San Diego Street Art Walk

Seth and I decided to drive down to San Diego on Friday to see in person all the street art that has been appearing around the city in preparation for Viva La Revolucion at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. I’ve recreated our trip in order of what we saw, which was everything that had been created as of then. Shepard just came over and said he did another couple walls yesterday afternoon – we’ll go check them out after lunch.

I’ve included the locations of everything in case you’re in San Diego (or are planning a visit) and want to check them out for yourself – which I highly recommend!

First stop: osgemeos – Horton Plaza mall, Downtown, G St at 2nd Ave

It was a little weird to see osgemeos on a Westfield parking structure with a Nordstrom next to it, but it’s a good high wall and gets a lot of attention from passing pedestrians. It’s a fun piece – see some detail shots of the little guys below (close up of my favorite, the wedgie dude, at the top of this post).

The guy at the bottom must be really strong!

Second stop: MCASD and more osgemeos (the actual artists this time)

I’ll post pictures later of what we saw inside the museum when we previewed the show, but as we were about to go in the door, we saw the Date Farmers sitting outside and, around the corner, osgemeos painting a van (yes, that is a cameo from me in the background…) We also saw one of the two Vhils pieces, but we forgot to take a picture of it. Oops. Sorry.

Third stop: Vhils and Dr. Lakra – Downtown, 11th Ave and Broadway

Dr. Lakra’s piece obviously isn’t finished so it’s hard to judge it, but I really like the Vhils (and I personally think it’s a lot nicer than the one we forgot to get the picture of). These two share a wall in the museum, too. I’m not sure who the person doing the wild style on the right is. Please leave a comment if you recognize it!

Fourth stop: JR and Barry McGee – Downtown, Everything $5 Clothing Store, corner of 5th Ave and C St (JR) and California Theatre, 4th Ave and C St (Barry McGee)

The JR just blows away everything else on the street, in my opinion. It’s also very easy to miss if you’re not looking closely – it blends amazingly well into its environment.

The Barry McGee, on the other hand, really isn’t so special, unfortunately. I’m not an expert on wildstyle, but I do know when I like it. I also couldn’t understand why there was no work by him inside the museum – I love him so much and was looking forward to seeing it. Don’t you think that’s a bit strange?

Fifth stop: Invader – Downtown, The Art Center, Park Blvd and G St

Apparently this is the biggest Invader in North America. It’s really quite impressive. There are also about twenty small ones scattered on various streets – we saw quite a few of them. For the museum, Invader made a video showing his travels around the city putting them up – the path he took makes one giant Invader. If you feel like a long walk, you can recreate this path, too – I believe the museum can give you a map.

Note: Shepard just told me that he and Amanda used to live in San Diego and that this building used to be their office!

Sixth stop: Swoon – Downtown, E St between 13th and 14th Ave

I love this image so it was nice to finally see it in person. The colors and texture are amazing. It’s one of my favorite Swoons to date. Her piece inside the museum is also gorgeous – definitely one of the highlights of the show.

Seventh stop: Shepard Fairey Number 1 – Hillcrest/Urban Outfitters, 3946 5th Ave

If you like Shepard, you’ll probably like this wall – it combines a lot of his most iconic images. You can see the Obey Eye peeking out as you drive down the street toward the wall – it looks really cool.

Eighth stop: Shepard Fairey Number 2 – South Park, 30th Ave and Ivy St

We were really curious to see this wall as Shepard and Dan (Shepard’s assistant) told us it was all hand-painted! It is very impressive in person. Nick, another member of Shepard’s friendly, hard-working team, and Sonja were hanging out (and randomly just walked into the lobby as I write this).

Ninth Stop: Stephan Doitchinoff (aka Calma) – Downtown, 16th Ave and J St

Stephan just told me that this piece isn’t finished yet, but I think it already looks really nice. (And yes, everyone is staying in the same hotel – you’d think there was only one in this town! osgemeos, the Date Farmers, David Ellis, Dr. Lakra, Shepard and his team, Pedro Alonzo and probably everyone else involved in the show is here.) I was going to post a picture of myself standing next to the wall as the tights and sunglasses I was wearing that day were practically the same shade of blue/green as the background color in the piece, but I’ve decided that would be a little too weird of me…

And now I’m going outside – I’m sick of sitting in this lobby and watching everyone come and go without me. The opening for the show is tonight (Saturday) and will probably be quite busy, but I’ll try to post some of my pictures from the press preview in the morning.

– Elisa

  • Aaron

    I dig the Os Gemeos piece so much! It’s incredible!

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  • I’ve seen them around and it really grabs my attention. I remember being on the bus #2 on Friday and seeing people hand painting the wall…amazing art work.

  • I am looking for a young street artist to do a mural on a building i own in the Bario logan area…a little out of the loop on the “new” street artist could you recommend someone?

  • im a young street artist trying to do his thing…hollar at me for dope pieces…

  • are you still looking for artists?

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  • KEG

    The Sheperd Fairy is now covered. They are building a store or something there. I can honestly say I was heartbroken when I saw that such an amazing piece was being covered. Such a shame.

  • Sanoma

    I am a senior in high school attempting to shadow a street artist as part of my senior project. If any professional street artists would like a shadow/intern and to help a new artist learn the game, please contact me at

  • impossibilia

    Headed to San Diego tomorrow…. thanks for these tips!!!

  • Glad

    I know this is an older post but I believe that the wild style writing beside Dr. Lakra and Vhils is by Persue. Best writer in San Diego.

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  • no its not. the urban outfitters bullied their way into hillcrest, kicking out a beloved and long-standing restaurant (the corvette diner). Their mural being covered by the subsequent development of the parking lot next door is karmic retribution.

  • Jon Newton

    Where is the John Lennon art in PB.. Thats the best one!!!!!!

  • Jon

    I’m from SD and this is what I’ve been looking for, but how did you guys find out about where all this art was?