Sunday, May 25, 2014

In Defense of Ken Price's Cups

Ken Garber, a friend since my Art History days at UCLA in the early 1970s, emailed me a defense of Ken Price's cups which I said were "too artsy-craftsy, and too cute." Ken (Garber, that is) did his thesis on California ceramics of the 1950s, and taught ceramics for many years. He's smart, funny and perceptive, so I was pleased I could convince him to write this more extensive guest post rather than a comment.

By Ken Garber

In terms of the first cup, from 1968, it seems to me to be fairly complex in the things it's referencing.
Ken Price, Snail Cup, 1968, glazed ceramic, 3 ½ inches high (private collection).
First, it seems to be a send-up of the "artsy-craftsy" tradition you refer to – he's turning the tradition of cup-making on its head.  This is a "cup" that could never be used: any liquid inside would tend to get caught inside; the handle would be very awkward to use; and the snail would probably poke you in the eye if you tried to drink out it.
Detail: Ken Price, Snail Cup, 1968.
Clearly this is a sculpture of a cup, not a cup.

The proportion of the snail to the rest of the cup, as well as the color relationships and surfaces suggest a ceramic hobbyist run amok.  The colors obviously work well together, but they also set my teeth on edge.

When I was first looking at it, the word "doofus" came to mind.  That big funky snail balanced by the overlarge tubular handle, and the cratered, chewed-gum orange glaze seem quite funny to me.  I don't think of Price as a Funk School artist like Arneson or Gilhooly, but I do think this piece bears some relationship to their sensibilities.
Robert Arneson, A Hollow Justice, 1971, glazed earthenware, 20 ¼ x 12 ½ x 14 inches (de Young Museum, San Francisco).
The way the orange glaze is applied to both the lower body of the piece as well as to its interior creates some spatial tension, and the change in color for the neck and handle creates some ambiguity as to the nature of the material composing them.

If the neck is cratered orange on the inside and smooth whatever-that-color-is on the outside, then what is its material nature?  The piece is really a complex little sculpture; "Ceci nest pas une tasse.” The cup served as a motif for Price in a way similar to the way bottles, etc. served the Cubists: as a starting point for abstract explorations.

When I looked at the second image in your post, the "Chinese Block," I was struck with how much like a cup it is.
Ken Price, Chinese Block, 1984, fired and painted clay, 4 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches (Matthew Marks).
The size and proportions are cup-like, and there seems to be a small opening at the top center (maybe not – can't really tell from photo).  Also, it looks from the photo as if the mass of the piece is lifted up on a small foot.

The juxtapositions of the geometric, man-made elements against the more "natural" stone-like ones are clearly something he was interested in through much of his work.  It also makes me think that this is the type of "cup" a Cubist artist might make.  Again, probably a stretch, but the way forms intersect with one another and the kinds of spatial relationships that the colors set up are suggestive to me.
Ken Price, Geometric Cup with Outriding Parts, 1974, glazed ceramic, 3.8 inches high (private collection).
Price was always innovative in the ways in which he responded to the tradition of pottery making. His large installation piece "Happy's Curios," which was first exhibited at the LA County Museum in 1978, used hand-painted ceramics displayed in a variety ways to evoke both the homes and marketplaces of the Southwest US and Mexico.
Installation view, Ken Price, Happy’s Curios, LACMA, 1978 (photo © Museum Associates/LACMA).

Ken Price, from the Happy Curios series, 1972-77, ceramic and wood, cabinet is 70 x 21 x 21 inches (LACMA).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ceramic Art in NYC Today: Price, Robins and Ruby

By Charles Kessler

Ceramic is the new video! Not long ago it was ostracized, or worse, condescended to, but just as artists feel obliged to have a video component in all their exhibitions, they now want ceramics. This new popularity is probably for the same reason as the popularity of video – a reaction against highly commercial and impersonally produced art. And adding to the credibility of ceramics as an art medium is the great number of well-known artists who use ceramics occasionally in their practice (e.g. Rosemarie Trockel, Anish Kapoor, Mary Heilmann, Lynda Benglis, Jeff Koons, and Josh Smith, to name but a few).

A good side effect of all this is that artists who use ceramics as their primary medium are getting the attention and respect they have long deserved.
Installation view, Ken Price Sculpture : A Retrospective, September 16, 2012 - January 6, 2013, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (© Ken Price © Fredrik Nilsen).
The late Ken Price (he died February 24, 2012) is currently getting the most attention by far. Last year he had a major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that travelled to the Metropolitan Art Museum; and now he has major exhibitions in THREE of Matthew Mark’s spaces in Chelsea (until June 28th).

Price's contemporaries Peter Voulkos and John Mason were more important than he was in the evolution of ceramics, but, although Mason has some work in the Whitney Biennial, they are still relatively ignored. (I'll soon be writing about Voulkos, Mason and other 1950s California ceramicists.) Perhaps Price's interest in color and refined finishes separated him from the others and made him fit better with the now re-discovered Los Angeles "Cool School."  In any case, Price is a great sculptor and certainly deserves the acclaim he is getting.
Left: Peter Voulkos building a sculpture, Los Angeles, 1959 (photographer unknown). Right: John Mason compacting clay on his easel for a large ceramic relief, c.1959-60 (photo Robert Bucknam).
Unlike Voulkos and Mason, who were determined to overcome the perception of ceramics as a dainty craft, Price embraced preciousness. He worked on a small scale and presented his work in a controlled and artful (not to say arty) way. To avoid overcrowding and poor lighting, as early as 1960 he made beautifully crafted wood cases with glass sides that were lit from above. This had the further effect of removing the object from craft functionality.
Installation View, Ken Price Specimen Rocks (Matthew Marks Gallery, 526 W 22nd Street).
It also makes sense when you consider the insensitive, sometimes out and out disrespectful, way ceramics was often displayed – and still is (see below).
Installation view, Paul Clay, Salon 94 Bowery, June 23, 2011–August 12, 2011.
I lived in Los Angeles when Price was exhibiting his cups. They were popular with most of my fellow artists, but I felt that while they were beautiful, and beautifully crafted, they were too artsy-craftsy, and too cute – I still do.
Ken Price, Snail Cup, 1968, glazed ceramic, 3 ½ inches high (private collection).
However his "Specimen Rocks" series (currently on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery space at 526 W 22nd Street) of the 1980s are seriously great, not because, or not just because, they're abstract and therefore removed from crafts, but because of his use of color.
Ken Price, Chinese Block, 1984, fired and painted clay, 4 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches (Matthew Marks Gallery, NY).
Most of the time with colored sculpture, the color seems to be only on the surface. That isn't the case with Price's "Specimen Rocks." In the Met retrospective there was a wall label with a quote from California artist Robert Irwin that nails it: "Kenny is a sculptor, and he makes the best use of color of any sculptor I have ever known or known of. You have the feeling that if you cut the thing in half, it would be that color all the way through."
Ken Price, Siam, 1983, fired and painted clay, 3 x 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches (Matthew Marks Gallery).
Colored sculpture also tends to lose its weight, which is the case with Price's large sculptures (on view at Matthew Marks space at 522 W 22nd Street). Ironically, I was told by one of Matthew Mark's art handlers that this work, and the aluminum platforms they're on (which Price designed for each individual sculpture), are very heavy. But, unlike his "Specimen Rocks,"and like Jeff Koon's balloon sculptures, they seem to be hollow and weightless.
Installation view of Ken Price's large sculptures, 2011-12, polyurethane paint over bronze composite (Matthew Marks Gallery, 522 W 22nd Street). 
Price's large sculptures began as small ceramic models that he had greatly enlarged. I often wonder how sculptors know what something looks like on one side while working on another. Experience and talent is the answer, of course, but with small ceramic sculptures/models, it would have been easy for Price to turn them around and take in a lot at once. 

The sculptures were cast in a bronze/fiberglass composite that allowed him to work the surface the same way he worked fired clay, applying many layers of multicolored metallic and iridescent paints which he sanded, scraped and repainted until he got the ephemeral changing color and lustrous smooth surfaces he wanted.

The sensual and erotic curving forms of these large sculptures go back to his "Eggs" of the 1960s, but this work is more in-the-round; they change, sometimes surprisingly, as you walk around them. And the guy certainly could draw – you can really feel the volumes expand and sense the energy under the "flesh" of the surface. 

I love a lot of different kinds of art, but there are only a few things I really hanker for. I WANT A CERAMIC WALL PAINTING BY Joyce Robins (currently on view at THEODORE:Art in Bushwick until June 22nd) ... oh, and one of Price's "Specimen Rocks," ... oh yes, a Cezanne watercolor. Never mind.

You really need to see Robins's work in person to truly fall in love with it. You need to see them close up to experience the texture, the physicality of the surface, the illusionistic space and color, and all the delightful little details.
Joyce Robins, Topographic Rectangle #3, 2014, clay, glaze and paint, 10.5 x 11.5 inches (THEODORE:Art in Bushwick).
Robins advances the legacy of Price’s involvement with color and surface. She's not as interested in sculptural volume as Price, but like him uses color to play with the physicality of the object, sometimes dissolving it, other times enhancing it. So, for example, in Topographic Rectangle #3 (above) warm colored circles sometimes make a receding area seem to bulge out, and cool colored areas sometimes make a bulging area seem to recede. And the colors and shading around the intersecting circles in Pale Intersections (below) sometimes makes them look like three dimensional spheres (keep staring at it) and sometimes flattens them out. All the while, dots of color pop in and out of space, interact with other colors, and dissolve the materiality of the surface in what I can only call an hallucinogenic manner.
Joyce Robins, Pale Intersections, 2014, clay, glaze and paint, 14 x 17 inches (THEODORE:Art in Bushwick).
Joyce Robins, Pale Color Circle, 2014, clay, glaze and paint, 8 inches diameter (THEODORE:Art in Bushwick). 
Then there are the delightful little details: the sides of holes cut into the surfaces are sometimes painted so the colors change as you look at them from different angles; shadows cast on the wall from these holes also change as you move;
Detail, close-up from the side, Joyce Robins, Topographic Rectangle #3, 2014,
and the "crazing" (little cracks intensionally formed in the firing) that Robins tints with different colors seem to glow from within (see Rectangle Color Circles below).
Joyce Robins, Rectangle Color Circles, 2014, clay, glaze and paint, 11 x 8.5 inches (THEODORE:Art in Bushwick).
There are more reproductions of her ceramic reliefs, including some great close-ups, on her website.

Los Angeles wunderkind Sterling Ruby's ceramics is in the tradition of Voulkos and Mason: big, bold, raw and aggressive. He has three large ceramic sculptures in the Whitney Biennial (until May 25th).
Installation view, Sterling Ruby, three ceramic sculptures at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. 
Ruby took up ceramics about 15 years ago, and he has had several exhibitions dedicated solely to his work in clay (see below).
Installation view, Sterling Ruby, KILN WORKS (Metro Pictures Gallery, February 21 - March 29, 2008). 
Even now that he is using every conceivable medium, the tactility and malleability of ceramics
continues to be a big influence on his oeuvre, as can be seen in his spectacular show at Hauser & Wirth's enormous space on18th Street in Chelsea (until July 25th).
Panoramic installation view, Sterling Ruby, SUNRISE SUNSET (Hauser & Wirth until July 25th). Click to enlarge.
Similar to the way Voulkos broke up his pots and reassembled them into large sculptures, Ruby repeatedly breaks up and recycles old work, firing and re-firing them multiple times. He describes what he does in the gallery press release:
I am smashing all of my previous attempts, and futile, contemporary gestures, and placing them into a mortar, and grinding them down with a blunt pestle. I am doing this as a way of releasing certain guilt. If I put all of these remnants into a basin, and it gets taken away from me, then I am no longer responsible for all my misdirected efforts. I will no longer have to be burdened with the heaviness of this realization.
So Ruby, to use an old Yiddish expression, makes "gelt from dreck" for the very original purpose of concealing malpractice.  But whatever, there's a lot of creative energy in Ruby's work – it's powerful stuff.

Here are links to some other contemporary ceramic artists I admire:
Kathy Butterly at Tibor de Nagy, NY
Nicole Cherubini at Tracy Williams, Ltd, NY
Elisa D'Arrigo at Elizabeth Harris, NY
Arlene Shechet at Sikkema Jenkins & Co, NY
Jessica Jackson Hutchins at Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
Rebecca Warren at Matthew Marks, NY
Adrián Villar Rojas at Marian Goodman, NY – more environmental installations -- but made of clay.

And, to keep things in perspective:
Venus of Doini Vēstonice ,  29,000 - 25, 000 BC,  low fired clay,  Czech Republic,  4 ½  x 1 ¾ inches. 
People have been making great ceramic art for a long, long time!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Chelsea Roundup - May, 2014

By Charles Kessler

Once again I’m forced to take back all the bad things I said about Chelsea. Just kidding – it’s still hateful. I agree with a friend who says he feels like he's intruding on the 1% when he visits the Chelsea galleries. Nevertheless, this time there were a lot of excellent, if often absurdly excessive, exhibitions.

The Gagosian Gallery exhibition, Julian Schnabel, View of Dawn in the Tropics, Paintings, 1989–1990 (even the title is excessive), is a good place to begin because the exhibition epitomizes the good and bad in Chelsea.
Exterior view of the Gagosian Gallery space on 24th Street in Chelsea.
Schnabel was the first artist to make it really big in the boom boom eighties, but by 1989-90, a backlash had arisen against his art and that of the other Neo-Expressionists. People were tired of all the bombast and hype. (Of course, compared to what's happened since then, the eighties look pretty chill.) And as this show demonstrates, Schnabel made a lot of unconvincing and thin work at the end of the decade.

Maybe the money and acclaim overwhelmed Schnabel's ability to edit himself, or, more likely, in order to have the confidence to even consider doing such grandiose work requires an ego uninhibited by second thoughts. Whatever the cause, paintings like the one below deserve the disdain heaped on them at the time.
Julian Schnabel, Untitled, oil on green tarpaulin, 108 x 84 inches (Gagosian Gallery until May 31st).
On the other hand, occasionally Schnabel pulled off a grand, theatrical painting or two, like the ones below – and then you just have to salute him. And it takes a big-time Chelsea gallery with the resources of Gagosian to do a show like this.
Installation view, View of Dawn in the Tropics, Julian Schnabel 1989-1990 (Gagosian Gallery until May 31st).

Fred Tomaselli no longer makes decorative patterns with marijuana leaves and colorful pills in his paintings – and that's a good thing because that work quickly came across as gimmicky. In his first exhibition in New York since 2006, Tomaselli instead fills his images with small, colorful photos, beads, strands of plastic, etc.. (To see this better, click on the image below to enlarge it.) And the backgrounds of his paintings are sprinkled with colorful dots, swirls and stars that float in outer-space and explode like fireworks.  The upshot is these drug-free paintings end up feeling more hallucinogenic than his earlier work.
Fred Tomaselli, Penetrators (Large), 2012, photo-collage, acrylic, resin on wood panel, 72 x 72 inches
(James Cohen Gallery until June 14th). Click on the image to enlarge it. 

In David Zwirner's three enormous Chelsea spaces (525 and 533 West 19th Street and 537 West 20th Street), there's a large (needless to say) museum-quality exhibition of art made in Cologne and New York in the 1980s. There are about 100 works by 22 artists including such art stars as: George Condo, Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Jeff Koons, Sherrie Levine (who also has a solo show at Paula Cooper – don't bother), Albert Oehlen, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Franz West, and Christopher Wool.

There are two Keith Haring shows in Chelsea; the largest, at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery, features works Haring made in the mid- to late 1980s. Unlike his earlier, more playful paintings, this work deals with serious political subjects such as the AIDS epidemic, gay sexuality, and the negative impact of technology and the media. It was a revelation to see how Haring's limited pictorial vocabulary could have such great emotional range.
Keith Haring, Untitled, 1985, acrylic and enamel on canvas tarp, 120 x 180 inches (Gladstone Gallery until June 14th).
The much smaller second-floor Lio Malca Gallery might not have as many of Haring's paintings on display, but the one they have is a real tour de force – a ferocious five-panel painting that was originally installed above the DV8 Bar in San Francisco. I can understand why the bar sold it – it probably spooked their patrons (that and the money, of course).
Keith Haring, Untitled (DV8), 1986,  (Lio Malca Gallery - no end date).

This is Rio de Janeiro-based artist Tunga's fifth solo show at Luhring Augustine, and over the years, he has evolved a personal occult mythology involving secret ritual and ceremony, alchemy, and Jungian archetypes that gives rise to these strange apparatuses.
Installation view, Tunga, La Voie Humide, 2014 (Luhring Augustine until May 31st).
Whether Tunga actually believes in this occult mythology or not is irrelevant – the work feels authentic.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, another Rio de Janeiro-based artist (and also Paris-based), is having her first New York solo show, at the 303 Gallery.
Installation view, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, euquinimod & costumes, 2014, mixed media
(303 Gallery until May 31st).
The exhibition is titled euquinimond & costumes, and it's a selection of her clothing and textiles that she saved over the years and arranged chronologically in this installation. To quote the press release, the clothing and textiles act as "possible autobiographical evidences and as the symptoms of Gonzalez-Foerster's artistic personality through different periods." It's probably not an original idea, and I'm not sure how much insight into her personality I gained, but the installation has a serene cheerfulness about it, and yet, at the same time, it's inexplicably disquieting. Perhaps it was the haunting music playing in the background.

Lisi Raskin's paintings at the small Churner and Churner gallery are assembled like jig saw puzzles and are tactile and spatially complex. They also have great physical presence even though they're modest in size, varying from a couple of feet to a couple of inches.
Lisi Raskin, Untitled (Little Bear 2), 2013, acrylic paint, paper, archival glue, and wood, 20 1/2 x 16 3/4 inches
(Churner and Churner until May 31st).
I would have been happier if I didn't read the spiel in the press release and just enjoyed the work by itself – but that's one of the the occupational hazards of doing your homework as an art blogger.

Robert Longo, like Keith Haring, has two shows in Chelsea (Schnabel, not to be out-done, has another show too, but in the Lower East Side at the Karma Gallery, and Lisi Raskin has a site-specific environment in Tribeca at Art in General  – dual shows are the minimum standard for legitimacy now). Unlike the others, though, Longo's shows are getting a lot of attention, both favorable and unfavorable, with a so-so review in the Times, a rave in Time Out New York, and many other articles and reviews.

Longo is a good person to end with because his work, like that of his contemporary Julian Schnabel, exemplifies what's good and bad in Chelsea today. For the Metro Pictures show, Longo worked with a team of highly skilled illustrators to reproduce several famous large Abstract Expressionist paintings. They were done to scale and copied with amazing accuracy, except they were done in black and white using charcoal.
Robert Longo, Gang of Cosmos installation view, 2014 (Metro Pictures until May 23rd).
The irony is obvious: black and white instead of vibrant color; deliberate rendering instead of "action painting," impersonal team of illustrators vs. the personal mark. But once you get over the miraculousness of it, this show is ultimately one joke that goes on too long(o).

But Longo, like Schnabel, is sometimes capable of pulling off a successful spectacle, as he did with his work at the Petzel Gallery, especially his powerful 17-foot-high American flag that seems to be cutting through the floor.
Robert Longo, Untitled (The Pequod), 2014, steel, wood, wax and pigment, 207 x 192 x 12 inches
(Petzel Gallery until May 10th).
There's an obvious reference to Jasper Johns's flags, but it also divides and defines the room the way Richard Serra's sculptures do and has the same physical heft and threatening presence. The gallery lists the material as steel, but I touched it (I'm bad) and it felt like styrofoam to me. Whatever. It's a thrilling piece – the kind of theatrical production Chelsea excels at.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Pondering Street Murals

By Charles Kessler
Still from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
The street murals I'm most familiar with are the ones proliferating in Downtown Jersey City (where I live) and Bushwick (where I spend a lot of time). Most are done with skill; the best are done with panache. They're flamboyant, bold and fun — more fun anyway than the rather dour, preachy or psychedelic murals of the past. They also have a wider variety of styles and subjects than in the past — which is good since I've become bored with the cartoony look (delightful as Kenny Scharf's murals still are).
Kenny Scharf, Lafayette between Prince and Spring (photo: Street Art NYC).
New York City murals, especially those in Bushwick, are well documented by the press, and in addition, there's an invaluable iPhone app, Street Art NYC, with in-depth coverage of New York City street murals. It has hundreds of excellent photographs, information on the artists, and it's updated regularly. Best of all, the app flags the murals on a map and uses GPS so you can locate ones nearby. Touch a flag, and a reproduction of the mural pops up; touch the reproduction, and information about the artist and mural is displayed. Neat!

So I'm not going to spend time on Bushwick murals other than showing you two unusual ones that I especially like:
Beau-Stanton, Troutman Street Street near St. Nicholas, Bushwick (a Brooklyn Collective project).
Never, 12 Grattan Street between Bogart and Morgan in Bushwick, near the 56 Bogart galleries (photo: Street Art NYC).
If you want to see some Bushwick street murals in person, there is a group of about 15-20 good ones located on both sides of Troutman street, in the three blocks between Cypress and Irving streets.
Troutman Street between St. Nicholas and Wyckoff streets, Bushwick
Not surprisingly, Jersey City murals haven't received nearly as much coverage as New York murals. The March issue of Instigatorzine, a Jersey City based magazine, has several articles on Jersey City street murals, and there's been a little coverage in The Jersey Journal, a local newspaper – but that's pretty much it. And although I wrote about Jersey City street art before, I didn't cover street murals. So, to make amends, here are several of them:
Blair Urban Mural, 180 Newark Avenue.
Dulk, in front of FJB Comics, 17 Coles Street (a Savage Habbit project).
NoseGo on left; LNY on right, A monument to the vile maxim of the masters of Mankind, 129 Columbus Drive, Downtown Jersey City. (both Savage Habbit projects).
Pixel Pancho, parking lot side of 143 Columbus Drive, Downtown Jersey City (a Savage Habbit project).
Sage Collective, driveway along side 172 Newark Avenue in Downtown Jersey City, 90 feet long.
As much as I love these new murals and value the liveliness they bring to urban street life, murals might not be a good thing for cities in the long run because they inevitably deteriorate within 10-15 years and end up looking worse than if there was nothing there at all.

In 1996-97 I was involved, in an administrative capacity, with an enormous mural project (350 feet long, up to 60 feet high) on Christopher Columbus Drive between Grove and Barrow streets in Downtown Jersey City.
Pro Arts, right side of the Columbus Drive Mural, 1997, 110-138 Columbus Drive (photo: Wally Gobetz, taken 2008 when it was already fading).
It was an expensive project funded by the Economic Development Corporation with the intention of dressing up an unattractive street in the heart of the commercial district. I think it’s fair to say that more care and expense went into the long-term preservation of this mural than for any mural painted in Bushwick or Jersey City in the last few years. Most of the budget, and most of the effort, was spent on preparation of the surface to prevent future pealing and cracking. In addition, the best light-fast paints were used, and a UV coating was applied. Yet today, seventeen years after completion, the mural is a faded, pealing, graffiti-ridden eyesore – and it has been for some time.
Detail of the Christopher Columbus mural showing faded and pealing paint and graffiti (photo taken 2014).
Yes, graffiti-ridden. While new murals might deter graffiti, old, faded, pealing ones attract it the way any run-down building would. And even the new murals don’t necessarily deter graffiti nearby.
View showing the other side of the driveway from Sage Collective's mural at 172 Newark Avenue in Downtown Jersey City.
Unless there’s a commitment, financial and otherwise, for long-term upkeep and preservation, it is better to treat street murals as a temporary art form. They should be reserved for buildings that are likely to be either demolished or renovated in five or ten years, or they should be continually painted over and new ones created, as was the case with the sadly defunct 5Pointz in Long Island City and Jersey City's former “Wall of Fame.”

Whether it's intended or not, I expect most of the street murals in Bushwick and Downtown Jersey City will be gone before they deteriorate too much anyway. Bushwick (sad to say for the art scene) is gentrifying so quickly that most of the buildings with murals will soon be demolished or rehabilitated before the murals deteriorate. And while Downtown Jersey City is already gentrified, most of the murals are located in surface parking lots, and buildings will inevitably be constructed on these lots as land becomes more and more valuable.

As to the Columbus Drive mural, renewal of the street is proceeding rapidly.
Columbus Drive mural today, May 2, 2014.
One building on the block has been demolished, and three buildings are undergoing rehabilitation, including one that has already painted over the mural. It's probably for the best.