A Man of Letters

However you feel about the politics of England's Prime Minister David Cameron, the man apparently has amazing taste in art. On his first official visit to Washington in July, Cameron presented Barack Obama a painting by London street artist Ben Flynn, aka Eine. The piece, called “Twenty First Century City,” has the words of the title painted in a variety of bright colors against a simple black background and demonstrates Eine's interest in Victorian typography and in the alphabet itself. Originally a graffiti writer, Eine has had a richly varied career over the past 25 years. He worked with Banksy on that artist's controversial Palestinian Wall project and has painted his own bold freehand letters on shutters and walls all over the world. Now San Francisco gets to experience Eine's work first-hand with his solo show “Greatest.” There's art in the gallery, of course, but a major component of the show extends into the streets. Eine has spent weeks painting individual letters on public surfaces legally secured for him by local street art advocates Wall Space. The point is to make his artistic process more transparent and to make his work accessible to even the most casual passerby. The gallery has a map to the sites for a self-guided tour, or you can just go for a walk and pay close attention to the walls. You might find Eine himself, spray can in hand.

The opening starts Saturday, March 12, at 7.
March 12-April 2, 2011

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