Keith Haring the artist–anarchist, culture thief, populist, provocateur, successful entrepreneur, and accused sell-out–a renaissance man for the 80’s–slumps on the NYC subway with his spontaneous subway chalk art behind between graffiti and commercial advertising.
Pictured here is not a new anti-graffiti effort by San Francisco’s Public Works Department. As if the neighborhood hasn’t become white enough, Absolut Vodka has come to town with its artistic promotion of inebriation “Open Canvas” whitewashing San Francisco’s Divisadero Corridor between Hayes and Grove to create a blank canvas for the work of selected artists while providing the Vodka an advertisement in the form of a news event.
At San Francisco’s Vinyl Coffee and Wine Bar at Fell and Divisidero big bucks are paid for the Banksy-like work of Eddie Colla top and X’s “Thank you, Andy” at right. The art successfully gives Vinyl some insider street cred in a traffic-challenged location.
Last summer’s trip to Berlin, City of Graffiti, has us thinking about the lively yet criminal place of graffiti in the community. The Berkeley Arts Museum visits the subject in Barry McGee’s exhibit of constructions, sketches and graffiti art closing December 9th, 2012. The museum building itself is not to be missed, as it too is subject to closure as an art museum in 2015 as a result of ever-stiffening seismic requirements anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Big One. Meanwhile, the building’s impending loss as a dramatic and now-unrepeatable gallery space is a tragic and crushing blow.