I wrote here a few weeks ago about the excellent Pho Bac mural on Rainier Avenue in south Seattle. North of the Pho Bac mural near the intersection of Rainier and Walker is another mural, featuring among other things the above images. It’s maybe not clear from the above image, but the mural is a mix of stuff from a number of local artists, known collectively as the Predators of the Wild. The group includes a bunch of people I’ve not heard of — Xavier Lopez, Maggie Harbaugh, Andrew Miller, Starheadboy, and Narboo — and one I have, Ryan Henry Ward.
Let’s face it, it would be pretty hard to live in Ballard and not be aware of Henry, especially if you routinely drive north on Holman and east along Leary to Fremont. I’ve written about Henry here, here, and here, and alluded to the effect of his work on Ballard here. Driving by this mural for the first time, the Henry walrus on the bicycle was immediately recognizable, as was the goat with banjo; the other stuff not so much. Henry’s murals, for better or worse — take your pick — are nothing if not consistently simple. There’s way too much going on here for this to be his work alone. And then there’s the matter of the different styles.
Now that I know this is a group effort, it makes more sense. And here are some pictures of the mural in progress. Looks like fun, but I can’t help thinking that Henry was dialing it in on this one. Sure there’s usually bright colors and some sad anthropomorphized animal, but even within these narrow confines, the walrus and goat seem very familiar.