If you look really closely here, you can see a tiny little me jumping for joy in front of the BIGGEST MURAL IN HOUSTON. And yes, it really does warrant the name, this 11,000 square foot monster really has to be seen to fully gauge its enormity. Located at 2800 San Jacinto Street, Preservons la Creation (Let's Preserve the Creation) is a masterpiece of truly Texan proportions. French-born Sebastien "Mr. D" Boileau (the same artist that brought us the #biscuitpaintwall) and his company Eyeful Art partnered with the Texan-French Alliance for the Art's "Open Door" project and the Midtown District to create Preservons La Creation in 2014.
I have already mentioned Mr. D and Eyeful Art in a previous post, but in case you missed it, let's recap:
Mr. D was born in Versailles, France, and according to his bio, was inspired by the American graffiti movement of the 1970s and '80s to begin his artistic career at the tender age of 14. Following his migration from France, Mr. D founded Eyeful Art in 2000, and has established himself as a creative force to be reckoned with in Houston over the past decade and a half.
So, back to the matter at hand - The Biggest Mural in Houston. The piece is a modern twist on Michelangelo's most famous work, The Creation of Adam both in title and in subject matter, and depicts a God-like figure holding a can of spray-paint (clever right?). Boileau is no stranger to large-scale projects, as his "Love You Houston" mural in Midtown previously held the title of the largest mural in Houston at 5,000 square feet (until he beat his own record with this, of course). In an interview with Houston Chronicle, Boileau revealed that this project required 27 consecutive days of painting, two 65-foot boom lifts, more than 500 cans of spray paint, and 150 gallons of wall paint mixed with water to complete. UP Art Studio, who continue to represent Boileau to this day, said that the mural cost over $90,000 (raised largely through philanthropic giving) to make. A ton of work, evidently, but what's the point behind this gargantuan mural?
Well, there are many, actually. First and foremost, the mural is "intended to beautify, as well as to educate”, said UP Art Studio's Elia Quiles at the time of its unveiling. As I have mentioned before, Street Art is becoming an increasingly vital part of Houston's artistic identity. It is projects like this that continue to show how important the arts are in this city, while at the same time increasing traffic and civic pride in a somewhat dilapidated area. According to the Daily Cougar, the unveiling of the piece also helped to raise money for a children's hospital, so lots of win-wins there!
The title, Preservons La Creation is also a comment on the need to preserve and protect art, especially urban art which is particularly vulnerable to damage or removal (Boileau's own #biscuitpaintwall was defaced by taggers in 2014). Of course, there is always a little room for a little self expression too, despite the sheer size of the piece preventing any free-hand work. Boileau's own style mixes elements of Renaissance, Impressionism, and Urban Contemporary influences, a self-defined style he calls "Canpressionism" or "Urban Fine Art". The same poured paint seen in the #biscuitpaintwall is also present here, tying Mr. D's works together as a cohesive collection across a vast urban landscape.
All in all, the best summary of this piece came from a commenter on my first blog post on glasstire.com: "The giant god as graffiti artist is splendidly ridiculous, embarrassing, audacious (bodacious!), ferociously dumb, and awesomely Houston." Wiser words have never been spoken, now go see it!
British-born arts blogger living in Houston, Tx. A mixture of Street Art, Fine Art, Installation, and anything weird and wonderful. Follow me if that sounds like your cup of tea.