Archive: mural
Andy Warhol’s scandalous mural was destroyed within days

Andy Warhol’s scandalous mural was destroyed within days

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr., 1964, Photo Axel Schneider
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr., 1964
Photo: Axel Schneider

Pop provocateur Andy Warhol was never a stranger to controversy. In 1964, as part of a series of commissions for the New York State Pavilion, Warhol was commissioned to work on an installation that would be displayed on the face of the pavilion, which was to serve as one of the main venues of the fair.

The theme of the festival was to explore peace through understanding and man’s place in the shrinking and changing world. As such, the fair was supposed to be fun for the whole family. So it came as a surprise when Andy Warhol enlarged mug shots of 13 most wanted criminals photographed by the New York Police Department in 1962. The work caused quite a stir and scandal in the city. A few days after the mural was installed, it was covered up with silver paint a few days before the fair opened to the public as per the decision of the organizers of the show.

Later on, that summer, after the fair had already ended, Warhol produced another set of the same work with the most wanted men as his subjects. He used the same silk screens that he had used for the original mural to form 20 separate smaller scale works that were only recently brought together in 2014 for the first time since Warhol created them.

Art lovers claim that the mural was painted over because 9 of the ten names included were criminals from New York. The governor at that time did not deem it fit to have the mural on the façade of the pavillon building because it was one of the tallest buildings in New York at that time. Additionally, having that kind of publicity would have destroyed the governor’s chances of being re-elected. According to others, a mural of that nature was inappropriate to have at a family-friendly fair.

At the time of his commissioning, Andy Warhol and some of the other artists that had been commissioned including John Chamberlain and James Rosenquist had been leading painters in the Pop Art movement or school; artists of this movement were more formally known as new realists.

The recent exhibition that took place in 2014 sought to concentrate on Warhol’s 13 most wanted men as its main subject addressing how it was created and its destruction. The exhibition also explored the mural’s impact on the art scene through its artistic combination of archival material and documentation.

Warhol’s ‘Thirteen Most Wanted Men’ installed on the exterior of the New York State Pavilion, 1964. (
Andy Warhol’s Thirteen Most Wanted Men installed on the exterior of the New York State Pavilion for the 1964 New York World’s Fair

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 1, John M
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 1, John M.

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 2, John Victor G., 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 2, John Victor G., 1964, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 2, John, 1963
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 2, John Victor G., 1964, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 3, Ellis Ruiz B, 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 3, Ellis Ruiz B, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 5, Arthur Alvin M., 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 5, Arthur Alvin M., 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 6, Thomas Francis, 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 6, Thomas Francis, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 7, Salvatore V., 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 7, Salvatore V., 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 10, Louis Joseph M., 1964. Silkscreen on linen
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 10, Louis Joseph M., 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H, 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr., 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 12, Frank B, 1964 1
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 12, Frank B, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 12, Frank B, 1964 2
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 12, Frank B, 1964

's Fair, Thirteen Most Wanted Men, Installation view, 2014, Queens Museum. Photo- Peter Dressel
13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair, Installation view, 2014, Queens Museum, New York
Photo: Peter Dressel


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McDonald’s did not pay for this mural

McDonald’s did not pay for this mural

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany 5
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Brad Downey has consolidated a reputation for himself in the street art community as an artist who has a flair for navigating gray areas in the society. His work in public is an expert combination of culture and sensationalism, which are both presented and partnered with media friendly and pop culture acceptable imagery.

Case in point, Brad Downey’s McDonald’s mural proves that art is made up of more than the audience’s understanding of subject or object included in the art; it is an idea that lives, grows and mutates in the audience’s imagination. As a result of his unique perspective on art, the McDonalds’s mural received a lot of attention partly because it did not contain any humoristic slogans or any disruption by rats, as is common with other well-known street artists. The piece was also not intended to be a McDonald advertisement; this commercial mural was created ironically and was anticipated to serve as a radical and controversial piece for the urban art rebel.

Downey created the McDonald mural at a time when the University of Leuphana (where the mural was created), was undergoing a rebranding process. The branding strategy adopted by the university was intended to raise school fees, which made the students unhappy. In response to the rebranding, Downey created the mural to address the issue. Downey’s mural is the perfect example of how street art can help to manipulate the reality of the situation as a way of passing across a message and generating interest.

Downey selected the McDonalds logo, not because it had anything to do with the worldwide chain of restaurants, but because he wanted a logo that evoked power. According to Downey, any logo would have served the purpose, but McDonalds’ seemed to be a great fit. By using the well-known brand, audiences were forced to look beneath the surface to really get the message in the work. The McDonalds piece was received by the student body of the university well and even inspired some of the students to address the issue through various different mediums such as film.

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany


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Still life painting covers facade of museum in LA

Still life painting covers facade of museum in LA

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 1
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles may feel hidden because of its downtown location. For a long time since it was designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, it has been associated with its less conspicuous qualities. Since L.A. painter Jonas Wood covered the museum building facade with a reproduction of his Still Life With Two Owls painting of 2014, the vinyl production has not only revitalized the downtown street but the museum’s interior as well.

There is no shortage of dazzling architecture in the modern era and for a museum to stay quiet in a vibrant city like Los Angeles feels odd. Thanks to Wood, the 500m2 facade has covered the museum’s exterior with a mural that depicts plants in a variety of decorated ceramic vessels. There is no doubt that the flowers and splash of color that has been used in the vinyl gives the temperature outside the museum a complete makeover.

The choice of color that Wood uses is peculiar to him as he has for a long time taken pride in creating brightly hued portraits and still life drawings with generous amounts of color combinations. This current project has taken him since 2014 and the final touches were being made in 2017. For an artist of his caliber to sit back and describe his work as exuberant, it is because he too believes in the effect it is going to create. This is the reaction Wood has as he sees the rendering team working to set the paint on the wall. There is no doubt that the colors will come to life just like the artist intended.

Such effort in lightening up an outdoor space is worth it even if the light only lasts a while. The decision to use vinyl is deliberate because not only does it adhere to the wall, but it keeps the facade intact. While Wood’s mural is currently vibrant, in time it will need to pave way for another artist to showcase their ideas. As the face of the museum takes a transformational curve, it will give art lovers new hope and desire to see what is on display.

As its run comes to a close, Wood’s vinyl mural will have to peel off the wall but its magnificence does not come down with it. In this technological era, his work will be immortalized on smartphones and social media pages.

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 2
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 3
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 4
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Photo Christina House : For The Times 2
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Christina House / For The Times

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 5
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Christina House / For The Times

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Photo Christina House : For The Times 3
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Photo Christina House : For The Times 1
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Christina House / For The Times


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Is this the world’s most famous illegal mural?

Is this the world’s most famous illegal mural?

Keith Haring - Crack is Wack, 1986
Keith HaringCrack is Wack, 1986, handball court at 128th Street and 2nd Avenue, New York

Keith Haring came up with his celebrated Crack Is Wack mural in 1986, at a deserted handball court located along the Harlem River Drive. The images of his double-sided mural were taken by a photographer known as Juan Rivera. Of course, since the mural was created in 1986, the spot at Harlem River Drive has since been repainted and buffed after the original mural was vandalized.

Like many other street artists of the time, Haring chose a spot that had the largest potential for visibility. The wall was the perfect spot because it had the appearance of a large billboard; like some of the ones that you would typically see on a busy highway.

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Colorful artworks: Designed to be walked over

Colorful artworks: Designed to be walked over

Joan Miró - 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain detail
Joan MiróWall of the Barcelona Airport (detail), 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain

If you have ever been to Barcelona, you must have walked over one of Joan Miro’s mosaics. The artist began to publicly display his work in 1976 when he chose the centre of Barcelona’s Rambla to permanently incorporate his work into a pavement. This was in fulfilment of a pledge he had made in 1968 to create four pieces of art which he would donate to the city of Barcelona where he was born. The use of different colors in the mosaic brings out the vibrancy that is his style of art. All the artwork that is associated with Joan Miró speaks the language of simplicity; generous use of color and simple shapes. More than four decades after his first outdoor work of art, the works of Joan Miró located in various parts of the world are enjoying facelifts of massive proportions.

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Sol LeWitt’s influential drawings on walls around the world

Sol LeWitt’s influential drawings on walls around the world

Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #1136
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #1136

Over the course of his prolific, influential career, Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) produced more than 1.200 wall drawings. Early in his career, Sol LeWitt began to have others help execute his wall drawings. Wall Drawing 16 was first drawn by a draftsmen, which helped LeWitt to realize his work according to his instructions and diagrams, addressing practical concerns such as the time-consuming nature of the drawings. More significantly, however, this choice articulated LeWitt’s belief that the conception of the idea, rather than its execution, constitutes the art work. He was also rejecting the traditional importance assigned to the artist’s own hand. The artist executed the earliest wall drawings within a square, usually four by four feet wide, but by 1969 he was using the entire wall, starting with Wall Drawing 16.

The drawings range from layers of straight lines meticulously drawn in black graphite pencil lead, to rows of delicately rendered wavy lines in colored pencil; from bold black-and-white geometric forms, to bright planes in acrylic paint arranged like the panels of a folding screen; from sensuous drawings created by dozens of layers of transparent washes, to a tangle of vibratory orange lines on a green wall, and much more. Forms may appear to be flat, to recede in space, or to project into the viewer’s space, while others meld to the structure of the wall itself.

LeWitt, who stressed the idea behind his work over its execution, is widely regarded as one of the leading exponents of Minimalism and Conceptual art, and is known primarily for his deceptively simple geometric structures and architecturally scaled wall drawings. His experiments with the latter commenced in 1968 and were considered radical, in part because this new form of drawing was purposely temporal and due to the collaborative element.

Sol LeWitt - Wall Drawing #122 (1972)
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #122, 1972, Black pencil grid, blue crayon arcs and lines
Image © Estate of Sol LeWitt / ARS, New York. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

Sol LeWitt - Wall Drawing 238
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #238, June 1974, Black pencil and black crayon, LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut

Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #260
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #260

Sol LeWitt - Wall Drawing 280
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #280

Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing 340, July 1980
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #340, July 1980

Sol LeWitt - Wall Drawing 343A,B,C,D,E,F
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #343A,B,C,D,E,F, December 1980, White crayon on black wall

Sol LeWitt - Wall Drawing 343G
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #343 G

Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #346
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #346, india ink

Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing #354, 1981 ink, Basel Foto- Fabio Fabbrini, courtesy of Fondation Beyeler.jpg
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #354, 1981, ink, Basel, Switzerland
Photo: Fabio Fabbrini, courtesy of Fondation Beyeler.jpg

Sol Lewitt - Wall Drawing #356 BB, Cube Without a Cube
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #356 BB, Cube Without a Cube

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Mural plays with quotes by Nipsey Hussle

Mural plays with quotes by Nipsey Hussle

luciano-calderon-sesc-palladium-mural-2

In March, 2013 Swiss-Bolivian artist Luciano Calderon painted a site-specific, indoor mural in Belo Horizonte, Brasil. The painting was executed for the Verão Arte Contemporânea Festival inside Sesc Palladium.

Calderon used two quotes by African American artists, the first being Tina Turner’s What’s love got to with it which is an ironic comment about the relationship of art and money. In contemporary times how much does love actually have in common with art?

Nipsey Hussle’s Don’t holla at me unless money is the topic alludes to the people working solely for money, some of those being business men using the very center where the mural is painted.

Calderon’s upcoming shows are a major show Centro Cultural de España en La Paz, one of Bolivia’s most exciting art spaces, and a group show at the State Museum for Ethnology in Munich.

Artwork details:
Untitled, 2013
Marker, spray paint, liquid paper on wood
250x1200cm

The project was curated by Angelina Camelo

luciano-calderon-dont-holla-at-me-unless-money-is-the-topic-sketch
Don’t holla at me unless money is the topic (sketch), 2013

luciano-calderon-sesc-palladium-mural-3

luciano-calderon-sesc-palladium-mural-4

luciano-calderon-sesc-palladium-mural-6

luciano-calderon-sesc-palladium-mural-5
What’s love got to do with it, 2013

luciano-calderon-sesc-palladium-dont-holla-at-me-unless-money-is-the-topic
Don’t holla at me unless money is the topic, 2013

luciano-calderon-sesc-palladium-metro
On the front page of Metro Belo Horizonte, part of Metro, the world’s largest newspaper


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