I’ve been reading “On the Wall – Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City,” by Janet Braun-Reinitz and Jane Weissman. It includes a description of how a muralist views a wall – and the traits of the ideal wall for a mural:
“For a muralist, the magic starts with the wall, which can exert a powerful attraction. For most people, a wall encloses, protects, confines, defends, circumscribes, safeguards and restricts. To a muralist, however, a wall is a potential painting surface that presents limitless possibilities. Each wall has its own personality, and every artist must take its measure before determining if it is suitable for mural. The ideal wall is smooth and highly visible, facing traffic if on a one-way street. It is unobstructed by billboards street signs, and windows or doors and comes already scraped and primed with a coat of light-colored acrylic paint. The sidewalk in front of the wall is level for scaffolding, and there is a tree for shade as well as access to running water nd nearby bathrooms and storage space.”
Of course, as the authors go on to imply, the ideal wall rarely manifests itself. I’ll be sharing updates on this website of the search for the “approaching-ideal” wall in Queens for this project – a mural that will include the words “I live here” in the 160+ languages that are spoken in the borough.