street art visual

Art / Palestine: "The ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers"

Palestinian wall - 1
Banksy wall - 2

The British street artist Banksy just paint­ed nine provoca­tive murals on the wall that sep­a­rates the West Bank from Israel. The sar­don­ic quote in the title is Banksy's reflec­tion on his work there. He goes into a lit­tle more detail on his site. The Guardian and BBC both cov­ered it, and there is at least a lit­tle dis­agree­ment over the mean­ing and rel­e­vance of polit­i­cal­ly-moti­vat­ed street art here and here.While we're on the sub­ject of Banksy, here's my pre­vi­ous favorite project of his. As the BBC sub-head describes it, "Fake pre­his­toric rock art of a cave­man with a shop­ping trol­ley has been hung on the walls of the British Museum."

flickr visual

Art / Enter maximalism.

Flickr photo

An arti­cle in yesterday's NYT House & Gar­den sec­tion extolled the virtues of clut­ter. Kris­ten summed it up nice­ly: Max­i­mal­ism is the new min­i­mal­ism.

"Min­i­mal­ism is easy to copy," Ms. de Lorme said at her unabashed­ly messy desk on a recent morn­ing. "Every­body can do it."

Nev­er­the­less, max­i­mal­ism isn't as easy as it sounds. The author vis­its a Bar­ry McGee exhi­bi­tion at Deitch Projects in New York and finds that clut­ter must be as care­ful­ly arranged as non-clut­ter if it is to work:

Op-art pan­els on the walls. Graf­fi­ti every­where. And one wall I stared at for a long time was cov­ered with small, framed pic­tures dense­ly hung at odd angles, some lay­ered on top of one anoth­er. Like the whole mas­sive instal­la­tion, it looked ran­dom. Of course, it wasn't.

The thing is, Bar­ry McGee was max­i­mal so long ago — Bay-Area-Now-1996 long ago — that it's strange to use him as an exam­ple of a cur­rent max­i­mal trend. I guess well-exe­cut­ed max­i­mal­ism is timeless.The pho­to above is from Bar­ry McGee's max­i­mal mur­al at the Muse­um of Vic­to­ria (fall, 2004).

flickr the ancient past visual

Rust Belt road trip

Rust belt!

Pitts­burgh. Buf­fa­lo. Nia­gara Falls. Toron­to. Detroit. It's not exact­ly Route 66, but it was hot. 

The whole trip is on Flickr.

mobile san francisco visual

Photos / July chills

Riding up Polk Street

I snapped this pho­to after watch­ing Me & You & Every­one We Know at the Lumiere. I was rid­ing down Polk Street, and the sky seemed nice and sun­ny. But there was a chilly lit­tle bite in the air. Ahh, sum­mer. A half hour lat­er, the city was enshroud­ed in fog.

mobile san francisco visual

Photos / Window kitty

Windown kitty

This kit­ten was in the win­dow of the record store on my block. Anoth­er sign of a pleas­ant turn­around on 14th Street. Ten years ago, it was Naps 2 (a hous­ing project bar with a friend­ly sort of vibe), and dog crap every­where. Now, it's a bustling with DIY fare, cool records, a bike shop owned by friends of mine, and an art gallery.UPDATE Feb 2006: Six months after the record shop opened, it closed. So did the art gallery. Now there's a lit­tle cloth­ing bou­tique there. I miss Naps #2.UPDATE June 2006: Nee­dles and Pens also left. My lit­tle street is qui­et again. Oh well.