Friday, February 15, 2013

Something fishy: Art and Public Space

Remember the case I posted about in 2009 about a Fish Mural on the side of  Complete Angler (now closed) in Clearwater Florida and how the city fined the business owners claiming the mural was an ad. 
Thanks to the ACLU the business owners won their case, although it is claimed the proprietor is not happy
Fast forward 3 years later and clearwater has made sweeping changes to their sign code (Tampa Bay Times) although the revised code doesn't support murals that depict imagery related to the business. 
All that fussing and faffing about a mural in a blighted area of Clearwater. 

Oh the irony, some cities cover up art that beautifies a blighted neighbourhood, but others blight a neighbourhood with ads. Such was the case for the Silver Lake "Our Lady of the Iguania" Mural that was created 15 years ago by a neighbourhood alliance as part of a city beautification program. 
Image source

Oh dear though, did it HAVE to be an ad for a Geordie drink painted over the mural.

Anyway it is interesting that people accept the ugly intrusion of ads (yikes some of them in Las Vegas could make your toes curl) in public spaces, but if it's art the sky is falling and your biscuits are burning and all hell breaks loose.

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