NYC street-artist tags Riverside

BOAart// by Sarah Carter

The street artist known as “Jerkface” recently finished a mural at the Bank of America building in Riverside. The piece, inspired by the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, was commissioned for the building’s east wall and completed with spray-paint—a staple in the world of graffiti.

Jerkface says the colors used represent Jacksonville and add a beachy feel to the background, while the figures create the comforting focus of the piece.

“Hobbes is getting his belly rubbed by Calvin with waves in the background, almost like he’s swimming in bliss, so it’s a very peaceful message,” says Jerkface. The mural captures Hobbs in a repeating pattern across the wall, which is among the most characteristic aspects of the artist’s approach.

“I do a lot of repetitive characters to create patterns in the work,” says Jerkface. “When I use the character more than once it creates motion and encapsulates the character.” The artist’s stylistic calling card is a self-described interaction of energy, youth and emotion.

Classically trained on canvas, Jerkface got his start in the New York City street-scene while assisting another artist. At the site where a commissioned work was to take place, the mastermind failed to show up. Jerkface took advantage of the situation, painted his first wall and the rest is history.

Now, with his eye set on the Southeast, the artist jumped at an invitation to complete a piece in the River City.

“There were a lot of walls we had leads on and this one happened to come at the last minute,” says Jerkface. “We were waiting on the perfect wall. This is the one.” He says his love for art drives him to create not-for-profit street murals and he hopes to complete more works in Jacksonville in the near future.

This is the fifth of six murals planned for the Murray Hill business district completed by recognized street-artists, as the works are commissioned in an effort to revamp the developing area. The mural can be viewed at the intersection of Edgewood Ave. and Kerle St.