Art, like everything else, is affected by nature. Paint colors fade, marble or metal gets worn away, materials break down. Even in museums with really strict preservation efforts it’s only a matter of time before everything, including the museums themselves, disappear, which is a good reminder that “nature” and “civilization” is a false dichotomy. We’re part of nature no matter what, even if it is our, well, nature to try and wall ourselves off and do our own thing.
The partial destruction of the Basement East on Nashville’s 12th Avenue South is a good reminder of how much we’re at the mercy of the natural world, but here’s the great thing: the mural created by artist Adrien Saporiti back in 2012 survives. It was originally inspired by the 2010 floods and has since become a local icon and selfie spot. It’s also been vandalized, but repainted.
I’ve been to the Basement East, once for a live recording of The Moth storytelling event. There was supposed to be another Moth storytelling event at the Basement East this Sunday, in fact, but it’s been cancelled.The subject for the evening I was there was “animals” and I was supposed to go on but had to leave early so I didn’t get up on stage, but my skunk story is another story.
The I BELIEVE IN NASHVILLE mural isn’t the only one in the area. Here are a couple of others.
They may not be permanent but they are a good reminder that it’s in our nature to persist.
These are wonderful…. and the fact that the I Believe mural is still standing?
Definitely persistence–no matter how many times graffiti gets covered over, someone will always repaint a new design. Those murals are so cool–Montreal actually allows graffiti artists to create on public spaces and I wish more cities did that.
A few years ago Nashville recruited some graffiti artists to paint murals in the north of the city. It’s really a great thing and I also wish more cities would provide spaces for local graffiti artists. There’s a lot of talent out there and it’s a shame that some artists are reduced to working surreptitiously and speedily when they could do something really great.
I’m so glad the art survived, but it amazes me what weather can do. Are you going to tell us the skunk story??
I posted a version of the skunk story several years ago, but the way I was going to tell it at The Moth was much more dependent on delivery. If I get enough requests I might record it.
A good time to remember that it’s in our nature to persist, my friend.
The good thing about persistence, what makes it worthwhile, is that we persist together.