Parking lot trifecta


This morning I headed out to David Guinn’s recently completed, triumphant doggy mural (shown) on the side of the Morris Animal Refuge overlooking a parking lot at 12th and Lombard.

It’s Guinn’s best mural yet for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, at least to my taste, the playful puppies creating trouble in the equivalent of doggy paradise, the painted trees and their painted shadows blending with the real shadows of the real trees on the left. The dogs tumble across the wall without perspective, animating the spectacular green lawn that rises without ever hitting a horizon line.


The approach to space is outsider, but not the quality of the painting.


By switching from pixel squares to giant dots as a way to organize his activation of large color areas, Guinn suggests refracting dew drops on grass and at the same time suggests that the old pixel squares, like these circles, were really impressionism–all light and color and motion (shown, “Spring,” painted four years ago, just a few blocks north on 13th Street, with its impressionist pixels).


The circles (and formerly the squares) were his brush strokes, his Seurat dots (shown, Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte”).


“Spring,” which is also above a parking lot, offers a prior glimmer of doggy love, with a lone puppy (alas, I took this picture too early in the day for the dog to show up properly) amidst the glowing trees.

webbeisenhowerThe third mural I visited this morning, also above a parking lot, was Michael Webb’s “Tree of Knowledge,” at 13th and Market. The expected content (a p.c. united nations of fruit pickers reaching for tools of knowledge like an abacus, a horn, and scientific instruments) was almost fully redeemed by some surreal weirdness, beautiful colors and nice execution.