Austin Street Art and Graffiti

South Austin Popular Culture Center

“If You Stop Putting Up Walls We'll Stop Writing On Them”
Austin, Texas 2008 to 2014

The South Austin Popular Culture collects, conserves, and exhibits vintage posters and live music ephemera from the 1960s through today to educate future generations on the rich and unique culture that makes Austin the Live Music Capital of the World.

SouthPop seeks to enrich a growing and changing community by becoming the premier source in Texas for art and artifacts of local music history from the 1960s to the present and its impact on local, national, and international culture.

Although SouthPop's focus is on music related matters, we also look at other cultural aspects of living in Austin, Texas.  One thing we notice that crosses generational boundaries, from the 1960s to present day, is street art.  Long a tradition in Austin, there have been "guerilla" (unsanctioned usually) art all around town.  

Photographer Bob Simmons began shooting photographs of street art and graffiti in earnest in around 2008.  Out of the approximately 500 photographs Bob gathered, SouthPop chose almost 150 for a special exhibit in fall 2014.  What you will see in the following panels shows the similarities of what is happening all across the US and, indeed, the entire world.

This City is Dope...Live Weird, the artist known as ER, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
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I Have Learned That What I Create, ReCreateATX, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Hope Outdoor Gallery, Bob Simmons photo of the Hope Gallery Sign, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center

Bob Simmons photographed another round of art at the place on Lamar Blvd just at the 5th Street railroad overpass where a new condo's management is in a war of sorts with the street artists.  This is an example of the artists coming back right away after the condo management paints over the street art.  This sarcastic treatment of Lance Armstrong  by the artist known as ER is a good example of what shows up at that location.

The middle panel is illustrative of the school of thought by most street artists, whether as a collective or as an individual artist.

A large number of photographs shown here are from one location in Austin, called the Hope Outdoor Gallery.  This morphed into being at a failed condominium site near 11th Street and Baylor, just off Lamar Blvd.  People began “decorating” the shells of the condos that were abandonded before they were ever finished.  The new owner of the property (whose offices are in the castle seen at the top of the  hill) thought it was a fascinating outpouring of creativity so he chose to support those efforts rather than squash it.  He set up a non-profit group, hired staff to help coordinate the artwork that comes and goes and although it won't last forever, this businessman is helping nuture creativity in Austin.

Hi How Are You, Daniel Johnson, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
The Reader, Unknown street artist, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Door with Eyes, unkonwn, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center

Hi! How are you?  This artwork in the top left panel, created by musician Daniel Johnson, is on the wall of a restaurant at Guadalupe and 21st Street in Austin, Texas.  

From artwork promoting reading to the decorated door of a private home, street art is everywhere.

Some of the artists represented in these photos are:

Asco.Blucka Rockabald       Asher Feehan

Brandon Snow                    Briks

Bunce                                 Dave Lowell

ER.                                     G52

Gent                                  Grim

Killah Cask One                 Lucas Aoki

Man with Pencil                 MIke “Truth” Johnston

MNS                                  Mouf

NonStop                           Olivia Rains

Roshi_K

and 

Sweet

Yarn bomb on Lamar, Bob Simmons, photographer, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
These yarn bombs were located on a grassy area along the sidewalk on Lamar Blvd just on the north side of the Colorado River.
Finger, the artist known as "Truth", From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Truth, one of the more prolific Austin street artists, has a very appealing childlike quality to some of his images, like this one!
Royal Toad, The street artist known as "Truth", From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
This artwork by the artist known as Truth is located in Austin, Texas near Baylor Street and 11th Street.
Where Do You Think You're Going, unknown, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
This is a painting on the side of a construction walkway in downtown Austin, Texas near the 2nd street District.

The South Austin Popular Culture collects, conserves, and exhibits vintage posters and live music ephemera from the 1960s through today to educate future generations on the rich and unique culture that makes Austin the Live Music Capital of the World.

 

SouthPop seeks to enrich a growing and changing community by becoming the premier source in Texas for art and artifacts of local music history from the 1960s to the present and its impact on local, national, and international culture.

Victory Grill wall, Trust Your Struggle Art Collective, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
The Victory Grille is a club in the east side of Austin, Texas on 11th Street that has a history going back to World War II.  This mural was probably painted in the 1990s.
Austin's Nessie, the street artist known as "Truth", From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
East Side mural, unknown, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Grape Mouth, unkown, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center

The top panel to the left:

The artist known as Truth painted this image under a bridge near the Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail in Austin, Texas.

Middle Pane, left:

All across Austin there is street art.  As sanctioned public art and as guerilla art, Austin loves this artform!  This image depicts a mural on the side of a wall of an ironworks company in east Austin.

Lower Left panel:

Here's Truth again.  Too much grape soda.

yellow cab and flowers on wall, Bob Simmons, photographer, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Pear on railroad bridge, unknown, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Keep Lovin, The Artist known as "Truth" and other street artists, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center

Top left panel:

Outdoor artwork on the side of a building in downtown Austin, Texas near the intersection of Congress and 8th Street.  The yellow cab parked in front of it makes this look like a painting whose images were put together on purpose.

Middle panel:

The railroad bridges in Austin are perfect for messages left by street artists.

Lower panel, left: 

Here's Truth and friends again.  This wall, right under the 5th Street railroad bridge, is the site of an ART WAR between the street artists and the owners of a nearby condo project.  The property owners paint over the wall and the artists doggedly return, painting more images as time goes by.

one tooth smiley, Street Artist Truth, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Truth AGAIN!  This smiling face greets passersby in an urban setting.
Hi, Street Artist "Truth", From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
You're not Bored, unknown street artist, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center

These panels to the left and right are from around the downtown area in Austin, Texas, with only the top right panel's image being from the Hope Outdoor Gallery.  From 8th and Congress (lower right panel) to a downtown railroad bridge (lower left panel) this town is chock full of art.

The middle right panel shows art at a now long gone club on the east side of Austin. East Austin was one of the final areas in town with affordable real estate (that's over now) and before the gentry got wind of it many artists and other bohemians moved into the area.

At the lower right panel we see, in the heart of downtown, in an area where there is a lot of construction going on, the City of Austin uses public art funding to commission a series of murals on a wall at around 8th and Congress Avenue.  This image has now been replaced with another mural.

indian headdress, the artist known as Death Fax, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Cesar Chavez mural, unknown, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Ladybird Johnson and Janis Joplin, Street art funded by the City of Austin, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
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checkered rabbit, Lucas Aoki, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Weak Will, Street Artist, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
How Much Paint on A Wall Will It Take, the street artist known as G52 Cubed, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Timely messages supporting diversity and peace are found here at the Hope Outdoor Gallery
Smiling Lizard and Neighboring Owl, unknown street artists, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Rip 5 Points, Street Artist RIP 5 Points, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Grandpa, unknown street artist, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Graffiti Western, Durro y Securro, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Down With Pants, several street artists, hard to tell who did what, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Colorful Lizard, unknown, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Cody Schibi covered and tagged part 3, Cody Schibi, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
confident and fearless, street artist known as TK Deol, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Artists create imagery supporting women in society.
Eyes, unknown, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
this image shows the juxtaposition of imagery in this area of Austin, Texas.  The art pieces change constantly.
Castle Hill possum, street artist Tardie, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Cody Schibi 1, Cody Schibi, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
This painting shows the original concept of the artists
Cody Schibi covered and tagged part 2, Cody Schibi and then others who painted over the mural, 2008, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Here people have started painting over the original image.
The Wall - Banksy Balloons, Banksy, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Banksy, in the country of Palestine.  Street art is truly world wide.
Skull and Pie, Stella Roo, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Castle grafitti, various street artists, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
The castle in the background is at the top of the hill above the art "park".  This building houses the business man who owns the property and supports the art project.
Walking the graffiti dog, Lance Bradley, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Just another cool shop in Austin, Texas.  The building itself becomes art.
Joan Jett commercial ad meets Street Art, unknown artists, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Commercial art smacks into street art.
Whose blood stains your wallet?, Graffiti Artist, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
What better place to make a political statement than on a blank, lighted billboard?
Its Anchorman Not Anchorlady, unkown, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Spinning Balls, The Artist known as "Truth", From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Turth again, spreading joy with these images that look like huge mint candies.
Tunnel Head, the street artist known as SKEEZR, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
How clever to incorporate the existing drainage pipe in this painting.
LEGz, street Artist LEGz, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Underneath Legz work, you can sort of see a painting by Shephard Fairey.  No artist's work is sacred and above being modified.
JFK with light bulbs, street artist ER, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Here again the combination of political imagery (JFK) and other more espteric symbols make up one mural.
Castle Hill Red Eyed girl, artist signature unreadable, From the collection of: South Austin Popular Culture Center
Credits: Story

Photographer — Bob Simmons
Role — Foraged and Gathered these photographs over the course of several years.  Bob never goes anywhere without his camera.
Role — Leea Mechling, Executive Director of the South Austin Popular Culture Center. 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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