The Clarion Alley Art project is a non-city sanctioned outdoor art gallery which has been community curated for several years. It is located between Mission St. and Valencia St. near 17th and 18th st. in the Mission District of San Francisco. Stumbling down it one afternoon, it quickly became a standout gallery of this style; easily holding ground with similar locations in Los Angeles and New York. There is a discernible feel of a city that has roots in many styles of rock music as well as psychedelia and many converging cultures. For a city that wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve, this gallery is the pulse of San Francisco, reflecting current and certainly future trends in street style.
The fact that the gallery is actually at alley allows it to be free to the public, which includes a few homeless beggars and possible drug abusers; assumedly they are part of the exhibit. The art itself moves away from the self proclaiming “bombing” style of wild lettering and crew posting; these artists are muralists more that graffers, signatures are always inconspicuous, if not omitted all together. There is an integrity to the creativity here; nothing is for sale, there is no admission; and the competition for space is fierce. Any artist without a deep bank of street-cred is pushed out; literally being painted over by the week’s end. The ephemeral; (yes, I am using ephemeral to describe graffiti) lives of these pieces simply means they must be more impacting than their canvas counterparts. The artists featured here work for the respect of their contemporaries; they dump paint like hearts pump blood; spray cans exhaling like lungs. If they stop; it’s over for them.
For More info check out Yelp’s listing for Clarion Alley: