SLIM Paints the Carlsbad Art Wall

On April 7, international artist SLIM painted a mural on the Carlsbad Art Wall located on the east facing wall of Señor Grubby’s in the Carlsbad Village.

At the young age of 23, the artist from a small village just outside of Barcelona arrived in the United States for his first time. SLIM has painted large murals all around Europe, but this visit to Carlsbad would soon become a pivotal moment in the artist’s career—his first U.S. mural.

SLIM began painting Thursday and anticipated four full days of work in his signature hyper-realism hand-painted technique. With a variety of wide brushes, a collection of buckets of paint and one long pole, SLIM began applying the first brushstrokes.

SLIM taped a brush to the end of his pole and began applying color to the loosely sketched shapes on the wall. A large figure in the center of the composition began to evolve as the artist rendered from shadows to highlights. By the end of the day, a young girl in a swimsuit could be seen building a sandcastle on the beach.

Salty air-dried hair hung from a ponytail as sun-kissed legs glowed in the mid-afternoon sun. A colorful swimsuit radiated within the shimmering puddles of a rising tide and a Barbie doll laid discarded after a long day of sand and sea.

Paint-drips splashed across the artist’s palette, which was a large piece of cardboard placed in the dirt at the base of the wall. Colors mixed wildly and precisely exhibiting his keen understanding of color theory.

Waves rolled in the far distance toward the shore eager to rinse the beach clean like a street sweeper after a biannual street faire. Like a life-long dream, a sandcastle home sits brittle and exposed to the reality of its undeniable fate.

Passersby marveled at the perfectly painted figures. Many commented how the mural, from afar, looked like a photograph pasted to the wall. The artist invited closer investigation, daring each onlooker to analyze the meaning of his mural.

SLIM aims to connect with the local community on a conceptual level in addition to the visual. The location in which he paints provides inspiration for both—Carlsbad was foreign to him, but he did his research.

SLIM learned through online investigation that Carlsbad, up until a few years ago, was a North County San Diego hidden gem—a quaint village under the radar of many—but in recent years, the sleepy village has been put on the map. SLIM learned that Carlsbad has seen an incredible influx of transplants, ultimately driving up home prices and driving out long-time local residents.

Visual hints can be found in different elements of the mural. The sharp angle of the overhead sun casts dark shadows under unconventional and strained positions of each figure. The looming tide in the background creeps uncomfortably close like the last seconds of a wound-up alarm clock representing the dreams of a forever Carlsbad home slowly being engulfed by a wave of impossibilities.

Slim kept to himself most of the four days, besides the gratitude he communicated in simple and broken English when praise was sent his way.

Carlsbad’s newest mural has already become a favorite for locals and Village visitors for is uncanny ability to connect through like-minded childhood memories of summer beach days. Beyond the visual, those willing to analyze admire SLIM’s ability to communicate the topic of a housing crisis within Carlsbad—a topic not all are affected by, and even fewer care to talk about.

We tend to search for beauty and positivity in artist’s creations, but a masterpiece is not dependent on the ability to uplift. A true masterpiece inspires conversation and encourages reflection and dialogue. The conversations that are inspired by SLIM’s findings might become Carlsbad’s next great masterpiece. If silence follows, at least our eyes will be in awe.

Click HERE for all the photos

Click HERE for all press

Click HERE to submit a design

Click HERE for photos of past CAW murals

Started in March 2015, Carlsbad Village based artist Bryan Snyder will be bringing a street artists/muralist every 2 months to paint a mural on the east facing wall of Señor Grubby’s in the Carlsbad Village.

Click HERE for photos of Snyder’s street art workshop: March 22

The goal of the Carlsbad Art Wall is to serve as a conduit between aspiring artists and professional artists, to provide a platform to engage and educate the Carlsbad community in the creative act of large scale public painting and to introduce a variety of new art and creative processes to the Carlsbad comm

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