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First, it was tagged.
Then, it was scrubbed. Somewhat.
Now, the Shepard Fairey street art mural in Hillcrest won’t be visible to the street for much longer.
The building adjacent to the Urban Outfitters building, whose side wall the mural covers, was demolished recently. Now construction crews are working on a new building that appears it will entirely block out the embattled Fairey mural. The temporary mural was one of the centerpieces of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s “Viva la Revolución” street art exhibition last fall.
As you can see in the photograph above, scaffolding pipes reach within a foot of the Urban Outfitters building. It’s not clear if the new building will touch the old building or if you’ll be able to sneak a peek at the Fairey mural once the building’s up.
Hillcrest resident Sean Wherley, who emailed me to tell me about the construction, said the outcome is disappointing.
“It’s kind of sad to know that public outdoor art can be so fleeting, especially when created by a well-know street artist,” he wrote.
But the murals weren’t all intended to be permanent installations. This one, for example, was a wheatpaste mural, a popular street art technique that works kind of like wallpaper. In an interview with us last October, the owner of the Urban Outfitters building said the mural would be up until at least January but that the real estate company planned to build on the adjoining parking lot.
This Fairey mural is one of several pieces from the museum’s show that have been taken down, covered or repainted. Here’s a map of the seven pieces that are still viewable. The original map featured 12 pieces. The show closed Jan. 2.
“While we loved having them on view for the public, kind of the nature of street art is that we knew some of them would be removed and coming down at some point,” said Rebecca Handelsman, spokeswoman for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
You can see the progression of the mural in photos. All of these are taken by VOSD’s Sam Hodgson, except for the first one, which was taken by Geoff Hargadon and sent to us by the museum.
The mural in its original state:
The mural after a spray paint attack last August:
The mural with specks of blue still after it was scrubbed:
And the mural being obscured by construction: