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Pugh Is Coming

Blank walls beware!

Is there anything as boring as a blank wall?

The windowless back wall of 418-420 Montezuma, the old building that houses the Jean Cocteau Cinema, the Wheelhouse Gallery, Wild Hair Salon, and a dozen assorted offices has been largely featureless... well, for decades, since they knocked down the building that once attached to it, way back when.

Here's the way it looked when I acquired the building in 2013:

Pretty ugly, I think you'll agree. The back of the building fronts on the tracks of the Railrunner and the Santa Fe Southern Railyard, so there are often trains back there... but nothing else, aside from weeds, stumps, and some garbage. Not the most attractive scene to greet visitors arriving in our City Different for the first time on the Railrunner.

Of course, we cleaned out the garbage, cut down the weeds, and re-stuccoed when we took over the building, two years ago. After that the back wall looked like this:

Better, I think you'll agree. Cleaner. But still boring, still blank.

I couldn't let that stand. To me, "blank" means "blank slate," and that means art. So I commissioned John Pugh, the world famous muralist and trompe l'oiel master whose previous work I blogged about downstream, to paint a mural for the back wall at Montezuma.

John has been at work on it for a year and a half, and tomorrow he will arrive in Santa Fe to begin the process of installation. The official unveiling of the latest John Pugh "narrative illusion" will be next week, Tuesday, at 5:30 pm. Come and join us. There's no charge, and a reception will follow in the Wheelhouse Gallery next door.

Coming into Santa Fe by train will never be boring again.


Sep. 24th, 2015 01:39 am (UTC)
Booster Gold & Blue Beetle
Hey George, I know this is a bit off topic but I have to ask. You might not even care but...

I know you are an avid DC comics fan and I was wondering whether you heard the news about Booster Gold and Blue Bettle being turned into a superhero buddy comedy by Warner Bros.
Sep. 24th, 2015 06:07 am (UTC)
Re: Booster Gold & Blue Beetle
No, I hadn't.

Can't say that thrills me. I loved Steve Ditko's take on the Blue Beetle, but when they brought him back years later and teamed him with Booster Gold, they turned both characters into clowns.
Sep. 24th, 2015 10:53 am (UTC)
Re: Booster Gold & Blue Beetle
Sorry for continuing the off topic discussion, but I'm curious: Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Lara De Brito Alves
Sep. 24th, 2015 07:14 am (UTC)
I'll wait for the pictures, from Manchester to Santa Fe is a bit far 😌

Edited at 2015-09-24 07:15 am (UTC)
Sep. 24th, 2015 12:02 pm (UTC)
Wow, this makes a trip to Santa Fe pretty much compulsory, even from Auckland. And I love the subtle foreshadowing of the earlier post - sneaky!
Sep. 24th, 2015 12:31 pm (UTC)
What is it going to be? Like a side view of the audience watching a movie? That'd be pretty cool. Looking forward to see what he cooks up.
Sean Hall
Sep. 24th, 2015 01:47 pm (UTC)
Very cool
Based off his previous work, can't wait to see the mural! Did you have any input on the design or did you just tell him to have at it?
Sep. 24th, 2015 01:47 pm (UTC)
Here thar be dragons?
It's just got to be a fire-breathing Drogon emerging over an ice-covered Wall.
Jen Foley
Sep. 24th, 2015 02:04 pm (UTC)
Any hints as to subject matter for the piece, George? Did you give Mr. Pugh any parameters or did he dig deep into his creative bank and come up with something to surprise you? Looking very forward to seeing this reveal!
Sep. 24th, 2015 02:22 pm (UTC)
That building just screams for art. Can't wait to see what he does with it. Might just have to take a train trip to check it out.
Christina V Kline
Sep. 24th, 2015 02:51 pm (UTC)
Santa Fe is only 5 hours from Leadville... any spoilers on theme or is it meant to be a complete surprise?
Sep. 24th, 2015 02:57 pm (UTC)
This is terrific. I love the way you support the arts.
Sep. 24th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC)
Hey, maybe you took my suggestion on the original Pugh post to heart! ;-)

Looking forward to seeing whatever he produces! Great move, GRRM!
Sep. 24th, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
Can't wait to see pictures of it!
Sep. 24th, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC)
This is a great idea! Looking forward to the finished artwork.
Sep. 24th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC)
Something (else) to look forward to the next time I'm in Albuquerque and can take the opportunity to head up to Santa Fe.
Sep. 24th, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
Hi Mr. Martin, I'm happy to see that you've taken what was once an eyesore for rail-riding visitors and are having it transformed into what I can only assume will be a beautiful work of art. I'm wondering, however (since I'm terrible with secrets and waiting) if you can divulge if there is any sort of theme associated with the mural (ie. sci-fi, per se)? Or if you had any involvement with the concept? Please let us know!
Thanks, I'm a big fan of all your work!
Sep. 25th, 2015 04:44 am (UTC)
I can't wait to see the finished work! This world would be a better place if there was a little more art.
Sep. 25th, 2015 05:51 am (UTC)
Pretty much exactly this - the whole thing, the theatre, the restoration - has been one of my Surprise Lotto Dream Projects for years. It'll never happen, of course, but I sure would like it to.
Sep. 25th, 2015 11:53 pm (UTC)
Like your way
I like your way of thinking , this type of Art is visually stunning . Looking forward to the pictures !
Sep. 26th, 2015 04:06 am (UTC)

Oooh, can't wait to see it!



George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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