From photographer Clancy Dunigan, who returned to Whidbey Island last week after accompanying the holy fools of Carnival de Resistance in Philadelphia. See below for some of Clancy’s comments on the artists and the context of this mural.
The curators/artists of this projects were Pedro Ramirez & Eli Sanchez from Mexico City. As you’d expect, they were more than enjoyable to hang with. The symbols are from Puerto Rican culture. The Neighborhood is noticeably represented by said culture–but paved over, close to the L-train, and drugs aplenty. A depressing place to walk, as i did to get beers. The artist wanted to incorporate the indigenous art here. When asked about why a mural here, why these colors & symbols? Pedro said something like:
This neighborhood seems a colorless, cemented hard urban core type of a wasteland [sic]. The property owner peeped over the wall during the painting (several days) and we feel it a gift we give back to the neighborhood. They offer a space. We offer our gift of labor & beauty, culture to culture. It is also important to integrate the Puerto Rican flavor& symbols for the murals physical context.
The young woman image is from the neighborhood. Eli Sanchez painted a portrait of her. Eli also painted the bird figure.Pedro spray painted the halos. These two exemplary artists were immediately accessible with their openness and embrace of new friends at the Carnival de Resistance. They had little time to themselves as all the carnival folk wanted to sit and hang with them. A wonderful Big Tent our Carnival hosts and staff provided. A mountain top I sadly departed from.