August 24, 2016

Whiten Up, Pittsburgh! And in the interim, use Gentrification Grey paint.

Once upon a time in East Liberty, before money arrived and created East Side (a name with less baggage), there was a mural titled "Lend Me Your Ears". It featured faces of black children.

The developer-owners wanted to repurpose the building as upscale housing - which to them was inconsistent with the mural, so they painted over the mural

Now, the new owners are seeking new artists to create a new artwork that reflects that vision; "a new generation of art for the new East Liberty'. I bet the new mural looks much different.

Once upon a time in Lawrenceville, there was a mural on a place called New Amsterdam. It draws on (perhaps appropriates?) Calavera imagery, used in Mexican culture (see, José Guadalupe Posada, and the Day of the Dead). You know: Mexicans. Gangs. Let's build a wall.

But that mural got painted over. (The observant reader will note the still-present Uneeda Biscuit advertisement painted on the adjacent building).

And on 8.23, an artist is painting a new mural, consistent with the new vision. Title unknown, my nickname is: "Ode to Car Culture, Which is really more threatening than Mexican mysticism".

Arrrggghhhhh. I envision that the East Liberty NextGen mural will feature pictures of Auto-Autos (autonomous Uber Volvos) discharging people from Fox Chapel. I would also like to start calling the type of gray paint used to cover a minority-theme mural, to wait a sufficient period of time, to be eventually painted over with a new image less threatening to commerce and white people: Gentrification Grey.


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