By yesterday evening, the Galería de la Raza mural that was defaced earlier in the day had been restored. Spencer Keeton Cunningham, the artist behind the piece, worked with his friend Kool Kid Kreyola to touch it up.

Cunningham and Kool Kid Kreyola, tired, after restoring the mural.

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.

The mural, restored, on Friday morning.

Cunningham knows that defacement is part of the experience of being a mural artist. “It’s expected that kids will tag anything,” he said. “I’m not shocked or surprised or even upset.”