Mural Reflects Heroes in the Time of Pandemic

By David Ganezer

Photos by Mary Leipziger.

Does life reflect art, or should art reflect life? Art gives us a new perspective, shows us a new dimension and makes our understanding of life deeper, wrote Emmanuel Kant. Or perhaps it was Banksy.

"Great art often comes from difficult times," acknowledges mural artist Samir Arghandwall. "We're left alone most of the time with not much to do, so we have time to develop your own work. Any time an artist is left alone, they can work on their own stuff. Time to reflect on your own life and love."

Arghandwall's street name is Evol. That's love spelled backwards. He is a professional artist who's recent work centers on murals.

"This particular mural was conceived of as a way of honoring health care professionals, at the end of a year that has been difficult for all of us.

It's the least that I can do as an artist to thank the heroes of our times, and they definitely deserve it," says Evol.

"The purpose of it was to honor health care professionals who have been putting their lives on the line day in and day out. It's meant a lot to me that health care professionals have come to look at it," he says.

The particular artwork adorns the side of a gym, Sports Fit on 20th Street and Wilshire in Santa Monica. It was commissioned by Barco, a company which manufactures uniforms for health care workers.

Barco contacted Evol because they appreciate his art work. "I said that I would be honored to do this theme. A gentleman by the name of John Parks, his life work is to beautify the Earth with public art," Evol said. Barco reached out to him, and Parks contacted Evol.

Evol graduated with a BA from CalArts in fine arts in 1995. He illustrates for a living, including animation and murals. "I have a really strong graffiti background, the graffiti world knows me," says Evol. "One of my main mediums is spray paint, that comes from the culture of graffiti. I've been doing murals since 1995. Calvin Kosciuk is my assistant," he says.

"Hard times definitely develop you as an artist. You're in a different state of mind, and that develops different types of artwork.

"This mural was intended to reflect enduring positive values in difficult times. The people that are commissioning this love it because of the press it's gotten. (News sites in) New Zealand, Germany, Indian press have also covered this mural. It's allowed me to develop as an artist, too. I've gotten into the flow of the medical world. I'm developing my skills as far as the mask skills and the uniforms, so the second and third ones will be even stronger as art," says Evol.

You can see the mural at SportsFit Gym, located at 2010 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403


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