Tag Archives: graffiti

One Love

I’m fixated on graffiti these days…

Last week I was hired to shoot a local artist in the process of doing a guerilla street art installation. Unfortunately I can’t share the images till the story comes out, so in the meantime I’ll share some great stuff shot down by the train tracks one day while a friend and I were playing hookie. Here’s a lovely example of classic style writing… and such a positive message!

one love, train tracks graffiti, oakland graffiti, oakland graffiti art, oakland graffiti one love

It’s a busy busy week and not much time, so these next few posts are going to be short and sweet… hope to see you back!

Chaos Without ~ Peace Within

This one’s just down Broadway a few blocks from the last one, towards downtown. It’s unsigned, and unfortunately a little tagged up, but looks like the work of the same artists who did yesterday’s post. I love it.

I’m going to type out some of the beautiful quotes in case people have difficulty reading them in the pics… also then the text is searchable.  Here’s the first:

Hatred ever kills…
Love never dies…
Such is the vast difference between the two
What is obtained by love
is retained for all Time…

oakland mural, chaos without mural, mural on broadway

oakland mural, mural on broadway, oakland mural art, peace within mural

What is obtained by hatred
proves a burden in reality
For it increases hatred.

chaos within, peace without, oakland mural art

The duty of a human being
is to diminish hatred…
and to promote Love

~ Mohandas K. Gandhi

mohandas k. gandhi, mahatma gandhi, mural art, oakland mural

I was surprised that the quotes were attributed to Mohandas K. Gandhi, rather than Mahatma Gandhi. In looking it up, I realized that Mahatma was just his nickname… a Sanskrit word meaning “Great Soul.” I tell ya, I learn something new every day doing this. It’s humbling and exhilarating at the same time.

Another great work by the folks at Community Rejuvenation Project.

Bee Aware – Connected Worlds

Save the Honeybees…

After yesterday’s visit to Ghost Town farm and Novella’s bees, I thought I’d highlight this “bee conscious” mural along the Mandela Parkway. Though this area has seen a small amount of “greening” with the redevelopment of the parkway to a greenbelt including an extension of the Bay Trail, this is predominantly a heavy industry area. I love the fact that someone here is speaking for the bees.

BEE AWARE - CONNECTED WORLDS Mural

This piece is located at the same art compound where the giant human sculptures from my post Have you heard of this thing called Burning Man? reside. You can see a sliver of one on the left side of the shot above, which gives you a sense of scale. The mural is installed on a huge piece of curved concrete that is literally chained to the fence behind it. I’m curious if this piece was fabricated specifically for this art installation, or if it’s a salvage from something else that’s been re-purposed. Either way it’s unbelievably cool.

Honeybee Mural

Bee Aware - Save the Honeybees Mural

Below are the signatures of the artists…

Bee Aware Mural

Bee Aware Mural

May Peace Prevail on Earth

The traditional Aztec dancers from the Día de los Muertos festival reminded me of this mural I saw a few weeks ago with its blend of cultural imagery, including what appear to be various gods or goddesses.

It’s on an old boarded-up apartment building at the corner of 28th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. I wasn’t able to locate any artists’ signatures, but I did discover that the writing running along the top of the mural, which spans two sides of the building, says “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in several different languages. How beautiful is that? And how beautiful is this mural?!! The artistry is amazing.

Oakland Mural Art

The circle of black, red, and white above reminds me of some of the art I saw at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Vancouver, much of its collection focused on the art of the native peoples of the northwest coast. The figure of the raven is featured predominantly… legend has it that the first men were born out of a clamshell overseen by the raven (A Haida legend of the Raven and the First Men).

I wish I knew who the figure below surrounded by flames represents. Please send me some info if you happen to know.

Oakland Mural Art

Oakland Mural Art

I also love the incorporation of modern comic book characters (explorers above & warriors below) in between the dieties.

Oakland Mural Art

Oakland Mural Art

This last one looks Tibetan to me… but I really do not know. Anyone?

Oakland Mural Art

Note: later learned this to be another work by the folks at Community Rejuvenation Project.

Adam5100 & Rowan Morrison

Remember the hand stencil from SF Shout Out! the other day? Here’s the Oaktown version…

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It’s actually two hands… can you see that?

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I did a little research and found out (thanks to the gracious folks at Rowan Morrison, exterior pictured below) that the artist responsible is Adam5100. He’s a CCAC (now CCA) graduate who channeled his graffiti skills into more formal printmaking techniques there. He’s known for his use of complex multi-layered stencils, typically applied on canvas rather than concrete. If you check out his website, you’ll get the idea… it’s amazing these images are created with stencils! Here are a couple of my favs:
http://www.adam5100.com/display_image.php?image=36
http://www.adam5100.com/display_image.php?image=35

oaktownart_20091029_3

He installed “the hand” on the side of Rowan Morrison’s building in June of 2008 in conjunction with a solo show there, entitled “The Heart Vs. The Mind in a Fight to the Finish”. I love that! Here are a couple snaps of the process, provided by Rowan Morrison (more on them further down this post… )

adam-mural1

adam-mural3

He currently is exhibiting at White Walls in San Francisco for their exhibit, The Stencil Show which is up until 11/7, and also has a piece in London’s Stolen Space Gallery as part of local boys Green Day‘s commissioned pieces designated to accompany their new album 21st Century Breakdown. This guy is prolific!

And I found this great video of him doing a tiny stencil… basically a trailer for the solo show at RM. It’s only a minute long… you have to check this out!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAsqQWNkTTo

Now to Rowan Morrison… I hope you’re still with me, because this is a cool space. They’re located on 40th street near Broadway and have limited hours, but you can check them out on Fridays & Saturdays between 11am-6pm, or by special appointment. Run by husband and wife artists Pete Glover & Narangkar Glover (also CCA graduates), RM is a gallery/bookstore specializing in artist books, home grown ‘zines and special edition prints. They’ve got a great space for perusing these items in person, but if you’re more virtually inclined, they have an online store and a great blog about art books.  Please check them out.

And if you happen to make your way there… you can grab a bite to eat at Mama’s Royal Cafe just around the corner on Broadway.  I’ll probably do a whole post about Mama’s sometime in the future because it’s certainly worthy (full of funky art and fantastic food) and is simply one of my all-time oakland favs…  In the meantime, I’ll simply say, “It’s the best!

Oh… one last thing.  We’re headed to the cemetery tomorrow… mwa ha ha haaaa!

Time’ll Tell

I was at a party last weekend and a friend was talking philosophically about how the rate of change is continually accelerating. What once might have taken a century in terms of transformation, now takes a decade. In the future, maybe just a year.

This not-so-little piece of graffiti art seems to touch on that…

oaktownart20091027_2

It’s actually a giant wheat paste! The bicycle rack gives a sense of scale… needless to say, it’s large. The buffalo probably measures a good 10 ft in length and nearly 7 ft in height, and seems to be a reproduction of a smaller drawing. It was printed out onto 5 large sheets of poster paper, then cut out into pieces and pasted up onto this shuttered Wolf’s camera drive-thru. There is no artist’s signature.

I’m not sure what it means… a clash between eras, and the conflicts that result? Man’s domination of nature? The title lends a clue, I suppose. What do you think it’s about?

It’s technically in Berkeley, at the intersection of Ashby & Telegraph, but it’s only about 6 blocks from the Oakland border, and cool enough to warrant the border crossing.