Jeremy Novy is a stencil artist. He’s in legal trouble for some of his work in San Francisco.

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Alexandra Garreton, 26, enjoys living in a neighborhood where she can use her Spanish on a daily basis. Garreton moved to the Mission in August, and has been intrigued by the welcoming nature of the eclectic neighborhood. She’s passionate about giving underserved communities a voice.

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  1. I prefer real vandalism to this benign ‘Street Art’. However it’s better that nothing at all.
    Just remember which side of the Berlin Wall carried the graffiti……

  2. If street artists want to make a real statement, I’d think they’d more deeply consider their marks upon the street. This goes beyond painting Koi fish or drag queens – these are pretty much observational reactions to the environment, and end up becoming personal statements that pretty much end up as graffiti. Street art, if it should command respect from the public, needs have more depth. Bansky does this.

  3. I’ve seen his stuff on sidewalks and never thought much about it. Seemed to always be in very innocuous sidewalks/locations.

    But, does anyone on this blog actually agree with him for hitting the new kids playground at Doloris Park?

    If I remember he did before the playground even had its official opening.

    When I saw it the first time I took my kid there, I was like… what a major douche did this!

    Now after the video I am thinking more… possible mental illness ie: delusions of grandeur.

  4. Graffiti is at an interesting state currently, parts of it are fighting to become legal, recognized and profitable, while other parts of it are outright expressing a disregard of law, and a corporate system. Jeremy Novy is dabbling into both, or attempting to. He seems to be at a brink of popularity where he’d probably like to turn this into a profitable business, but that means letting go of a part of himself and the rush of just getting out there and writing, or painting illegally. The fish, while a fun idea, arent the most beautifully done pieces/stencils in the world. They have young or inexperienced qualities to them, with their bulky lines, and layer style, etc. Because of that, they are more open to opinions and criticisms. If a hyper-realistic portrait of Koi fish were being painted, Im sure it would have a different kind of backlash. I like that he’s expressing himself, I love his messages, and I dont think he should stop, but I do think he can rid of the thoughts of these pieces “belonging” in the areas hes painting. He’s doing something 100% illegal, and thats fine, it needs zero justification. If he wants to make “art” or “fine art”, Im sure he knows where to find materials that are tangible.

  5. This guys art is really bad. Good for him for taking risks and not listening to what society tells him to do, but, the art he makes really is awful.

    1. But that is the essence of the “San Francisco school of art”.

      It’s crap but as long as it’s edgy, agitprop and anti-establishment, that it makes it good in the eyes of those who are easily impressed with such things.

      We are the world capital of bad art. Should we be proud of that?

      1. The presence of his work in the neighborhood is partially responsible for increasing your rental property income.

        You should cut him a little check every month for helping you out.

        1. Yes, because every tenant who applies to me never asks about amenities, heating, square footage, storage, parking or local facilities.

          They only ever ask whether there is a healthy number of local “experimental” artists who defy the law and property rights.

          What a strange world you inhabit.

          1. The “hipness factor” of the neighborhood (part of which is stenciled fish on the sidewalks) adds a good 25% premium to what you can charge for your apartments.

            That’s why people want to be here and not in Mountain view.

            You should stop complaining and insulting, and start paying and praising.

          2. How do you compute the value of a fish image as 25% on rents?

            How do you know they wouldn’t pay more not to have fish all over the sidewalk?

            All I can tell you is that no tenant of mine has ever cited bad art as a factor in how much rent they are willing to pay.

          3. The value of the Hipness Factor is likely much higher than 25%. I just stated a safely conservative figure.

            Attempting to quantify it accurately would take some work, but why bother? The preponderance of evidence is clear: lots of young high-earners want to live where there is Hipness Factor, and they are willing to pay big money for it.

            If a consortium of savvy real estate sharks were to buy up blocks of very unhip Daly City, then Hip-ify it with fish stencils, people with funny hats and mustaches, some band-practice noise coming from windows, etc, they could make billions.

          4. Claiming that you don’t need to justify your claim because “the preponderance of evidence is clear” is just sloppy and unpersuasive. Anyone could say that. I think the preponderance of evidence is that I am right and you are wrong. See?

            An area being “hip” might bring in more kids but kids typically do not have so much money. That same hipness might drive out older folks who are typically better off and could afford higher rents.

            There’s probably no street art in “old money” Pacific Heights and Russian Hill, and rents are much higher there.

    2. Not understanding an artist or his work does not make that artist untalented or his art bad.

      If you have any feeling at all about his work, his job is done. Lots of people like it for many different reasons. Basically your opinion is just that, yours.

      1. This guys is an egotist plain and simple. he just wants to mark his territory all over the place and doesn’t care that he is defacing property and causing damage. He mentions covering up needles, broken glass, trash, etc… All of these things can be swept away. His art must be power washed or scrubbed which takes much more work and money. Should we all just start painting bright colored pictures on all the sidewalks in every neighborhood to shine up the city?

        1. A lot of stencil work (including that of Jeremy Novy) is quite attractive, and being on ugly sidewalk surfaces, is a net positive.

          They can’t be put in the same category as stupid “tags” on walls which are, I agree, just vandalism.

          1. The issue isn’t whether this is good or bad art. It’s the fact that one person is deciding what that art is and where is goes. If more people did this, the city would be one big kindergarten collage. Personally, I think pink unicorns holding hands would be a better site than coi fish, but I never was good at judging art..

  6. Very cool stuff. I noticed the sidewalk fish weeks ago and appreciated that someone took the time to pretty up the promenade.

  7. What a conceited jerk! And so brave he covers his face! Besides his graffiti being ugly, he is vandalizing private property. He needs to get a real job. In the meantime, the book needs to e thrown at him; he’s breaking the law. Real nice he’s vandalizing Chinatown alleys – Not!

    1. The city hired him to do the Chinatown project, according to the video. Maybe he’ll use some of the proceeds to pay off his relatively small fines.

    2. So you dont like it, so he’s untalented and a jerk. Wow, I like that you didnt even hide your feelings there.

      And clearly you didnt watch this clip or know anything about him. He’s been commissioned SEVERAL times by biz owners AND the City its self to do work around town.

      Maybe you just dont like art or even understand it. Not everyone is into Thomas Kinkade like you are.

      1. @Jack: Just because he has been commissioned several times, doesn’t mean he has the right to stencil where ever he wants.

        Clearly you didn’t watch the video which makes clear that he is vandalizing public and private property.

  8. Is this guy really trying to justify what he’s doing?

    Dude…you’re vandalizing property and it’s wrong. Stop being selfish.

    1. Actually no he’s not. Several businesses around SF have commissioned him to stencil outside their stores/art galleries, ect.

      Because you dont understand it, doesnt mean its wrong.

      1. It is illegal to stencil anything on a sidewalk in S.F. Just ask the USA Network. This is an asshole who cries homophobia anytime time he is called to task.

      2. Its fine if the property owners have asked him to do it. But it is pretty clear that he is also stenciling in places where he doesn’t have permission.

        Why can’t you understand that basic distinction?

  9. Would that Mohammed Nuru’s corrupt DPW would get as exercised at individuals deciding to decorate our streets with their feces or blocks with their luxury condos, neither of which would survive the ballot box.