“The Bitter and The Sweet”

Eternal She











All together


Credits for The Bitter and The Sweet

Well folks this little photo essay project can’t quite seem to get any traction via my feet.  So– I’m curious if anyone else has seen similar renditions of these spiritual concepts in other street art murals anywhere.  Please do enjoy these images because since I photographed the originals they’ve been defaced. The mural can be found on Cesar Chavez Blvd leading into the West Bottoms in Kansas City, Missouri. Or it “could” the last time I did a drive by.  Your thoughts regarding the art, the concepts, the technique, the symbols, et al, are welcome. Links to similar murals are also welcome. I  find this mural very compelling on several symbolic levels. The easily recognizable Christian symbols have been given an individual twist with the corn people, spaceman, and the depiction of the people in the tree. Some things are wide open. I’m wondering about the things that are “suggested”.  Anyone care to venture some speculations or hard core information?

I’m all ears–fingers–eyes.


  1. October 19, 2010 at 7:18 am

    I don’t know what it all means but it’s fascinating. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Posky said,

    October 15, 2010 at 2:31 am

    I wish I did have more to offer but all I really have is my own curiosity. In what way where they defaced? When were they up? Do you have any more information on them?

    • October 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm

      Hey Posky! Ha, sorry I have no more information on this mural — yet. Pursuit has dead ended for the moment–so far. Hence this online posting. The mural was defaced with what appears to be black spray paint in about the center. This one has been up since October of 2005. Curiosity is good.

  3. echostains said,

    October 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Wow! these are great! Kahlo, Tomaselli (http://tinyurl.com/2u56bor) Mayan, Aztec and Incan, influences abound! How dare they deface this art! Who in the right mind WOULDN’T want to look at this?

    • October 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      Lynda–great question–who whould not want to look at this art? I guess philistines are running rampant even on the blvds. What really aggravates me is that not long after I sent a query to the local newspaper to see if they had any interest in piece on all the murals and graffiti in this location–well–very soon after the graffiti–some of it very interesting all by itself was ‘cleared off’ the retaining walls. So half the art literally disappeared. What remains is fading fast. Except for this mural. And no–the paper did not even bother to send a negative reply to my query. I have the feeling that no one locally is really interested–except for the woman who originated the mural program for the high school Hispanic students. She may have her own plans for writing about those murals. But this one is not part of that set.
      Like you, I find this extremely engaging and beautiful work.

  4. artistatexit0 said,

    October 14, 2010 at 3:44 am

    I can’t say I’ve seen another mural like this, however, I responded to the “space” elements in this composition. The Kachina figures have this astronaut quality to them. Yes, there is a Mayan influence and a reference to the great stelae of King Pacal found at the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque. I believe this image was used in the book “Chariot of the Gods” to put forth the notion of ancient space travel? It is true though, that the Mesoamericans watched the comos and built many observatories to track the heavens. The Christian elements seem stranger to my eye. It’s a shame if this mural has since been vandalized.

    • October 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Al. Yes, it is a shame that someone has done a black spray paint number–or so it appears–on this mural. It is the best perseved of several on the retaing walls. It was also done by those in the credits photo and not the same group of high schoolers as the others–which have lost much of their color. Several of the high project murals are ‘gone’ for all intents and purposes. But not this mural. These photos respond very well and with very interesting results to ‘color’ adjustment on my hp program–what is currently on the wall is very vibrant by itself. The adjustments just seem to reliven the highlights of the details. It’s clear that John Moreno deliberately mixed all the symbolic elements you’ve noted. I’d like to know why. Trick is finding Moreno. Eventually?

  5. lesliepaints said,

    October 13, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Well, I know of no murals, at this time, nor do I know anything about this story. I viewed them, individually, as I scrolled with no idea that they were going to be a mural. My favorites are “The Eternal She” and “We”. “We” cracks me up! Then it is followed on the mural by “Three”. Guess “Three” came from “WE” and the “Etrnal She” set it in motion by energy from the “Thunderbird”. After “Three” arrived, there was a family “Tree” that now has grown to encompass all “Space” from earth to sky as we can’t all live forever and must pass to the other realm, yet the family still exists. Oh too much fun and I’m sure you did not expect this run-down!

    • October 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      LOL—unexpected indeed, Leslie. But great fun too! Also, I think your statements about family and mortality are definitely valid. Wonderful perspective1

  6. slpmartin said,

    October 13, 2010 at 2:33 am

    I have no hard facts to offer…my first impression was that there were some elements of Mayan Art in some of the images (1,3, and 5)…but that’s just an impression from what I saw when I was in Central America.

    • October 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      Interesting that you do see correlations between what you saw in Central America and the elements of Mayan Art. Thanks for that observation, Charles.

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