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Basquiat on West End

Basquiat mural street art Nashville JamersonSGC

West End is not the kind of territory you find a lot of outdoor art in – too much Vanderbilt, too many chains and high-end businesses. But on the backside of the West End Rite Aid next to the spot that Joy’s Flowers recently vacated (and is now labeled “Gyros Kitchen,” though the restaurant doesn’t seem to have opened yet), there is now this exuberant tribute to Jean-Michael Basquait. Basquait was an American artist of Puerto Rican and Haitian descent who died in 1988. He has been deeply influential in American art, graffiti, and hip hop culture. Ironically for a highly political artist who critiqued American power structures and inequality, one of his works became the most expensive work by an American artist ever sold at auction. “Untitled” (1982) sold for $110.5 million in a 2017 Sotheby’s auction. This portrait by the artist JamersonSGC may be based on an Andy Warhol photo held by the J. Paul Getty Museum. A lot of Jamerson’s work is in the Lafayette/Napier Homes neighborhood, but recently his work has also appeared here on West End, on Jefferson Street, and on Charlotte Avenue.

Located at 2416 West End Avenue. That’s the address of the Rite Aid. The mural is on the east side of the building. This is not an easy neighborhood to park in, though there are a number of nearby businesses whose lots you can use for a short period of time.

Nations Wall – Part 9

Mobe Oner mural street art Nashville

This is the ninth in the series on The Nations Wall, a massive set of murals on the west-facing wall of Music City Tents and Events, organized by the Nashville Walls Project. It’s the ninth piece going from left to right (roughly north to south). This one is by Mobe Oner, aka Eric Bass, a prolific Nashville muralist. I first saw this image not as a giant mural, but as an oil painting at the Rymer Gallery, when they did a show of Nashville muralists. That painting, called “Fireflies,” can be yours for $3000 (scroll down a bit).

Images of the entire wall with all the murals together can be found in Part 1.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 10

Located at 5901 California Ave, Nashville, TN 37209. The murals actually face the 1300 and 1400 block of 60th Avenue North, across from the intersection with Pennsylvania Avenue. Street parking is possible nearby.

The Red Rose at Hunter’s

 

On this blog, I rarely engage in breaking news. Often I write about art that is months, even years old. But the new mural on Hunter’s Station has been getting a lot of attention (for obvious reasons) and it’s hard to ignore. Plus, I pass it every day! It’s a collaborative work between Jason Galaz and Milton Chavez, based on a design by tattoo artist Adam “The Kid” Wakitsch. There’s a similar face at a different angle on his Instagram page. Galaz often does concert and other promotion murals for Muddy Roots Records, including one going up right now on the opposite side of the building that hosts the Young warlords mural. By nature, these tend to be temporary, replaced for the next show, but this piece may have a little more stability, given it isn’t tied to a particular show or record. Given its immediate popularity, I imagine a lot of folks would be happy to see it stay.

Cowgirl mural street art Nashville

Located at 975 Main Street. The mural faces Tenth Street, directly across from East Side Smiles. There is some limited street parking on Tenth. As Hunter’s Station is incomplete, the parking situation is in flux.

Gaia

Gaia mural street art Nashville

Filling a window in Banker’s Alley is this colorful face, called “Gaia.” It’s a product of Skye Walker, who has recently produced three murals in town that I know of. Besides this one, he created the large mural featured in Keep a breast and another large mural on Gallatin Road I will be featuring soon. All three murals are part of Walker’s Sea2Sea Mural Tour, which you can follow on his Instagram page. (Check the hashtag #sea2seamuraltour.) Kelly Yazdi modeled for the mural, and Ashley Seagroves of Studio 208 worked on the logistics of getting the mural made. It’s painted on wood panels inserted into the window. “Gaia” is the ancient Greek Earth goddess, as well as a term used to refer both to the Earth’s biosphere and the concept that the Earth can be viewed holistically as a living organism. All three interpretations seem to fit this image.

Located at 218 Third Avenue North, on the outer wall of Black Rabbit. It’s almost halfway between Second and Third Avenue, in an alley that lies halfway between Chruch and Union. It’s steps away from the mural featured in A rainbow of pride. This is downtown – plenty of parking, almost none of it free.

Sing, sing, sing

R&B portraits mural street art Nashville

These Thaxton Waters portraits on the boarded-up building on Jefferson across from Knock-Out Wings have been there for a while. I remember posting to them to Facebook well before I started this blog two and a half years ago. However, for the longest time, there has been a “No Parking” sign plastered across Ray Charles’s face, which is finally gone. Alongside him are James Brown, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin. I think Franklin was still alive when these portraits went up, but now the mural serves as a memorial for all of them. They are very much in the style of other portrait murals Waters has done, such as those featured in Heroes (Norf Wall gallery, part 11) and A Soul Break. I’ve included the whole building in this photograph because I think the artistic experience requires it. Hanging in a gallery, these would still be great portraits, but the experience would be quite different.

Located at what is probably 1307 Jefferson Street, though there is no number. Street parking is available across the street. And you can always enjoy the art after grabbing some grub at Knock-Out Wings!

I see purple

BDonahueForrestPurple

Back when I blogged about the Mermaid House, the former owner contacted me. She let me know that there were more murals around back. Like the mermaid in front, this mural is the work of Brandon Donahue, who, like myself, is a professor at Tennesee State University. There is also something of a surprise here. For the most part, graffiti taggers are respectful of murals, but not this time. The style of the tag is one I’ve seen around East Nashville. “Editing” is always a possibility with outdoor art. The back fence of the yard of the house next door also has a colorful mural. (See the slideshow below.) It’s not signed and does not appear on Donahue’s website, so I’m not sure who made it. One notable detail on this second mural is the small “Hunter’s” sign. Hunter’s was an auto body shop that had extravagant signage a couple blocks from these houses, signage lost in the site’s recent renovation (though not completely – it does appear some of it is being saved).

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Located in the alley behind at 1205 and 1203 Forrest Ave. Street parking is available. These are private homes, so be respectful.

Glyph man

This unusual face has a striking resemblance to the Mayan glyph for balam, the word for “jaguar” and “strength.” The glyph has fangs and is more cat-like, but the pattern of dots and lack of adornment, along with the general shape, suggests a humanized balam. Or maybe it’s just random graffiti.

Located at 1309 McGavock Pike, on the back side of Relax and Wrap Barber and Style (well, that’s what the sign says – on the internet, it’s known and Relaxing Wraps Barber and Style.) There’s plenty of parking here and across the street, though often full with partons of the Village Pub and Garden. Baily and Cato, sadly, has closed. Get a cut, grab some grub, and enjoy the art!

Packing Plant (Part 1, Mural)

PakingPlantRone

And here’s another multi-parter, after I just posted about how I don’t want to do much of that. But the outdoor art at The Packing Plant gallery comes in two very different flavors – a striking mural, and an equally striking prism sculpture. Here, in Part 1, the mural. This is a work by the Australian artist Tyrone Wright, who goes by Rone, who I first featured in Forget the past. (His art is easier to view on his Instagram page.)  This mural, featuring an Australian model, (large faces of women is characteristic of Rone’s work) was sponsored by Vince Herrera of Trespass Gallery in Clarksville. Trespass is no more. You can see in photos of the mural taken shortly after it went in in 2014, that it has been altered, apparently as a result of the arrival of Watkins Gallery at the site, and that the reference to Trespass Gallery has been removed. Art is ephemeral – outdoor art is doubly, triply so.

Located at 507 Hagen Street. The mural faces Gray Street. There is parking on site, and at some nearby businesses. Check out the galleries, and enjoy the art!

What’s in a face?

Baxterface

Corporate America is not big on public art. Oh sure, major corporations routinely fund art projects, often to beautify their own facilities or to gain some good publicity, but when it comes to the brand, the brand must be pure. And if the company is building chain stores across the country, be they restaurants or retail, little deviation is allowed. Chain stores and restaurants seem to exude some kind of cloud that kills public art. The worst place to look for public art of any kind are those four-lane thoroughfares that have miles of national chains up and down them. Which is why I’m 99.99% certain this face on the property of the Family Dollar at the corner of Home and Gallatin was not authorized, and will probably be painted over soon enough. This is found on a concrete enclosure protecting the store’s garbage dumpster. Less interesting graffiti is found on the other two sides of the enclosure. A note to business owners tired of cleaning up graffiti – you should put in murals. Taggers are mostly respectful of mural art. You could save yourself the trouble of cleaning up graffiti and make the neighborhood more interesting in one go!

Located at 3407 Gallatin Pike. The face is found on a concrete “box” behind the store, at the corner of Home and Baxter, facing Baxter. Load up on unnecessary plastic objects and enjoy the art!

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