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SF Condo Developers Appropriate Artist’s Work Without Permission

Updated: Apr 13, 2017 10:19
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John Birdsall said it best via facebook, we asked if we could publish his thoughts, we couldn’t have said it better:

“A particularly cruel irony of San Francisco in 2016. Jeremy Novy is a brilliant gay street artist; his work, among other things, looks at queer identity. His leatherman stencil graces the exterior of the famous STUDSF bar South of Market. Jeremy spotted a piece of his in the lobby of the new condo building next to the Stud—the owners would like to acquire the property the Stud sits on, tear it down, and build. Meanwhile, they’re using Jeremy’s art (without his knowledge) to make their property cool.”

The New condo development is L Seven Apartments at 1222 Harrison St (partnered with (Fairfield Residential), literally on the same block as the STUD in the SOMA.  The artist whose work they’re using without permission is someone you should recognize.  Jeremy Novy has been decorating the walls and streets of SF for years, you may recognize his famous koi from the streets of SF and many other cities across America.

Photo by Ryan Laessig

Or his leatherman stencil work decorating the STUD itself.

Jeremy Novy; “Leatherman”

When The Stud’s landlords were hiking their rent, effectively forcing them out, a collective of artists and performers came together to save the beloved and historical venue.

With support from Supervisor Jane Kim’s office, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and other private donors, The Stud Collective of artists, musicians and performers was able to secure an affordable two-year lease at its current location at 9th and Harrison.

But it is far from over, the Stud Collective is currently trying to get another building where they can have a long term lease.  And they are raising money to help make improvements on both old and new locations.  A crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising $500,000 is on.

two guys kissing boot prints by Jeremy Novy

The artwork that the new condo building appropriated is the beloved boot prints of two men embracing.  We reached out to the Artist Jeremy Novy today and he had this to say:

“I guess they hired a photographer to photograph street art around the Bay and chose mine out of some stack of photos. I sent him an email to find out the circumstances.

No Hate To Other Artist. Just feel it needs to be represented better with the meaning behind the two guys kissing boot prints out of repsect for the change in South of Market from the leather days to now over-priced condos.

I don’t want to cause any problem for the STUD I love them and they had been a big part of my life when I lived in SF. I now live in New Orleans. ”

  -jeremy novy 


At the very least the condo developers should reach out to Jeremy about using his work, work that symbolizes pride in the SF LGBT community, instead of just taking his art to decorate the very developments that are pricing out LGBT venues in their own neighborhoods.

L Seven Apartments at 1222 Harrison St with Jeremy’s work on display

You can find Jeremy and more of his work here:

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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  1. LogicHurtsIdiots
    December 15, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    There is nothing “brilliant” about this criminal’s “art.” It’s annoying gutter graffiti.

    Every one of his images is appropriated from another source.
    The boot prints were appropriated from (the now closed) Stompers Boots’ garage door, which existed years before this creep infested SF.

    There is nothing original about it. It’s just tedious, and thankfully washed away from our streets, for the most part.

    Also, he’s a violent criminal who has been jailed half a dozen times for assaulting gay men. That’s why he’s hiding out in New Orleans, with an outstanding warrant for yet another assault.

    The recently closed Magnet abruptly canceled an exhibit of his derivative crap when several of previous victims alerted the gullible curator there. Irony is a gay men’s health facility showing “art” by a creep who threatens the lives of gay men.

    A corporate condo stealing from a violent thief is called Karma.

    • Bryan Scott Langley
      December 17, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      The Boot Prints are refreshed around outer SOMA every year right before the Dore Alley Street Fair.

  2. jeffJ1
    December 19, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    This is the complexity of doing this kind of art. When you put a piece of your art without attribution on the sidewalk, which you don’t own, someone else can take a picture of the art. That person can then sell that photograph for money. The person who bought the photograph can then place the photograph in the lobby of their building that represents everything you, as an artist, oppose.

    All you can really do in a situation like this is “start a conversation,” which I guess is what’s going on here. But nobody “owes” the original artist anything, unless you’re talking in a very vague kind of moral sense.