On Friday, we posted questions and answers about the recent defacing of the big Shepard Fairey street art mural on the side of the Urban Outfitters building in Hillcrest. After we published that post I heard from Jeff Silberman, president and CEO of Carleton Management, which manages his family’s real estate holdings. I asked him about the company’s interest in public art, the repairing of the mural and its future.
Silberman said the family owners of the company are big fans of art. They support the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which commissioned the mural for an exhibition. And Fairey was once a tenant in one of their local buildings.
“Public art is very important,” he said. “We think giving exposure to some of these up-and-coming as well as well-known street artists is important to give them a medium where they can display their work in a legal fashion with the cooperation of property owners as opposed to the stigma associated with some of these artists as graffiti artists and taggers.”
Silberman said he didn’t anticipate that anyone would try to damage the mural. “We are disappointed, but that is the nature of street art and street artists,” he said.
The company’s maintenance staff spent a few hours repairing the mural after it was defaced but couldn’t do more to fix it, Silberman said. The mural remains scarred, and there’s plenty of evidence of the graffiti attack.
“Shepard just asked us to clean the mural the best we could,” he said. “The mural was not painted on. It was more like a wallpaper process with printed images affixed to the wall.”
After the attack, he said, the company installed a video security camera, “and the good news is that we haven’t had any problems since.”
The mural will be up at least until January, he said, but it won’t be permanent. The company plans to build on the parking lot that adjoins the wall on Fifth Avenue that is currently home to the mural.