SARASOTA - A large, two-story mural on a building near downtown Sarasota will stay, at least for now. A controversy has been brewing for about a week now. The mural is at the corner of Central Avenue and 10th Street (on TUBE DUDE building). It's in black and white and it shows two hands with the words "FAST LIFE" scrawled on the knuckles.
The middle fingers are crossed over one another. (West Side Crips Gang sign). It was created only by using spray paint, by a world renowned artist known as MTO. But a small handful of people were outraged by it. They believed it was a gang symbol. The building is on the edge of Newtown, a predominantly black community.
We found the guy who the mural is modeled after. He's a surfer originally from California, who works in a nearby shop. He got the tattoos to signify his life. "We just played around with it so much that night, and the only way you could read it, is if it was down (West Side Crips Gang sign). And it doesn't look as good, and he asked me to cross one of my fingers." He said it looked like an "M," as in MTO. Many of the residents we spoke to like the artwork.
Denise Kowal, with the Sarasota Chalk Festival, brought in the artists for the festival. But they then painted murals on buildings around the area. She says she is saddened to see people portraying the artwork as something it's not........."Oh Really" ???
MTO And His Team Pull a Fast One On Sarasota With Gang Mural Painted on Tube Dude Building Then Laugh About It On Facebook. MTO and his tagging ”Team” played the people of Sarasota for suckers with the Tube Dude gang mural during the Chalk Street Painting Festival. One of the MTO “Team” members (Roger) posted photos of himself with his gal pal on Facebook throwing the West Side Crips gang sign and laughing about it after MTO finsihed the mural on the Tube Dude building in Sarasota.
From a Local Sarasota Source....."Here is one of the people who was part of the team that painted the "Tube Dude" mural for Denise Kowal. I got this photo from facebook, note the pistol in his waist band and no, this was not a Halloween pic, this is really how he dresses.
The "gang bang" wannabe in the photo above is making the "WW" West side Crips gang sign, the same "WW" gang sign in the Sarasota Tube Dude mural, his gal pal is making the "C" sign for the violent "Crips Street Gang," nice. So what is he doing with a gun?
WEST SIDE CRIPS CALIFORNIA....The Crips are not one gang, but an identity that many gangs associate themselves with and copy cat Crip gangs in other cities may fashion themselves by regional cultural indicators that have nothing to do with Los Angeles. Some of the first Crip gangs in Los Angeles included the East Side Crips, Compton Crips, West Side Crips, Avalon Garden Crips, 43rd Street Crips, Harlem Crips, Hoover Crips, Inglewood Crips, and Grandee Crips.
On March 15, 1979 West Side Crips leader Tookie Williams was arrested for four murders committed during two separate robberies while on an alleged drug binge Williams was sentenced to Death Row and executed by lethal injection on December 13, 2005, wow what a great roll model.
JR in L.A......JR Throws 'Westside' Hand Sign on East Wall of Bristol Hotel for 'The Wrinkles of the City' Peeking up between buildings on the corner of S. Olive and 8th , "Westside" represents on the east wall of the Bristol Hotel. Living in LA, we know the origins of this iconic hand sign. Have we been desensitized to the gang connotations over the years after seeing it in 20-odd years of music videos? Is it "ART" when SUR-13 Gang members "tagged" fences on Beneva Rd in Sarasota Fl, see below;
On September 17th, 2010, I posted an article, SUR-13 Gang Members Lay Claim to South Beneva Rd in Sarasota Fl As They “Tag” Fences. This South Beneva Rd area as indicated in the article was at the corner of Beneva Rd and Bee Ridge Rd just down the street from where Basillio Alvardo was arrested on June 15th, 2010.
Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com