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A Fish in San Francisco

posted May 2, 2011, 7:30 PM by Justin Lin   [ updated Mar 30, 2016, 6:05 PM ]

When any single thing enters your consciousness three times, I think its the universe trying to make you listen. As I walked into Sweet Inspiration to study, the walls had mounted versions of these Koi. This was the third time so I decided to do some digging. 

For the most part you can find the koi floating over random tags throughout San Francisco. I've had sightings at Cafe Fleur and the Lower Haight.

The koi are the work of Jermey Novy, a queer street artist hailing from the midwest. He has been stenciling the city with both koi and iconic gay images. His work also includes "interventional art", both commissioned and uncommissioned works, that cover abandoned store fronts. They are definitely nicer then speed tagging and add some whimsey to the city. 

"Novy is drawn to koi because he says he looks like one. He considered having the blotchy pink birthmark on his forehead removed until his aunt explained to him that what makes the koi so beautiful and unique is their individual markings. Novy adopted the koi as his power animal, and uses it as his signature. Novy adopted the koi as his power animal, and uses it as his signature. He likes to stencil them over traditional graffiti tags - hastily scribbled monikers lacking artful intention - to cover up what he considers urban blight. In a sign of street respect, none of his koi have been covered up by other artists."-Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer

If you'd like to read more, here is the SFGATE article where I first read his story. That same day I was lucky enough to see some of his work at Sweet Inspirations Dessert Shop on Market. 

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