Stencil artists reach Palo Alto

This stencil art graffiti is on California Avenue near the authorized Palo Alto Public Art triptych by Joey Piziali, and also Chris Johansen and David Huffman. A clerk from Accent Arts said that in the alley near their storage space there is also a pretty good, but perhaps with a different tag, image of I think Sitting Bull, an Indian at least, or a Native American icon, perhaps like the “Sitting Bull” by Warhol I saw at Hood Museum in Hanover, NH.

I also used the same image for a poster for Archers of Loaf back before I even heard about fair use. I am pretty sure my posters are illegal but I’ d be happy to sell you one under the table for twenty bucks. The run was about 200. Twenty bucks here and there, pretty soon you have to report the income and to State Board of Equalization. For now it is just a line on my tax returns, the storage locker — my former Chiat Day manager and brother of my hero the Stanford Lively Arts honcho Jen Bilfield Mark Bilfield was a macher at the storage company so he at least made some money off my white elephant idea of seasoning my posters — about 70 designs in runs of mostly 400 but there are two that are four-color and in the thousands, 5,000 or so.

Stencil art is like Buddhist sand paintings in that after they put them up they are destined to get painted over pretty quick.

There is a rumor that a pseudo-hip tech firm in Palo Alto is invited Shepherd Fairey to not only tag their building — the former where I booked a couple bands including The Butchies and I used to do their ads when they were Zebra Copy of KOME Jungle Copy, still exists but is in a little chink of a space — can I say chink? — but get Mr. Fairey to work with some of Palo Alto’s Utes — we have mostly Coastanoans actually. I will believe when I see it and not even then.

Also, another uber-hip tech firm told me that they flew in someone named Milo from Australia to paint their walls, but then their security chased away a guy taking photos of their building. They may be right, he may have been an industrial spy. I swear I met Mark Zuckerberg and David Choe painting a room above Jing-jings a whiles back. I bought a calendar from Choe and can check the date if I ever turn it up.


I will get a comment from Mr. Piziali. I sent him the jpeg.

edit to add, or update, four years later: when the building was gutted the murals, by Hoffman, Johanson and Piziali were spared, but Elephino, hell if I know! (And worse: Greg Brown is dead).

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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7 Responses to Stencil artists reach Palo Alto

  1. Joey Piziali says:

    That stencil is of Miles Davis. It’s a cropped image of Davis from the back cover of “Tutu,” shot by Irving Penn. I love jazz and have mad respect for Irving Penn so if the work had to get tagged then I’d say I like the company. – Joey Piziali

  2. markweiss86 says:

    well its a triptych not a four-banger so we will see what happens. thanks for the irving penn cite. i used to have that book and that image, and used it in a poster once, but could not think of it.

  3. markweiss86 says:

    a source in LA said I may be referring to Dabs Myla or Dabs and Myla. Also someone I met in a cafe said he would sneak me a photo and the 411 on the mural, at his employer.

  4. jaymodulus says:

    This is by Elephino, based in MV/PA

    • markweiss says:

      there’s also a native american in the alley around the corner, like Warhol’s Sitting Bull perhaps — do you think it is the same artist?
      it’s cool that it had not been painted over yet.
      maybe we can get the PAPAC to ex post facto call it public art and put a plaque up — half-seriously, I am working on a plan to have Barry McGee tag the train station, under the auspice of both PAPAC and CalTrain

  5. markweiss says:

    i hear rumor that Greg Brown will have more work downtown. He is like the godfather of street art, although he likes to get paid in front.

    Which remind me that I have a post coming about the night I met David Choe and Mark Zuckerberg in a little office space downtown.

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