Days are numbered for a controversial Living Walls Concepts mural near the Pittsburgh community that riled/confounded neighbors have called "demonic" for its incorporation of reptiles, Seussian tentacles and Dali-like curiosities. The mural, which took French artist Pierre Roti nearly a month to complete last summer, stretches for 240 feet on a Georgia Department of Transporation-owned wall. It infuriated neighbors enough to paint over it. An uproarious debate followed; Atlanta police were forced to disperse one press conference. And while GDOT had sprung to the rescue to remove the masking paint, a GDOT spokeswoman tells Creative Loafing the mural could be removed as early as this week.
The rub: GDOT's public art policy prohibits works that "include any content that could potentially divide a community." Living Walls did not follow proper procedure for approving mural installations on private property, but basically jumped every hurdle the city told them to, CL reports. The debate raised two pertinent questions: What is acceptable public art, and who says so? "When folks in this community see a big snake, the interpretation is that they see a serpent and the serpent represents Satan," one reverend previously said. Living Walls' founder and executive director said the uproar in Pittsburgh has convinced her to revise the process for selecting mural sites and touching base with communities before paint meets wall.
· Living Walls mural that some community members called 'demonic' to be painted over before Christmas [Creative Loafing]
· Mural Uproar Enough to Alter Living Walls' Process [Curbed Atlanta]