Street artist Daniel Anguilu hopes to cover the entire surface of this 4-story Midtown building with his distinctive animal-friendly murals. Anguilu — also known by his nom-de-spray, weah — began painting the former Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority building at 2850 Fannin St. in June. But it’s not exactly a stealth project: Anguilu was invited to take on what he’s calling the Public Decor Project by commercial real-estate broker Adam Brackman, whose family owns the building. And Brackman’s been providing him with mistinted no-VOC paint from New Living, the Rice Village green-home-supplies store where Brackman’s a partner.
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The vacant building was flooded by Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. Brackman has been marketing the property for several years, but says phone calls have come to a halt. He tells Swamplot he thinks Houston needs a lot more public art: “I was tired of [the MHMRA building] being an eyesore and a hotbed for drugs and prostitution and wanted to do something about it.” He found Anguilu through contacts at the Station Museum. He says the building’s new visibility already “has seemed to lower loitering around the project.” (A few years ago, Brackman was involved with Aerosol Warfare’s graffiti wrap on this old house at 1625 Alabama.)
“I had painted big walls before,” Anguilu tells Swamplot, “but this is a lot of wall space.” Anguilu says he doesn’t sketch his designs in advance: He creates shapes with a paint roller, then lets those shapes “dictate what I’m going to do next.” Most of the paint he’s been using comes from New Living; he adds detail with spray cans. But he’s hoping to take his work to the next level: the building’s upper floors.
Anguilu says he’s hoping to be able to afford a scissor lift to get up there and finish the project. To raise money for that — as well as more mundane supplies like tape and spray cans — he’s holding a fundraiser Wednesday night at the Nouveau Antique Art Bar across the street.
Many more pix of the project from Swamplot photographer Candace Garcia, who’s been documenting the progress:
- Benefit Party for Daniel Anguilu’s New Mural [Do713]
- Former MHMRA Building – Midtown [LoopNet]
- No-VOC Paints [New Living]
- Daniel Anguilu “Weah” [Vimeo]
Photos: Candace Garcia