Downtown Phoenix Mural Hunting: Hidden Beauties

Aimee SmithSeptember 28, 2020
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One of the things I like most about mural hunting is that it takes me off my beaten path and introduces me to neighborhoods and buildings that I might not have noticed otherwise. It gives me license to explore alleyways, to walk around all sides of a building, to wander down unknown streets in search of beauty.

Case in point, I was recently searching for El Mac’s Southwest Goddess. I knew it was somewhere on the Laird building, located on McDowell Road. Only blank walls were visible from the front entrance, so I got adventurous and accessed the alley that runs behind the building, south of McDowell Road, between Third and Fifth Avenues in Downtown Phoenix. As I trudged through the dusty gravel, I was delighted to encounter a wall-sized mural by Tyson Krank.

Untitled by @t_krank
The long mural consists of a stylish figure posing in front of a patterned backdrop. The same pattern is incorporated into the figure’s clothing. Intricate details are a staple of Krank’s murals. They draw the viewer in and transform a casual glance into a lingering gaze.

Already pleased with the results of my adventure, I kept walking. As I turned the corner, I came across a work by Clyde Graffiti.

Wherever You Go by @clyde_graffitiart
The girl with her back turned to the viewer seems like a still taken from an ongoing narrative. What is she reacting to? What will happen next? I found myself holding my breath in expectation as I looked at her. The magic of the moment was heightened by the sun beginning to set just behind her.

I finally tore myself away and rounded the next corner, coming face to face with the object of my search.

Southwest Goddess by @mac_arte
This stunning mural by El Mac is tucked away on an East facing back wall of The Laird apartment complex. Based on Diana the Huntress by Elisa de Gamond, the mural has a classical feel with a modern Phoenix background of telephone poles and palm trees. I sent a closeup of it to my mom and she asked what museum I had been to. I am so grateful to live in a city where museum-worthy masterpieces are waiting to be discovered just around the corner.


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