Eighty years on from the day anti-fascists clashed with Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts in the Jewish East End of London, David Rosenberg tells the story of the long struggle to protect the giant mural. Link to the Brick Lane Bookshop's article, and to more info about the founding of Tower Hamlet's Art Project, which still seems to be going in some form in the middle of our current 'austerity'. The story of the mural touches on world history*, community involvement, political activism, shared values*, spirit of place, and continuity. It's a fine example of the interaction between local and global; and perhaps of the legacy of Britain's now threatened, always contested, post-war socialist idealism. [more inside]
"All of Mankind," a 1971 mural by Chicago artist William Walker ("What Langston Hughes has been to African American letters, William (Bill) Walker is to African-American images," declared Victor Sorell of Chicago State University, while mural historian Jim Prigoff described him as "the Diego Rivera of the United States") has finally, despite more than a decade of activism seeking to preserve and restore it, been painted over completely. It had been one of the last three surviving murals in Chicago by the prolific muralist, who died in 2011 at the age of 85. [more inside]
SRIL (pronounced “surreal”) is a muralist, currently working on a 100' wall at 3300s 300w in Salt Lake City. You can follow his progress on his Instagram account.
A visual tour of downtown Los Angeles, now and then:
The restoration of Jackson Pollock"s 1943 painting "Mural" (6 minute autoplay video) In a project that has taken nearly two years, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles have employed various cutting-edge techniques to painstakingly restore Jackson Pollock’s 1943 "Mural". [more inside]
The Best of L.A. Taco: L.A. Taco looks back at the best tacos, art, music and people celebrating the taco lifestyle. [more inside]
JR pledged to “use art to turn the world inside out” but does this mural strip away historical meaning and leave only the commodification of authenticity? "In contrast to Dr. King's and the sanitation workers' demands for significant economic change, JR's demands are for vague existence."
"A blue cloud of smoke wafted over the Famous Five statue that sits just east of the Senate doors. No one seemed to be going insane or looking like they were about to personally invade the United States. There were people of all colours in the crowd, but if any of them were members of The Ring, they hid it well. The peaceful demonstrators were, however, breaking the law, smoking a banned substance that could in theory have landed any one of them in prison." Emily Murphy’s legacy lives on in more ways than most care to remember.
Up There (Vimeo). Ever seen those hand-painted high-rise advertisements, and wondered at the people behind them? This 12min documentary is a fascinating glimpse into the work of the painters, where apprentices spend years learning from their teachers before being allowed to paint.
The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program manages information about hundreds of murals that have made Philadelphia famous. Muralfarm.org is the site where information about the growing body of public art created by the Mural Arts Program has been planted. Pictures and detailed information about murals can be searched by artist, theme, date, location, neighborhood, and other key terms. [more inside]
Throughout the world, El Mac's grand spraypaint portraits combine with RETNA's cryptic, hieroglyphic language to create stunning murals.
There is an inspiring mural on the back of the Micro Center building in Cambridge, MA. It commemorates the freeway revolt against the proposed I-695 Inner Belt. There are usually cars parked in front of it, but some have managed to get good photos.
Maine governor Paul LePage has ordered the state's Labor Department to remove a mural he says is too pro-labor. He has also declared several of the building's conference room names to have "one-sided decor." This was reportedly at the behest of anonymous businesses who complained of a pro-labor bias. [more inside]
The Coolest Locksmith Shop in New York City "From a distance, it looks like a bunch of golden squiggles and spirals have been added, snaking whimsically across the facade. But get a little closer and you’ll find the real magic… The new design is made up entirely of keys, literally thousands, and thousands, and thousands of keys, twisting into wonderful assortment of swoops and twirls."
The Vigilant Citizen (Previously) presents an Analysis of the Occult Symbols Found on the Bank of America Murals
Staying in a homeless shelter is no fun, especially for little kids. But a bright and sunny playroom can make it a little more comfortable, especially with Calvin & Hobbes murals on the walls. [more inside]
Big Bang, Big Boom, by Blu. A beautiful, extremely impressive stop motion depiction of evolution brought to life on walls, streets, beaches, and everything in between. (Previously, and other films Fantoche, and MUTO.) [more inside]
Massive Justice Through the Ages mural is in need of a new home. Outdoor mural by the late renowned Central City artist Angelo di Benedetto, has graced the ceiling of the open-air first floor of the building since 1978. One of my personal favorites in a city filled with outdoor art. The smartest guys in the room have found a solution.
A group of artists has been asked to lighten the faces of children depicted in a giant public mural at a Prescott school. The project's leader says he was ordered to lighten the skin tone after complaints about the children's ethnicity. (via Wonkette)
A LOVE LETTER FOR YOU is a series of 29 murals visible along the westbound El in Philadelphia. [more inside]
Making use of the space left between short shelves and high ceilings, Pentagram worked with some artists to make some fantastic murals in New York City elementary school libraries.
Having served as a troop transport in WWII, a luxury liner, and a sea cadet training vessel, the Texas Clipper will come to her final resting place tomorrow as part of an artificial reef in the Texas Gulf. During preparations for sinking, a long lost mural (1 2 3 4) by Saul Steinberg, best known for his work at The New Yorker, was rediscovered hidden behind wallpaper and paint and saved from a watery grave.
Mural Mosaics! Artists come together to create beautiful themed murals, made of hundreds of relevant paintings. [more inside]
Alasdair Gray 0-70 2004 BBC Artworks Scotland film made on the occasion of Glasgow artist and author's (best known for Lanark) seventieth birthday. Also a short clip and another film on his mural work as embedded Youtubery at his site. (Previously.)
Paintings of Buddha dating back at least to the 12th century have been discovered in a cave in Nepal. Tipped by a local shepherd, a team of international researchers climbed to some old caves where they found a mural with 55 panels depicting the life of Buddha, reminiscent of the artwork of the Ajanta Caves in India (possibly NSFW). There are probably many other forgotten caves in the Mustang area (previously discussed here,) but they may be threatened by a planned trans-Himalayan highway.
Eric Grohe Murals. From kinda cheesy to monumental, and with the ubiquitous floating Jesus and teary-eyed Liberty. Whatever the subject, his work is technically exceptional.
A restoration project has been underway since 1998 to restore the 15th-century Tibetan Buddhist monastery wall paintings of Lo Monthang, a city in the kingdom of Mustang in northwest Nepal. The results have been very impressive. Mustang is also home to some amazing cave temples.
The Iraq-September 11th smoking gun? Finally, near proof that Iraq was involved in the September 11th attacks on America: a mural in the Iraqi military headquarters in Nasiriya depicts a plane crashing into a building complex similar to New York's twin towers! (Okay, seriously, are some folks so desperate to make the connection that this might become an actual story?)
Fading Ads (click thumbnails in lower right grid). If you look closely, you can probably find these all over the older parts of your town. Some border on the weird, most are nearly gone, while some are still going strong (about the project).