Saturday, October 04, 2014

DeSoto Building Mural

Here's a slideshow of the new mural on NW Portland's DeSoto Building, on the North Park Blocks between Couch & Davis. Portland's Contemporary Craft Museum, moved here in 2007, triggering a financial crisis that led to the museum's absorption by the local art college. Meanwhile the first floor has housed a series of short-lived fancy restaurants. The building's in a strange spot, neither Pearl District nor Old Town, and doesn't seem to get the foot traffic it would need for businesses to survive here. Apparently the building was originally a DeSoto car dealership. DeSoto was a division of Chrysler, defunct since 1960, and it in turn was named for the notorious Spanish conquistador pictured in the mural.

The mural was painted for this year's Forest for the Trees festival by Gage Hamilton, who's also director of the festival. I'm not sure what the other component of the mural is; to me it looks sort of like a black feather boa, but I'm not sure whether that was the intent or not.

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