This Graffiti Artist Is Tearing Down Billboards and Turning Them Into Shelters for the Homeless
After earning notoriety in Oakland’s street art scene, PEMEX dreamed up a bold new way of robbing the rich and giving to the Bay Area’s neediest residents.
Photos courtesy Indecline
In the dead of night on February 12 in Oakland, California, an enormous black mass plummets from the sky and lands in a crumpled heap on the sidewalk below. Lofted up on a billboard frame high above the city, graffiti artist PEMEX wastes no time watching it fall. Ski mask in place to protect his identity, he pockets his razor blade and climbs down the frame after it with practiced ease.
As one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s preeminent graffiti writers, Pemex has plenty of experience making his mark on hard-to-reach places – he’s been at it for over ten years.
He stuffs the billboard vinyl into the trunk of a rented minivan, slams the trunk closed, and hops in.
Over five hours, Pemex and a six-person crew cut down three weather-resistant, tarp-like billboards, with average dimensions of fourteen by 48 feet, adding to the seven others they’d already recently hoarded. A Chase Bank home mortgage ad and a Budweiser billboard reading, “You just struck cold,” are among…
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