It's raining in Los Angeles. I think it's universally understood that we don't get a lot of rain so I should be stoked. I am a bit and I always get somewhat nostalgic when it rains because growing up in Massachusetts rain was a given, not a question. However, I have to confess that I'm over the rain and it's largely because of the focus of today's post: Angelina Christina and Fanakapan's collab at The Old RC Cola Plant where it rained the entire time. Now it rained for the majority of our time in Miami anyway but this project in particular was probably where we were rained on the most. Areas of the rundown location filled with pools of water that then mixed with the blueish/grey paint. It felt like we were in a disaster area, but please don't misunderstand me, it was amazing. I just think I'm going to stay inside today.
Beyond the rain this mural was an amazing opportunity. The Bushwick Collective out of New York teamed with Mana Urban Arts to bring a plethora of artists to the coolest urban decay spot in Wynwood which formerly housed The RC Cola Plant (remember RC Cola? Still around, believe it or not) and had been for a while a big graffiti spot. Angelina and Fanakapan were offered easily the most interesting spot in the lot, though it wasn't without its difficulties. This mural was easily the greatest test of our trip. Our first difficulty came in the form of the lift. Essentially once you entered the front gate of the complex our wall was just to the left on the other side of chainlink fence in what appeared to be a courtyard. You would then have to go through a lot in to a large open air portion of the building and out one of several large concrete doorways to exit in to our courtyard. Unfortunately the lift was just slightly too wide to fit in to any of the doorways. We wound up purchasing a sledgehammer and spent several hours in the first evening widening the opening to accommodate our lift.
Once the lift was in Angelina and Fanakapan applied the beautiful wash. This mural started several days in to our trip and our sleep had already grown sporadic to the point that very few full night sleeps were being taken over the more frequent napping in Angelina's truck (or wherever one could get comfortable) whenever possible. Having taken a large amount of prep footage, I made one last set up of our Go Pro to time-lapse the sun rising over our prepped canvas, and then set to sleep. I was awakened in time to leave for the evening which required one of the gentlemen from the organization to let us out. I thought the Go Pro was ready to go but I didn't realize the Wi Fi was not turned on and I couldn't access the camera from my phone. It was 5:30 in the morning and the fellow letting us out was none-to-happy about the fact that he would have wait as I ran to fix the problem. We had park the truck on the other side of the aforementioned chainlink fence for fear of popping a tire inside the urban decaying structure. I politely but sternly informed the man that he would thank me later for the cool shot and I would thank him later for being a cool guy. This did not prevent him from throwing down a chain and threatening bodily harm to me, but it wouldn't be the first nor the last conflict in our journey and we we would later make amends.
The next several weeks of painting had their ups and down as any mural does but each obstacle put in front of us was only temporary. The real challenge came in the week after Art Basel. The entire project was done for several days of events to be held in the complex. Due to our various obstacles we weren't able to finish until after the event. However this would mean that we grew afraid we'd lose access to the complex and not be able to finish the mural. In addition, the night of the event several attendees grabbed cans and started to tag a few of the pieces including one by our good friend Solus. Angelina decided that at least one of us would need to be at the mural at all times, which we did for several days also finishing up a few other walls.
Perhaps this may sound like I'm complaining, but in reality it is these adversities that make a project worthwhile and The Old RC Cola Plant was easily the highlight of our trip. The other murals from there can be seen in my Wynwood gallery.
Click the photo below to see the fruits of our labors in The Old RC Cola Plant