Broadway Mural Vandalized

You won’t be seeing this on Broadway.

Bob Rini

Several months ago, Sound Transit commissioned the Friends of the Nib (a small art gang I belong to) to decorate a boarded-up building on Broadway. We scribbled and painted furiously to beautify a decommissioned Jack in the Box on the corner of Broadway and Denny. The artwork was enlarged, and a vinyl banner was erected, with each contributing at least one 6×6′ panel.

Friends of the Nib on Broadway

With the work up barely two weeks, the project was vandalized. A thief razor-bladed out a 6×6 panel and took it with him. The panel was mine, a drawing I had done of three jazz players, the Nat King Cole trio to be precise.

Originally intended to stay up for eight months, there is now a gaping hole in the banner. The jazz trio is probably hanging in some garage or dorm or stuffed in a dumpster.

The vandalism has raised some interesting questions about public art, and a flurry of comments on a couple blogs have accompanied the story. While most comments are supportive, some go as far as blaming the artists for daring to leave something nice in public that others could deface, destroy, and steal. Maybe they didn’t know it was “art,” says one blog poster. Maybe we should have made that clear, with signs announcing this is art, please don’t destroy. Is that necessary?

Check out these blogs for the discussion:

The Slog (the Stranger blog)

Regina Hacket’s blog, Art to Go

I’m puzzled and angry. If the piece turns up, please contact me at my blog, the Nine Pound Hammer.

The Art Gallery

“The Art Gallery” is a wonderful MGM cartoon from 1939 by the American animator and cartoonist, Frederick Bean “Tex” Avery (1908-1980). Tex Avery was a maverick who bristled at the “cartoon realism” that was popularized by the Disney Studios. He created an elastic world that followed no known laws of physics or gravity, and he encouraged other animators to follow suit. He created the legendary screwball characters Daffy Duck, Droopy, and Chilly Willy, and is credited with developing the basic personality of Bugs Bunny. “What’s up, doc?” was his line.

Loved by animators worldwide, his work influenced the direction of animated films. Tex is a legend, practically mythical, and it is fitting that he counted among his ancestors Judge Roy Bean and Daniel Boone.