After having spent a really good amount of time in Kuala Lumpur and checking out the streets and walls of Singapore, I picked up stumps and headed over the Pacific on the next part of what has now turned into an epic adventure; San Francisco – I’m in Guatemala right now, so San Fran actually feels a world away!
That said, I fucking loved San Fran. Apart from my shock at how badly the homeless situation has worsened since my last visit there ten years ago (wtf America, how can shit get so bad, seriously?), I have to say it was pretty amazing. San Francisco is a city of so many facets that, well, there’s just no way I can cover it all here. Instead, I’m going to split my visit up into two pieces – one from an amazing day trekking through The Mission district, one covering all the stickers I saw and the one with all the rest – all, I’m happy to say, are big, big posts and are absolutely fascinating.
One thing that San Francisco has, for which I am many others are more than thankfully are, is a veritable plethora of paintspotters – those who seek out new pieces of graffiti and street art to share with those of us who may not be fortunate enough to live in the area. Melbourne has them, and almost every city has them, and for a certainty San Fran has them, spanning San Francisco graffiti and street art every day. So, it was a no brainer when I arrived in San Fran that I’d try to catch up with one of my favourite instagram paintspotters – @pixelina.
I’d been following @Pixelina on IG for some time, and have had the pleasure of seeing a huge bunch of amazing images that she’s taken from all over the city – so when I contacted her and asked if she could show me some of her favourite spots, she was more than obliging. It just so happened, that another of my favourite IG paintspotters was in town on the same day, @purpurella (who takes a bunch of great shots from around LA), so it all turned into one big paintspotting mission in the Mission – honestly, these girls were amazing.
We started out meeting at coffee shop in the Mission, have to say, this was some of the nicest coffee I’ve ever tasted. It wasn’t long though, until the crew arrived and we headed off to see what the day had to offer.
Not far away proceeded to walk down a variety of the many laneways throughout the Mission – each harbouring a multitude of art. From graffiti, murals to street art, the cornucopia of colour reminded me in many ways of what we have in Melbourne around Fitzroy and Collingwood, the two had a very similar feel … I have to say though, that there may be a little more art in the Mission than there is in the F&C area … but that’s okay, I’m sure we’ll catch up ;)
Whilst trekking through the multitude of streets, I spotted a store on a corner that had a bunch of art on the walls, and discovered Faze Apparel. I loved this place – these guys are doing really cool things, promoting local artists and artist designed clothing.
The art up on the walls was damn cool, and the threads were fresh – if you’re in the Mission at any time, drop by here. They also do regular art exhibitions as well, in fact, that’s what they started out doing before they opened up the store itself.
We walked through a great carpark that was a couple of blocks down from where we started, and spotted a bunch of great work in there as well.
Towards the end of the day, we found we';d been walking for around six hours – so one of our last stops was to check out a neat van being painted by some friends of @pixelina – Eon75 (Max Ehrman)and someone whose work I’ve actually followed for a while (big fan of his toy!), Jesse Hernandez. It was a great way to finish off the day and watch some of San Frans finest in action.
Nearby, there was a huge collab wall – one of the parts had this robot, that I fkn loved!
On the way back, there were, of course, more walls to be seen – but probably my favourite one was this wall that Meggs, Ha-Ha and a bunch of others had painted when they were in San Fran for the Young & Free exhibition – a great wall to see on the last part of our journey throughout the mission.
Ended up the whole day exhausted and tired, and having a pint at the infamous Zeitgeist bar – felt like I was back in Fitzroy!!
Again, thanks to Pix, Purp and the others for a wonderful day – if you get yourself to San Fran, you can easily lose an entire day, or more, just walking the back streets of the Mission in search of great art – you cant miss it, its everywhere.
Check out a mass of photos of all the walls we saw in San Fran below … this is the largest collection of pics I’ve posted up here before, there’s about 280 of them – I could have culled, but there’s so damn much that’s good, and I wanted to document it all! In the next two part of my San Fran posts, I’ll post up a bunch more shots stuff from Haight and the rest of the city, murals, stickers and a visit to the newest minted Zero Friends store!
Enjoy – there’s several pages of these images so browse through by clicking on the numbers below!