I got back late last night (well, early this morning) from the Bay Area where I spent quite a bit of time mural hunting. I saw a lot of interesting murals in a lot of interesting styles. A lot of (hopefully) interesting posts will be coming soon!
I ran across a truly amazing piece at 24th and Hampshire in the Mission that I can’t wait to share:
It looked just like papel picado and was flaking off the wall…so much that I didn’t want to touch it and risk more damage. Was it really paper? Or somehow painted to look that way?
It turns out that the mural is, in fact, made of paper and wheat paste and was adhered to the wall as a single large piece. It appeared one night in 2008, the work of a Brooklyn street artist who calls herself Swoon. At the center is a young woman who is surrounded by branches, skulls and other intricate papel picado patterns.
The piece is thought to memorialize a teenage girl — one of the hundreds of young women killed in a series of grisly, unsolved murders in Juárez, Mexico (murders that are still going on and are still unsolved).
The mural has been left unprotected, so it is weathering over time…disappearing just like the young women of Juarez.