Arts Desk

Marvin Gaye Mural in Shaw Is Being Built Over

gaye_mural

If you prefer to pay your respects to late music greats at rainbow-hued building facades, your days to salute the memory of Marvin Gaye in Shaw are numbered. A colorful tribute to the homegrown soul crooner at 7th and S streets NW is on its way out.

The mural was commissioned by the Heineken Mural Project and painted in September 2013 by prolific street artist Aniekan Udofia, whose latest piece went up on a public poolhouse in Eastern Market earlier this month. Udofia says he knew when he started the mural that, because it abutted an empty lot, the wall could one day be obscured by a new building. Today, some people took to Twitter to wonder about an adjacent construction project as it creeps over Udofia's art—wondering, presumably, "What's Going On?"

Murals on private property are tricky things to protect—a D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities-funded piece on the Potter's House in Adams Morgan is in danger of being destroyed, and neighborhood residents (and the artist) have found little traction in their fight to save it. Udofia's case has a bright side, though: He says he's working on logistics for a new Gaye portrait somewhere in the neighborhood that'll be even better than the original. We'll be on the lookout.

UPDATE: Aug. 21, 1:30 p.m. As reported by PoPville, the new building is slated to be a two-unit residence.

Top photo courtesy of the artist

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