Murals Whitewashed by the State

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Artist:  Gabriel Villa
Location:  Chicago, IL
Whitewashed:  May, 2009
Reason:  The alderman who ordered the private-property mural beigewashed cited 3-4 residents who found it distasteful.

Artist:  Serge Touisant
Location:  Miami, FL
Whitewashed:  April, 2008
Reason:  Touisant’s mural had been funded by the Florida Department of Transportation.  He chose to paint then-presidential-candidate Barack Obama alongside Martin Luther King Jr.  Fearing this could be construed as an endorsement, government officials ordered Touisant to whitewash his own mural.

Artist:  NaCl, Victor Gonzalez
Location:  Chicago, IL
Whitewashed:  May, 2005
Reason:  A salt stain in the approximate shape of the Virgin Mary brought (and still brings) flocks of devotees to a highway underpass.  Before long, people started painting on and around the stain.  The city deemed one man’s tagging of “BIG LIE” too controversial, covering the whole mess, Mary and all, with a glob of brown paint.

May 20, 2009 1:01 am

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