I just got back from several days in Baltimore, and will have plenty to share both here on Artsology as well as eventual full coverage on our sister site, The Arts Adventurer.
The mural pictured below is a large-scale street art piece by the South African artist Ricky Lee Gordon, who goes by the street art nickname “Freddy Sam.” It’s part of the “Open Walls Baltimore” series of graffiti murals that are spread out over the Station North Arts District.
It’s an impressive mural, and one can spend quite a bit of time walking from one end to the other and back, taking in all of the details. One thing I noticed is the section in the lower left corner – you can see a bunch of words have been painted in this section. It’s not so much the actual words that caught my attention, but rather the visual references to the art of Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Scroll down to see more …
As you can see in this detail view below, the word “mountains” is painted within a large scale “brush stroke” of white paint; above and to the right of this is a 3-pointed crown. If you’re not familiar with these visual references to Schnabel and Basquiat, please scroll down for some comparison images.
As you can see in the example of a Schnabel painting, below left, he often has words painted within horizontal bands of color as well. As you can see in the example of a Basquiat painting, below right, a 3-pointed crown is one of Basquiat’s iconic images that he used in countless paintings and drawings. By pointing out these visual references, we don’t mean to take anything away from Freddy Sam’s impressive mural, but rather to just share the art historical references that we picked up when viewing this street art masterpiece.