September 19, 2019
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Massive Times Square mural sets New York record

By Álvaro Celorio

New York, United States, Aug 23 (EFE).- From the heights of Times Square, New York's largest mural hovers above the 350,000 pedestrians who cross the plaza daily.

Spanning more than 3,000 square meters and enveloping three 15-story walls of One Times Square, the massive graffiti piece was the brainchild of Spaniard Domingo Zapata.

The mural was a homage to Spanish art history and features one of Diego Velázquez's "Meninas" (princesses), the artist told Efe drenched in paint moments before finishing the mammoth artwork.

"The mural is about dreams," Zapata added.

"Not about mine, everyone's and that sometimes in dreams anything is possible."

Other Spanish culture featured heavily, including wine, bullfighting and even a small town in the southern province of Jaén, Alcaudete, where the artist's grandmother was born.

Zapata arrived loaded with a backpack brimming with his gear and it is not difficult to see him hanging from the building on the central intersection of 42nd Street with Broadway.

"It has been a complicated process because I had never worked with these dimensions and also with this height and all these climatic components that generally, for an artist, you don't consider," he said.

Zapata has been forced to face the humid New York summer heat as well as the storms that have hit the city for several weeks.

But neither the heat nor the rains have deterred him from completing the biggest mural in the history of the city.

"We take this record home and with a lot of love I want to dedicate it to my land, which I carry inside, and that I have stamped onto the mural," he added.

The Spanish town of 10,000 inhabitants is overjoyed by the fact they are the stars of this international artwork and have honored Zapata by naming a street after him.

The work will also serve a charitable purpose.

Once the canvas is removed it will be divided into hundreds of sheets and distributed among various non-profit organizations.

"Specifically one is Scholas Ocurrentes, which is Pope Francis' association, and another is an association called Elevate, which works in New York schools that are below the poverty line," Zapata said.

After more than a week splashing paint onto the canvas and hanging more than 100 meters above ground, the artist's shoes were another artwork.

When asked if he suffered from vertigo Zapata joked: "Not anymore."

"If the painting stops working, then I can always dedicate myself to cleaning windows because I have already learned to do it," he added.

Zapata recalled that on the first day of painting he and his team were trapped for three hours almost one hundred meters high.

When the New York fire brigade were contacted they said they did not operate at those heights.

"Now I don't know what I'm going to do about removing all this paint on me ... But we'll solve it," he joked. EFE

alv/ch/rb

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