Seen reflected in a school window while out walking close to Sainte-Véronique school:
And then, looking right, to see where the image was reflected from, the real building façade:
What was the story behind the image? Who took the time and effort to honour the American jazz trumpeter by painting an image of him on a random wall in Rue Charles Morren in Liège, the little-known Belgian town?
And so I googled it.
The image, Hommage au Jazz II, was painted by Jérémy Goffart as part of the city’s Paliss’Art initiative. Paliss’Art was created in 2002 in order, in part, to fight graffiti and to open some of the city’s walls to artists (officially). The plan was to use the city’s boring, run-down, grey walls as canvasses, allowing artists of all ages, styles and disciplines to express themselves creatively.
This particular wall was chosen because of its position at a busy onramp to the highway. It had been defaced so many times by graffiti that the city felt having an official painting on it would discourage others from tagging it. And the plan has worked.
The image, honouring Chet Baker, who spent much of his time in the city near the end of his life, was unveiled in September 2012 just around the corner from Goffart’s first homage to jazz, which he painted ten years earlier.
Interesting? I thought so.