The Evolution of “Revolution to Evolution”

A while back I posted about Graffiti Archeology. I’ve been fascinated by the mural called Revolution to Evolution on Susy’s Market on Santa Monica Blvd. at Madison since it became part of my regular commute about four years ago. Though I’d heard of Zapata and was aware of him in the larger sense and had seen photos of him and his iconic big hat, I’d never seen images of the Zapatistas before … at least not like that. The painting of a woman in a purple ski mask carrying a baby was rather startling to me. And I guess that’s what was great about the mural, because it made me go learn more.

Since I’m often sitting at this stoplight on my way home, I get to look at the mural and ponder it. I’ve also witnessed its evolution. There was tagging, but it was usually cleaned up. Though it wasn’t a good clean up job, at least the defacing didn’t actually cover the faces. Then earlier this year (sometime around May) an advertising board was placed over a large part of the Madison-facing wall – covering a good part of Zapata’s portrait (though not his face). Then last week I noticed that suddenly the heads of the Zapatistas were knocked over. (– photo from Fire Monkey Fish on 2/27/2005)

I can’t say who knocked them over, if it’s part of an overall decision to minimize the mural (they did put an advertising board on top of Zapata). Maybe they’re closing the store. I know that 5000! just blogged about graffiti murals, but I doubt that this mural would be considered in the graffiti style.

I thought some folks would enjoy a little chronology I put together thanks to Flickr and my extensive collection of snaps (click on the photos for larger versions):

— from Fire Monkey Fish 9/1/2004

— from Fire Monkey Fish 1/20/2005

— from 5/28/05



Then I took these of the headless Ciapans (that’s how it looked today too):



Finally, the attribution on the side of the building:

Revolution to Evolution
Viva Zapata!
Viva Ciapas
Art: Hector Ponce
Levi Forte
Jorge Marciano
Raouel Martinez
Susy’s Market
Dec 28 – 2001
818/ 834-5?76

3 thoughts on “The Evolution of “Revolution to Evolution””

  1. Awww, that sucks. I love that mural. It’s so balls-out political, how can you not like it? I love, love, love the mother with the baby. Hopefully they’ll get it fixed.

  2. I’ve only seen this mural at night. I think if it makes people learn more about the plight of the Zapatistas in Chiapas and what Zapata fought for, then it’s great. Tierra y libertad!

  3. The irony of the billboard blocking Zapata was bad enough. It will be a damn shame if they don’t repair it (although I wouldn’t be surprised if some building inspector ordered them taken down… they did seem kinda tacked on).

Comments are closed.