Friday, January 16, 2015

Solar Flare

The next mural on our ongoing tour is on SE Ankeny, right next to the Giant Snail mural we just saw, and it may or may not be titled Solar Flare. It's hard to be sure because even though it's a recent mural, the artist's website is down (and doesn't have it), and the Twitter handle listed on the mural seems to belong to someone else entirely. I did run across a Facebook profile of an artist with the right name, but I don't know if it's the same person or not. In short, I don't know a lot about this one.

I actually didn't realize this was a separate mural at first, and somehow only got one photo showing this part of the wall the first time I visited. So I had to make a special trip back to get a few photos of this mural. Well, this and a sort of graffiti skeleton design on a nearby garage, which seems to have been painted over already. I've gotten used to that. Unlike traditional public art, which in theory sticks around forever, off the top of my head I only know of a handful of murals that have been around longer than a decade. Before the early 1990s there weren't a lot of them to begin with, and generally speaking they're more likely to be painted over than restored. Sometimes a mural's host building is demolished, and I've never heard of a mural being salvaged when a building here is torn down. That's happened before in New York, or maybe it was in the UK somewhere; a doomed building was home to a Banksy, so when the building was leveled, the mural was rescued at the behest of a well-heeled art collector, or maybe it was an art dealer. I'm hazy on some of the details, but in any case we have no (known) Banksys here, nor has any local street artist achieved that same level of global fame, so when a building goes, anything painted on it goes too.

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