In this edition of Hiding in Plain Sight, we’re exploring the streets and street art found in Uptown New Orleans. This is the third part to an ongoing series that guides you on a tour of the City’s best murals, neighborhood by neighborhood.
“Untitled” – Fat Kids from Outer Space
Location: S. Claiborne Avenue at S. Miro Street
When Mid City Pizza’s owner, Rand opened the first location on Banks St., he knew he wanted some pizza-inspired original art. After seeing work from Fat Kids, he reached out through some common friends and commissioned the first ever Mid City Pizza Mural. The new Uptown location for Mid City Pizza (formerly Naked Pizza) is the 3rd installment of murals by Fat Kids from Outer Space for the Mid City Pizza restaurants. Inspired by graffiti, the work of the Dadaists, classic American cartoons and cheap American culture, Fat Kids drew inspiration for this mural from the greatest pizza lovers to ever live–the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
“Wild Thing” – Henry Lipkis
Location: Claiborne Avenue at First Street
Henry Lipkis’s murals can be seen throughout New Orleans’s neighborhoods. You can spot Lipkis’s Uptown work, Wild Thing, driving by the Collision Center crossing Claiborne Avenue and First Street. Wild Thing has been on the side of this auto body shop since May 2014, one of the first works he made in New Orleans after moving to the city that spring.
“May the Police Force Be With You” – AZ
Location: Leonidas Street at Green Street
One of New Orleans’s most elusive street artists, known anonymously as AZ, uses the grounds of the formerly known Priestly Junior High School to make his own politically charged statement on police brutality. May the Police Force Be With You was produced directly following the spike in police-related killings in July of 2015. AZ has chosen the site of his work carefully. The building experienced just as much change as the political subject matter that it displays. The high school has been closed since 1980 and has undergone multiple conversions since its original closing, transitioning from a storage facility pre-Katrina and is now in the midst of its third year of reconstruction after being bought by Lycée-Français.
“Gasa Gasa in NOLA” – MTO
Location: 4920 Freret Street
Freret Street is home to a number of murals, one of the largest being MTO’s located right outside of Gasa Gasa. MTO is a European based street artist who stopped by New Orleans to paint this piece and Louisiana Blue Note, featured in our earlier installment highlighting street art in the Bywater. MTO relies on a similar male figure in each and features different French philosophical novels in his large-scale murals, this time Albert Camus’s The Fall doubles as a megaphone.
Bonus: Go inside of Gasa Gasa, and discover a variety of murals by other artists.
“Sunset Mural” – Alexandra Kilburn and Shawn Bullen
Location: 4920 Freret Street
In addition to MTO’s large-scale mural on its entrance side, Gasa Gasa also features a mural collaboration between Shawn Bullen and Alexandra Kilburn. The two New Orleans based mural artists’ work can be seen decorating a number of New Orleans local establishments, and here have created three sunset phases for visitors on Freret Street.
“Liberty Triangle” – Kelsey Cook
Location: Freret Street at Soniat Street
In 2012, Loyola University’s chapter of the Invisible Children hired New Orleans street artist, Kelsey Cook, to complete the black and red mural found on the intersection of Freret and Soniat streets. The mural features an upside down triangle, a symbol of the Invisible Children organization, with their poignant phrase, “Our liberty is bound together” inscribed above it.
“Five Happiness Mural” – NOP+D
Location: 3605 S. Carrollton Avenue
Located behind the restaurant Five Happiness on S. Carrollton Ave and Palm Street, this mural was created by Gabriel Alexander Flores and the artist collective of New Orleans Paint and Design (NOP+D). This group of local artists have been the talent behind a number of murals in our City, including commissioned works for Coca-Cola, the Ace Hotel and Buku Music and Arts Festival. The collective works together to “bring meaning and vibrancy to otherwise vacant walls and spaces” throughout the city.
“National Art & Hobby Mural” – Joseph Konert
Location: 5835 Magazine Street
The National Art & Hobby, an Uptown art supply store owned by Nathalie Ward, offers the surrounding area artistic content without even opening their doors. Joseph Konert, an artist now living in Detroit, has left his mark on New Orleans with many murals, but one of his most extensive is seen here on Magazine Street. The National Art & Hobby store offers student and teacher discounts and a collection of the artist’s geometric imagery on the way out.
What’s your favorite New Orleans Street Art? Did we miss any of your favorites?
Every Sunday, we’ll be posting murals and public art around town to our Instagram.
Take a picture, tag @WhereYart and use #NOLAmurals to let us know where your favorite murals and we’ll feature your selection.