A Run-in With A Mural On Haight Street

Estria's mural on Haight Street

A few days ago I made a trip to Haight Street. I made my way past a guy selling incense like nobody’s business, street kids, locals, and tourists. Suddenly, I stopped in my tracks. I didn’t stop because there was a man getting arrested right in front of me, oh no, this was for the amazing mural I stumbled upon on the side of a liquor store.  Was it the mysterious look the woman in the mural gave me that drew me in? Or was it because she held a really cool samurai sword while wearing an orange karate gi? I had to know more about this. I spoke with several people on the street, hoping to see who contributed to the wonderful piece of work. A few luckless minutes turned into success after I discovered world famous Bay Area graffiti writer Estria Miyashiro and a few others contributed to the piece.

Unfortunately, like many graffiti writers, Estria dealt with the law several years back, resulting in his arrest. Though Estria served some time for what he loved doing, it can still be easy to admire someone who has done so much for the graffiti culture as he has. For starters, he pioneered the game back in the 80’s. Not only has he been a huge influence to the graffiti subculture, but he teaches kids about the art of graffiti, he has his own clothing line, and he provides a space for the best writers around the world to showcase their work for the community to see. Maybe it  was a coincidence that I just so happened to be attracted to a piece of artwork done by  Estria, who I happened to share a few words with last year at the Estria Invitaional Graffiti Battle. Regardless of my opinion, Estria’s artwork is not intended just for me, himself, or his friends. His work is meant for everyone to enjoy. So the next time you’re walking down Haight and notice a samurai girl the size of a brick building don’t simply walk past her. Enjoy the work and know that it came from one of the Bay Area’s most influential graffiti writers.

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~ by Mr. Fem-Bot on March 9, 2010.

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