The ‘Roxbury Love’ mural by street artists Richard “Deme5” Gomez and Thomas “Kwest” Burns, was commissioned by the nonprofit Alliger Arts as part of the city’s “Pop Up! Dudley Connections” program in 2014.
The image of Mandela pays homage to the South African anti-apartheid leader’s visit to Boston in 1990. The mural quickly earned an iconic status in the neighborhood, helping usher in an explosion of public art in a city once notorious for its hostility to street art and graffiti.
Gomez, known by his street artist name Deme5, expressed regret at the mural’s destruction. “On one hand I knew it was impermanent,” he wrote in an email. “But I think the motivation behind this particular piece is what has caused the sting of its demise. Who I created this mural for and how it was embraced by them. I’m proud to live here and am/was proud to have made a mark in the Roxbury community.” Read more…..