One might think that not much happens on a Tuesday night at the back of Churchill’s Pub, and he or she is probably right. The outdoor stage that is filled with creative energy at Monday night’s notorious open mic is usually vacant on Tuesday evenings, except for a few kids hanging out or smoking. But at Miami’s punk-rock hub of unruliness, one never knows what her or she may find on any given evening.
Last night, on Tuesday May 24, 2017, for those who came out to see the lineup of local bands making music on the main stage or just to have a drink with friends, there was live mural spray painting back under the stars where roaches (both kinds) often linger.
The artists were commissioned to paint the murals by the man in charge of the outdoor renovation, Nassie Shahoulian aka Notorious Nastie. According to one of the artists, Nastie chose the punk depiction of the presidents for the largest mural in the outdoor stage area. Patriotic or Patriarchal? Previously there was a mural of Winston Churchill, so I guess with our current political atmosphere, the idea was to promote some American pride. The muralists altered the presidents to make them look more ethnic and punk rock.
There was also some cursive white writing on the wall that read “Girl World. We don’t call grown men Boys, and I doubt they’re referring to any grade school females. Yet, aside from infantilizing women, the writing on the wall did display a powerful political message at one point, a response to Donald Trump: “Cant Grab Thys Pussy.”
We’re Women! Rock on!
And, for the most part, the only “women” on the walls of the “beloved shit-hole” are all tits, a distortion of nature that breeds misogyny. Here’s some of the new topless sirens, women whose destructive power lies in their beauty and ability to seduce men. They also happen to be missing eyeballs.
The image is of a siren, a temptress like the symbolic snake that envelops her, luring sailors to their death. Soulless. We’ve heard it before. The femme fatale. Eve in the Garden. The images overly sexualize women like many images in popular media. Why are there no sexy men on the wall? Almost half the people who go there are women. How about a topless Iggy Pop? Just sayin‘ The previous mural was a gender neutral creative piece by @friendperson. She was not thrilled about the content of the mural that was painted over hers.
Some say the female form is the epitome of beauty, but as a female, I prefer to look at a handsome male. But our culture has an imbalance in the amount of value placed on women’s beauty, sexuality and youth while men, like Winston Churchill and the presidents, are valued for their wealth, power and status.
Imbalances are never healthy for anyone when values are warped.
No wonder so many women think they need to spend thousands on life threatening surgeries to alter their bodies. No wonder there’s so much date rape, often with alcohol involved at bars. No wonder we got Dumptrump and his model wife. No wonder so much pussy gets grabbed without consent, and the man who admits to it wins the presidency. What values are being promoted through this “art”? Churchill’s is quite a contradiction. They claim to be progressive yet are stuck in the mainstream patriarchal and sexist ideology whether they are aware of it or not. Just read the writing on the wall.
Well at least this image, in a more hidden area of Churchill’s Pub, has eyeballs. The image is also from @aquarellaart who has other more amazing, beautiful and positive images of women, none at the pub. Life is full of signs and people take in the messages all around them.
Nevertheless, tributing the founding fathers in today’s climate of presidential hate and governmental disillusionment is a bold move. Rock and roll is all-American after all. In the end, it’s about the music, and Churchill’s is a venue where one can listen to live, raw It was recently voted Best Rock Club by the Miami New Times. Now is when we need to be more patriotic more than ever, and now is when we need the arts to evolve. It would have been cool to see other figures replacing the traditional presidents like Rosa Parks with pink hair or Joan Jett. Now that would be punk rock, Riot Grrrl style!
Nevertheless, here’s a gallery of a few of the other interesting murals by local talented graffiti artists:
Pay attention to the writing on the wall: “Never, ever, ever give up.” @delvs102 Here’s a lady with some cool hair and outfit from a woman artist sending out a positive message amidst the smoke and debauchery– Never Give Up!