Taped Masking: 10 Face Mask Stencils, Stickers & Graffiti

Surgical masks have been featured in street art stencils, stickers and graffiti for years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly viral head.

Signs Of The Times

Once rarely seen outside of East Asia, medical masks have become de rigueur the world over and as art reflects life, the oft-maligned yet increasingly mandated face coverings are turning up on the street, not just IN the street. The stickers above both date from 2008 and were snapped in San Francisco, at top, and Madison WI, above. (images via Jeremy Brooks and David Drexler)

The Big Disease-y

This is not the Mardi Gras mask you were thinking of but it’s 2020 and here we are. Actually, it’s more like “there we were” as this well-worn sticker dates from at least March of 2015 (when the photographer snapped it) and is likely a fair bit older. So, why were people pasting surgical mask stickers on the wall a half-decade before COVID-19 changed everything? It’s a NOLA thing, you wouldn’t understand. (image via Paul Sableman)


This stencil of an updated and resto-modded Botticelli’s “Venus on the Half Shell” would make an ideal partner for any self-respecting Renaissance Man. No doubt she’s in the midst of updating her Facebook status on that stenciled smartphone clutched close to her chest. This image – located in London’s graffiti mecca of Brick Lane – must have turned more than a few heads back in the summer of 2014, seemingly ages before Brexit, Boris and the Virus turned British lives upside down. (image via Cory Doctorow)

Lip Service

Umm, this doesn’t look all that safe… no matter that both the kisser and the kissee (which is which?) are masked. Don’t even THINK of attempting a French Kiss but anyway, that’s just how they rock & roll in Hamburg, Germany. Speaking of which: do they eat hamburgers through their masks there too? This evocative yet somewhat disturbing sticker was snapped in August of 2007. (image via Photocapy)


We gotta hand it to the Danes, it takes a certain level of skill to paint a stencil through a metal grating! And, although there may indeed be something rotten somewhere in Denmark, this hot pink image looks as clean and fresh as the day it was stenciled… sometime before February 26th of 2009. (image via StreetheArT Copenhagen)

Need your graffiti to be more “hard” core? Check out Art Rock Cafe: Old WWII Beach Bunkers Glow With Graffiti Graphics!

Exit mobile version