The George Floyd mural on Colfax was defaced twice in a month

Someone threw yellow paint on Detour and Heiro’s piece within the last week.

Detour and Heiro's mural of George Floyd, on East Colfax Avenue, was defaced for the second time in a month. Nov. 4, 2020.

Detour and Heiro's mural of George Floyd, on East Colfax Avenue, was defaced for the second time in a month. Nov. 4, 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
KEVIN-lighter

In early June, as protests demanding racial justice were at their height in the city, artists Detour and Heiro began a campaign of murals depicting Black Americans killed at the hands of police. A portrait of George Floyd, whose murder in Minneapolis sparked marches and rallies across the nation, was one of the first to go up. It’s still visible on the side of Ready Temporary Service’s auxiliary building on East Colfax Avenue between Race and High streets.

But Floyd’s face was marred in the last week. Someone threw a streak of yellow paint right in the middle of it.

Detour, whose real name is Thomas Evans, declined to comment. But Monica Brown, Ready Temporary Service’s general manager, said this is the second time something has happened to the mural. The yellow paint appeared sometime in the last few days, she said on Wednesday afternoon. About a month ago, she added, someone also spray painted “Fentanyl Floyd” across his face.

Both times after she saw that the mural was defaced, she said she reported the incidents to her landlord. Brown said one or both artists returned to fix the piece after the first time it happened.

Craig Boucher, who works for Ready Temporary Service, took this photo of the defaced mural on Oct. 14, 2020.

Craig Boucher, who works for Ready Temporary Service, took this photo of the defaced mural on Oct. 14, 2020.

Courtesy: Craig Boucher

Meanwhile, issues over race and power have spilled into street art across town.

During the recent CRUSH Walls event in Five Points, artist Jolt painted a mural depicting a rhino, developer Kent Wolf and “Love This City” artist Pat Milbery as scheming gentrifiers.

It was a message that channeled frustration over the RiNo Art District’s hip, new presence within the borders of Five Points, Denver’s historically Black neighborhood that’s experienced rapid displacement in the last decade. This is not the first mural that Jolt has painted in this spot that depicts a rhino railroading residents of color.

Jolt’s piece from 2020 was recently covered with a thin coat of white paint.

Later, words appeared that were written in Jolt’s “signature” lettering: “This mural has been censored. …Due to white fragility.”

Jolt's CRUSH Walls 2020 mural was whitewashed. The black text was added next, possibly by the artist. Then the green text appeared. Here's the wall on Nov. 4, 2020.

Jolt's CRUSH Walls 2020 mural was whitewashed. The black text was added next, possibly by the artist. Then the green text appeared. Here's the wall on Nov. 4, 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Another message was added after that. On Wednesday, writing painted in green could be seen that appeared to further criticize Jolt.

One of the latest statements read: “This artist is a racist and a bigot.”

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Looks like you’re the type of person who reads to the ends of articles! Well, true believer, you might really like our morning newsletter. It’s quick, free and gets you up to speed on the important and delightful things happening right here in Denver. Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

Weird times

Denverite is powered by you. In these weird times, the local vigilance, the local context, the local flavor — it’s powered through your donations. If you’d miss Denverite if it disappeared tomorrow, donate today.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.