City Paint 6.4 – “Becoming” almost finished….

If you have been following my City Paint series for the past couple of months, and the “Becoming” series in particular, you will/might remember that I have been sharing the progress made by certain artists in creating a western mural with spray-paint.  The mural is located in the alley/parking area behind Gallenson’s Gun Shop at 166 East 200 South, in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.  To have a more complete understanding as to how the mural developed, and possibly a greater appreciation for the completed work, I would offer that you visit the earlier posts in their numerical order to witness their progress in “becoming.”  To visit the earlier posts, just click on their highlighted names…City Paint 6.1 – Becoming, City Paint 6.2 – Progress Report on “Becoming,” and City Paint 6.3 – Another progress report on “Becoming.”  If you are interested, you can also scroll to the bottom of the page and select the “Street Art – Graffiti” category to view the complete City Paint series.

I spoke with the artist today, Gerry Swanson, and am planning to meet him this coming Sunday to capture some images of the final work…stay tuned….  You can visit his website at

These last several shots are close-ups of different pieces of the mural, provided to show the finer details of the artists’ strokes (?) of applying the paint….

27 responses

  1. Some possible questions . . . why masked cowboys? Any significance to the depiction of the sun? or of the split in the earth that seems to separate the two groups, and appears to emanate from said sun?

    Also, why such an abstract representation of the weapons, especially given this is for a gun shop?

    Finally, was this commissioned as is (the indian/white-man conflict), or did he have carte blanche?

    It certainly is visually striking, but wonder if it has any meaning beyond that (don’t let him answer with the “everyone sees their own meaning into it”; he drew it, and was specific about the details, choice of colors, poses, setting, etc.

    . . . although, if he just wanted to doodle, and it means nothing at all, that’s fine a well.

    May 30, 2012 at 11:39 am

    • Those are all excellent questions, Emilio…I will ask him what I can when I meet him. My understanding, from talking with the folks inside the gun shop, is that he shows-up around noon on Sundays and paints until around six…there are usually a bunch of people there with him, watching, listening to music, and having something like a beach-party in the parking lot. Something that might complicate visiting with him this Sunday is that the city is having a large parade that goes right in front of the gun shop…traffic will be blocked for hours and hordes of people will be on the street. I hope to speak with him again before Sunday to confirm whether he’s going to be there this weekend or not.

      May 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm

  2. I like how it shows the contrast between the brave First Nations with the bows and arrows and the coward-cowboys who use guns and hide their faces.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    • That is interesting, Genie…provoking thought in many different directions. Thank you.

      May 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm

  3. Having the details adds to the whole experience. I’m so glad you found this gem and shared it. Thanks….

    May 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    • You’re most welcome for the sharing, Gunta…it has truly been fun watching it all come together, and now with “the rest of the story,” it seems richer somehow. I’m eager to talk with the artist and see what questions he can or will answer for me/us.

      May 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm

  4. It is really coming along and looking fantastic. I can’t believe the detail that is in it, and the thing I find the most amazing is that it is done with spray cans. I shake my head in disbelief. It is spectacular. I love the sun the best, I love the way he has done that, very different. Reminds me of a native painting.

    May 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    • The pictures at his website show him using a brush at least for some of it.

      May 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      • It is coming along nicely, Leanne…with incredible detail. And I think I likely misinformed everyone earlier when I said that it was all done with spray-paint. I believe I understood that from some of the neighbors, or maybe even assumed it, given the proximity to the street-art in the alley-way. Emilio is correct about the brush in the pictures on the artist’s site…. I hope to get a solid answer to this question soon.

        May 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    • With looking into the artist’s website more closely, if you go to the tab for “Painting” and scroll down to this mural, which he has titled “Five on Five,” you can see that he also uses spray paint…there is clearly a can in his hand. If you go to the tab that says “Murals,” you can see he is doing some brush-work in red…so it appears to be a mixture of methods…still incredible…and yes, I love the sun also…such detail…kind of reminds me of the Mayan calendar “sun” in the other City Paint series I shared about 2012 and the end-times.

      May 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm

  5. Even though I’m color blind I can see that he used quite a variety of colors in this. I’d love to be able to talk to the artist and ask him what his original inspiration was for this scene. Every time I look at it I see / feel something different.

    May 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    • There are incredible colors in the mural, Allen, and great variety, too. I hope to be able to speak with the artist this coming weekend, so maybe we’ll get that question answered as well. Isn’t it interesting how we can come away with a different feeling each time we look at it?

      May 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      • Yes it is, but I suppose all artwork has that effect on just about everyone.

        May 31, 2012 at 3:31 am

        • On people who are open to it, I would guess…not everyone is going to appreciate art…just like everyone isn’t going to appreciate nature or literature or many other things.

          May 31, 2012 at 6:52 am

  6. Thanks for the update Scott. It’s a cool mural that’s for sure!

    May 31, 2012 at 12:36 am

    • You’re welcome, Chillbrook…very cool. 🙂

      May 31, 2012 at 6:53 am

  7. Impressive.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:46 am

    • Impressive, indeed…thank you, Marcy.

      May 31, 2012 at 7:56 am

      • You are welcome.

        May 31, 2012 at 7:57 am

  8. I really like this man’s art! Great stuff!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    • I’m right there with you, Montucky…thank you. 🙂

      May 31, 2012 at 10:29 pm

  9. This is an extraordinary mural when seen in its entirety and then seen in close-up. The brush work is unlike any thing else I’ve seen, very imaginative and also I think helps give the sense of movement in this mural. Thanks for adding the address of the artist.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    • I still find it incredible, Andy, and I’ve been there “live” several times. I do enjoy looking at it close-up and hoped that the closer shots were clear enough to demonstrate the essence of the artistic form. You’re welcome for the artist’s address, too…recently obtained it…he deserves credit for the fantastic work. Thank you for following…for watching the progress.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm

  10. Nice shots of the detail Scott. Like Emilio (Disperser Tracks), I’d be interested to know what the message is, it being on the side of a gun store.

    Whatever the message though, it’s a striking piece of art!

    June 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

  11. Good presentation of the mural and the detail. Did you get a new camera? I get a different feeling from your recent work. Maybe it’s my eyes. Lovely photographs all.

    June 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    • Thank you, George…and no, no new camera…not since November. I’m glad you like them.

      June 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

  12. This mural is awesome and whoever did it has some real talent. Get him/her in school and let him/her start a good career or continue painting on the sides of buildings but it would certainly buy the paint and supplies then. Kat PS You said you have been out in the field where have you been?

    August 21, 2016 at 8:34 pm

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