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If these scrawls could talk - Tom Sevil and Melbourne's Alt History

If these scrawls could talk

September 23, 2009

Original Article Here

Urban activist Tom Sevil leads a tour of political graffiti in search of an alternative history of Melbourne. Andrew Stephens reports.

TOM Sevil is up a laneway inspecting some 1970s graffiti. He likes these places. He's a stencil artist, graffitist and graphic designer, but also something of an archaeologist, because the work at hand here is but a fragment, partly buried beneath rich layers of history.

In white house paint applied with a brush, not an aerosol, this graffito no longer makes sense. It says: Frazer is a bottled toad in a trust - and there it ends, forever to remain a mystery, its final words obscured by years of others' graffiti.

This fragment, a bastardisation of a phrase from Shakespeare's Richard III, is more poetic than most of the illegible tags scrawled about the laneway. It might once have had something insightful (but misspelt) to say about Malcolm Fraser, then prime minister of Australia. But in this world of laneways and rapid-fire guerilla action, the scrawls, tags, posters and stencils are all ultimately temporary.

For Sevil, quality and longevity aside, it is all about political action.

SF Chron: Street Art and Artists in the Mission

Street art and artists in the Mission

Friday, August 21, 2009

Clarion is an alley connecting Valencia to Mission, between a cop shop and a crack market, with murals of devils and angels and a moving stairway to heaven.

Close by is the Women's Building, a colorful paean to female heroes and goddesses, from Guatemalan peace activist Rigoberto Menchu to scientist Marie Curie.

A couple of blocks up is an intricate mural on the facade of a writer's school and colony, depicting the human race's attempts at communication.

In between and all around San Francisco's Mission District are posters and poetry and political calls to action. There are tribal graffiti and Gothic lettering, traditional murals and lattices of tags. Now, a new book, "Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo," has captured and honored the varied artists and activists of the street.

KALW Interview Today (May 14)

you can download it here

you can stream it here

Penny Nelson sat me down for some stencil geeking this morning for KALW's Cross Currents news show. The interview begins about 3 and half minutes in. The original interview was 20 minutes long so they cut things up for the 10 minute segment. Funny that they kind of threw in the Zero Graffiti comment I made. Yep. Good luck on that SF Gov't......

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 |

— 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.


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