Fishtown Buffer Turns Into Meme: No Art in the City is Safe!

Buffer Meme Header

It’s like a story out of a really bad independent movie (filmed on, like, no budget): random man decides to paint over what he thinks is graffiti in Fishtown.  Random man doesn’t realize that the “graffiti” is the Kurt Vile mural, a commissioned piece of art by Steve Powers.  Instagram blows up with pictures of said random man defacing the mural.  Random man caught red-handed. Read more »

Kurt Vile Mural Randomly Buffed; Instagramers Catch Culprit In Action

Mural Buffed

UPDATE (6/29/14, 2:30 PM): The alleged buffer posted a response to our article, essentially apologizing for his actions.  A portion of his comments follows (see full comment below):

“Hello everyone, I am the idiot in the picture. Let me start off by saying I Love Philadelphia, I love my neighborhood and I love Art. I am completely committed to supporting legal street art, publicly funded art and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. But what I did yesterday was the most stupid and selfish thing I have ever done. I think I literally had a mental breakdown and lost my mind there. Thank you to Dashiki for having the courage to step to me and try and talk some sense into me to get me to stop. I was so angry when he was talking to me that I didn’t listen to a word he said.

I kept yelling at him “have people ever painted on your house?”

After I cooled off I did some research into both Kurt Vile and the Artist who painted it. Then I felt like more of a moron. I sent both apologies to him and ESPO. Before any of this became public.”

He claimed he contacted Kurt Vile and Steve Powers, offering his apologies and extended an opportunity to fund a re-painting of the mural.  We’ve reached out to Steve Powers for a response; as of this update, our emails haven’t been returned.

Philly journalist Leah Kauffman just posted an interview with local DJ Lee Mayjahs to her Facebook. In the interview, Mayjahs says he’s the one who painted over the mural, and that the comment referenced above (and posted to this article) was indeed him.

***

ORIGINAL: If you were a fan of Steve Powers‘s Kurt Vile mural in Fishtown, you’re out of luck.  This morning, a man (described by Instagram user @dasheikee as an “ignorant piece of shit”) randomly painted over the mural, claiming that the piece of artwork “brought graffiti to the neighborhood.”

Of course, the good Instagram users of Fishtown didn’t let this go down quietly and captured the culprit red-handed.  Check out some of their snapshots below:

Here’s a video of the mural’s creation set to “Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze.” (h/t Consequence of Sound)

Property’s Morning Obsession: Steve Powers’ “Love Letter” for Sale

You’ve seen them on the buildings along the route of the Market-Frankford El–artist Steve Powers’ “Love Letter” murals, which are evocative, poignant, funny and one of the most inventive projects the Mural Arts Program has ever done. Best seen from the train, with messages that use colloquial language and a mix of type and color, the murals are accessible to a range of people in a way art isn’t always. And what could enliven an El trip more than flashes of mysterious messages that zip by, making riders look forward to the next day’s ride to decode the buildings that often blur like blight?

Read more »