New mural at Colfax and Franklin.
New mural at Colfax and Franklin.
Armina Jusufagic

Reader: Who Gets Offended by a Positive Painting Like This?

The city is filled with protests large and small. Earlier this month, Karlee Mariel and Armina Jusufagic created this mural at East Colfax Avenue and Franklin Street, one of several they've done around town to commemorate life during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were doing this to give back to the community,” explains Jusufagic. “It’s a hard time, and art changes people and changes your mood.”

But their mood changed quickly when someone drove by and threw a drink at them, soaking the artwork and their equipment. “I felt like we were targeted and victimized for painting a mural of two women kissing in public,” says Mariel. “Both Armina and I were so excited about all the positive feedback, and then a hate crime happened.”

Was it? When it comes to art in the time of COVID-19, everyone's a critic. Says Justin: 

I saw them painting it. Looked pretty straightforward.

Asks Marci: 

Is that the completed mural? It's not very good and that has nothing to do with it being two women kissing in COVID times.  Maybe the guy was just a furloughed art critic?

Suggests Barb: 

The artists should not have been attacked....but man, paint something realistic. Who in the fu@k is making out with masks?!!!

Asks Kelly: 

Who's the weak-minded asshole who gets offended by a positive painting like this?

Responds Stephen: 

Socially conditioning people to think of their friends, families, neighbors, etc. as potential combatants that can kill a person isn’t human and it’s not beautiful. Taking away real genuine human interaction and replacing it with suspicion and fear is not beautiful in any way. All it does is harm humanity and those that are the most vulnerable. There is no life and expression in a masked face... you cannot read social queues and non verbal communication. Not for me and not for the heart-centered among us.

Replies Leslie: 

Homophobia or science denial...does it matter why the soda got tossed? The point is that tossing a soda at someone who's not bothering you in the slightest is an unjustified act of assholery and a prime example of what's wrong with this world. 

Adds Steve: 

"Unjustified act of assholery" is overly polite. I'd call it domestic terrorism.

Concludes Kathy: 

 AND A HATE CRIME. It is all over and in Denver too. People hate others that they don’t even know and it’s disgusting.

What do you think of the mural? The incident? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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