A & E

Mural series by international graffiti artist BiP comes to San Francisco

Self Consuming Self

When an artist begins a painting, we imagine tubes of paint lined up next to brushes. These tools are set next to an easel in proximity of comfortable access, and then the proper lighting is employed to make the atmosphere completely conducive to the creative process.

But when BiP, the anonymous guerrilla artist, paints, it’s another environment altogether. BiP creates both street-size illegal graffiti as well as gigantic legal murals such as the ones that make up his new series. To preserve anonymity during legal projects, BiP paints only at night, which means residents wake up to see a little more of the mural completed each day. The slow reveal adds to the mystery of the work in progress, which seems to evolve by magic under the cover of night.

This spring, BiP completed his first mural of the San Francisco series located at Hostelling International’s San Francisco City Center Hostel Building (685 Ellis Street). The mural, entitled Self Consuming Self — Dave explores the individual and the process of introspection. The current mural is part of a new series planned for the Bay Area, which will feature larger buildings. BiP is currently looking for additional suitable locations, so any building owners with large buildings (at least several stories tall) are welcome to inquire about a mural at their location.

“For the next few years, I’m going to be listening, absorbing as much as I can and reflecting that back to the city. I’m excited to learn what I can from the people who live here. Seeing the raw passion of the Tenderloin was just incredible. I’m ready for more,” says BiP. His goal is to provide the public with museum-quality engaging art at no cost to them.

“HI [Hostelling International] San Francisco City Center is delighted for the opportunity to support local art and artists,” said its general manager, Molly Salyer. “We’re thrilled to help bring such a beautiful work to our neighborhood, and look forward to sharing this unique window into S[an] F[rancisco] culture with travelers from around the world for years to come.”

BiP’s works can be found in the Yale Art Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Taiwan as well as on the streets of many cities including New York City and Detroit. Future planned locations are set to include Oakland and South San Francisco. Buildings interested in hosting a mural of the series are welcome to apply at [email protected] or on Twitter and Instagram with the handle @BiP_graffiti.

Send to a Friend Print
Sharon Anderson is an artist and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at