There's a building by my house, a long, low, squat structure with a parking lot adjacent to it, and it's been vacant for years. A couple of years ago, the property owner ok'd his nephew using the blank spaces to do graffiti art.
There was some controversy surrounding it (you can see an article here where the artist discusses his motivations and views on the transitory nature of his art), because the word "graffiti" immediately brings to mind gang symbols, quick tagging and urban decay for many people, but in fact anyone who's lived in a large city knows that very often you'll find true art among the scribbles.
Luckily for us, we have one of those incredible artists in Longmont, and he shares his art with us constantly. Talk about a thrill... I get to see his work daily.
He's done, among other things, political portraits, one really striking piece depicting a war scene in the Middle East, tributes requested by friends, and fallen legends (Heath Ledger as the Joker had a rather long run).
Photo courtesy of 9 News Colorado, but I had to show you the Marvin Gaye portrait!
Just recently he did a large mural that spanned the whole length of the building which featured some really demented, yet beautiful, underwater creatures.
For more of the underwater mural, see the set on Flickr... I loved this turtle best!
The death of Michael Jackson (had you heard?) really impacted him, and he quickly put up a mural spanning Jackson's life. There are also paper bags decorated with silhouettes of Jackson doing his thing, used as luminaries I'm guessing, lined up along the base of the mural.
Unfortunately, I was running late for work, so my photos are of the through-the-car-window variety, but hopefully you can get the drift of what this amazing artist accomplishes - sometimes overnight. The Michael Jackson piece went up within 24 hours.
You can see more of the mural and closeups of the sections in the set on Flickr, but I think this is my favorite.
I love public art, don't you?
PS... The sweater bag is done!