Carving out a gallery within their Jackson Square investment firm, Julie and Sébastien Lépinard, under the threat of a ho-hum paint roller, christened the space instead with street art from British graffiti activist Banksy. Haight Street Rat, stenciled on the exterior redwood planks of a Haight-Ashbury inn, was painstakingly extricated and is now displayed in a window at the couple's new gallery, 836M.
I came upon the Banksy piece that dwells on Commercial Street in Chinatown this past weekend, and boy was it hard to miss. There were bunches of elderly people taking a gander at the thing, taking photos in front of it and discussing it fervently. What I couldn't help noticing was the fact that local residents had drilled a panel of plastic over it along with a cautionary sign to prevent would-be intruders from tagging over it. Way to preserve this work of art for the rest of us, Chinatowners! Now it's shielded from the elements as well as sneaky kids looking for the glory of defacing a Banksy piece.