Native-themed Banksy Street Art in San Francisco

In apache skateboards, banksy, Native art, street art by Adrienne K.3 Comments

(Click to make it grande, source here)

I’m a huge fan of the street art movement, I love art that incorporates social commentary and appears in unexpected forms and places. UK artist Banksy is arguably the leader of the movement, with his pieces appearing all over the world, in galleries and sold-out shows, but also on everything from nondescript alleys to the wall between Gaza/the west bank and Jerusalem.

I love the image above, from the Mission district in San Francisco, playing with the whole immigration debate. I like when artist’s juxtapose historic and modern, I think it calls into question some of the preconceived notions the public holds about Native peoples.

Similarly, though not exactly the same, I really like the work of Apache Skateboards‘ founder Douglas Miles, because (clearly) I love anything that subverts stereotypes and allows Natives to exist as contemporary beings, instead of being situated in the pepetual past. Miles’ bio describes his art as:

“Graphic imagery of Apache warriors and contemporary “Rez” portraits brings a Native aesthetic and sensibility to the skateboard culture. The Apache skateboards break through a seemingly closed mainstream boundary, reasserting and affirming Indian youth’s presence in the mainstream culture of today.”

Love it. “…reasserting and affirming Indian youth’s presence in the mainstream culture of today.” Miles is also active in engaging Native youth in art and the art making process, which is even better.

Here are some of his pieces:

All images can be found on the Apache Skateboards website.

For those of you interested in the Street Art Movement, I saw Banksy’s awesome documentary last week called “Exit Through the Gift Shop” about street art and the emergence of controversial artist “Mr. Brainwash”–a would-be filmmaker and friend of Banksy/Shepard Fairey/etc turned artist. Really calls into question the art world and the strange boundaries we as a society draw around what is deemed “art.” Definitely recommend it!

If anyone has any other cool Native street art, send it over!


Masking Tape and Markers=Beautiful Native Street Art

“I bead contemporary Native life”: The Art of Teri Greeves  

  • I love this post! These works of Native street art could be made into t-shirts, bags and bumper stickers. Really cool stuff.

  • I agree, Anishinabekwe, this is an awesome post!

    This post is reminiscent of your post a few months back about the masking tape poetry, which I also *loved*! Are you doing your PhD on this stuff?

  • Thanks guys! I wish I was doing my doctoral work on Native street art–that would be incredible! but, alas, I have far too many interests, so I am sticking with Indian Education and focusing on getting more Native kids in and through college. But maybe I’ll introduce those kids to the street art movement along the way… :)