Galería de la Raza’s Digital Mural Project, which covers one side of the gallery’s building, has been spray-painted with the words “Not down with la raza.” The defacement was discovered at around noon today, according to a Galería staff member.
“There’s some talk about the individual that’s doing this, but we don’t know who it is,” said the staff member, who did not wish to give her name.
Spencer Keeton Cunningham, the artist who created the piece, will come by this evening to try to restore it, she added.
“The biggest problem is somebody is targeting these murals with their own agenda and defacing them,” said the staff member. “When we gather more info, we’ll send a statement.”
Update: By Thursday evening, the mural had been restored.
Spencer Keeton Cunningham, the artist behind the piece, worked with his friend Kook Kid Kreyola to touch it up.
Many in the neighborhood had their own interpretation of the mural — is it a potato, a frijole, an immigrant? — but for Cunningham, it’s a picture of a beast, a symbol of evil, huddled over a glowing crucifix. “To me, the mural is about the false grandiose notions of Christian/Catholic myth and the effects these notions have on the moldable minds of consumers of them — both historically and in present day society,” he said.
Cunningham knows that defacement is part of the experience of being an artist. “It’s expected that kids will tag anything,” he said. “I’m not shocked or surprised or even upset.”