Friday, May 04, 2012
SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE…Graffiti artist takes swing at ‘Fast Life’ mural controversy. SARASOTA – City officials and residents of the Central-Cocoanut neighborhood are finding out what happens when you get into an art debate with a guy who spray-paints for a living. A month ago, French graffiti artist MTO saw his controversial “Fast Life” mural on 10th Street painted over because of objections to its content — a set of hands, making a gesture that some interpreted as a gang sign, with the titular words tattooed on the knuckles.
Now the elusive graffiti artist is back in town, putting the finishing touches on an even bigger, more in-your-face mural targeted at the “leaders and haters” of Sarasota. Denise Kowal, a public art activist who had a big hand in bringing MTO here, was left to explain his intent, which she did reluctantly Thursday, venturing: “You know, people have a reaction to how they’re treated.” Denise Kowal would not say who paid for it, but mentioned that it cost more than $3,000 in spray paint alone.
Dirtball tagger MTO says, “Dr. Robin Specialist for Leaders and Haters (that’s me) Bullshit Crisis City of Sarasota”. I for one and really glad that maybe all the research I did into the gang signs and the people responsible for the “Fast Life’ mural were exposed and that the City of Sarasota requested that it be taken down, this one is next.
About the new mural: It’s some 40 feet tall, on the north side of Sarasota Architectural Salvage. Owner Jesse White said he gave MTO permission based on a thumbnail sketch. But White said Thursday he felt blindsided when he saw some of the final touches — especially the parts that target his neighbors and city leaders.
One of White’s neighbors irked by the new mural is Scott Gerber, who painted over the “Fast Life” mural after being pressured by neighbors and the city. After the first mural stirred up controversy, city officials sent him a letter urging him to consider eliminating it as a gesture of “goodwill.” So he did. Now Gerber is apparently on the artist’s bad side — the second mural includes a warped Tube Dude with dollar signs for eyes, (SEE ENHANCED OUTLINE OF TUBE DUDE IN SUN GLASSES ABOVE)..
“We gave MTO a tremendous amount of support,” Gerber said. “I stood up for this guy even though I didn’t care for the message in his piece. I got in a lot of trouble, and it jeopardized my company and my employees. It was a negative influence toward my business and for him to mock us I thought was really immature.” I stood behind this man and gave him my support,” Gerber said. “I put my butt on the line, almost to the point that my business was going to suffer and the minute I take the mural down, he retaliates by creating this piece … I think the new (MTO) mural was a pretty stupid move on Denise Kowal’s part. She’s sponsoring a guy (MTO) who is publicly insulting our city.” More From This Source.
The “Fast Life’ mural that was to be painted over by Scott Gerber at the Tube Dude Factory appeared to show gang signs of the West Side Crips, the inverted W. One of the MTO ”Fast Life” mural team members was a guy by the name of Roger, see insert above, who had posted photos of himself and his girl friend on Facebook giving the West Side Crips gang sign, also note gun in his waistband, click on image above to enlarge. Roger was apparently working for Denise Kowal and Austin Kowal at their T-Shirt Shop “Clothesline” 533 S. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota FL. Roger was arrested in Sarasota during February 2012 on Felony aggravated battery charges, nice MTO team member.
Tube Dude Factory owner Scott Gerber did the right thing in taking down the gang graffiti “Fast Life” mural, seen above, that this dirtball MTO put up on his building. On the other hand this woman, Denise Kowal, did the wrong thing in bringing back tagger MTO to Sarasota, what problems does Denise Kowal have with the City of Sarasota, why does she continue to endorse this dirtball MTO?
MTO used the hands of Jeremy Cattanach for the design of the “Fast Life” mural on the Tube Dude building, Jeremy Cattanach works at the custom T-shirt shop, Clothesline, owned by Austin Kowal, son of Chalk Festival Founder Denise Kowal. Denise Kowal said the mural has been a “big conversation starter.” She is disappointed with a story from Rise Magazine, which she said gives a slanted view of the piece.
Denise Kowal continues to give Sarasota Fl a “black eye” by bringing MTO and his street tagging graffiti back to town. Berlin based graffiti / street tagger MTO did both the former ‘Fast Life’ piece and the ‘Dr. Robin’ piece which are part of the “Going Vertical campaign”, an initiative led by Sarasota Chalk Festival founder Denise Kowal to create murals in various locations throughout the city, how’s that going Denise?
Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota Fl at www.wbipi.com