If we had to pick the two most widely (slash excessively) reported San Francisco micro-news stories of 2010, they would probably be the late-April spree of street art by the world’s most famous graffiti artist, Banksy, and the slow, tumultuous demise of the world’s most famous Castro sandwich shop, Ike’s Place.
Given how gigantic each of these stories was on its own, what would happen if somehow they miraculously converged?
WHAT IF THEY ALREADY HAVE?
Last night, Haighteration reader Suomynona (read it backwards, yuk yuk) tipped us with a few photos from the now-boarded-up 16th Street location of Ike’s Place, which shut down last week.
Overnight, it seems, the plywood was tagged with an intriguing and anonymous piece of artwork — a man and woman seated at opposite ends of a comically long bench, both focused solely on their mobile phones. The woman has a thought cloud of text above her head that reads, “wish you were here.”
What makes this art Banksy-like? A few things — the color palette (almost entirely black and white, punctuated with tiny splashes of red), the photo-realistic human subjects, the font, the social commentary, and of course, the anonymity.
What makes this art not Banksy-like? Well, it’s maybe a little sloppier than most of Banksy’s work (the bench seems to break just to the woman’s left, as if the artist constructed the whole scene in two pieces), and we haven’t heard of any other new Banksy pieces in SF recently — unusual, since he tends to strike in batches.
We’re not art experts over here, so we’ll leave it up to you, readers. Is it a Banksy? Is it just a clever imitator? Is it Ike pulling one over on his former landlord, daring him to dismantle plywood which may or may not now contain the work of world-famous artist? We have no idea.
But whatever it is, we like it.
Update 9/21/10: Looks like Uptown Almanac got the same anonymous tip last night…