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Ben Eine and his new mural on Valencia

Last weekend I was doing another cross-town walk and I was thrilled to see another one of Ben Eine's huge lettering murals going up on Valencia and 19th. I walked past the sellers of bits and bobs and up to the small crew that were rapidly finishing off the mural. At the top of a ladder was Ben Eine himself.


"I take it that this is a new Eine mural?", I ventured.


"Yes it is.", replied the noodly man at the top of the ladder, deftly filling in lines with his spray can.


"So I'd also take it that you are Mr. Eine?"


"You are indeed correct, sir!", replied Ben in a cheeky cockney accent.


"Sweet. Mind if I follow you around for a bit and take some snaps?"


"Go ahead!", Ben said as he climbed down from the ladder to work lower down.


"Do you prefer if I don't take a picture of your face? I'm cool with that if that's what you'd like."


"Nah, I'm past all that shit."


"So what brings you back to SF?"


"Fuckin' Olympics. I can't paint in London because they want to keep things neat and tidy until the games."


"Wow yeah... fair enough, I guess?"


"I'm kidding. Sort of." He laughs. "I love it here, I love coming to SF to paint."


"Cool! And how do you sort out where you are going to put up the next mural? Do you get invited sort of thing?"


"A lot of the time we'll go around and find walls, and work with the building owners to work something out."


"...and how do you decide what lettering you are going to put up?"


"Yeah sometimes we'll work with the owners to decide on the words, and sometimes they'll just let us put up whatever we fuckin' like. Its great."


"Cool. Well, thanks - looking forward to seeing more of your work around SF!"

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Taken on September 18, 2011