Alerted to the mixed reactions to a mural painted above Emilio’s pizzeria, 1051 Morris Park Avenue in Morris Park, via a comment on its Facebook page, the Bronx Times Reporter solicited readers’ input.
The building and pizzeria owner, Richie Di Nardo, flew in artist David Louf from Rotterdam, Netherlands to paint the mural on the walls of the apartments above Emilio’s.
It took Louf from Friday, October 20, to Thursday, October 26, to complete the project.
Ruth Papazian, an award-winning editor and writer, interviewed Louf while he was creating the mural.
She learned that his professional career included a stint as art director of Young & Rubicam’s Amsterdam branch, which he left in 2000 to start his own graphic design studio, Out of Order.
Her full interview is available on her Facebook page, www.faceb
Louf has painted murals on buildings throughout Europe — Helsinki, London, Stockholm; the U.S. — Denver, Miami; and New York City — Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
Emilio’s mural is Louf’s second in the Bronx.
He also painted the facade of Arthur Avenue’s Clinton Hall, a beer garden near Fordham University.
“We’ve been getting nothing but a great response,” Di Nardo told the Bronx Times Reporter. “People love it. They’ve been coming in, calling, on Instagram, our Facebook page.”
Di Nardo said there’s nothing offensive about the mural, pointing out nice, ripe tomatoes, some basil, trying to make it as nice as possible without offending anybody.
He said he flew Louf in from Europe to paint the mural, which does not seem to appeal to a “more mature type of audience that lives around here, like my mom. They don’t like change.”
Some feel that that colorful mural may be disturbing the neighborhood, but Di Nardo said he doesn’t think so, and that there are other people who say they love it.
“I’ve been getting an overwhelming response that they love it,” Di Nardo said.
In response to the Bronx Times Reporter’s request on its Facebook page, asking readers to comment on the mural, all the responses can be seen at www.faceb
Highlights of the responses include:
• Joanne Guglielmo Murphy: “Was their business doing so badly that they had to make a spectacle of themselves?”
• Kristina Myers Reed: “Love it! With all the changing of buildings to look so architecturally boring & boxy, this is a great way to bring some color & art into our daily lives. Be RADIANT!”
• Ellen Clancy: “Ugh, literal tomatoes sprinkled among angular, abstract graphics. As art, it doesn’t know what it wants to be. I wouldn’t want to live in — or directly across from — that building. And I like the food and staff at Emilio’s.”
•Miriam Quin: “I love it but they need to finish all the way on the left hand side 🙂 it’s a work of art, it’s not graffiti and it would definitely bring people to the area because they are going to be talking about the colorful building 🙂 now I really have to go there myself and see it in person lol.”
• Virginia Gonzalez: “It looks beautiful and very full of life. I love the colors. In case people didn’t know where Emilio’s was located, now they know. Great job. Unique.”
• Joe Barile: “I really like it, let’s face it the Bronx is a really dull place and Morris Park Avenue is regarded as #2 to Arthur Avenue, so why not?”
• Derek Woods: “That is truly great! Bravo to everyone who made it happen. It would have been cheap to do nothing, but they believed in the power of art! So well done.”
• Ruth Papazian: “It’s playful, and gives the ‘main drag’ of the Morris Park neighborhood a shot of liveliness and vibrancy.”
• Frank Bevilacqua: “I think it looks hideous and very ghetto way too much.”
• Annette Cornier: “It’s different, but I like it! Breaks the monotony of the proverbial ‘same old, same old!’”
• Deanna Govan: “I think it looks awesome! Brings character to the neighborhood.”
• Joanne Russo Rubino: “Took me a while to get used to it, but now I really like it. I think it adds some panache and does not look ghetto at all, in my opinion.”
• Robert Beatty: “Too loud for my taste. Might distract drivers going down MPA.”
• Debra Ann Jaffee: “Love it. It brings the corner to life. Most of the area is drab.”
• Sandi Markham: “Hideous!”
• Holly Erickson Cicalo: “Fabulous!”