You Leave Me Breathless: San Francisco Sidewalk Art, 2006-2008 (a selection)
Christopher Bernard
[Total Pages: 6]
Bernard Page 1

For the last few years I have noticed a flourish-ing art form on the streets and sidewalks of San Francisco: mostly stencils, but also drip drawings and paintings of various sizes, mostly small, none more than a couple of feet in size, and easy to miss if you don't, as I often do, walk with your head down in a brooding tilt. I saw them in many neighborhoods across the city, but for the most part in the "artsy" ones of the Mission, along Valencia Street; in North Beach and Hayes Valley; and downtown, with its many art students from around the world.

In the fall of 2006, I began taking photographs of these little artworks. Now I have several score of them in my photo folder. From that growing archive I have selected a few to display here on Caveat Lector's website.

Unfortunately, these artworks are almost entirely anonymous; in a few cases, there are references to "Claire," although whether to the artist or to the imaginary figure depicted (or both!), I don't know; in another case, a stencil is accompanied with a graffiti tag that looks like it might read "McCoy." Who is McCoy? Who is Claire? Who are these sidewalk artists who literally do their work on the sidewalk? I know no more than you do -- unless you are one of the artists!

-- Christopher Bernard
[gallery on following pages]