This morning in Pittsburgh, I met an artist who’s art has gotten so big it’s begun spilling out onto the streets. He told me it started with a cement sculpture he left out to bake in the sun. His neighbors were so impressed by it they were soon asking for more, even offering up the exterior walls of their own houses as a raw canvas for the artist to work with. He hung large portraits and painted entire murals, each piece growing in size and intensity until the entire neighborhood took on a visionary glow. As he talked to me I noticed there was this calm glint in his eyes, a warmth of abundance, as if he knew the old ways have already crumbled, and it is now an artist’s responsibility to build what’s next.
Photos of murals by James Simon on Gist Street in Pittsburgh