When the art is the wall

We like to think that walls are solid, permanent, that they endure beyond us. Some do, and some don’t. We feel much the same about our art. Same here: some does and some doesn’t.

When a work of art is deeply integrated into its space, when it is the space—a mural for example—then its fate is the same as that space. So, say a mural is created inside an office. It lives in that office, with the workers carrying out their lives and work in its gaze for five years. The vicissitudes of the world intervene and the office is abandoned.

Once an office is abandoned, it rests for while. Its stains and monuments, dings and detritus, offering distant, mysterious echoes of prior inhabitants. Then it’s picked up again and remade. And the first step of remaking is, usually, destructive. Alas, our mural, silent but colorful resident, comes to an end.

Dear reader/viewer, I present some digital echoes of that mural I helped create five years ago and is soon to be no more (perhaps already no more as you read this). While its physical presence is gone, I hope our memory will give it some bit of life and continued reality in the years to come.

Join me in raising a glass to a work of art created with love, by a group of people coming together, trying to make the world a better place, and then moving on—to make new art and find new ways to make the world better.

Untitled mural, 2015
12 ft. x 15 ft., acrylic and found objects
In the former offices of New Music USA, New York City

Published by eddy

Writer and artist Edward Ficklin (he/him) focuses on illustration and visual storytelling using traditional media. He loves exploring the many facets of queer identity and representation in his stories and images. He's also written for the stage. His major works include Antinous and Hadrian (music by Clint Borzoni), an opera about the ill-fated love affair of a Roman emperor and unknown youth from the stix and The Context of Love Lives, a music-theater work based on the lives and writings of Elizabeth Bishop and Oscar Wilde.

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