Blek’s latest visit to San Francisco was for his solo exhibition ”Let’s Get Romantic” at Weinstein Gallery. The title of the exhibit was a tribute to his feelings about the city of San Francisco.
Blek says ”San Francisco is the most romantic city in the United States”. To Blek the word Romantic has little to do with dating or relationships. He says San Francisco is romantic because it leaves visitors with strong beautiful memories. The scenic beauty, the people and neighborhoods of San Francisco, he believes are all romantic.
The exhibit and his street paintings were all a tribute to Blek’s first visit to San Francisco. In 1991 Blek came to New York to visit. He ended up hitch hiking across the United States to San Francisco. He knew no one in the city. He ended up meeting some people and crashed in an apartment with ten other people in the Haight neighborhood. Spending several weeks living in the Haight with strangers and exploring the city left Blek with very strong memories of the city he considers to be the most romantic in the United States.
During his stay, Blek did four street paintings. The first on the Red Victorian Inn on Haight Street. Leaving a painting on Haight street was an important homage to his 1991 visit to the city. In addition, the painting is on the same building which originally was the site of Banksy’s famous ”Haight Street Rat” – Blek is featured in the movie ”Saving Banksy’‘ which chronicles how the Haight Street Rat was preserved and protected for public viewing.
Blek’s second street painting was at the Hastings College of Law. The location is two blocks from City Hall and across the street from the Asian Art Museum. Blek chose this location because the Universities motto is ”Justice for All”. Blek’s work often focuses on the themes of justice, liberty and freedom. The location was also chosen because of Blek’s love of Asian art.
Blek’s third street painting was done at a new facility called ”The Midway” in the Dog Patch neighborhood. This location was chosen because it is quickly becoming the new ”arts” area for San Francisco. The location offers affordable work space for artists.
The fourth and final location is outside the Weinstein Gallery location at 444 Clementina St. A secluded alley in the SOMA district. Blek chose this location as a hidden surprise for this pedestrian busy section of the city.
Photos and Video by Bryan ‘Birdman’ Mier.
Here are some pictures from inside his solo exhibition!