Only 12 hours following the completion of the reinstated Mary's, Naturally mural, a shrewd "street artist" defaced the depiction of a campy gay bar clan. In the wee hours of Friday morning, an unknown criminal took a paintbrush dipped in silver pigment to the groin areas of the mural's litany of Montrose characters.
"They put silver Xs on all of the genitals — the balls and weiners," artist Cody Ledvina tells CultureMap. Ledvina is involved in Montrose art collective, The Joanna, which organized the repainting of the iconic Mary's mural in time for this weekend's Pride Houston festivities.
Oddly, the renegade painter was judicious in his allocation of Xs, and placed a check mark over "Cassandra," a crossdresser seated at the end of the bar. "What I'm assuming the artist is saying is that the gay man thing is bad, but the woman that still has a penis is good," says Ledvina. "That's the only way I could interpret it."
The sexual playing field and artistic integrity were quickly restored on Friday morning as Ledvina sanded down the unwanted addition and repainted the former crotches, true to form. Unfortunately, during Saturday's Houston Pride Parade, a large truck was parked within two yards of the mural, thus greatly reducing its visibility. Laments Ledvina, "We've gotten a positive reception for the mural, but I think it could have been more."
How do you feel about the vandalizing of the new Mary's mural? Do you think that the "underground artist's" pro-transvestite agenda could strike other pieces of public art, such as Jaume Plensa's "Tolerance"?