Monday, July 13, 2009

Been an interesting week to say the least. I got a temporary gig helping out with a mural on the west side highway. Didn't think much of it initially, but ultimately opened mine eyes up pretty significantly. To be honest, I haven't had a great deal of experience with public art where you actually have the opportunity of interacting with the public, and creating a consistent rapport with the folks that will see the work on a regular basis long after you've packed up the brushes and paint.

The first day I showed up for painting, I remember a car pulling up and beeping. A guy rolled down the window and said; "You gonna put some flowers? Pretty color flowers? It's too much green", and sped off.
And I thought; "Yea, okay whatever".. but then thought again about this fleeting interaction. I don't live here, I'm not going to see this mural very often at all; shouldn't we be taking these suggestions to heart?

The answer is not a simple one since there are so many contextual considerations to be made, and it happens to be a well documented fact that you can't please all the people all the time.

In any case; so-so-so many people loved it, and honked to give us the thumbs up. A couple folks privileged us with drive-by rants about how they hated it, preferred the old graffiti. Then there are all the photographers that treated this like some diamond in the rough of photo ops. And lastly; all the people that could give two shits about the mural one way or the other. Prime example; a lady walking her dog let it pee on the south-west corner. Then there was a car that hit the building and chipped off some of the brick. Around the corner also happens to be the rendezvous point for every garbage truck in the city. So many dynamics at play in an ever-changing setting. Let's not even digress about the lighting. It's tricky is what I've concluded, but in any case; it is what it is and I appreciate that.

I've never been saddened about not having to show up to work the following day. Despite how much being in the sun destroyed my skin, and I feel like I've developed an aversion to climbing tall ladders; the experience of working there was amazing! I didn't feel like an incompetent dolt, I knew what I was doing. I respected my coworkers and superiors; they were like kindred spirits in a strange way. Such a random coalescence of good and beautiful things and people.

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