The Mission Mural Art

The Mission is a predominantly Latino and Chicano area in San Francisco. In recent years, gentrification has created a more diverse environment. The Mission is well established as an epicenter for politically motivated mural art work, started by the Chicano Art Mural Movement in the 1970’s. The street murals can be seen throughout the area and especially on Balmy and Clarion Alley's. There are a plethora of tours available by local artist and docents. Often just walking by it is possible to catch an on going tour.

Here are some photos I took last week of the area:

Guatemalan political murals

Where The Wild Things Are!

A mural representing several prominent Latinos

This mural is a reflection on the AIDS epidemic and quotes W.B Yeats from his poem
The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, 
Things Fall Apart is also the title of Chinua Achebe novel,
an African novel that reflects on the impact of colonization. 

This poem and this novel are amazing and if you have not already read them I highly recommend them!  

This mural is about Los Desperatos- After war broke out in Venezuela families would carry photos of their lost loved ones- It has an eerie familiarity with the World Trade Center families and the photos they carried.

This collage mural is in honor of those lost in Hurricane Katrina

This one depicts the Aztec prophesy of the Apocalypse predicted for 2012

This wave made in 2002- prior to the tsunami that devastated Thailand yet it is now viewed as a premonition of sorts.

The not so 'new' Mission Theater

For some reason this mural reminds me of the song:
Can we pretend that airplanes.
In the night sky.
Are like shooting stars.
I could really use a wish right now 

Is it stuck in your head now?


Bombay Beauty said...

fantastic - what vibrant pictures - it's a great way to life, with life and liveliness on the streets rather than all bottled up inside the house... xo bb

Grace said...

Such beauty in these powerful images.

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Orozco, Siqueiros, Rivera are not dead!

Beautiful and interesting post. Walls talk!

Stephanie said...

The colors are spectacular!

Karena said...

Ren, I love these; they are all very poignant! The wave and the shooting star are especially beautiful.

Come and enter my New Giveaway from Empress of the Eye. You will love it!

Art by Karena

jeanette from everton terrace said...

My jaw is on the floor. WOW, so much beauty and the talent, just amazing - so moving. I hope these people are making a living somewhere doing this, remarkable. I like the use of symbols in this type of art. What a great walk you had, thanks for taking us along.

Signe said...

I love street art and this is amazing!
I really should take a trip around Oslo one day and take pictures of some of my favorites :)

That first blue one is a stunner, bet I would be stuck there just staring at that wall for a loooong time :)

heather yalin said...

ren, i heart this post! another one to share with my hubby! :)

and flowers pick themselves said...

these are wickedly awesome. thanks for sharing!

xo Alison

Shari said...

I love the stories that these pictures tell. Funny, I never knew this area existed in SF and will have to see it in person the next time we go. - and I love SF. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jude said...

These are so very beautiful, Ren! I always have to stop when I see murals like wherever I go, especially when they contrast in their vibrancy and life with the sometimes sadder streets around. I adore that Yeats poem and you've inspired me to read the Achebe (which is on my list but not yet gotten to).


Such stunning, beautiful & moving photos! Thank you so much for sharing them with us :)

Mo Pie, Please said...

That where the wild things mural is so awesome! I love the mission - great burritos and definitely great street art!

Amber Blue Bird said...

wow these are fantastic works of art, the colors are so bold, they practically jump off the walls

drollgirl said...


i recently went to a lecture that discussed murals in la (as related to a siqueros exhibition). the history and intent behind murals is fascinating!

bklyn76 said...

those are gorgeous! thanks for sharing...i wish we had seen some of them when we visited sf so long ago! my husband looked at the screen with his mouth hanging open.... :)

Dani G said...

Amazing artistry. Love it. Really miss that city!!

Stacey said...

Talented work of art that is also somewhat of a social commentary of sorts. Love that they span a variety of genres. Thanks fo sharing! XX

Krystal said...

These are SO incredible!! I love the wild things one :) :) wow - I would love to see these in person, thanks for taking pics of them!

Luna said...

Wow - what a great post. I especially like the joyous woman giving birth one. Thankyou for sharing these.

jacqueline said...

Oh WOW sweet Ren, these gentrification art work are gorgeous and the colors...they just poped right out!! This is such a beautiful area and i hope to visit it some day. Very inspiring and very talented artists! Thanks so much for sharing sweeet friend! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to yoU!

shari @ little blue deer said...

Really cool! I hope they don't get "gentrified" away! XX!

Felicity said...

These are so beautiful. I wish every bare public space could be covered with art. I think it's so soothing.



ag. said...

I love public art like this...beautiful! Where the Wild Things Are...LOVE it!!

Gabbi said...

Most amazing work Ren! I love the working class cries they hold and that you so awesome took the time to capture them for us. Clearly I have to spend more time in your city!

Pat Tillett said...

Great photos of amazing murals.
I've been there a million times and always want to go back. What a beautiful and interesting city.

Valarie said...

These are the most beautiful murals. The detail and color are outstanding. I love the book "When Things Fall Apart." It's so well reflected here. thanks for sharing.

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