On November 6, Gloria Muriel received news that a mural she painted in City Heights was restored to original by a “mysterious master restoration artist.” It originally took her and Tijuana-based artist Alonso Delgadillo about six hours to paint the wall located next to Ocean Discovery Institute in City Heights (on Thorn Street); two weeks ago it took a tagger seconds to deface the duo’s 25-30 foot by 8-foot mural.
“The taggers used shitty paint,” she said on a November 8 interview, “and we used 94 Montana spray paint.”
Muriel and Delgadillo’s mural is predominantly aqua in color with cacti patterns surrounding Muriel’s signature face rendition in the middle — which was tagged over with a letter “s.”
“The restorers did a pretty good job, because they blended the face,” she said.
Clairemont resident Muriel was planning to come back this week to restore the tagged-piece herself but the surprise restoration “saved me so much time and if it was going to be a hard fix: I was going to redo a new one.”
“You are awesome whoever you are,” she said. “This was a happy surprise …. I never experienced someone fixing a tagged mural before.”
I spoke to a former City Heights-based tagger that currently paints large murals legally. “That tag was not by anyone from the neighborhood,” he said. “I asked around and no one made that tag from the [local] gang — it looks staged.”
“That’s so cute,” Muriel said, “like I did it on purpose? That’s hilarious.”
Muriel has painted more than 50 murals throughout San Diego, Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Mexico — and she provides paint-workshops to children.