BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A wall in a back alley that was once covered with graffiti tags, is now host to a piece of public aimed at unifying the community.
“We just wanted to produce something so that when people come down here it would be a conversation starter,” explains artist Shane B.
He was approached by the owner of five points business Alchemy, with the idea of turning the wall behind the business into something beautiful.
“It was an old broken down wall, he had the vision of possibility putting something on it that would bring life to the area,” says Shane B. “He had the idea of creating a mural that was somewhat interactive and he and I just brainstormed and came up with this.”
They had an idea of what it should be like, but like most art, it morphed and changed as he painted.
“It lends itself to whatever experiences you’re having when you’re doing it,” says Shane B.
The mural measures 90 feet by 23 feet and is the first of its kind in the Five Points South neighborhood. It’s called “Freezing Time” and depicts everything from classic Nintendo game characters and a dog , to a romantic scene, and even someone getting punched in the face. The bright colors painted on a rich purple background in a style that evokes thoughts of Andy Warhol, but is exquisitely unique, just like the experience and emotions that the artist says everyone will have when they see it.
“Everyone is going to get something different tout of it. Some people it might strike a certain emotion of being happy, some it might upset them,” says Shane B. “We wanted lots of different imagery because everybody is completely different and you never know what one person is going to get from a single image.”
Shane B. is a classic muralist. He has been painting murals in Birmingham for 20 years, not for recognition, but for the love of the art, and the expression.
“They (the murals) come and go. Businesses come and go, open and close, it’s all temporary,” he says with a wise sigh. “My whole life is art.“
His talent stretches across mediums. He does hand engraving, upholstery, fabrication work, watercolors, charcoal, sculptures, and tattoos. You can see more of his work on his social media pages.
Alchemy owner Ace Graham says he hopes the mural will spark conversation, and interaction, either with people you know or strangers.
He and the other five points businesses are inviting everyone to attend an unveiling reception Saturday July 13th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be entertainment from DJ Coco, as well as enjoy complimentary food and drinks.