There are a plethora of art galleries in San Francisco, but the most enjoyable art experience we had was meandering through the streets and alleys of the Mission District viewing the colourful array of murals. It was the influential Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, who helped revive the interest in murals as an art form in the 1930s by using the walls of public buildings throughout Mexico and America as his canvas. Inspired by his work muralists in America took up the mantle and began to colour the streets in the Mission district with art work, initially to express their outrage at US foreign policies in Central America. Now there are more than 400 murals covering walls, garages and fences with a riot of colour and political statements. Not only does this large scale public art gallery allow free and easy access for all, it also provides a pictorial walk through history and politics; from a memorial to El Salvador activist Archbishop Oscar Romero, to opinions on homelessness and social and racial inequality, to the relationship of nature and industry.
Below are a few of my favourites.