Monday, August 03, 2015

Keep Your Chin Up

The next stop on the mural tour is on NE Alberta once again; in fact it's on the opposite side of the same building as the last installment (To Oregon With Love), and the artist behind that mural co-created the subject of this post too. So this is Keep Your Chin Up, painted for the Forest for the Trees event by Portland artists Blaine Fontana & Zach Yarrington, and Tokyo's Jun Inoue.

So there's sort of a local mural subgenre centered on upbeat, inspirational phrases: This one, obviously; the huge Everything is Everything in industrial SE Portland; the phrase "You are confined only by the walls you build yourself" on To Oregon With Love, and probably a few others I'm forgetting offhand. I have to say I have mixed feelings about this subgenre. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but Alberta was the core of a historically black neighborhood that's now gentrifying at warp speed, displacing many longtime residents in the process. In this context, murals coaching people about unlimited personal achievement seem a bit... problematic, if you ask me.

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