Unidentified street art on the old university printing plant. Photo: Tina Zhu

[Update, 05.25.11: Some street art is short-lived. The wheatpaste works shown here have already disappeared to be replaced by other ones. See the new works on the What I Saw in Berkeley blog.]

Here on Artside Berkeleyside, we have a soft spot for street art. Tina Zhu came across the most recent interesting examples on the enticingly plain walls of the old university printing plant on Center Street and Oxford (which, appropriately, will be the new site of the Berkeley Art Museum).

Do any readers know about the artist?

Not quite Banksy, but intriguing

Lance Knobel

Lance Knobel (co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine in Britain,...

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  1. They are much nicer to look at than than advertisements for fast food and bad movies. At least this artwork isn’t trying to sell you anything. I love it! I want more in Berkeley!

    I believe this is the work of Bella Ciao?

  2. I believe I saw a group of three or four rather young (either mature high school or young college) kids with a bucket of wheat paste and some black paper cutouts about a week or two ago. My memory doesn’t serve me very well and I should note this is all conjecture and corner-of-the-eye observation.

  3. Speaking of our street scene, I picked up a side of the irresistible frijoles at Cancun yesterday and couldn’t help but notice the work on the new Magnes museum/center on Allston in another old, repurposed UC building. The outside walls are now bright orange, something I never would have imagined if I had given it any thought. I had assumed the street walls of this new location to present the UC’s Judaica collection (I think) would remain vanilla. Bright orange surprised me.

  4. I wish the university would invite some local youth organizations to create art for these walls, at least until the building is transformed into the new art museum. In the Mission District in San Francisco, there are many examples of what I believe is a Latin American (Mexican? Diego Rivera tradition?) of community mural art. And then there was Basquiat in NYC. I think Keith Haring, say what you will about the value of his art but he’s big time in the museum cannon, also started out on street grafiti.  I’m bored with the fusty dominance of white-rich-male-museum-cannon approval of what constitutes art. Art is everything.

    Summer time from school is upon us.Invite our local kids to participate in co-creating their community. And then, like a Tibetan monk mandala which is a painstakingly detailed mural made from different colored sand and then after the perfect mandala is created, it is blown away, reminding us of the ephemeral nature of being, the outer walls of the ‘new’ museum can be washed over and become something new. Like life works, right?

    One woman’s street grafiti is the next woman’s art bombing. Or something.

  5. Awesome!  I ‘ve spent a lot of time driving around Berkeley and Oakland checking out the murals and street art, and there is a ton here.  I love this one.

  6. I disagree. Can we please not encourage more of these “of the culture”, juvenile, poorly-crafted, Banksy knockoff graphics? It’s image making for the sake of ego gratification and not particularly thought provoking.