Looking Beyond Death

I like this mural – it’s one block from my apartment. Because all the residents were arguing about its meaning, I introduced myself to the young, South African artist and asked her what it represented.  She shrugged and said, “Whatever it means to you.  I don’t want to limit imagination.”

HOW COOL!  The painted lady – and the bear/rat mural – are doing what art is supposed to do: blow people out of their everyday shells by demanding they think and feel in a different way.  When I listen to my neighbors arguing and talking with each other about these images, I know the murals are doing exactly what the artists wanted them to do – touch people in some way.

The only bad art is art that can be ignored.

4 Responses to “Looking Beyond Death”

  1. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    I lived On the Edge Of The Fillmore in San F., or Hralem West except For Some reason rich white hippie kids and poor Blacks-well if your alone no matter what collor you are you don’t want to walk around after dark down there. BUT in the middle of this decaying building zone full of drug addicts and no jobs, crooked cops, and dealers there was a very large tipped over hardwood tree. Kind of behind a bus-stop in a vacant lot and an artist woodcarver Had carved a face and I recall hair from the roots on the tree as it lay and in this mishmash neighborhood of graffitti and mixed emotions, the tree of course represented black talent beyond and above where it lay, and a light somehow of what could be, even in the area of hatred, perhaps a vision of love, because NO_ONE trashed or hurt the artists work-perhaps because it DID mean something good to all people in all stages of fighting to live, and even fighting to make living a little more enjoyable. That was about 40 years ago, and I STILL think about it when I think of the bad things around it. Little white kids were pounded on by older black kids that were pounded on, A piece of beauty left alone in the middle of the assphalt jungle.

  2. Bill says:

    Joe, you make a good point that illustrates the difference between Rochester and other cities. I can almost guarantee this mural will be defaced within a month. The morons who live here love to ruin or destroy any attempt to make the environment a little more attractive. Frank, you keep track and let us know when the inevitable occurs.

  3. paolo. says:

    If you look to the lower left of the mural, you’ll see “Urban Visionary” sprayed out in what appears to be graffiti. It’s not. The artist told me today it was hers adding another element for interpretation.

    I like Joe’s story but besides a different city, it was a different time.

  4. Bill says:


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