Inaccessible Accessible Art

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A section of graffiti bridge

Graffiti Bridge

Parallel to Interstate 680 and the Union Pacific railroad tracks is a landmark that bicyclists refer to as graffiti bridge. Does this bridge rightly have a name? I don’t know, but graffiti bridge is a good locator when trying to get your bearings as you bicycle the Sunol/Pleasanton (and if you are feeling particularly adventurous or suicidal, /Niles) bike loop. It is the most monumental graffiti in this area simply because of its location along a suburban country road lined with trees and pasture.

From Public Roadway to Private Underpass

Graffiti bridge is done up in red and white, green, and blue aerosol spray paint. Sitting directly on a public roadway, its colorful paintings are accessible to any who care to stop and look. The opposite is true for the rest of the graffiti featured here. This second set of graffiti is located on private land close to Happy Valley Road. Tucked behind a gate that is operated by a digital keypad, the tunnel paintings are barely visible from the street. Still, enough of it is visible to arouse curiosity. And so, one morning, just as the owner emerged from behind his gated, protected from the public, lands, I was able to get his permission to view as well as photograph the pictures in the/his tunnel. I doubt very much, that the taggers had permission to enter the space and create their art. Such is the nature of graffiti.

Tunnel Photographs

(Spray paint on metal)

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Beautiful in its simplicity is the juxtaposition of colors against the black backdrop of the tunnel.
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Street art in private, suburban underpass (Pleasanton-Sunol Road)

 Close-ups from tunnel graffiti

face forward



aint on concrete):

Bridge Photographs

(Spray paint on concrete):

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5 thoughts on “Inaccessible Accessible Art

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    1. Really sad. The slave labor art with the flags was an amazing piece. I read someplace that Banksy has a way of foiling people from selling his stuff — That’s what he did when that idiot from my homeland (Jamaica) tried to sell his wall art. Sad sad sad.

      1. It is, isn’t it? This is outsider art being forcibly made mainstream, but it seems so clinical and cynical to rip it out of context! Like in your post, *finding* the art is an integral part of the art itself.
        (Sorry to go off on one a bit :))

      2. No, I agree with you. If Banksy himself is selling his art that is one thing, but graffiti is not mainstream art. It is art for one and all to enjoy. It doesn’t belong to anyone except maybe the person who owns the building where the art is. And usually, those owners would erase the art because it defaced their property. To sell it and say, “Oh, it’s for charity,” is just wrong on so many levels. Banksy sells art as well as does graffiti. Why not ask him to donate to their charity? So so wrong.

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