Giant Mural In Hillcrest Slowly Disappearing

Mural By Street Artist Shepard Fairey On Side Of Urban Outfitters On Fifth Avenue

The fate of a giant mural in Hillcrest – made by a world-renowned street artist and former San Diegan – remains uncertain on Tuesday.

The mural made a huge splash a year ago when it appeared on the side of an Urban Outfitters store near Washington Street and Fifth Avenue.

It was created by top street artist Shepard Fairey, who is also known for creating the "Hope" posters that supported then-candidate Barack Obama.

Much of Fairey's work is designed to elicit reaction and a search for meaning. That message was contained in the local mural with the words "obey," "never trust your own eyes," and "believe what you are told."

The display was part of a city-wide exhibit and was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. Now, the display is vanishing from public view.

"It makes me feel empty inside," said Jon Konstintin, who lives six blocks from the mural.

Slab by slab, the mural is being covered up by the walls of a new retail center nearby.

"It's upsetting. It's sad," said Crystal Islas, an employee at Urban Outfitters. "It's almost like Hillcrest is losing a bit of its character."

The display, which was made by plastering digital images, was a temporary display that was supposed to be taken down seven months ago. The display itself is also deteriorating.

The building owners, who sponsored the museum exhibits, convinced Fairey to leave the mural up.

"We thought it might be fun as folklore of the piece to leave the piece," said Jeffrey Silverman, the president of Carleton Management. "It almost encapsulates it into a time capsule."

Before it completely disappears, the mural is continuing to do what is was designed to do: elicit reaction.

The building's owners plan to ask Fairey if they can remove part of the mural and frame it inside the new restaurant.

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