The Banksy Chase

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

While cruising Chinatown with Hubband last week we happened upon a fresh piece of graffiti art on the side of a little shop at street level. I thought it looked familiar, and Hubband remarked —when he saw several people taking pictures of the graffiti— that he really was no judge of what art was. I looked back at the piece and realized what it was and knew I was going to be returning to that spot and hopefully several more in a few days.

Banksy is a graffiti artist believed to be from the UK, his identity a coveted secret, protecting him from multi-jurisdictional prosecution. He tags in multiple locations, generally choosing more downtrodden areas. His art is consistent, some freehand, some stencil, and there is always a message. Some more clear than others. He often uses the available landscape, signs on the walls, posts by walls, integrating them into his work. The belief is that he is tagging San Fran in advance of the release of his film, “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” at the festival.

So when I found what looked like a new Banksy in Chinatown, I checked my sources to find out more. By the time Hubband left and I was on my own working, Foursquare had all the locations in their system and mapping them by doing a simple search for Bansky made hunting them down really fun and easy in a town I didn’t know at all.  It took three days, as I ran around the city. I wasn’t sure I was going to get the final three pictures because I was running out of time. I also found one, but was getting eyeballed by some truly unsavories so I chose to forego flashing around my gear and just enjoyed checking it out.

My last day in SF I left to have lunch with my bud Derek in his new digs in Walnut Creek, FAB sushi at a joint in Danville. If you happen to find yourself there: Kane Sushi on Hartz Ave. Two thumbs up. Though their rolls were a bit big for my mouth, and I was having issues with the chopsticks, not to mention Derek laughing at me, what we got was awesome good stuff, I only lost one piece of tuna off my roll, but nobody but D saw! Yumms.

Anyway, I grabbed the Haight Banksy on my way to the Golden Gate, so I only had two left. I left Walnut Creek to head for the airport and it took me no time, no traffic to get into SF so I decided to last ditch the final two Banksy’s. I was a bit disappointed with the last one that was tagged by someone else, also a familiar tag, the one man one bike, but I guess that gets his message out. Parking was abundant, wee-haw, so I got them both in no time, including the one from the other day with the unsavories, and headed to the airport to jump my flight home. Sweet.

So without further ado, here are my Banksy’s, I think my fav is the skull and crossbones rat, or maybe the doctor:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

3 Responses to “The Banksy Chase”
  1. Rachel says:

    Fun adventure. Super cool!


  2. I like the heart and doctor one. So does he do this at 3 am or does he block off the area so no one finds out who he is? I mean, if I saw some guy doing serious art on a wall I would stop to watch.


    • Jenn says:

      I’m sure he is doing it in the dead of night, and i would bet he has at least a lookout to warn him if people are coming. I am hoping the movie comes to Denver, I’d like to see it, and hope he comes with it to tag.


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: