waiting so long to post this.
By BOB NORBERG
AND JEREMY HAY
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT (Santa Rosa, CA)
A Santa Rosa man suspected of being the prolific tagger "El Barto," whose widespread graffiti has caused about $100,000 in damage, was arrested Friday, police said.
xxxx, an 18-year-old Santa Rosa Junior College student, is suspected of several hundred graffiti incidents throughout Sonoma County and in other parts of the Bay Area during the past year, making him one of the region's most active vandals, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Lisa Banayat said.
His tag has been prominent on freeway railings and overpasses, homes, commercial buildings, fences and signs.
"I even saw him once on Lombard in San Francisco," Banayat said.
After a monthlong investigation, xxxx was arrested at a first-floor, one-bedroom Ridgway Avenue apartment where he lived with his father, xxxx, across the street from the Santa Rosa City Schools District… Read more