Everybody has seen someone posing in front of a pair of wings. Photogenic murals aren’t entirely new. It’s a way to engage people walking by and an invite to take a moment for frivolity. There’s hundreds of angel wing murals around the world and it’s a beautiful message every time. My wings, however, are adapted and inspired.
If I couldn’t do my historical timeline for Eastridge Mall, I was going to have to fall back on my modern art and develop full walls with meaning meant for photography. The wings we’ve all seen lack a little something. It’s the middle and the background. You wouldn’t photograph them on their own without a person standing there. By creating a centerpiece you can stand in front of as well as photograph on their own, you provoke people to pull out their phones. It’s not as simple as just big to make a photo op happen, though. Subject has a lot to do with that provocation.
For me, these all represent different sides of San Jose, but I’ve already discussed that at length. What I think San Jose as well as, if not more so, East San Jose and Evergreen need some identity and a little confidence boost. San Jose is awesome. Why is it only the Sharks we boast? What the world needs is love, so let’s start that at home. I’ve wrapped my W shaped area with overwhelming displays of San Jose affection, past and present.
What’s been outrageous is the reaction and the immediate engagement to all 4 “photowall” murals. Every time I finished one of these, soon came the photographers behind me. I even had purse drops. People asked me to get into their pictures and I adore a silly moment. The love from Eastridge goers has been pretty universal but not all have time or desire for a photo shoot. It’s spectacular because I believe public art should be for the public and not difficult to comprehend or get in touch with. I had people explaining to me on #heartofsanjose where their houses were. People told me about their baptisms at St. Joseph’s Basilica or about their pre Sharks game traditions. On #valleyofheartdelight, people who grew up here mention their nostalgia for orchards everywhere. People living here in Evergreen and working elsewhere appreciate the city they work in being represented in #heartofsiliconvalley. This series makes people pause for one reason or another.
The photo murals here are the first series of photo walls created and we’re going to continue to activate them with social media and programmed details. Here’s a slideshow of all the love our San Jose inspired photowalls have inspired already.
The major mention here, goes to @veganninjawarrior, who found the best angle to photograph #heartofsiliconvalley.