Artist Faring Purth Begins Massive Cherokee Street Mural; Detractors Call It Racist, Sexist

Categories: Arts

muralpurth.jpg
Allison Babka
The beginning of Faring Purth's new mural on Cherokee Street.
Purth is no stranger to detractors so early in the artistic process. Her 125-foot long mural Etty in Rochester, New York, was promptly defaced with a red spray-painted "Jesus" and a cross.

"It was a profoundly difficult experience for me; That after giving so much to a single piece of work, she could, with one cheap can of Rustoleum, be so grossly wounded," Purth told the Brooklyn Street Art blog.

Purth is painting her mural on the south wall of Nebula coworking space, a hub attracting tech geeks and artists alike from all over the region. The wall was originally blocked by another building, but now, a very well-lit parking lot makes the spot perfect for street art, says Spencer.

See also: New Street-Art Mural on Cherokee: Can it Last?

"She just sort of fell in love with the wall and asked if she could paint it," Spencer remembers. "We were like, hell ya, of course you can. We really liked what she does. We took a risk."

Nebula helped finance some of Purth's work, although the artist is still looking for donations. WJL Properties paid for the diesel-fueled boom she needs to reach the top of the mural 40 feet high*. Spencer says Purth got free artistic license as long as her work wasn't too offensive for their family-friendly workplace.

Spencer says she's inspired, not offended or insulted, by the figure Purth has started.
"It's really interesting how art can speak to people differently and rile people up," Spencer says. "This has been, personally, a really exciting project for me."

*Correction: This story originally credited Nebula Coworking with buying the boom.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

Location Info

Venue

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Nebula Coworking

3407 S. Jefferson Ave., St Louis, MO

Category: General

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51 comments
Colleen Peck
Colleen Peck

I don't like it. That big of a space could be used for something more appealing.

Dan Jaboor
Dan Jaboor

When your name and business are posted with your statement it causes a lot of folks to reconsider their words.

David J. McCutcheon
David J. McCutcheon

People admitting they were wrong on the Internet?? I knew this winter was rough, but for Hell to freeze over is certainly kooky.

Genia Way
Genia Way

Ok. Thanks. I have to ask because anything is art nowadays.

Carlie Trosclair
Carlie Trosclair

@Brian Kennedy Instead of attacking art as ruining the landscape of our brick beauty what about what we allow to happen to our historic brick homes all over the city that are pillaged, demolished, or neglected into ruin?

jealousblues1
jealousblues1 topcommenter

people sure love to complain about things.

David J. McCutcheon
David J. McCutcheon

Guess you can't depict a silhouette without it being racist, or draw curves without it being sexist. I also suppose women with curves should be ashamed for having been born in such a sexist manner. Listen, I'm as liberal as they come and even I think this is ridiculous.

kwernowsky
kwernowsky

Can we call it was it really is...terrible art?

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

Then you stop taking someone else's 100+ year old brick wall so seriously where you have to be pseudo outraged about another someone else painting art on it.

Ed Gibson
Ed Gibson

was actually just up there...a lot more has been done and it actually looks kinda cool...

Brian Kenney
Brian Kenney

Once you paint the brick you can not get it off, without damaging the brick. In 10 years this neighborhood may be in a different stage in its development and this piece may not fit. Then what?

Steve Van Booven
Steve Van Booven

I guess but why? Why do you care about the bricks or how old they are? Really, I'm a bit curious. The owners are the ones allowing it, it's not some random vandalism. This is not some historic, landmark building that is being defaced. The bricks will still serve their purpose, they are not being destroyed just because they have some paint on them.

Scott Neale
Scott Neale

Ann Wimsatt and Tara Schneider, as esteemed artists and architects, I would assume you should know the basic fundamentals of any painting... I guess I was wrong. .... It's a base coat. It's not finished. RELAX YOURSELVES. I for one am thrilled to has another amazing artist choose our great city as a place to create art

Brian Kenney
Brian Kenney

Can I bitch because of the destruction of 100+ year old brick?

Brian Kenney
Brian Kenney

And now that brick will never be the same. It is a shame that one person thinks that their art should override 100+ years of beauty.

Rj Hub
Rj Hub

time to paint the sides of bldg.??? how about redoing some of those AWFUL store fronts that make west Cherokee street look like the hood.

John Skaggs
John Skaggs

You know now that I think about it, this painting could symbolize the American Indian oppression too. I mean it is on Cherokee st and the bricks are red, like indians, and now she is covering it up with black paint. Oh nooooo, what are we going to do about the indians now? Oh and those yellow polls seem to be holding back the black female figure too. aghhh when will it all stop.... This was a bit of sarcasm for those who don't get it.

Cate Bischof
Cate Bischof

I'm interested to see the finished piece, I'm very intrigued by her work...but I'm not sure what's racist about it (feel free to enlighten me if you know). I don't really know much about her work, but I hope I'm just missing something and people aren't simply calling it racist because it is a figure painted in black (and very unfinished I might add). If so, try stepping out of the box once in a while.

John Skaggs
John Skaggs

Racism, really? Some people are so stupid. That work kicks ass. My office is in the building too, right about where her knee is, and I'm glad to have it there.

Constance Cafazza
Constance Cafazza

I REFUSE to not be offended by whatever this is! It doesn't seem right to me and I'm pretty sure that that means that I'm way more smart, cool and sensitive than those of you that aren't offended. (Chill out people...I got this whole "offended" thing covered!)

Homer K Blua
Homer K Blua

Keep up the good work Faring Purth ... Any work of art that doesn't cause people to question and think isn't worth giving a wall to.. Us artist need to stick together and create a new reality threw diversified non commercial media!

Ryan Grewe
Ryan Grewe

When it comes to Cherokee street there will be backlash on any mural there. I'm thinking it's time to move on to a different street to do murals. Because it seems like the neighborhood doesn't appreciate anything people do to make it look better.

gsp333
gsp333

It's painted by a woman but labeled "antifeminist" and the paint is black therefore it's racist?


Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder?

Bradley Pipkin
Bradley Pipkin

Can I paint? I'll paint lil white kids in khakis and polos If that helps people stop whining.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

I guess in 2014 you can't even start painting before everyone knows what your end image is and the message behind it, assuming there even is a message behind it. Am I missing something?

Suzanne Scherrer
Suzanne Scherrer

I don't understand forming an opinion of the work when it's not finished.

Amber McDaniel
Amber McDaniel

I read the article and one artist said it was racial oppression..How do we know that if it's not even finished yet?

Steve Van Booven
Steve Van Booven

How can anyone be bitching about an unfinished work? Take some deep breaths and relax people

Ed Gibson
Ed Gibson

thats art? i thought they were patching up cracks on the wall

Spencer Whitton
Spencer Whitton

Those yellow posts and parking curbs need to be painted a different color.

cherokeeresident
cherokeeresident

it already has multiple advertisements painted on the side, one for "NAILS", and a huge "FAMILY DOLLAR / RENT A CENTER" taking up maybe 1/4 of the whole wall.  This mural will likely fit in the neighborhood 10 years from now, more so than the ads that have been there for years prior.  Relax buddy.

fiestyone
fiestyone

Bahahaha!! I love this response :D

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