Murals

Mural Destruction and Corporate Responsibility

The story below is all too common. A new business moves into a property with a mural and covers it. In this case, the C-Town Supermarket destroyed a mural created by an after-school program. Most visual artists are not aware that murals are legally protected under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA). In this scenario, the supermarket has offered the space back to a community group, not necessarily the original artists, and has not publicly committed any funds towards the…

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What’s Missing from San Jose’s Abatement Strategy

The wisdom of  San Jose’s privatization of graffiti abatement is still in question. Contractor Graffiti Protective Coatings went $166,700 over budget in its first year. The greater issue is the failure to utilize a holistic approach that includes murals in its long-term strategy. San Jose was the poster child for a community based abatement strategy without murals, when it began passing out buckets of paint to its citizens and organizing teams of volunteers to go after graffiti. When Rick Stanton…

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Fox News Instigates Controversy over Boston Mural

Fox News is no stranger to using their position as “journalists” to promote one-sided arguments and even instigate censorship. So while it is not surprising that they have twisted their patriotism against Freedom of Speech, it is still nauseating. We’ve seen the media drum up attacks that have shifted policy and gotten people like Van Jones removed from positions of power. What’s notable here is how Fox creates the controversy simply by labeling the mural as such. There is a…

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Interview with Tunisian Aerosol Writer el Seed

Two weeks ago, CRP featured a story from CNN on el Seed. Writing in other alphabets outside of the phonetic is something that is both exciting and inspiring. It is particularly powerful when the artist is writing in their native language, as el Seed is. It is also especially interesting to see how the mainstream American media has picked up his story and compare it to the response that he has gotten at home.  Last week, Tunisia’s tallest minaret went…

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Judy Baca pioneers technology to save murals

Judy Baca is a master artist, a legendary muralist and a distinguished professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. She’s been awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and was Harvard’s Master Artist and Senior Scholar. Yet she says her most important revelation came not in a classroom nor in studio, but rather in the form of a question many years ago from her maternal grandmother, Francisca. An indigenous woman born in Mexico during the revolution, Francisca was a spiritual…

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Community divided over new 24th St. Mission Plaza redesign

The Mission district of San Francisco has long been one of the prominent areas in the country for murals. It’s gentrification in the past decade has never been more evident than in the re-design plan for the 24th Street “Plaza.” Not a single artist artist for the project is from the Mission. And its not like there is a shortage of talent. BART officials, notoriously out-of-touch with community, claimed that sufficient local outreach was conducted. Still, el Tecolote reports that…

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Water Activated Mural?? Check this out…

Artist Adam Niklewicz’s Pearl Street Replication Of Historic Tree On Side Of Former Hartford Synagogue There’s a new mural in downtown Hartford, on the side of a building on Pearl Street. Just go to Bin 228 Winebar, cross the street and walk through the alley between TheaterWorks and the now-vacant former synagogue. Turn to your left and look up at the old brick surface of the synagogue. That faded thing is brand new? Yes: Just wait until you see it wet. Adam Niklewicz’s…

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Tunisian artist paints minaret, fights intolerance

Arabic is one of the most beautiful written languages. Aerosol writers such as Lavie Raven have been writing aerosol calligraphy in non-phonetic letters since the 90s. It is even more powerful when the movement is led by native writers of the language. This is the international (r)evolution of letters that is taking place around the world!  (CNN) — Fine Arabic calligraphy and street art may seem worlds apart, but for artist eL Seed, they’re one and the same thing. eL Seed, a…

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Cairo’s Aerosol Revolutionaries Reclaim Wall

Here is more on the battle between aerosol rebels and the authorities in Egypt. This speaks to the importance of unsanctioned writing in speaking truth to power. The aerosol movement has proven dangerous to the powers that be because it cannot be censored until after it has been written. It cannot be stopped. It can only be suppressed. We have seen the heavy handed response to aerosol writing in the United States through the increase in criminal sentencing from 2…

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Egyptian authorities remove Mohamed Mahmoud’s revolutionary aerosol writing

This is an interesting perspective on unsanctioned writing. It is powerful that so many in the community became attached to this piece. Once again, the buff is used to censor revolutionary perspectives that empower the people. Aerosol writing covering the walls of Cairo’s iconic Mohamed Mahmoud Street off Tahrir Square was removed one again by Egyptian authorities on Wednesday. The street, which has seen some of the most intense clashes between protesters and police since the start of last year’s…

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