Tag Archives: guerilla art

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.

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.

stay punk

So I’ve been wed to my bike these last few days because it just so happens that someone made off with my car in the wee hours of the night Sunday night (yes, Oakland does have some problems… but I prefer to focus on the positive).  It hasn’t yet turned up, and may not (sorry Mom!) so in the meantime, I continue to ride.  Which to be honest, when appropriate, is a far superior way to travel.  It’s healthy, non-polluting, low-cost, and helps connect residents with their communities by getting them out of the cars that separate them from the world around them.  Remember Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? I do.

It’s kind of ironic because I was just blathering on and on about all the bicyclists and cycle commuting in Amsterdam and how fantastic it is, and then I come home and someone makes off with my car.  Hmmm.  I said that the universe provides (see Magic Bus post)… what I forgot to say, is be careful what you ask for.

In any case, the City of Oakland is taking great strides to make our city more bicycle friendly, and it is all happening now.  In the past ten years the city has added over 900 bike racks and 87 miles of bicycle lanes and routes.  What’s the difference between a lane and a route you ask? Or a bicycle “path” for that matter (which is another unique designation).  Check out Oakland Public Works’ website where you can read all about them.

And there’s a great little newsletter that comes out quarterly called “I [bicycle] Oakland” which provides the latest information about all things bike related, and how the city is doing with respect to implementing the objectives of its Bicycle Master Plan (2007), which include more than doubling the total current mileage of bicycle friendly byways within the city.

According to this document, 85% of all Oakland residents live within two miles of downtown or a major transit station… which basically equates to a relatively short trip on the bike.  The thing that holds most people back is the lack of safe bikeways…. so that’s where Oakland is putting most of its focus.

As I was riding yesterday, I spotted this piece…  I never would have seen it if I was in my car.

oaktownart_20091022_1

oaktownart_20091022_2

I recognized the work because this artist had done a similar piece on a building in my neighborhood. The owner promptly painted over it, but not before I got the pic below…
Kind of creepy, but kind of cool. And definitely punk.

oaktownart_20091022_3

Fake

So I am back from Amsterdam… my trip was far too short, but it was, indeed, sweet.

Folks seemed to love the picture from the other day… “love evol” and thanks to one of my graffiti Flickr friends, I now know that the artist that created this image goes by the name of Fake.

He’s a Dutch artist, so not surprising I ran across his work in Amsterdam. I only wish I had come across more.

Here’s a nice little interview with him, as well as other images: http://www.world-graffiti.com/2009/09/fake-stencils-netherlands-holland-street-art/

He talks about his preference for using stencils because it allows him to be speedy in public places, and he also mentions how  there are many places in Amsterdam where it’s essentially considered semi-legal to paint… construction sites, etc.  Definitely under the bridge we came across…

No picture for me today… it’s only 8:30pm (but that means 5:30am Europe time) and I need to get to bed for work tomorrow.  If you’re itchin’ for more photos, check out Fake’s photostream on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lype/).

And speaking of Flickr, you can always check out my photostream there too:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/oaktownart Send friends too please.  Cheers!