In the spring of 2016, I lived briefly in Mesa, Arizona while working nearby. One afternoon after my money job was over for the day, I went downtown to explore the public art. I saw art depicting a Big Pink Chair, a girl reading a book, and a toddler feeding ducks. I really appreciate public art and the way it levels the playing field by allowing everyone from all socio-economic levels to experience and enjoy what others have created.
As I passed the Mesa Arts Center, I saw a huge mural on the wall of the Center’s Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. I didn’t realize at the time that the mural was brand spanking new.
When I did some research on the mural, I got a lot of information about it from a Phoenix New Times article by Lynn Trimble called “El Mac on His New Two-Story Mural at Mesa Arts Center, Inspiration, and Collaboration.”
- The mural was painted by El Mac, “one of the world’s most noted street artists” who has ties to the Phoenix area but now lives in LA.
- The woman depicted in the mural is an old friend of the artist.
- “The mural was done completely with aerosol enamel paint, and a specific type of cap that helps give his work its characteristic pattern of circles and lines” and was completed in March of 2016.
I love the gentle beauty of this mural and the way the color of the rose pops against the dark contours of the woman’s features. I love seeing a woman of color (the model is originally from Guatamala) looming larger-than-life over museum patrons. It’s a lovely piece, and I think it adds some street cred to a part of town which could easily be mistaken to be primarily for white folks.
I took the photos in this post.