Stencil Nation Homage to John Fekner

Homage to John Fekner, San Francisco, CA, 2008 (cut out by John Fekner, 1978)

I just received two packages from John Fekner, a 1970s stencil pioneer from NY state. He sent me some items to hang for the Book Release and Stencil Exhibit on June 6. One of the items is the word “DECAY” in large stencil letters. I unfolded the pieces of the cut-out and looked closely at the letters. He cut them all by hand. I can tell because there are cuts coming out of the angles of the letters.

John told me that he was sending a stencil, so I couldn’t resist paying homage to him. With the great weather, and about 100,000 people in my hood for Carnaval, I rode my bike around and painted John’s stencils in places that showed decay. One location, other than the photo above, was on my 2003 stencil mural at CELLspace. Someone ripped a large portion of the mural off the wall a few months back. Perfect place to paint a DECAY stencil.

The stencil will go on the wall for the show and be for sale. It’ll still be ready to paint by the person who gets to own a 30 year old piece of street art history. Making history now!

A big thanks to John while I’m writing about his work. He helped me immensely with the development of “Stencil Nation’s” Chronology. I went to the library at least three times to follow up on leads that John gave me. Thanks to his knowledge, some of the gaps in the art form’s history were filled. Who knew artists were painting fine art with stencils and creating negative space works in the 1960s and 1970s? John did.