12:01 p.m. on a Weekday: Best Time to Do Illegal Public Art Unmolested 

When Everyone Is Watching

For those of you itching to do a little um, public beautification, and all this jazz doesn't get it out of your system, then here's a word of advice from the pros: "Just act like you're supposed to be there." So says the artistic entity known as Justin Artifice, responsible for throwing up murals without permission on boarded up buildings throughout Oakland. Artifice doesn't do all his work on the spot. He takes the measurements first, composes the images on the computer, then works in the studio, painting many plywood pieces that form a single image when put together. Still, Artifice must install these pieces -- this usually involves a hand drill or two -- and finds that if you're sneaking around at night, it's a given that you're up to no good. So make your move in broad daylight, a rule of thumb that's served the clever Artifice well. While some of the art entity's more abstract and smaller pieces have been painted over by the city, the wall-sized works, such as a depiction of Korean-American pool player Jeannette Lee on Telegraph Avenue at 23rd Street, remain untouched.


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