Surrealist Mural in San Juan, P.R.

Humongous thank you’s to Maria from Tropical Flowering Zone for submitting this fab mural.

SurM #1
Photo © Maria Firpi
“Having multiple meanings, it could be about the past lives of  Spanish and African American Heritage influences on the island. If you notice the mural is signed by two figures from the past who according to the mural have died.
SurM #2
Photo © Maria Firpi
 “The mural is open to multiple interpretations but seems to emphasize on the colonial influences of the past. There is a white man sinking in the water, but there is also an African American man who is heading towards the water also. The  wooden branches tied together seem to represent part of the Spanish colonial vessels who traveled west to colonize the islands of the Caribbean and brought both the Spanish and African culture, symbolized by the multiple shells which can also suggest the presence of the Caribbean Taino Indians already inhabiting the island
SurM #4
Photo © Maria Firpi
“The white man is portrayed as sinking in the water, yet the African American sinks also”
SurM #5
Photo © Maria Firpi
“Hands also seem to represent the acceptance of fate, although, as said earlier, this is open to interpretation”.
SurM #6
Photo © Maria Firpi
“Flowers can symbolize the aspect of transition and transmission of culture, since they carry seeds which could germinate in distant places, and spread cultural influences, if that were to be the interpretation”.
SurM #7
Photo © Maria Firpi
“This has been one of the most surreal murals I have ever seen seen. However, its symbolism seems to highly relevant to the Puerto Rican people and its cultural heritage.”
SurM #9
Photo © Maria Firpi
“Shells and flowers may have multiple meanings”.
SurM #3
Photo © Maria Firpi

Pics taken by Maria I Firpi Mazur – 2016

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Not only did Maria send us these amazing photos, but she penned the words! I am very grateful.


39 thoughts on “Surrealist Mural in San Juan, P.R.

  1. Incredible artwork! I can’t imagine creating that kind of wave imagery on a flat wall. And I love how the daisy is painted partly on the wall and partly on the sidewalk.

  2. Hi Resa, thanks so much for giving this mural the attention and recognition it deserves, IMOHO. Can you believe this mural was painted less than a year ago? Yes, and this is a very busy street, so they worked very fast. I was waiting for the cars to clear so I could shoot it and I finally was able to.

    My ideas are just speculations of its meaning, I really have no idea what the real meaning of the mural is. However, I’ve been thinking that there could also be another meaning I didn’t mention: the Caribbean indian’s absence. This could symbolize that both the African and the Spanish influence are more transitory in nature, whereas the roots of the native Caribbean Indian are permanently embedded on the island. The shells are what give me this impression, yet the artists decided to not include the Caribbean indian figure itself, so it’s open to interpretation.

    1. Speaking about symbols Resa, you’re probably used to many symbolisms in murals, since I’ve noticed you have so many other surreal murals too, so for you it’s really nothing new!!

    2. Maria,
      Your interpretation is excellent! I appreciate that you submitted an interpretation. It seems that many who follow GLaM like it, too. Yes, there are many surrealistic murals. I’m sure they all have meanings, much like abstract poetry. A lot, I think, that the interpretation is up to the eyes and mind of the beholder…. much kike beauty.
      It is a great mural, and I am very happy to give it a permanent home on my blog.
      Forgive me if this next question is stupid, but are there yet native Caribbean Indians on Puerto Rico. I believe they have vanished from many of the islands.
      Again, thank you, Maria, for this contribution!!!! I am very, very happy!!!
      😀 😀 😀

        1. The native Taino Caribbean indians were wiped out by the illnesses of the colonial Spaniards, a chicken pox wiped out a whole colony, for example. However, the “mestizo” remained, and for this reason, “mestizos” are considered to be living proof that a lot of Native Caribbean indian blood remained in Puerto Ricans. The “mestizo” is (in Latin America) “a man of mixed race, especially the offspring of a Spaniard and an American Indian.” Puerto Ricans firmly believe some direct descendants survived the Spanish Colonial “conquest” and continued to reproduce and maintain the physical appearance of a “caribbean indian”. Many Puerto Ricans still look like Caribbean Indians, don’t ask me why.

  3. Such a lot to like here, Resa; it would be delightful to have the artist’s interpretation of his/her work. It certainly looks rich with symbolism!
    Maria did a fine job, both photographing such fine pieces, and her accompanying narration. 🙂

  4. What a fascinating mural and the subsequent dissection of it. I wonder if there is a specific meaning for this, or whether it is meant to be ambiguous, either way I love it.

    1. I love it, too! I’ve had quite a flurry of guest submissions this month. This is the most intense of all the murals. I think if this mural was a book, it would be a very long story.

      1. The War and Peace of murals…speaking of which I still have another one to send you at some point at well…I need to go find you some more now, to keep you in murals.

        1. Thank you! … and I still have 2 from you to post. I’m thinking a combo post is in order. Got taken to a Street Art Festival & took 720 pictures. Well, it’s summer, & the artists are out there. Time to collect for the long Canadian winter ahead!

Speak your art mind!

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