Visual Arts

Soldierleisure's Mid-Pedal on monOrchid

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, "Whoa, 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.

Andy Brown's been back in Phoenix for a few weeks, and he's already getting the itch to add some color to blank walls in downtown Phoenix.

The Phoenix native moved to Los Angeles and spent time in Tokyo, Barcelona, and Rome (to name a few places) for a couple years.

Yeah, he says, he was working on murals and promoting his art and design brand, Soldierleisure, but he was also working on "taking it all in."

Since coming back, Brown says he's noticed a difference in local street art culture -- namely, there's a lot more of it since he left town. When he saw monOrchid owner, Wayne Rainey, post a note online asking for mural designs on the east-facing wall of his building, Brown bit.

A few nights ago, Brown set up a 1940s projector that blinked on monOrchid's wall as he started his line work. His characters don't have names, but all of them seem to be having a pretty good time in the present (something Brown tries to do as often as possible).

He says "Soldierleisure" comes from taking responsibility and getting work done while also taking time for experiences and creativity.

The biker on monOrchid is in mid-pedal, he says, probably about to hit the beach with a book, a spray can, and a beer can in the koozie attached to the handlebars.

Down the street, you can find another one of his figures listening to music through over-sized headphones on the wall of Holgas (another one of Rainey's buildings).

He and Rainey have known each other since the early 2000s; Rainey hosted one of Brown's first exhibitions of artwork and clothing.

Last night, the two were still going back and forth about the details of the biker. Rainey proposes potential titles and extra details for the back of the bike. Brown laughs and says he'll be back to add a few more finishing touches tomorrow.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton