All these photos were taken by Brett Weinstein, a local real estate broker and 40+ year resident of Berkeley. In his own words:
My interest in murals was incidental to the fact that I simply like to look at buildings (my background is in Architecture). Secondly, )working as a Realtor for the last 35+ years, I spend a lot of time driving around looking at houses. While doing so, a mural would periodically catch my eye and would prompt me to stop and look at it more closely. I was delighted by what I saw, so on a whim, I set out one sunny day to see how many murals I could find just from memory. This one outing resulted in about 30 different locations, and while I have no technical skill with a camera, I started to document what I found. Next, I set out on my bicycle and went on a serious hunt. Over a couple of weeks, I was thrilled to find many more. Just when I thought I had looked everywhere, I’d find another. And then another. The result can be seen in the gallery.
Unlike graffiti, which I’ll loosely define as an unauthorized and illegal defacing of property and which is most often painted over quickly, the works featured here are usually created with a building owner’s permission and are meant to be lasting works of art. Many have been in place for several years, and some date back to at least the early 1970’s. Some have been lovingly maintained, while others have been left to fade in the sun or be covered from view by growing shrubs and trees. Many are not signed so the artists are unknown.
Some of the works are quite large, covering whole sides of buildings, and thus do not lend themselves to standard photographic formats. I could have taken panoramic shots and stitched them together, but decided instead to get closer in so that the viewer can appreciate the sometimes exquisite level of detail that exists. That is why some locations show many different images.
All the works are in outdoor locations, within Berkeley city limits. Some are out in the open and visible while driving, biking or walking by. Others are tucked away under overhangs, or in breezeways, or in otherwise not-obvious locations. Most are on either commercial or institutional buildings, but a few are also on houses or other types of structures.