Thursday, July 9, 2015

RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls

RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcmong Walls | Yeti Crafts
 Throughout my mural documentation, I've come across a handful of names more often than others -  I can easily identify the work of Hamilton Glass or Chris Milk Hulburt and I'm now Facebook friends with Ed Trask - but one local artist holds a particularly special place in my heart.  Not only do I absolutely adore Mickael Broth's murals (they've consistently been my favorites, even before I knew they were his), but I've inadvertently been following his work for over a decade.



RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
295 S Hanover County (They painted over it, but you can still see it when it's really sunny)
In 2004,  I was on the interstate and I saw this. It rocked my world, and I pulled over to shoot a few pictures.  Seeing something big and bold and so thoroughly AGAINST THE RULES like this in the docile landscape of suburbia shook me and I wasn't the only one.  Whenever this comes up in conversation with locals, everyone knows exactly what I'm talking about.  

The words seemed like some subversive code to me at the time and I wanted so badly for it to be a revolutionary call to action or the mysterious proclamation of a secret society.  I was a little disappointed to find out it was just short for Broth's catchphrase "Refuse to be smart."  (The SEEK tag was done by someone else.) 

Mickael Broth saw this old rusty train bridge while being pulled over for a speeding ticket on his way home to Northern VA from VCU and returned shortly after that to create his half of this massive tag. Broth was arrested for felony vandalism and destruction of property and served ten months in jail.  He wrote the three-part Gated Community about the justice system and it's relationship to graffiti.  
Rumors Boutique (Harrison street, neither the store nor the mural are there any more)
In 2009, the Richmond Rocky Horror Picture Show cast - Orgasmic Rush of Lust - took part in a five day fund-raising event for AIDS Walk Richmond, performing and making appearances at various locations throughout the city.  It was hot and boring and poorly planned. As the acting photographer for the cast, I tagged along and sweated and prayed for death with my friends.  During a shopping thing (shop with the cast?) at Rumors boutique, I snapped this picture in front of one of Broth's murals.
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
This wizard is at the Bus Depot! I feel like I've already gone into sufficient detail about my experiences there.

RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
821 Cafe (825 W. Cary Street) by Mickael Broth
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Belmont Library (3100 Ellwood Ave) by Mickael Broth
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Belmont Library from another angle
Yesterday's Heroes (105 S. Addison) by Mickael Broth
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Mellow Mushroom 3012 W. Cary Street by Mickael Broth
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
The back of Mellow Mushroom

RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Nectar Offices W. Main Street by Mickael Broth
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Leftover Luxuries (2943 W. Marshall Street) by Mickael Broth

One of Broth's current projects is Welcoming Walls:
"Welcoming Walls RVA is a project dedicated to bringing large scale public art to the highways and gateways of Richmond Virginia in an effort to boost civic pride, increase tourism, and solidify our city's reputation as a capital of culture and creativity." - The Welcoming Walls website
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Sports Center of Richmond (1385 Overbrook Road) by Mickael Broth and Ed Trask
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Clarion Hotel at the Boulevard exit from I95/I64 by Chris Milk Hulburt and Andre Shank
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Detail from Clarion Hotel
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Detail from Clarion Hotel
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
615 Maury Street by Ross Trimmer of Sure Hand Signs and Emily Herr of Herr Suite
Last year, Ed Trask, Hamilton Glass, Matt Lively, Chris Milk, Andre Shank, and (of course) Mickael Broth painted over the murals in the parking lot next to Quirk gallery.  (If you've been paying psychotically close attention, I mentioned the painted-over Broad Street murals here.) The group project had only two guidelines - the color palette and the theme of Virginia animals.  I love this piece because it feels like you're part of it!
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls
They made the parking lot into a movie theater!

RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts

RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts

RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
Sidenote: Quirk Gallery is pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen.
RVA Street Art: Mickael Broth and Welcoming Walls | Yeti Crafts
You can see all of my RVA Street Art posts here.

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