Category Archives: stickers & wheatpastes

Tuesday Tidbit: Post-it Street Art

post it note, post it art, graffiti post it

Saw this little beauty on my way to get a fried chicken sandwich. It got me to wondering… if I were going to leave a message for some random stranger to find, just exactly what would I want to say? Hmmm…

What would you say?

On the Road: Street Art – Greek Style

Now that we’re home and the jet lag has dissipated, I thought I’d share some of the street art we encountered while in Greece. We spent most of our time on the islands for our friends’ wedding and saw little street art there, so it wasn’t until our time in the capital city of Athens, a scant 48 hours, that we saw anything really noteworthy.

The political unrest in Athens has mostly died down since the violent demonstrations of 2012, but you can still see remnants of it through the graffiti and street art that activists have left behind. I only documented a couple of the smaller pieces (the largest ones were seen from the window of a taxi whizzing by at 95km per hour on our way to the airport), and focused on those in which stencils were deployed rather than haphazardly scrawled writing which, while political, weren’t particularly artful in my opinion.

This first one is a take-off of the iconic WWII image “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” by Joseph Rosenthal. Note the anarchy symbol on the flag.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, Greek Graffiti, Iwo Jima Stencil

WWII, Joseph Rosenthal

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by Joseph Rosenthal

This one speaks for itself…
greek graffiti, athens stencil graffiti, fuck the system stencil, fuck the system
We saw this next one around town quite a bit. I assumed it was related to the economic unrest in Greece but it turns out it’s a political statement of a different flavor. A local Greek friend translated it for me – it says “Every sexist/homophobic deserves to be thrown off Lycabettus”. I thought this was pretty funny, but my Greek friend thought they took it a bit too far. For those who don’t know, Lycabettus Hill is the highest point in Athens, a sharp peak that stands 277 meters above sea level. See pictures below: the first was taken from across the city at the Acropolis, and the second is from the top of Lycabettus itself, with its perched 19th century chapel on the left and downtown Athens below.
anti-homophobia graffiti, greek graffiti, athens stencil graffiti
Lycabettus Hill, Athens highest point

view from Lycabettus hill

View from top of Lycabettus Hill


This next image has two separate stencils… I know this because I tried my darndest to translate the Greek under the image of the child and found a photo of just that stencil without the pixellated heart underneath, which must have been added later. The best translation I could come up with was something along the lines of “the ego ate”, but I’m not sure if this is a statement, or the artist’s tag.

greek graffiti, athens stencil graffiti

We saw a lot of non-political street art as well and the rest of these fall into this category. This next one, as it says, is a poem. It’s part of a “poetry game” in the city where QR codes scattered throughout Athens “invite you to discover the poetry hidden in unexpected places.” How cool is that? Scan it and you’ll see…
QR code graffiti, greek graffiti, this is a poem graffiti

This one was spotted on our way to the Acropolis.
greek graffiti, athens graffiti, athens street art

And we saw this little painting on our way to get cappuccino freddos at Clemente VIII, what the NY Times called “the best.” And I have to say, they were pretty darned delicious.
greek street art, athens street art
These last two are really cool wheatpastes…
greek graffiti, wheatpaste, greek wheatpaste, athens graffiti

This final one was actually the first piece I spotted, just a couple of blocks from our hotel, but I’ve put it last because I love it so much. End with a bang!
greek graffiti, wheatpaste, greek wheatpaste, athens graffiti

Obey in Oakland.

obey giant, sheppard fairy, downtown oakland obey giant, 14th street obey giant

So above is one of the first photos I snapped after putting my blog on hold. I took it in August. I was on my way to a work meeting and was running late, so I just snapped this one first pic, which was unfortunate because by the time I went back to take a few more shots (a couple weeks later, see below) the large wheatpaste installation by Shepard Fairey had already been tagged.

sheppard fairey installation oakland, downtown oakland obey giant

sheppard fairy installation, wheat paste obey giant

wheatpaste mural 15th street, obey giant mural oakland

Ultimately, some local folks involved in a street beautification project painted over the damaged lower portions and it now looks like this… I shot this last one on the day of the initial raid of the Occupy Oakland  encampment.  Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling the Oaktown love that day…

love oakland, modified obey giant mural, downtown oakland street beautification

Express yourself…

So I know Friday is s’posed to be partyin’ partyin’ fun fun fun lookin’ forward to the weekend, but not for me. Not today.

This sticker pretty much sums up how I feel, so I’m just puttin’ it out there.  It’s healthy, right?

oakland sticker art, graffiti stickers east bay, street art stickers

And why am I such an oscar-the-grouch this morning? Little things really. Insignificant if you think about it, but I’d rather vent for a minute and be done with it.

  • First, my little survey yesterday was an utter failure. Only 4 responses, two of which were pathetically un-helpful (“Oaktown Art” and “vagina” – thanks B!) The two more serious answers were “street art” (here you go!) and “new art in Oakland I haven’t seen” – hmmm, that’s a toughie since I’m not you, but I’ll work on it…
  • Next, because I am a Luddite and am late to the Twitfest, I’ve just discovered that someone’s already using my handle (oaktownart). The nerve! I actually tweeted him (my first tweet ever) to ask if he’d consider changing his name, and he replied NO, despite the fact that until yesterday, he had only 1 tweet under his belt. (sigh) What to do dear readers? Do we launch a Colbert-style assault to humiliate him into changing? Or do I change? And if so, please tell… what should my twitter handle be?

There.  I feel a bit better.  Now on with the “Gettin’ down on Friday”…

Kicking Ass for the Working Class

Billboard sized wheatpaste on San Pablo… almost didn’t catch it because the color scheme matched the real billboard above.

Although quite damaged now, you can see the original installation on Endless Canvas, as well as an interesting historical recap of International Workers’ Day (May 1st) – the inspiration behind this piece.

giant wheatpaste, international workers day, kicking ass wheat paste

Each of the figures appears to be a separate cut-out, as are the individual letters. This baby must have taken some time!
oakland street art, oakland graffiti art, oakland wheatpaste san pablo

A Touch of Sunshine

So it’s supposed to rain every day for the indefinite future… I thought I’d share a touch of sunshine.

Remember when I wrote about the Temescal traffic boxes? Well some clever artist has taken to adding his/her own enhancements.  Check out these B&W creature stickers…

creature stickers on temescal traffic boxes

I really love the bird below… wish I’d gotten closer to get a better shot.

traffic signal box art, sticker art
Happy weekend everybody! Hope you stay warm & cozy & dry.

WHEATPASTES!!

Well, I was gearing up to move on from the whole street art thing I’ve been doing for the past week or so, but then I watched Exit Through the Gift Shop.  I know it came out like a year ago, but lamely I had yet to see it…

All I can say was it was fascinating. Both from the perspective of traveling along with the likes of Shephard Fairey, Banksy, and others during their nighttime escapades… the sheer scale of which, at times, are mind-boggling.  But also following the invention of Mr. Brainwash and his ability to completely infiltrate the conventional art scene with a little PR and a lot of hype, ultimately duping collectors into paying sh*t-tons of money for his seemingly inane pieces of rehashed pop-street-“art,” if you can call it that.  I can’t figure out if the guy’s an idiot or a genius.  But this article in the Economist (Con or can do) poses that his real success may lie in ability as a performance artist above all else…

In any case, right after watching the movie, I came across these large wheatpastes by three different artists…

I love this sleepy owl! The scale of it is quite impressive… I’m assuming it was a smaller sketch that was blown up during reproduction.  The girl below seems to be the same artist.

large wheatpaste, bart tracks, oakland graffiti, east bay wheat paste

oakland graffiti wheatpaste, owl wheatpaste, burl wheatpaste

Here’s a new one by Get Up I hadn’t seen yet…  It’s hard to tell from these pics but this one is larger than life… maybe 10 ft tall?

Get Up, Bart Track wheat paste, guy with phonograph wheatpaste

The one below looks to be a hand-drawn original and includes the words (and image) “Get on the Good Foot”. Makes me wonder if this artist has any relation to the KALX DJ The Good Foot who starts off every set list with James Brown’s “Get on the Good Foot.” Good stuff…

The Good Foot, Get on the Good Foot, oakland graffiti