A couple of weeks ago, I was taking a leisurely stroll in the evening around downtown San Francisco when I encountered something out-of-the-ordinary. I was just about to climb the stairs in the Stockton Tunnel when I saw two pieces of artwork attached to a pillar in front of the steps. At first I didn’t think too much of it, but upon closer inspection these pieces of art were quite interesting, and to make things even more enthralling, a sign hung above these paintings with the words “Free to a good home.”
Instinctively I grabbed my phone to take a picture of the paintings, since I knew they wouldn’t be around for long. And then a thought hit me – why don’t I take one of them home? Someone else can enjoy the other painting. That night I became the proud owner of my very own piece of “street” art, with the free aspect being a nice little bonus.
The painting itself is a nice mix of cubism, surrealism, and pop art – some of my favorite art movements. I immediately purchased a black wooden frame online and now it’s displayed prominently in my room. Since the painting was signed Clohn Art, I was naturally curious and decided to do a little digging around online for some more info on the artist.
Turns out the artist behind Clohn Art is named John Lee, and in addition to selling many original paintings, he frequently goes around the city putting up free paintings. Awesome guy! The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Art Festival recently featured John in a profile. One of my favorite quotes from the article? “I always wanted to be a street artist. But I feel bad about spray painting a house and breaking the law. This is pretty harmless. It’s street art for chickens.” Both humorous and self-effacing – John seems like a pretty cool dude, and I’d love the chance to meet him some day and thank him for his art!
You can check out his paintings for sale on the Clohn Art Facebook page, and more likely than not, his paintings will be around the city in the near future!