This is one in a series of posts in honor of Denver Arts Week that salute some of our favorite people and places on the arts scene.
The beauty part of art for art's sake is that it doesn't have to be expensive, or be hung in a gallery to be significant or light you up. The Nightmare Before Christmas mural on wall of the Bound By Design tattoo and body modification studio is my favorite piece of local art for three reasons: 1) It's art in an incidental, outdoor location. 2) It's a collection of accurately depicted scenes from the movie 3) It's Jack and Sally -- and make all the whimsical Disney-goth jokes you like, Nightmare will never get old or die, mostly because it makes us remember a better time when Tim Burton didn't suck chili dogs, and the entire cast of the flick is already dead (sort of).
The mural was painted two years ago by two local graffiti artists named "Kanz" and "Wiser." This duo -- owners of "Your Name in Graffiti" -- spearheaded the project after several previous murals on the space, including a horror movie montage, a Transformers mural, and one depicting the The Wizard of Oz. And it has definitely been a boon for Bound by Design.
"The mural has gotten us a lot of press, lots of attention, and it's been good for business," says Bound By Design artist Ian Rumley. "People remember the shop with the mural."
In fact, the mural has been a mighty popular backdrop for both planned and impromptu photo shoots, occasionally producing nearly naked females posing in front of it. "I go out back sometimes and see girls in their skivvies," he says. "I fully support that kind of behavior."
Sadly, it is also used from time to time by homeless guys as a public urinal.
How DARE they pee in front of Jack!
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The movie's cult classic status is undeniable, and I have a creepy, unnatural, emotive connection to the film -- and the merchandise is literally the only reason I'd walk into a Disney store. Why is it still important to me? Because still to this day, the movie reminds me that there is a place for everyone, including the tattooed, pierced-up, dark wave-looking freakos who celebrate Halloween all year round.
Here are photos of the mural, unfortunately sans-underpants girls (it was rather chilly the day they were taken).