Last week in the falling rain, I was driving to work and flashed on a jewel-like neighborhood park building, glistening and sparkling, just about as colorful and as playful as I had ever seen. I immediately slowed, pulled over to the curb, and walked under the dripping canopy of trees so that I might see this magical building close-up and personal.
The exterior walls of the entire building (housing bathrooms) from ground to roof-top had been covered with colorful mosaics. Birds and butterflies in a blue blue sky, sun and moon on high, and a waterfall, rain like rivers coursing down. Flowers blooming, children leaping, tiny dogs with tails (I swear) wagging so hard raindrops escaped the wall in widening circles.
Small cats with big whiskers and leopard spots. Rainbows arcing, hibiscus detached from trees. Hummingbirds as iridescent on the wall as they are in air, and fish swimming in the oddest places. What would ordinarily be a drab utilitarian building had been transformed to a magical mystery tour of sunshine searing shade.
Art is magic; it has the power to transform the dingiest landscape, the most mundane yet necessary objects of everyday life, like the trash cans pictured below -- also covered with lively mosaics -- located some miles away from Maxwell Parl along Grand Ave near Lake Merritt, standing like sober sentinels, motionless but still breathing happiness onto city streets.
Transforming trash, and using trash to transform.
Recycle, reuse and be reborn.