Last month, my evening bicycle commute up 8th avenue was interrupted by the face of Pope Francis emerging from the whitewashed side of a building. I pulled to the curb, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and continued home. I repeated this ritual four times the following week, thus documenting the painting of a wall mural advertising the Pope’s visit to the USA.
Why did I stop and take notice? Years ago, before living in New York, I watched the short film Up There, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the rare individuals who hand paint walls for a living. It fascinated me. The opportunity to see many hand-painted walls – and their progress – first-hand is one of the unique joys of living in New York.