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Paisley Owners Set Up New Spot on Grand Avenue ... and Paint Over a Mural by El Mac

El Mac's mural on Universal Hair Salon in October, 2010 (above). The same space (and future location of Paisley Violin), September 2011.
El Mac's mural on Universal Hair Salon in October, 2010 (above). The same space (and future location of Paisley Violin), September 2011.
photos by Claire Lawton

Gina and Derrick Suarez shut the doors (and stripped the interior) of Paisley Violin, their house/cafe/art gallery, at the beginning of this month and announced they'll be reopening their operation across the street -- in the old Universal Hair Salon at 925 Grand Avenue.  


The couple took the iconic Paisley Violin sign and iron gates, which now rest in the new space's back lot, and this week, they gave the old spot an eggplant-purple paint job -- right over a mural by El Mac

El Mac, or Miles MacGregor is Phoenix native, an internationally commissioned artist, and arguably the best muralist in town painted one of his signature, ultra-realistic faces on Universal Hair Salon a few years ago, and even as pieces went up in the surrounding parking, the mural remained virtually untouched. 

El Mac's an iconic name in the local (and international) graffiti, mural, and art scene. His work was recently featured in Roger Gastman and Caleb Neeson's History of American Graffiti, and while he's typically travelling on art tours and mural gigs -- he painted a six-story building in Bristol last week -- he occasionally stops into Phoenix to visit family and friends. He even puts up a piece every once in a while. 

​When we spoke to Mac in March, he said that it's rare for his large-scale murals to get buffed out or painted over. 

Local artists including Francisco Garcia and Luster Kaboom have painted around his work (while carefully taping it off), and his other local pieces on Circle 6 Gallery (formerly Pravus) on Roosevelt, The Chocolate Factory on Grand Avenue, and on the back of an apartment complex at 317 W. McDowell Road are still up. 

The Suarez duo couldn't be reached for comment. We stopped by their newly purple building this morning, but only found taped-off windows, an empty lot, and a hint of the original green on the locked side door. 

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