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.
We're not talking your typical restaurant art, but a mural from KENO - the notoriously low-profile street artist who's made over a dozen films documenting Arizona graffiti.
KENO, an artist name he goes by to avoid trouble with the law due to the nature of his work, was born in the Valley and grew up in Vegas. He spends time traveling the surrounding states immortalizing himself through his work.
"I was inspired to paint what I painted just based on the vibe and scenery that I encountered," Keno says of the mural he calls "Bratwursting."
He began writing graffiti in the third grade, penciling his first art name, Fly, all over his Phoenix-area neighborhood. He moved to Las Vegas a few years later and it was there that his painting career took off. By the time he returned to the Valley, "It was game over," KENO says, "I was unstoppable."
At the "Brat Haus Haus Party," guests saw Keno putting the finishing touches on the piece. The brat-themed work shows flying pigs and a train of sausages against a Sonoran desert backdrop. Stylized cacti resemble green crystals and a sausage-stuffing gun oozes from the right side of the wall.
KENO says he gets his inspiration from other graffiti writers and in particular, another Phoenix graffiti writer, DAER from the EMT crew.
"My ultimate dream or goal in this art world I live in would be to have as much 'ups' as I can in as many places as I can. So when my body dies off my graffiti and legend still lives on," KENO says.
The restaurant plans to have artists paint over the mural every few months; the next installation is already scheduled for the sometime around the end of September.
"The mural took me about five days to finish, working swing shifts to avoid the potent rays of the Arizona sun," Keno says. "My favorite aspect of the piece is probably the trains. I love trains, especially painting them with my crew, ISB."
To other writers, KENO offers some words of advice and shares some of his personal tips: "My favorite ink to use by the way is GLOP INK. You can find some at your local Graff shop, I'm sure. Having the proper tools is very important, just like having the proper size paintbrush. I use the proper sized spray tip."
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|Mural by KENO, photo by Lauren Saria|