Herakut: The Giant Storybook Project comes to San Francisco

In a weekend wedged between San Francisco’s early October latesummer and late October earlywinter, right before the city erupted into self-congratulations at its Giants going to the world series, the drab wall in Flax Art & Design’s backlot was transformed into something very very awesome. Graffiti-mural duo Herakut are in town, and they’ve brought their giants with them.

The two of them collaborate in an awesome way; Hera paints loose and lyrically, broad washes, quick grids and swooping lines. Akut does something tight, alchemical and mysterious, which amounts to photorealistic tone and texture from spraypaint. Together their work has to be seen to be believed. This mural, which they completed in two days (actually, they may add text after the rain relents) is part of their Giant Storybook Project. This project has them putting up walls in a variety of cities with characters in common, an emerging narrative. Eventually a book will be made, stitched from the giant murals adorning a score of cities. I love that in its scope and execution the project may well may become a world-famous graffitti campaign, but it’s neither hardcore posturing nor Banksy agitprop: it’s an artistically unique children’s book about imagination.

This mural depicts the Silly Monkeys from mural 1 in Lexington Kentucky, being pursued across rooftops by some snake/arms that might belong to Jay’s creative spirit from mural 5 in Toronto, or the mantle of the standing figure in Rochester’s mural 6 – or maybe that figure is Jay, corrupted with power? At any rate, it’s exciting to see this scene of action across our city’s walls. I don’t think it’s just city pride or that I watched it go up that makes me feel this is the best one yet.

A few scenes from the work in progress:

The dissolving, filmic city that provides the base for the mural is as great as the figures themselves: I watched Hera make these cranes, towers and scaffolding in no time flat. As longtime readers know, I am a sucker for an inky cityscape.

Even if they don’t put type on it later, there’s still this “good job!” hiding behind the buildings in the far corner by the garage door which leads off the cityscape.


Word is they will be painting another later in the week in the Tenderloin? I certainly hope so!

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