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David Quan on Trunk Space

Mural by David Quan, Photo by Claire Lawton
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It's about time Phoenix sees some serious mural love. In the interest of giving credit to their artists and because we're losing track of the times we've said, "Woah, when did that go up?", we bring you Mural City, a series on the murals springing up around town -- their artists, their hosts and their inspirations.

"Look, I'll put a bug in his beard," David Quan says over the hum of the air compressor behind the Trunk Space.

He started his mural, which he calls Nerd Monster, two weeks ago, but he's only been able to work on it for one day each week. Yesterday, he added his finishing touches -- including the bug.

Quan's a third-generation native Arizonan, who used to paint houses for a living, so he's definitely used to the paint fumes and the heat. He's usually wearing a protective mask and a big straw hat, which is why you may not have recognized him up on his ladder on Grand Avenue.

But he's finished his mural by deadline; his goal was to finish before the Grand Avenue Festival, which will take over Grand Avenue this weekend.

Read more about Quan and where you might be able to catch him at the festival this weekend, after the jump ...

The primary sketches of Nerd Monster didn't have glasses -- in fact, he was much less a nerd and much more a slobbery, mangy monster. But Quan says he decided to scale back, "you know, we want kids to still get dropped off here."

He says he's heard a range of responses from people walking up and down Grand Avenue; he's even heard from the Mayor's office, but won't go into too much detail besides the office's comments of a "devil on Grand."

Quan's been painting and illustrating forever. You can check out an archive of comics he's done for Jackalope Ranch called Magical Moment (they come out every Monday).

This weekend, for the Grand Avenue Festival, Quan says he'll probably be at Valley Pizza, where he says it looks like they might set up some kind of "ghetto fabulous" beer garden. You might also spot him at the Trashy Fashion show -- he and his girlfriend, who's a seamstress, are collaborating on a dress. "Her dresses are so pretty and my art is so ugly," David says. "We have worked together on some of her dresses before, but nothing trashy like this."

Stay tuned for a Grand Avenue Festival Field Guide (oh yes), which will include Quan's mural, on Jackalope Ranch tomorrow.

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