Author Topic: Murals at Bank Of America HQ  (Read 3044 times)

Offline lostinself

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Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« on: May 12, 2013, 12:58:36 AM »
in the lobby of the Bank Of America Corporate Center (Charlotte, North Carolina) there's a set of quite interesting murals. in fact, "quite interesting" is somewhat an understatement as the paintings are at least equally weird and confusing to those at the DIA "modern art exhibition".

there are three murals arranged next to each other:







images above come from an article on The Vigiliant Citizen website:

_http://vigilantcitizen.com/sinistersites/analysis-of-the-occult-symbols-found-on-the-bank-of-america-murals/

the article provides some analysis of the symbology apparent in those pictures and tries to conclude about their esoteric message. the author has some good points about the murals although their overall meaning still remains elusive IMHO. the painting with a boy is the "easiest" one, in a sense, as it consists mainly of known masonic/occult imagery (checkerboard floor, stairs, burning bush, black sun etc.). the other two are a total enigma.

the second mural inevitably brings to mind a celestial event of some kind. the tangle of naked bodies reminds me of the concept of so called "sex pile" which Robert Monroe described in his books (and which is also present in popular culture). it may also stand for cleansing process of some kind, or "burning in hell", but why at the sky? does it relate to ethereal planes? what about the net in the middle and the bizarre gathering of people below? do they represent just general turmoil or something more? note the woman in the center dressed as if she'd been taken out of a medieval fresco. why place such a figure along with a man in a fire-safe suit in the same picture? there seems to be a plenty of presumably meaningful details in the lower part but the image resolution is too low.

as to the third painting, it reminds me very much of a socialist propaganda poster (EQ = equality?). particularly weird are the shovel blades - a bit like those swallow-like shapes in some of crop circles. it's hard to imagine these shovels would be arranged this way it they weren't meant to signify anything.

the overall composition of the paintings seems weird, as if they were cut out from larger ones. all three seem to feature a division between what happens above and what happens below. i also get the impression that faces of the people are not random (or maybe a talented comic artist was involved).

i'm curious what others think of these pictures.

Offline RflctnOfU

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013, 03:48:01 AM »
In the mural with the boy, the fellows in the 'trench' strike me as having significance in terms of the hand gestures, although I am unaware of the meaning.  Perhaps also the color combination is some kind of code.  A thought occured that they represent the 'movers and shakers' in the 'underworld'/shadows/behind the scenes.  As in creating children who are absolute pawns on the chessboard of life -- notice one of the fellows 'pointing' at the child who looks zombified.  Interesting find lostinself...thanks for posting this.

Kris
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Offline Weller

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2013, 04:48:35 AM »
I visited Charlotte about 10 years ago, and was cluelessly walking down this block where the bank's HQ lobby is visible thru the glass front facing the street, many of the murals are visible at street level.  I yanked my companion over and started gaping, the murals are disjointed, lacking any visual flow or theme (other than their bizarreness and similar colors), and not in keeping with the relatively conservative, no-nonsense-financial-district-type aesthetic that surrounds the building.  I was particularly hit by the image of a black man on a crucifix (not pictured in your examples) - to display this in a southern US city seemed particularly odd, for a bank; why risk any controversy. It was even weirder when a black guard opened the door, calling us in to "enjoy the murals" - he had seen me gaping at them outside. I don't know if they are still there, but at that time there were long benches in the lobby, in front of the murals to sit down and take it all in.

We were also struck by how "clone-ish" the folks were walking in Charlotte's financial district at lunchtime, many of the men dressed in chino pants and blue shirts without ties, almost like a theme park uniform; though this was a while ago.  Everything very quiet and very clean.  For someone used to the grittiness of older bigger cities it seemed almost impossibly compact and sedate for such a big financial center.  It reminded us of the Star Trek episode where the computer Landru tells everybody what to do...'Of the body' - corporate, and all that!

I hadn't seen the Denver murals at this point, and after I did I was struck by how they are similar in style; there's that little German(?) boy again.  Creepy stuff, and my (obvious) takeaway was that there is way more to this than just artistic expression, there are 'power'-ful symbols here.  The shovel blades remind me of that swallow crop circle too; the blade images stick out so much and appear more simplified than the other objects in that painting, it is obviously some important symbol. 

Offline anart

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013, 02:54:33 PM »
The one with the shovel blades is very similar to a Denver airport mural.  It's the man lying in the hillside, like he's asleep or dead that is the clincher.  There is a mural in Denver near the end of the main terminal that has this exact same composition - with over sized men and women lying in the hillside landscape as if they're dead, or asleep.  I wonder if it's the same artist?  The man having no feet and the 'underground' shovel blades are clearly symbolic of something that isn't obvious to the casual observer - wonder what it looks like upside down or backwards?

Offline Tigersoap

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 05:29:38 PM »
Check out his website :

_http://benlongfineart.com/

He did a lot of commissioned religious themed frescos but also more casual paintings (portraits, landscapes, nudes...).

He was most probably commissioned to work on this mural so he might have had specific guidelines for the associated themes (making/building, chaos/creativity, and planning/knowledge) to create his work (or not, it depends.).
Hard to say from where the inspiration comes from without knowing such things but I'd be interested to know for sure.

As for the shovel blades, it might just be that leaving them unpainted (or gold ?) could just create a contrast against the blue/dark background instead of a specific meaning ? Quite a common thing to do, lots of 60's illustrators used that to great effect.

There seems to be very specific symbolism in these pieces though.
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Offline lostinself

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 09:06:53 PM »
Check out his website :

_http://benlongfineart.com/

He did a lot of commissioned religious themed frescos but also more casual paintings (portraits, landscapes, nudes...).

He was most probably commissioned to work on this mural so he might have had specific guidelines for the associated themes (making/building, chaos/creativity, and planning/knowledge) to create his work (or not, it depends.).
Hard to say from where the inspiration comes from without knowing such things but I'd be interested to know for sure.

As for the shovel blades, it might just be that leaving them unpainted (or gold ?) could just create a contrast against the blue/dark background instead of a specific meaning ? Quite a common thing to do, lots of 60's illustrators used that to great effect.

from what i read the shovels are actually in gold color and it's supposedly another masonic symbol.

as for other Long's frescos, some are interesting as well. although as an artist he doesn't seem to delve into surrealism and the BoA paintings stand out in this respect.

this is Long's ceiling fresco in Transamerica Square Arcade in Charlotte:

http://static6.businessinsider.com/image/5042dcc0eab8ea5361000002-900/one-of-three-frescoes-in-the-bank-of-america-corporate-center-charlotte-serves-as-bank-of-americas-corporate-headquarters-the-city-is-often-referred-to-as-the-financial-capital-of-the-south.jpg
Murals at Bank Of America HQ


some hi-res images:

_http://thegraduate2012.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc_0276.jpg
_http://asccharlotte.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/dsc02624.jpg

the painting is supposed to depict the ever-repeating cycle of descruction and rebirth but honestly i fail to see the rebirth motif there.

and here's a gallery showing an even more interesting ceiling fresco that he painted for Morganton Municipal Auditorium:

_http://www.flickr.com/photos/through-my-eyes/sets/72157633004137332/with/8560691036/

coming back to Charlotte, a rich gallery of photos showing the BoA Corporate Center facility, if anyone's interested - not a very typical skyscraper i guess:

_http://www.emporis.com/images/list/building/bankofamericacorporatecenter-charlotte-nc-usa/2

along with the murals, there's plenty of other artworks across the city, installed as a part of some public program (like in Denver). Charlotte was also a city where Obama had been renominated for his 2nd presidency. guess where he was nominated for the first time...






Offline RflctnOfU

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 09:20:26 PM »
The one with the shovel blades is very similar to a Denver airport mural.  It's the man lying in the hillside, like he's asleep or dead that is the clincher.  There is a mural in Denver near the end of the main terminal that has this exact same composition - with over sized men and women lying in the hillside landscape as if they're dead, or asleep.  I wonder if it's the same artist?  The man having no feet and the 'underground' shovel blades are clearly symbolic of something that isn't obvious to the casual observer - wonder what it looks like upside down or backwards?

The shovel mural, bottom portion also represents the law of octaves going right to left.  The pickaxe is DO, the shovel on the right is RE, and the notes MI and SI are lower than the rest...the 'interval' notes (MI and SI).  OSIT

Kris
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Offline lostinself

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 09:22:11 PM »
another fresco by Benjamin Long, at Statesville Civic Center:

http://benlongfineart.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/statesville1.jpg
Murals at Bank Of America HQ


(full size: _http://benlongfineart.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/statesville1.jpg)

and one of the Tanguma's works (possibly at Denver but i'm not sure):

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UHAkA-89e08/Tug7F1_AGSI/AAAAAAAABek/6S5lhR99o-Q/s1600/Artist%2BLeo%2BTanguma%2BDenver%2BAirport%2BMurals.jpg
Murals at Bank Of America HQ

« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 09:23:54 PM by lostinself »

Offline LQB

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 03:28:16 AM »
The one with the shovel blades is very similar to a Denver airport mural. 

I don't think those are shovels. When I first saw them here I thought there was something strange about them. I saw one of them in the movie The Mummy that I watched this eve. It was sticking out of a backpack (of artifacts I presume) - golden blade exactly the same profile/shape, but thick and definitely not a shovel. Egyptian symbol of some kind? Bizarre.   :shock:
The only thing that seems to offer a way out is simply to observe the phenomena and compare the perceptions with a lot of other folks and try to narrow down the "constant" that is present in all of them.  In this way, we can have a closer idea of what the Third Man REALLY is, and what he is REALLY doing, and what then, should be our best response.  And, of course, "observing phenomena" means, in its most literal sense, to gain and gather knowledge of every form and sort so that one has a sufficient database from which to draw conclusions about observations of one's environment.

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Offline PerihelionX

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2013, 06:42:22 PM »


This picture reminded me of the "Fall of Lucifer" archetype combined with the idea of a group soul. Basically our group soul's incarnation on earth.

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« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 09:19:30 PM by Vulcan59 »

Online griffin

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2013, 08:11:48 PM »
Forget the freakin' murals, Bank of America is simply EVIL. It deserves to be carefully dismantled, and its top executives and board members deserve to thrown into prison for decades, if not executed for effectively murdering many of its borrowers. I know, I did consulting work for BofA years ago, it sucks.
 

Offline wetroof

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2013, 06:53:26 AM »
I find these very interesting to look at but never was interested by art museums.

it would be interesting to see some sort of poll or recording of what "regular" people think when they view these murals at the BofA HQ.

Offline Minas Tirith

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2013, 08:51:18 AM »
The sleeping giant in the hill reminded me of the German myth of King Friedrich I (Barbarossa), first Emperor of the Holy German Roman Empire who after his death was said to sleep in the German Kyffhäuser mountains and reawake "at the end of the world" when the need for a strong man would arise. Frederick restored the imperial authority in the German states and unified them under one King in the 12th Century.

Quote
The Legend of Frederick Barbarossa
In the Empire the dead hero was long mourned and for many years the peasants believed that Frederick was not really dead, but was asleep in a cave in the mountains of Germany, with his gallant knights around him. He was supposed to be sitting in his chair of state, with the crown upon his head, his eyes half-closed in slumber, his beard as white as snow and so long that it reached the ground. "When the ravens cease to fly round the mountain," said the legend, "Barbarossa shall awake and restore Germany to its ancient greatness."
 

The figure in the mural even resembles him:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_I._%28HRR%29
German Wikipedia article with the Bronze head (picture not in English version)

And further:
Quote
  In medieval Europe, the Golden Legend became refined by Jacopo da Voragine. This was a popularized interpretation of the Biblical end of the world. It consisted of three things: (1) terrible natural disasters; (2) the arrival of the Antichrist; (3) the establishment of a good king to combat the anti-Christ. These millennial fables were common and freely traded by the populations on Continental Europe. End-time accounts had been around for thousands of years, but entered the Christian tradition with the writings of the Apostle Peter. German propaganda played into the exaggerated fables believed by the common people by characterizing Frederick Barbarossa and Frederick II as personification of the "good king".
wikipedia

A good king who of course would take care of the people, unifying them under one Law...hmmm.

Emmeya


Offline wetroof

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2013, 11:17:40 PM »
Hi EmmeYa, thanks for sharing. that is very interesting, and i think you are right. I wonder if this has been depicted before in german artwork with King Friedrich I superimposed over a hillside.

Offline lostinself

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Re: Murals at Bank Of America HQ
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 01:26:19 AM »
thanks everyone for the input so far. below are some further points about the murals, gathered from the internet and own observations.

regarding the 2nd painting:

  • the pile of bodies is very similar to the sculpture above the entrance to Washington National Cathedral. the sculpture is entitled "Ex Nihilo" and is supposed to depict creation "out of nothing".



    more photos: _http://www.dcmemorials.com/index_indiv0002420.htm

  • between the man in the safety suit and the pregnant woman you can see a cringing figure. it is not apparent in the picture above but this figure is a devil, depicted in a common way - with black hair and two small horns. it is holding a bucket or a bowl.

  • on Ben Long's website there are sketches of all three murals, showing some interesting differences between the initial concept and the final work.

    _http://benlongfineart.com/frescos/bank-of-america/

    for instance, at the sketch of the 2nd mural the space behind the soldier is occupied by someone dressed like an unmasked KKK member, with a black celtic cross on a  cap, smoking a cigarette. on the wall one can see a gaunty half-naked man in that place.


regarding the 3rd mural:

  • the big sleeping man bears some facial similarity to young Karl Marx:

    http://i352.photobucket.com/albums/r349/carld717/karl-marx-27.jpg
    Murals at Bank Of America HQ


  • there's an article on the net pointing out that the only work being shown at the painting is related to pulling something into the scene, while all the digging tools remain idle. note the three pairs of men: in the lower left corner, on the left side and on the right side of the picture. although i'm not entirely sure if the men on the left are indeed engaged in pulling the rope.


all three pictures incorporate hand gestures, all located in lower left corners and pointing inwards. hard to say if it's just a coincidence. maybe the man in protective suit has been put there specifically to for the gesture he performs? maybe the three finger gauntlet just emphasizes this gesture somehow?

also, all the paintings include exactly one person looking straight at the viewer (apart from the boy). another key to the interpretation? is the "who's looking at who" significant, with the person looking at us being a "starting point"?