Tag Archives: stickers & wheatpastes

Wheaties…

So here’s something random I came across yesterday… These are wheat pastes, which are essentially home made stickers.  These were spotted around Lake Merritt on the bases of a few light fixtures.  I’ll be covering Lake Merritt in more depth in upcoming posts… there a lot going on there right now.

Each base had a bunny/carrot cartoon on one side, and what seems to be a piece of newsprint on the other.  I have no idea if this was all done by one artist, or a pair, each claiming one side.  In either case, it’s pretty weird.

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Wheat paste is commonly used by graffiti artists to hang posters & smaller applications and is a simple solution made out of water and flour. It’s one of the most environmentally friendly adhesives because it’s made from organic materials that eventually break down.

It’s also essentially the same goop we all used as kids to make paper mache piggy banks around balloons in arts & crafts… do you remember? I do!

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Here’s a link to “the best wheat paste recipe” (self-proclaimed):
http://www.citynoise.org/article/1177

The post also offers some tips for how to go about applying your art without getting caught, and undoubtedly my favorite is “Carry a Gap shopping bag.” Who could possibly suspect a fine upstanding consumer of Gap products?  I love it!

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Deadeyes

Same artist again… I’m runnin’ with it because I’m under the gun and headed out of town… Who knew this blogging stuff would be so time consuming?! Jeeeeezz….

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This is the first one I’ve seen that’s titled. How does the title impact your experience of the image? What does it mean to you? Do you like it? Send me some comments. Pulleeeeezzz.

This one spotted outside Brown Sugar Kitchen on Mandela Parkway, which has the most delectable melt-in-your-mouth waffles you’ll ever taste. Chef/Owner Tanya Holland opened a couple of years ago in this very industrial neighborhood where few restaurant options existed, then or now. I’m happy to say this venture’s been a huge success, garnering various east bay awards and plenty of regular customers. As the name says, it’s a sweet spot!

There are laws about these things…

So here’s another creation from the artist we’ve been stalking much of this week… These are much larger stickers (11 x 14″ I think) and have been reproduced, unlike the individually hand-drawn stickers from Tuesday.

It took me awhile to decipher this image, which is kind of what makes it interesting… in the first photo below you’ll see that I’ve added some yellow highlighting to help show my points.  In the top image you can see the basic face that we’ve seen on his/her other stickers (wide square nose, thick lips)… it’s almost identical to the face seen on the newspaper rack yesterday.  But in this piece, the artist has added another level of complexity. In the bottom image, see the outline of a man riding a motorcycle… the eyebrows become shoulders, the nose his torso, the lips seem to be handlebars, and there are two side view mirrors above his knees which frame the front wheel.

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And another…

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In both of these instances, the artist has chosen to place his stickers on public property…

Of course, there are laws about these things, and it’s really up to the individual artist to decide where he (she) deems it appropriate to place his art, and what risks he is willing to undertake. Many street artists feel it is hypocritical of our society to criminalize public displays of art, while endorsing massive public displays of private advertising campaigns that we literally cannot avoid.

Just the other day, I was at the corner of 51st and Broadway, and in just a portion of my line of sight were 5 huge billboards, all virtually screaming at me to buy something. Ick.

Despite this, I am definitely not a proponent of defacing/enhancing/altering (whatever you want to call it) private property without permission. My own building has been tagged with spray paint (in a manner I would not deem artistic), and I can tell you it’s a real pain in the ass to clean up.

I like Keri Smith‘s take on this subject… she uses materials that are environmentally friendly, non-destructive, or often temporary in nature (like chalk or soap), and prefers to post her creations on temporary construction walls. She rarely posts art on privately owned buildings or property. (The Guerilla Art Kit)

Meta…

So I’ve become a little bit of a sticker stalker… I’ve seen numerous stickers from our friend from yesterday all over town. I was beginning to think he/she was a West Oakland neighbor, but today I found one by Grand/Lake when I had to go to the hardware store.

This design is similar to larger ones I’ve seen that seem to have been reproduced in glossier more finished applications than his hand-drawn postal stickers. I like this one particularly because of the way it is cut out… nice touch. See the underlying same wide nose and thick lips from his faces on yesterday’s post?

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On the newspaper stand next to this one I spotted this sweet little post-it that someone had left as well… If you can’t read it, it says “Meta… to love, feel & appreciate everything to your fullest capacity without expectation or attachment”

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It’s entirely different of course, but in essence, it’s still a piece of sticker art, because it is, in fact, stuck.

Part of what got me started on this whole art blog idea was a book a girlfriend gave me for my birthday earlier this summer… a great little creative project guide called The Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith. It’s a nice primer on guerilla art for the novice… discussing philosophy, various techniques, and loads of exercises to get you inspired to put your art out into the world.

In her section on stickers, she includes recipes for making your own out of simple household items, including a lick-n-stick recipe made out of gelatin; info about pre-made stickers and labels (she mentions the post office labels too… no wonder they’re going broke!); and great tips about weather-proofing your stickers with packing tape, acrylic medium, and spray enamel.

One of the most adorable tips she gives is the following:

Quickest Stickers in the World
Materials: post-it notes, a pen
1. Do a drawing
2. Stick it up

And this is precisely what someone did outside the Grand Avenue Ace Hardware, which incidentally is a great store, even though the guy gave me a hard time about returning my hose.