Photo by Irvin Gavidor
On Wednesday, May 29, local artist Giancarlo Pia installed his first outdoor large-scale mural — on the north wall of Jaroco Market at the corner of 25th and B streets.
At approximately 17’5” wide by 7’5” tall, the piece is Pia’s largest to date. Titled Golden Hill, the mural began as a small-scale collage Pia arranged and layered using an X-Acto knife before he had it enlarged. He united the images in hopes of conveying an urban warmth that would reflect the neighborhood he has lived in for three years.
The artist approached the owner of Jaroco Market, a mainstay of the community, to ask if he could use the wall (a popular spot for taggers) to install an art piece. The two collaborated on the plan.
The resulting artwork was enlarged and printed by reproHAUS on DPF 8000 vinyl film, which is made of PVC and used for outdoor applications such as billboards and automobile wraps. Like a giant sticker, the art was installed by adhering the material to the wall and rolling from the top down, in sections.
Pia said he is pleased with the imperfect outcome: the textured plaster of the wall gives the work another dimension, and the visible edges show the process of creation.
A graffiti-proof coating protects the art, though Pia expresses his feeling that “not all graffiti art is bad.” He sees his piece as a nod to other street and outdoor art in the community and cites Chicano Park as a source of inspiration.
As one of the cashiers at Jaroco pointed out, the mural depicts the front wall of the market and the view of downtown as visible down B Street. He said that Pia has been a customer for a long time.
After doing social work with youth in several cities for the past decade and creating art in the off-hours, Pia has recently made the switch to full-time artist. He plans to put up collaborative murals that depend on the input of young people in the neighborhoods where the art will reside.