Information and News for the People. If You Are Silent, Others Will Speak For You!
By Afaf Muhammad
As Jersey City residents, and commuters pass through the pedestrian walkway located at the corner of Barrow and Newark they are greeted by a ground mural of a life sized Monopoly board painted by artist Gary Wynans better known as Mr. Abillity, as part of Mayor Fulop’s plans to bring back mural art. While art is an artist’s best way to express themselves, this mural has gotten some unexpected feedback from police and African American communities.
As the mural was being painted in the beginning of June, 2016, the Jersey City Police officers Benevolent Association came together to stop the process of Mr. Abillity’s original pig faced police officer and replaced it with Chief Clarence “Clancy” Wiggum of the television show “The Simpsons“. After the mural was complete there has been a little more unsettling discoveries about the mural. The depiction of a person that has brown skin in the prison on the mural has caused many members and leaders of the African American community to voice their concerns at City Hall during the City Council meeting last night .
Mr. Abillity posted a statement on his Instagram explaining that the character in the prison is in fact himself, and that there are clues, such as his “ill” signature on the character’s outfit “so people would get it”. However, not many people did “get it” as many are not familiar with Mr. Abillity as an artist and many eyebrows have been raised throughout the city due this particular mural, not just in the African American and police community, but he had to make another alteration due to the statement “Cool Statue” next to the depiction of the Katyn 1940 monument which is a commemoration for the officer corps and soldiers that died during the Katyn forest massacre.