Sidewalk art or graffiti?

August 8, 2013
Sidewalk on Page St. in the Haight/San Franciso

Sidewalk on Page St. in the Haight/San Franciso

I was trying to explain British artist Banksy’s street art to my husband the other day.
“Ok, so you’re saying that he does graffiti? That his ruining of public property is worth a lot of money?”

Well, yeah, I guess.  He’s known for stenciled graffiti work, but I guess I never really thought of it as actual graffiti. It is, but better. Banksy emerged from the UK underground art/music scene in the early 1990s and he’s a real original. A mysterious guy, too–he hides his real identity and over the years, folks have tried to out him. And may have. But we all remain complicit in the mystery.

He does other art, too. He once did some currency, British 10-pound notes replacing the Queen’s visage with Princess Diana’s and changing “Bank of England” to “Bansky of England.”

I’m a fan of street art. It’s fun to see designs pop up out of nothing and nowhere, and of course, we know that they’re temporary, wearing down over time. A few weeks ago I was walking down Page Street in San Francisco and ran across (well, actually, walked across) these beautiful examples of street art.)

Page St. sidewalk art in Haight-Ashbury

Page St. sidewalk art in Haight-Ashbury

Love love love this. How about you?

5 comments on “Sidewalk art or graffiti?
  1. Julie Phelps says:

    See, I get your husband’s response but after living amongst such art in S.F. I also came to appreciate the talent that created it. I wonder about the life of the artist, the amount of time it took to do (usually very little time) and if the artist will expand into more permanent work.
    My biggest issue with graffiti/street art is that it is sometimes defacing the surface it is created on. Sidewalks, fences or walls of neglected buildings in the Haight or in the Mission seem like enhancement. In other areas of the city they are the opposite. Just my take.

    • admin says:

      I have the same thoughts, and isn’t that what art’s supposed to do? This kind of art–with some design and thought, strikes me but I’m less impressed with tagging scribbles that just scream “I was here”.

  2. Susan Cooper says:

    I believe it is definitely art! Though not in the traditional outlet this still shows the artist’s passion. There are some amazing people out there that have chosen to portray their art as graffiti but it is still art. I wish there was a better way for them to showcase their talent. 🙂

  3. Frances D says:

    I adore street art/graffitti. Saw one of those Banksy tenners on a TV show just this past week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.