The Continuing Houston History of President Obama, in 6 Photos

Facing W. Alabama, Reginald Adams’s 2012 mural of President Obama was recently given a few extra splashes of color. Of course, this isn’t the first time the mural on the side of the former campaign headquarters at 3710 Travis has been the subject of political back-and-forth. Candace Garcia’s photos show the changes over the years, starting with a replica of Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster in 2008:


The restoration above was completed by Reginald Adams and a team of local artists in 2012; the three photos below show, in reverse chronological order, how the mural changed from 2011 back to the original painted in 2008.

Photos: Candace Garcia

48 Comment

  • From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

  • Murals like this are best left for nations who still celebrate Cult of Personality leaders: China; Venezuela; Turkmenistan, etc.

    Most of us realize our leaders are only human.

  • Maybe it’s time to mount a few motion-detecting cameras around the mural.

  • The 3rd world “El Presidente” worship of this guy is getting old. He wipes like the rest of us, he’s nothing special.

  • A motion detecting sensor might just expose this as a regularly scheduled inside job.

  • The mural is on private property, and vandalism is a crime. Rednecks showing their true colors are a pitiful bunch.

    Frida Kahlo is more of a cult figure than President Obama.

  • Vandalizing a political sign on someone’s private property is still vandalism. Throwing paint on a building to deface a mural is the behavior of a thug. When it’s a political mural, it’s the act of a thug who feels threatened for some God unknown reason – and I don’t give a tinker’s damn what their politics may be.


  • Yes, that’s not how Americans worship their leaders. We go big. We carve whole mountains. Obama’s supporters are too humble.

  • I was actually surprised by how long the original mural made it before getting tagged.

  • Damn racist hipsters

  • I can’t tell if Brandon is real or troll.

  • Remember: Don’t feed the trolls…

  • That picture looks like he was pointing at my wallet and saying “I want that!”

  • Craig,
    There is a big difference here. In places like Turkmenistan, Syria, Venezuela, etc., the government itself orders those murals to go up.

  • Is this how Republican’ts demonstrate their respect for the rule of law and sanctity of property rights?

  • @cRIAG .. I can’t tell if your serious ? Did you really just imply it could be a inside jobs?

    That would be one way to go , except nothing on that line of thought makes sense given that the murals are coming out of his own pocket.

    Two most parks statues like bush downtown came from private donors who gave it to the cities.. sooooo

  • Typical conservative, redneck Houston hi jinx. They just can’t stand that they lost yet again and that there is still an African American in office. Some things never change here no matter how cosmopolitan we supposedly are.

  • So proud to NOT live in the armpit of Texas anymore.

  • the one where’s he pointing is awesome, wish he was saying “Barack gonna lay the taxes on your candy-a#%”

  • Just the same nonsense as on the Chron story today. There are a lot of really sore losers who are willing to define the law as only that which suits them. Then they bolster their arguments with fake cult of personality comparisons…. Well remember that folks the next time you fly out of George Bush Intercontinental or Houston Hobby….Obama is really blazing some new trails there…you betcha.

  • I will respect Mr. Odumbo just the same way you lefties respected President George W. Bush.

  • Art is meant to draw emotions. Even if the subject is a political figure. Statues, murals, whatever.. All of it draws emotion. Unfortunately, this mural appears to induce anger for some. Lets hope they repaint it.

  • @ Hdtex how in anyway is Houston the armpit of Texas?

    General comments: I don’t agree acts to deface someone’s private property, but let’s face it, this building’s owner or tenants are inviting people to fulfill some small sense of redemption.

    This second mural however in my opinion has no resemblance to a professional portrayal of the leader of our country. It looks more like more like a promotion for Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction. It gives me no confidence in leadership ability. Among other things.

  • time to grow up and grow a pair dude. GWB was the worst president of an entire generation. this isn’t about respect, it’s history. he passed a medicare expansion that is helping the debt skyrocket, cut taxes while schools all across the country hit hard times, crashed the global economy with greenspan resulting in 10,000’s of deaths the world over and invaded a country only to leave it with an unstable gov’t that’s on the verge of falling into civil war and once again taking responsiblity for 10,000’s of needless deaths.

    don’t even get me started on legalizing torture, one of the most decrepit and descipicable acts in our democracy’s entire history. cheney and all his neocon fools should be tried and punished to the full extent of the law but no, worthless underlings who were only following orders are now to be tried for their sins instead. of course, obama has just as much responsibilty for not trying cheney himself, the centrist fool.

  • there are cameras on this mural and have been for a few years. Also I dont like graffitti, call me old man or whatever, but I dont like it. part of the reason we have so many in jail in the usa is that we are too easy on first time offenders of petty things like graffitti, car burglaries, shoplifting, etc.. Singapore doesnt have a graffitti or litter problem

  • @commonsense,
    Tapping into your 4th grade humor again… What does it say about adults that still make fun of people’s names?

  • I don’t respect Obama at all…I respect the office, but not the individual. He does not deserve respect…respect must be earned and he has done nothing good for this country – but vandalism of another persons property is a crime and must be punished, regardless of whether or not the vandalism made me smile….However, watching this idiot owner walk around with his AR-15 on the news makes me think it likely was an inside job…this guy craves attention…I would not be one bit surprised if he upped his property insurance and a few months from now the whole place goes up in flames…To the rest of the ignorant folks bashing Houston, or the population who disagrees with Obama, a difference in opinion does not make one ignorant or redneck. We do not accept the policies that this fool has pushed upon us. I’m probably subsidizing this dang mural…

  • It’s funny how some commenters here intuit that this is “redneck” Republicans doing this. That reveals much about the prejudice they’ve been steeped in for a long time. That said, vandalism is vandalism, and the fact that murals’ subject matter is political does not make it acceptable for anyone to violate the owner’s property rights.

    I wonder if the city has ever banned political speech displayed on private property on the grounds that it is visible to the public. Maybe under some kind of law against inflammatory speech or even pollution/nuisance? If so, I could see why people so victimized would feel entitled to similarly violate others.

  • This should not be a big deal, apparently the city does little about all the other grafitti around town so why should they do anything about this. The church across from my house is tagged every few months, and that never makes news.

  • The only thing worse than being the moron that defaced the mural are comments like this: “Is this how Republican’ts demonstrate their respect for the rule of law and sanctity of property rights”
    Know why? Because if it were a mural of a republican, it would have been defaced in about 1 second. Can you imagine what would happen to a similar painting of GWB? Exactly.
    Defacing the mural was a criminal act and not a “Republican demonstration” of anything. It was just some low life being stupid.
    I’m no Obama fan (and not due to the idiotic assumption people make about him being black. To claim that’s the reason people didn’t vote for him is pathetic), primarily because I’m a small-government, leave-me-alone type of guy. HOWEVER, I walk by the mural all the time and am totally fine with it. I was impressed with the fact it HAD NOT been bothered — which made me sort of proud (plus I know I’d see comments like this if someone messed it up). My feelings are it’s someones own property so if they want to immortalize their dear leader — more power to them.
    I walked by this yesterday (after it had been painted over white) and it pisses me off that someone would vandalize it. I hope the person is caught. But please, tone down on the generalizations. It wasn’t defaced by your average joe conservative / republican / libertarian. Those people are your friends and neighbors. It was done by a criminal. Simple as that.

  • hey big spender, divide and distract

  • I am convinced that this is a publicity stunt by the artist. note how the colors are always coordinated with the actual mural itself. mere vandals wouldn’t care about that.

  • No matter how progressive this city gets…theres always a remenent of ignorance still here….no wonder even though Houston is a Major city freakin Portland gets more respect…

  • Maybe it was the guy that defaced the Menil painting? Serial defacer, that one, i’m ure of it.

  • Some really dumb comments from both sides of the aisle in this thread (“Odumbo?” And you expect anyone to take anything you say seriously?) Cody’s is one of the few that is rational.

  • All this talk about respecting property rights, yada yada…we liberals can appreciate some fine graffiti art. I mean, as long as it’s good graffiti art, and preferably if it’s not on top of other art.

  • Cody,
    You’re saying my comment is worse than the actual defacement of the mural? Ok.
    It’s not too much of a stretch to think that whoever did this was likely the same person that did it before. It’s also not too much of a stretch to think that that person is Republican/conservative ideologue who has a heart full of hate for Obama. There was nothing to gain from this act except some sort of self gratification coming from the destruction of a an image of a man he hates and that others went out of their way to create. If you think this is would have likely been done by an apolitical type in some random criminal burst of spontaneity just as easily as an Obama hater, you are very naive. You state that a mural of GWB would have been vandalized in short order. Why? Your inference is that Democrats/liberals would have done so and that is probably a reasonable assumption. Your assumption is no different that mine. By the way, this was defaced “in about 1 second”. Twice. Think about it.

  • This was an inside job and publicity stunt.

    I know a lab that can test paints. I have a good feeling we can trace these two paints back to the “artist”.

    And the owner running around on the news last night with a gun on his back?


    And truth be told, what would Michelle Obama say about the death-food served at Breakfast Klub?

  • > I am convinced that this is a publicity
    > stunt by the artist.

    The mural is very cool, but as a center-right president in deeds, if not words, Obama is too conservative for me. Nonetheless, after this latest incident I find myself (gulp) agreeing with Toasty.

    I find it very hard to believe that a redneck vandal would use anything but white paint to deface the mural.

    It would be easy to prove it one way or the other — let’s see the surveillance video…

  • BHO born born to a white mom and raised by a white grandmother in Kansas and Hawaii, he isnt exactly black, I wouldnt even consider him half black. We have a black attorney general and a sorta black prez, shoot we even have a lesbo mayor. BHO continues to fan the flames of racism to promote his agenda, divide and concur.

  • “obama has just as much responsibilty for not trying cheney himself, the centrist fool.”
    Yikes. I try to stay away from politics on this site, but you have to be kidding. Obama a centrist? I can’t imagine where you must fall on the political scope to hold that view. I know plenty of people that are ga-ga in love with Obama (yes, people with different political view points can be friends) and none would call him a centrist.

  • I can’t tell if Brandon is real or a troll either, but I DO know he can’t spell, which makes his post laughable.

  • @Bocephes: LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL Divide and CONCUR? REALLY? Dude/dudette, you’re fanning the flames of ignorance.

  • Sorry to hear about their shrine. :(

  • Defacing someone else’s art is an affirmation of the ignorance of the perpetrator and a sad reflection on Houston’s citizens.

    Agree that this is in no way comparable to Vzla or other such countries where the government funds the politically biased art.

    Lastly, Singapore has no grafitti and litter? Grafitti perhaps, litter, you should go visit more often. BTW what it does have is a thriving prostitution industry which litters the streets around Orchard rd, as well as the malls, and hotel elevators. Just saying.

  • Stephen: I’ve been to Singapore often (previous 9-5 job) and know where you’re talking about. That “Four floors of whores” building on Orchard was pretty crazy and next door to the hotel I’d often stay at. However, I don’t remember seeing any prostitution outside in public view.

  • @Eddie

    As a Texas Redneck, I object to your statement. Can’t stand we lost? You bet. Care that we have an AA as president? Couldn’t care less.

    Wasn’t there something about being judged by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin? It’s his character, not skin color, to which I object.