Know Your Street Art: Peaceful Hearts Doctor

In 2010, Banksy came to San Francisco and plastered new work around the city, including a prominent wall in Chinatown that suddenly sported a doctor, a stethoscope, a heart, and a peace sign. Peaceful Hearts Doctor, as the work came to be known, was beloved by the building's owners, who covered it in plexiglass to ward off vandals. In the past year, though, saboteurs have dripped black paint over the doctor's face and body, somehow nestling the paint between the plexiglass and the wall. Peaceful Hearts Doctor is essentially destroyed, says a worker at Eastern Bakery, a longtime Chinatown establishment on the street level of the same building. Sitting behind the counter, the woman (who refused to give her name) says Banksy's creation has now brought "problems" to the corner of Grant Avenue and Commercial Street, including an increase in graffiti on neighboring walls. On the corner, elderly Chinese men still play the musical instrument called the ehru, hoping that passersby will give them tips. But few people stop anymore to take their photo in front of Peaceful Hearts Doctor, which is now unrecognizable as a genuine Banksy. The doctor looks like a monstrous blob from a cheap 1950s scare flick. The only thing to do, really, is walk a few blocks away, to 270 Columbus Ave., where another Banksy work — this one with an anti-war message ("If at first you don't succeed — call an airstrike") — sits atop the building, mostly untouched since it first appeared three years ago.

 
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17 comments
Cynthia McGarvie
Cynthia McGarvie

I remember when Shepard Fairey was the Important Graffiti Artist. Before him, there was Keith Haring. There will be others to take Banksy's place. If you're going to do graffiti art, make brilliant art.

Steve Rhodes
Steve Rhodes

Too bad the dragons by Twick around the Banksy aren't mentioned

Vida Pejman
Vida Pejman

it is vandalism over vandalism..but the original one is for a better cause, and the owner of the bldg didn't mind it…Think u r out of ur mind;)

Isaac Anthony
Isaac Anthony

Thanks for reminding me Max. I could have probably made a million selling the banksy on the house next to ours before they renovated it. :P

Bob Vasilauskas
Bob Vasilauskas

It's all meant to deteriorate. And banksy personally advocates vandalism. On top of that he's vandalized other artists pieces.

Mark A. Rojas
Mark A. Rojas

I don't advocate vandalism but this is a perfect metaphor for life. Nothing lasts forever no matter how much plexiglass u put in front of it.

Max Gardner
Max Gardner

^ Let me get this straight, You are basically saying this graffiti vandalized but Banksy didn't? YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND! lol :)

Vida Pejman
Vida Pejman

can't believe that you guys could be art lovers and not defend him against this vandalism…regardless of what happens with other artists and their works

Max Gardner
Max Gardner

I know everyone loves banksy.. I am an avid fan of his(and his team, lol) However, street art is meant to be free and fun. When this happens to other street artist's work nobody cares... I can see how people are annoyed, but props to the dude who did it.. now Banksy will just have to come hold down his turf ;)

 
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