Long before Banksy created political pieces in the Gaza Strip, there was Rigo.
A lot of great things in San Francisco are created by people who move here and really fall in love with the city. San Francisco is a haven for muralists. Works by Diego Rivera are are almost sacred. Ricardo Gouveia, aka Rigo, created some of the best modern works of public art.
As an artsy urban kid, I really appreciated his use of mundane, everyday images, like a one way street sign, to convey subtle and powerful messages. The first time I saw Birds and Cars, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I still like it a lot.
You can find most of his work in the Tenderloin and SOMA.
Other great pieces around the city include:
– Inner City Home on 4th Street at Clementina;
– One Tree at 10th and Bryant Streets
– Truth at 7th and Market is dedicated to Robert King Wilkerson, a former Black Panther who was exonerated after being held in prison for almost 30 years.
He’s represented by Anglim Gilbert Gallery on Geary Street near Union Square.