The weather has been very sunny lately, which means good lighting for most of the day on one hand, and unsightly shadows on the other. But that’s beside the point. This wheatpaste by OIM combines a variety of images in a single shape, prompting the viewers to try to guess exactly what it is they’re looking at. The form seems to be something in between a film reel and a machine gun—perhaps a pun on “shooting” both objects.
Ciao Bella (left) has been pasting these soft-featured, peaceful looking female faces around town. The symbol on the character’s forehead adds to the ritualistic and meditative quality of the work—the closed eyes incite curiosity. Schmoo’s work on the right, though—three words: What the hell? The painting combines tags, paint drips and figuration in an orgy of spontaneity and whimsy. The moods of the two works on this wall certainly contrast, but they make for an interesting combination.
I haven’t been posting too much large-scale graffiti lately, and I guess it’s because there’s not a huge amount of it in Berkeley. Here’s one of those rare gems by Kamo. The work is rather minimalistic, with the simple, neutral colors and not too much embellishment. The letters look three-dimensional, as if they could be moved or hung on something. The designs are so clean, almost architectural; their simplicity makes a bold statement.
Here’s another abstract figure from Modupe, found near the one I posted yesterday. This one has almost a cat-like appearance, with its yellow eyes glowing amid the black. The figure in the piece I posted yesterday looked genderless, or at least it didn’t evoke a gender to me, but this one looks decidedly female, perhaps even pregnant. I wonder if these works were screen printed or hand painted; the strokes of color look so fluid and organic but it’s difficult to tell.
I’ve been noticing this graffiti for a long time but haven’t been able to find a good vantage point to take a photo. The work is on the roof of a very tall building and my attempts to photograph it from the ground were not very successful. Finally, I walked past a helpful staircase that led me to this spot and — click, click, here you go. The entire strip above the tallest story of this building says “NESTA OUTSIDERS” I believe, although I could be misreading the first word, the last letter is sort of hard to make out. This piece impressed me for so many reasons, the obvious one being that it’s so high up! If the artist(s) did this from the roof, they would have had to write everything upside down. The aerosol work is impeccable and I love the colors: teal green and silver, with spots of burgundy and black. You should really click the picture to see what I mean up close.
I happened to notice this tiny sticker at the bottom of a postal box as I walked by. It’s a little buck-toothed character’s face. This style looks really familiar; I feel like I’ve seen this artist’s stuff before but the name and context escape me. I really like the colors s/he chose for this sticker — aquatic blue for the background and cornflower blue for the lines. This character is pretty funny. The facial expression looks sad but the rendering is so stylized and cute, it’s impossible not to smile at those buck teeth.
“Self” by CNN crew. I’ve posted a spray paint version of this a while ago, but I recently happened to notice the same image on a sticker. This one looks like it was done hastily, but that seems to be the advantage of this design: that it can be drawn quickly, maybe without even lifting the pen off the paper.
I’ve seen a few of these wheatpastes around town and the image continues to puzzle me. I love silhouettes because they allow for the viewer’s imagination to take over. The main shape appears to be a shell, but it looks as though it has oars, like a ship from an explorer novel or something. The shape inside of the shell resembles a lion or a horse, maybe. Your guess is as good as mine. I’m happy about how this photo turned out, with the bright silver and lavender graffiti underneath the wheatpaste.
I saw this little stencil on an Oakland sidewalk. Though it’s small, I was impressed with the realism of the speaker and the skateboard. The shadows give the image a three-dimensional feel. As you may have come to know from reading this blog, I love puns. Usually I try to come up with a punny title but this stencil did the work for me. Funk…tion. Heh heh. A speaker on a skateboard is no doubt funky, but I’m not sure how functional that would be. It’s hard to say what the artist meant by this, but I suppose music and skateboarding go hand in hand for some.