Photo by George Lipp.

Galería de la Raza’s Digital Mural Project, which covers one side of the gallery’s building, has been spray-painted with the words “Not down with la raza.” The defacement was discovered at around noon today, according to a Galería staff member.

“There’s some talk about the individual that’s doing this, but we don’t know who it is,” said the staff member, who did not wish to give her name.

Spencer Keeton Cunningham, the artist who created the piece, will come by this evening to try to restore it, she added.

“The biggest problem is somebody is targeting these murals with their own agenda and defacing them,” said the staff member. “When we gather more info, we’ll send a statement.”

Update: By Thursday evening, the mural had been restored.

Spencer Keeton Cunningham, the artist behind the piece, worked with his friend Kook Kid Kreyola to touch it up.

Cunningham and Kook Kid Kreyola, tired, after the mural had been restored.

Many in the neighborhood had their own interpretation of the mural — is it a potato, a frijole, an immigrant? — but for Cunningham, it’s a picture of a beast, a symbol of evil, huddled over a glowing crucifix. “To me, the mural is about the false grandiose notions of Christian/Catholic myth and the effects these notions have on the moldable minds of consumers of them — both historically and in present day society,” he said.

The mural, restored, on Friday morning.

Cunningham knows that defacement is part of the experience of being an artist.  “It’s expected that kids will tag anything,” he said. “I’m not shocked or surprised or even upset.”

Follow Us

Join the Conversation


Please keep your comments short and civil. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. to: community member…

    The statement on the wall (which has since been removed by the artist) is a response to the art painted on it. A reaction was created but its up to you and the community to decide to support it or not. The rest of the community seems to differ on your viewpoint about this mural

    If these so called local artists within walking distance (maybe you are refering to yourself?) want to be a part of the Galleria or other community based art projects they should take it into their own hands to be a part of something. Instead of just being plain lazy and complaing.

    Spencer Keeton Cunningham has been a working local artist in this city for almost a decade. He has been a part of many community based art projects including the indigenous arts coalition ( a native art organization creating, showcasing local artist, and bringing innovative indigenous art to san francisco) not to mention he is one of the hardest working artists ive ever seen work in person

  2. Not down with La Raza, is an offensive remark and shows the type of young people moving into the neighborhood. Not all but some who don’t understand culture and diversity. Very sad. Couple of years ago the beautiful mosaic Aztec calendar at City College on Valencia was paint bombed.

    This has nothing to do with Galleria

  3. I think the statement written on the wall should speak for itself. Over the past few years the community has seen a huge disconnect with Galleria. Are they even aware of all the local artists that live within walking distance of this site. Maybe if they spent some time reconnecting with the locals and less time courting MFA grads from the local art institutions they might have diffrent results.

    1. So you would only have art by mission artists in the mission? How are they (the artists) and we (the public) supposed to experience the emotional effect of seeing new ideas, themes, and techniques? Give me the mix, and let us swirl it all up.

  4. “Baked Potato with hot pants and severed limbs”

    While not the most inspired mural image, pretty obnoxious and lame graffiti work. This corner mural is always getting tagged though, no? Perhaps it’s time to visit House of Color and get some anti-graffiti coatings to put on before declaring the mural complete.