“1% Free” by the San Francisco Diggers (1967)

If you haven’t seen Exit Art’s very illuminating “Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now” exhibition than I suggest you go check it out. It closes December 6, 2008.

This poster, originally 3′ wide and 6′ tall, was pasted all over walls in San Francisco by the Diggers in 1967.

The image depicts two Chinese assassins patiently waiting beneath a sign with the I Ching character for ‘revolution’ on it. “1% free” was a slogan the Diggers used, part of their maxim that “everything is free because it is already yours.”

I wonder if this image is one of the earliest precursors to contemporary street art.

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