San Francisco Now Has Giant Koi Fish Street Art — No, Actually

Consider the small school of massive fish an expanded version of artist Jeremy Novy’s family sidewalk fauna.

San Francisco’s Slow Streets Program has given way to a renaissance of public art. Take for example car-free JFK Drive, a.k.a. the “JFK Promenade”: It’s now home to dozens of public art components, which include two new bronze-steel statues that will make any passerby do a double take. Sanchez Slow Street, while delightful and known to act as a concurrent space for hella fine block parties, isn’t as creatively decorated as the aforenoted car-free corridor. (Mind you, the JFK Promenade is also home to the Golden Mile Project — a public art venture fiscally supported by the arts non-profit Illuminate. Nevertheless, the point stands.)


Recently, however, a truly awe-inspired street mural made a rather *big* splash on Sanchez and 30th streets. Circling in splendid unions, beloved multi-hyphenate artist Jeremy Novy, whose arguably most famous works remain his numerous koi fish installations found throughout SF (and elsewhere in NorCal), painted seven 20-foot koi fish at the Noe Valley intersection.

Novy began the enormous project earlier this month; Novy, who came off of Halloween week painting skeleton koi fish around some areas of San Francisco, sectioned off part of the intersection with caution tape while creating; some of the tape ends were secured on lawn chairs placed on the road — a bit of pragmatism that left us smitten.

Over the next few days, the koi fish quickly began shaping up into familiar shapes. The cetacean-sized fish sprouted their usual colors; traffic-cone oranges were contrasted by bright whites and deep blacks. And before last week’s end, the school of gargantuan carp was schooling in a semi-circle on Sanchez Slow Street.

“Seven, [20-foot] koi,” Novy writes in an Instagram caption, hinting at the street mural’s completion. “Can’t wait to see what the drone photo looks like.”

Thankfully for Novy and nearly 19,000 Instagram followers, the wait proved quite short to see his installation from a birds-eye view.

“A few amazing drone photos, of my Slow Sanchez installation,” Novy writes on Instagram on Tuesday, November 7th. The shots, breathtaking in their scope and ability to encapsulate Novy’s entire mural, were shot by Andrea Gaffney, who has an affinity (and skill) for capturing landscapes.

And unlike traditional koi fish, Novy’s two-dimensional iterations won’t require regular water changes to maintain. Maybe just a touch-up here and there from treading feet and rotating bicycle tires.

Feature Image: Courtesy of Instagram via [at]jeremynovy

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