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Street art: evolving enigma


American Graffiti: Art or Vandalism?
Street art: evolving enigma

Splashes of vibrant color burst off of the buildings and depictions of multi-cultural icons gaze down on the busy commuter corner of 24th and Mission.

For more than three decades, the walls that line the vital community of San Francisco's Mission district have been visual feasts for those who see the versions of surreal, pop, Chicano, urban, graffiti, and cartoon artwork.

Such artists as Las Mujeres Muralistas, Gronk, Barry McGee (Twist), R. Crumb, Swoon, Sam Flores, Juana Alicia and Andrew Schoultz have made the Mission their eternal community gallery, often referred to as Mission Muralismo.

Graffiti shifts from urban blight to urban chic

Graffiti shifts from urban blight to urban chic

SKAM sprays the Louis Vuitton store on Bloor Street West in Toronto.

SKAM sprays the Louis Vuitton store on Bloor Street West in Toronto.

Photograph by: Tom Sandler, Canwest News Service

It’s been sprayed on trains and scrawled across skyscrapers. This year, it was even splattered on Louis Vuitton handbags.

When, exactly, did graffiti get so glamorous?

Painters like Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) and Keith Haring (1958-1990) first brought graffiti into the avant-garde art world during the ’80s, though both passed away as their careers were launching.

Today, second generation vandals-turned-artists are earning critical respect and commercial success in the worlds of art and fashion in Canada and worldwide, leaving many hooligans with trickster smiles on their faces.

Blagojevich stencil appears in Chicago

Blagojevich art: Graffiti stencil of disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich appears around city

Capturing the image

Evan McGinley makes a cell phone photo of a stenciled image of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in an alley just south of Washington Street between State Street and Wabash Avenue, across from Macy's in downtown Chicago. (Tribune photo by Phil Velasquez / April 30, 2009)


A mysterious mural has turned up on a half-dozen concrete walls around the city in recent weeks. The black graffiti stencil shows former Gov. Rod Blagojevich wearing his familiar tracksuit, running through the street and glancing over his shoulder, as if he is being pursued. The image leaves it to the viewer to speculate about who is trailing Blago -- U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald, perhaps?

SF Chron: Graffiti judged low priority in S.F.

Graffiti judged low priority in S.F.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Five years ago, Gideon Kramer was thrilled to be appointed to San Francisco's graffiti advisory board.

"I really thought I could make a difference," the graphic designer and 30-year city resident said Friday.

SF Chron: Has it come to jail time to wipe out graffiti?

Has it come to jail time to wipe out graffiti?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Like the city of San Francisco, North Beach resident Micki Jones is fighting a losing battle against graffiti.

"I paint it over and it is usually tagged again in 48 hours," said Jones, who covers up graffiti on her home and other buildings on her block. "It used to be weeks, but now those guys are out there every night."

Shepard Fairey Expects New Charges in Boston - AP

Obama Poster Artist Shepard Fairey Expects New Charges In Boston

RUSSELL CONTRERAS | March 10, 2009 06:03 PM EST |
AP

BOSTON
— The street artist who created the famous "Hope" poster of President Barack Obama expects to face new vandalism charges relating to the red, white and blue image, but his lawyer said Tuesday that the accusations would cover a period of time when the artist wasn't even in Boston.

The artist, Shepard Fairey, and prosecutors went before a clerk magistrate in Brighton District Court on Tuesday. The hearing was closed to the public, but Fairey's attorney, Jeffrey Wiesner, said police asked the clerk magistrate for permission to charge Fairey with illegally posting his Obama images in Boston's Allston neighborhood
between Nov. 25 and Dec. 25.

Art turns ugly in squabble over 'Hope'

Art turns ugly in squabble over 'Hope'

Friday, February 13, 2009

(02-12) 18:45 PST --

Artist Shepard Fairey says that he has distributed more than 300,000 copies of his iconic poster of President Obama with the word "Hope" written underneath and that it has inspired countless other versions. Now, the 38-year-old Los Angeles street artist, who says he used an Associated Press photograph as a "visual reference" for his piece, is in the middle of a copyright battle that goes to the heart of how media is made, remixed and mashed up.

Given the notoriety of Fairey's iconic poster, "it is kind of the perfect storm," said Michael Kwun, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco digital advocacy organization. "It raises questions about what we as a culture and a legal society feel is proper."

First Poster Boy, Now Shepard Fairey: Watch Out at Art Openings

Shepard Fairey Arrested In Boston

JAY LINDSAY | February 7, 2009 08:30 PM EST |
AP

 

BOSTON — A street artist famous for his red, white and blue "Hope" posters of President Obama has been arrested on warrants accusing him of tagging property with graffiti, police said Saturday.

Shepard Fairey was arrested Friday night on his way to the Institute of Contemporary Art for a kickoff event for his first solo exhibition, called "Supply and Demand."

AP alleges copyright infringement of Obama image

AP alleges copyright infringement of Obama image
Feb 4 06:56 PM US/Eastern
By HILLEL ITALIE
AP National Writer

 

NEW YORK (AP) - On buttons, posters and Web sites, the image was everywhere during last year's presidential campaign: A pensive Barack Obama looking upward, as if to the future, splashed in a Warholesque red, white and blue and underlined with the caption HOPE.

Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.

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