In contrast to his tiny typography and fiendishly small graphics, Chris Ware is now writ large in a new mural for Dave Egger’s 826 Valencia in San Francisco:
The mural’s intricate causal diagrams depict the development of the human race, along with its efforts at, and motivations for, communication. The theme is sympathetic with the centre’s philanthropic function to encourage and tutor young writers. ‘I didn’t want it to make anyone “feel good”, especially in that typically muralistic “hands across the water” sort of way,’ explains Ware, ‘I especially wanted it to be something that people living in the neighbourhood could look at day after day and hopefully not tire of too quickly. I really hoped whomever might happen to come across it would find something that showed a respect for their intelligence, and didn’t force-feed them any “message”.’
But, be careful:
Sometimes I worry because people stand out in the middle of the street — by far the best vantage point to look at the work.
A trip to San Francisco is in order. Or perhaps safer to see it here.
Note: And by “now” I mean 2002, when the mural was created. Thx, Naz.