Photo Gallery: Graffiti artists tagging in the sunshine at Precita Park


Normally the sound of 20 or so artists rattling and spraying aerosol cans would be quickly followed by the sound of sirens. But Sat/19 the fades went up with gusto. 

Artists tagged free standing art boards at Precita Park for the Urban Youth Arts Festival, an event that brings the ultimate underground art into a safe space. Attendees munched on burgers and listened to some good tunes at the festival, which is now in its 18th year.

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Guerrero gallery bites Zero Graffiti convention


"The difference between art and vandalism is permission." So said Dwight Waldo, retired San Bernadino cop, at the Zero Graffiti convention earlier this month in San Francisco. The event drew law enforcement officials from multiple countries, convening them for lectures on graffiti prevention, on street art's connection to gangs and hate speech, and on ways to apprehend graffiti artists ("the Internet" figured prominently here, judging from the talks I managed to catch during the convention's public portion.) In his talk, Waldo prided himself on shutting down a graffiti-inspired legal art show because it was being organized by an illegal graffiti artist. 

But it would appear that the art community isn't satisfied with allowing those that hold the anti-graffiti wipes to be the arbiters of taste. The folks at Guerrero Gallery have branded their show opening Sat/2 with Zero Graffiti's imagery to put scrutiny on San Francisco and other cities' efforts to repress graffiti. Read more »

Are your friends criminals?

Things get weird at the Zero Graffiti International Conference


STREET SEEN Nearing the climax of her presentation at last week's Zero Graffiti International Conference, Vancouver PD's graffiti-fighting specialist Valerie Spicer despaired over graffiti's affects on its perpetrators.

"He didn't die because of graffiti," she said sadly, a deceased Canadian graffiti artist's childhood photo on the PowerPoint screen behind her. "But I'm quite sure that the behaviors he learned in the subculture didn't help him confront the man who stabbed and killed him."Read more »

Artists still puzzling over destruction of international exchange mural


In 2003, artists from a San Francisco-Indonesia cultural exchange painted murals on one of the outer walls of Project Artaud, a non-profit art collective in the Mission that provide live-work studios and exhibition space for artists. Within nine years, the expansive mural became a part of the street’s geography — adorning the street like colorful flowers or trees — and was loved by neighbors and passersby alike. But starting last month, tags started to appear on top of the paintings, and within a 24-hour span, the mural faced its tragic and final destruction. Read more »