What Is a Mural?
A mural is a piece of artwork that is painted directly on a wall or other surface. This art form has been around for centuries, dating back to cave paintings. Murals have been used to convey stories, provide beauty, or serve as a medium for political or social commentary. They can also be a way to celebrate an event or person.
A recent mural unveiled along the 14th Street busway in Union Square features lotus flowers, floating leaves, and swimming koi fish. The serene nature of this painting is intended to represent peace and calm, especially in light of the recent increase in hate crimes targeting Asian-Americans in New York City. This piece is part of a nine-month partnership between Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) and S:US, with BCS staff and mental health peers participating in weekly workshop sessions to create the mural.
Murals are often large in scale, and may require more than one artist to complete. For example, when Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel murals, he had thirteen assistants helping him. Creating a mural is also a great exercise in communication, as the artists must work together to agree on what the final product should look like. For example, if one person wants to use cool colors and another wants warm colors, they will need to find a middle ground that works for everyone.
While murals are often seen as a form of street art, there are distinct differences between graffiti and murals. The main difference is that murals are created with the permission of a public authority, while graffiti is often created without permission and has a negative connotation. Additionally, graffiti is usually drawn with spray paint, while murals are typically created with latex or acrylic paints.
In addition to beautifying public spaces, murals can also help revitalize neighborhoods and businesses. For example, murals have been used to transform industrial areas such as the Shoreditch and Brick Lane districts in London into art destinations. They can also be used to memorialize events such as the Berlin Wall’s destruction or to commemorate historic figures.
Many people also see murals as a form of activism, in which the artists seek to bring attention to a particular cause or issue. For example, a mural called “Ripples of Peace and Calm” was recently painted along the 14th Street busway in Union square. This mural was created by New York-based artist Ji Yong Kim and is meant to promote peace and tranquility, especially in the face of the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans in the city.
While some people may view murals as just another form of art, they can be incredibly powerful and impactful. When done well, they can communicate important messages and bring life to otherwise dull and drab buildings and streets. They can even serve as a way to bring a sense of pride and community to an area that has struggled for decades. For this reason, they are a vital and valuable piece of public art.