068 | Street Art :: San Francisco, USA, 2012

I’m ending street art week with one of my favorites, a long standing piece that’s hidden in the alley between Valencia and Mission streets, less than two blocks from where I used to live. I love the burst of colors, the use of repeating geometric patterns, and most of all, the man’s silhouette that encases a snapshot of this very alley at the time this piece was created.

One of the biggest differences between street art and other types of art form is its ephemerality and unpredictability. You never quite know when the next piece is going to pop up on your morning commute, nor when your favorite piece might get drawn over, or worse, covered with terrible tags. 

Not only is the form temporary, oftentimes it’s also the content itself. Graffiti often serves as a form of social and political critique, or, at the very amateur level, an expression of an individual’s identity at one point in time. Perhaps that’s why I love it so much. In this photo, the alley artworks shown in the silhouette have already changed over the years, and perhaps this piece will also be replaced by another soon. Every time I go back to the Mission, I like to visit the graffiti alley and see what’s changed, and be reminded of the passage of time, and the changes I have seen within myself as well.

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