Street art: Murals to explore along San Diego coastal areas
Obsessed with murals yet? By now you might just be a “mural hunter,” so here are a few more to keep you going.
In your art quest, remember: get up close and personal when you can. Interact with the work and feel its sublimity. It will lend you incredible perspective and insight into the talent, planning, work, and skill level in creating something of scale.
Close proximity to the mural lets you viscerally experience the enormity of the work and imagine what their starting point might have been.
Part 2 of our mural tour covers coastal areas including Pacific Highway, Ocean and Pacific beaches, La Jolla and Encinitas.
Airport area/Pacific Highway
Artist: Christopher Konecki
Location: BJ’s Rentals, 3959 Pacific Highway (Tip: Pull off on Frontage Road and park on a nearby block to view.)
Lowdown: A splendid example of painting on texture, his life-size whale mural (on corrugated metal) displays Konecki’s skillful ability to maintain form without distortion. Like a pointillist Seurat work, the beautiful clarity from a distance gives way to the process and work up close.
Ocean Beach/Pacific Beach
Artist: Jason Botkin
Location: 5083 Santa Monica Ave., Ocean Beach
Lowdown: The details of Botkin’s work are always stunning and jaw dropping, leaving the viewer wondering “how did he do that?” Not only does the integrity of the work succeed over a myriad of textures, the intimacy of the figures is enthralling.
Hold onto Your Butts!
Location: Mission Surf, 4320 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach
Lowdown: To raise awareness for Surfrider Foundation’s Hold onto Your Butt campaign, surfer-artist Persue forces us to look at the effect of trash in our oceans in this whimsical work. His iconic bunny swims away from a giant, perturbed anglerfish in this colorful, yet foreboding work.
Brain/Cloud (with Seascape and Palm Tree)
Artist: John Baldessari
Location: 1250 Prospect St., La Jolla
Lowdown: One of the most beautifully serene works on the list, the mural takes you to a never-never land of Magritte-inspired surrealism. Dine at George’s on the Cove for a close-up view of this stunning example of expertise from a famous artist.
Blah, Blah, Blah
Artist: Mel Bochner
Location: 1111 Prospect St., La Jolla
Lowdown: In the deafening roar of social media and reality TV personalities, this potent mural reflects our meaningless babble right back to us. Self-aware individuals looking at this will ask the important question, “How much do I really need to spill out my life on Facebook and Twitter?”
Other murals to explore: Kelsey Brookes’ psychedelic wave of color, One Pointed Attention; William Wegman‘s famous Weimaraners’ bursting through a yellow wall in Opening; and Julian Opie‘s two sided work, Walking the City. For a full map and key to all works in La Jolla Murals (past and present), visit muralsoflajolla.com.
Artists: Amanda Lynn & Carly Ealey
Location: 1st Street Bar, 656 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
Lowdown: Beautifully rendered and energetic, the mural confronts climate change and the effects of global warming on local environments. The graceful female characters juxtapose the vibrancy of a healthy ocean to one plagued with acidification, non-native species, and overfishing. The mural was part of PangeaSeed Foundation’s Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans.
Other works to explore: The prolific and beloved local muralist Kevin Anderson’s works can be found around Encinitas and Leucadia. Sites include Swami’s Cafe, Berry Brothers Gas & Seven-Eleven, Kook’s Cafe, and Honey’s Cafe. Find more information at artmurals.us.
So go forth and explore, and share your photos with us by tagging #PacificSD on Twitter or Instagram.
Laurie Delk is an avid art historian, holding a master’s degree in Art History, with concentrations in the Modern and Postmodern movements. She has taught classes at Tulane University, and has been published with several art publications including Sculpture Magazine and New Orleans Art Review. Send ideas for art stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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