Dylan’s first stop upon leaving Hibbing was the Twin Cities…
I was surprised at how popular the Mall of America became after it was completed in 1992. Over and over again I heard people from out-of-state say they were looking forward to visiting it when coming to Minnesota. Now, there is a second attraction that seems to be generating out-of-state buzz and even international chatter. It’s the new Dylan mural in downtown Minneapolis, and having visited it this past weekend with my family I can see why. It’s an impressive tribute to the legendary Minnesota-born singer-songwriter.
The mural itself is quite extraordinary, but equally noteworthy are the stories behind the mural. Marc Percansky graciously offered details about the painting of this monumental work of art, calling it one of the Twin Cities’ greatest landmarks. I have no doubt it will live up to this label. “It is already turning into a major tourist attraction,” said Percansky. “I guess you could call it the world’s largest Bob Dylan Mural. People that pass by it who haven’t seen it before love to stop and take photos of it. To me it is very thrilling and I am fortunate that it is in my hometown!”
Shortly after it was completed friends of mine sent me stories that were in the Minneapolis papers. And in the first six months it seems there have been endless numbers of photos posted online from all over the world. But Percansky insists, “There is nothing like seeing it with your own eyes. Standing in the parking lot and looking up at it from a proper distance at all 5 stories high. It is really a mind-blowing work of art!”
Now that I’ve stood beneath it, I have to agree. Primary credit for this achievement goes to Eduardo Kobra, who Percansky calls “the Bob Dylan of his field. No one else could have done as good of a job as him.” The more Marc and I spoke the more I learned, so I thought it would be worthwhile to share some of that here. I asked the kind of things I thought inquiring minds might want to know.
EN: Who were the artists?
Marc Percansky: Four Brazilians — Agnaldo Brito Pereira, Cesar Almeida, Marcos Rafael and Eduardo Kobra — and two Minnesota artists — Erin Sayer & Yuya Negishi who moved to the Twin Cities from Japan in 2010.
EN: How long did it take to complete?
MP: Painting began on August 26th and was completed on September 8th, 2015. Kobra’s whole concept was already planned in Brazil before he came over. Then he mapped out a strategy 20 days before they started to get the job done on time. It then took 12 days with around 12 hours a day to finish it. Joan was the onsite coordinator and made sure the artists had everything they needed while they worked. They would often have their lunch meals prepared right there. They were very hard working guys. The weather was very cooperative during that time. I only recall one rainy morning towards the end that held things up just a bit. On the last day Eduardo finished his signature just above the Brazilian Flag. He then gave it a thumb’s up to the crowd and then later that day left town with his studio crew to do another mural.
EN: How much did it cost?
MP: About $50,000.00
EN: How long did they plan it before tackling the actual assignment?
MP: Goldman Sachs, which co-owns The 15 Building at 15 South 5th Street, hired the Hennepin Theatre Trust to manage the project, which was launched in November of 2014. The huge white wall on the west facade was the perfect location for this mural. It is right in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.
EN: What approvals were needed?
MP: To my knowledge, only city approvals were needed.
Eduardo Kobra’s Website: http://eduardokobra.com/
Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Website: http://www.hennepintheatretrust.org/
Made Here’s Website: http://www.madeheremn.org/
What a difference a little color makes on a drab day in the city.
Top of Page Photo Credit: Bob Dylan Mural by Eduardo Kobra — Agnaldo Brito Pereira, Cesar Almeida, Magic Marc, Marcos Rafael and Eduardo Kobra / Downtown Auto Park / 509 Hennepin Avenue / Minneapolis, Minnesota / September 5th, 2015 / Photo by Joan Vorderbruggen
All other photos by the author.
Originally published at pioneerproductions.blogspot.com