The Irish born London based painter Conor Harrington was invited by Mana Urban Arts Project and Juxtapoz Magazine to paint a mural in downtown Miami during Art Basel 2017 to celebrate the opening of the Juztapoz Clubhouse on Flagler street in partnership with Adidas Skateboarding.
About The Mural
Entitled “The Blind Patriot” Conor’s mural explores America’s relationship with its flag and the awful blackballing of ex 49ers’ Quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
This mural is a trade mark of Conor’s style where he combines unconventional, contemporary techniques while focusing on the more historical human form which allows his art to be more revolutionary in nature while retaining a sense of historical importance. There is also a more subdued side to Conor Harrington’s art, relying on a darker color palette to convey his intended message to his audience.
Video by Chop Em Down Films
In 1916, Hubert Evans, an 11-year-old black boy in Des Moines, Iowa, got dragged before a juvenile court judge for refusing to salute the American flag at school. “I won’t salute the flag at school for I do not think it is right,” Hubert had said. “It doesn’t have God in it. In the second place, I haven’t any country. It all belongs to the white man. If it wasn’t for God, I would not be here. The white man doesn’t count us.” The judge then order the boy back to school to honor the flag.
Exactly 100 years later, in a protest of what the American Flag represents, Colin Kaepernick (then quarterback of the 49ers’) was kneeling down during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as opposed to the tradition of standing, before every preseason game in 2016. During an interview, he explained his position stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”, referencing a series of events that led to the Black Lives Matter movement and adding that he would continue to protest until he feels like the American flag represents what it’s supposed to represent.
Following his departure from the 49ers, Kaepernick went unsigned through the offseason and 2017 training camps, leading to allegations that he was being blackballed because of his on-field political actions as opposed to his performance.
Do the math!
Conor Harrington’s work draws a fine line between classical and contemporary art, and masterfully creates a world within those boundaries. The Irish-born Harrington, a former graffiti artist, not only still enjoys painting huge outdoor murals but consistently tackles new, inventive forms of art, often in a gallery setting.
Conor Harrington’s works are unquestionably dreamlike, finding a striking balance between the ethereal senses and hard realism behind the dominant themes of today’s society. In a sense, Harrington emphasizes the importance of realism in his work by the application of more modern elements, such as feature obfuscation, that bring this style of art to light. This even distribution of both techniques by Conor Harrington allows the viewer to get a sense of the importance of both methods in depicting what he is attempting to communicate with regards to each piece.
Conor Harrington is currently based in East London, where he works primarily from his studio. His works can be found across the globe, from Dublin, the United States, and the United Kingdom to Norway, Spain, and the Bethlehem Wall, among other places.