Saturday, January 9, 2010

Murals Can Stop Graffiti

C. V. Nevious writes in today's Chronicle that a "new" scheme has been hatched by the city to abate graffiti by hiring artists to paint murals around town. This is not a new idea by any means. There are several muralists in San Francisco whose work rarely gets tagged. My absolute favorite, bar none, is Mona Caron. Her work displays a heightened reality of everyday things like carrots and bus stops mixed with a magical, dreamy vision of a green and sustainable future of windmills and flying cars and, um, other things that you must look at the details in her murals to see (a constant pleasure). Mona incorporates ideas from passers-by as she works, along with taggers' signatures - that may be why her work rarely gets tagged.

It's been reported that Defenestration at the Hugo Hotel at 6th and Howard will stay up as long as the building remains (it will be razed eventually, as it's been empty for years). I for one am THRILLED by this. Brian Goggin's work of furniture fleeing the abandoned building is brilliant. Who doesn't love happening on it when passing by what would otherwise be a neglected, dismal corner? It doesn't necessarily prevent graffiti but it is one of the best examples of urban art anywhere. Brian's work can also be seen in North Beach at the corner of Columbus/Broadway - look up - books are flapping above you like birds in flight.

I'm also a big fan of Josef Norris and KidServe Youth Murals. Josef works with kids all over the city to create shimmering mosiac murals that reflect a child's artistic abilities with a more serious message of the challenges, dangers and joys faced by children at risk.

As always, you can click on the photos at the right to be taken to their websites. Please consider becoming a patron of our public artists. They need your support to keep doing what they do and we need them to make San Francisco a more livable city.

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