In 2011, French street artist MTO was invited to participate in the Sarasota Chalk Festival, a celebration of public art that was founded in 2007. What he created was an immense, detailed mural depicting a man’s hands with the words “Fast Life” tattooed across his fingers. The storefront piece sparked all sorts of controversy: there were accusations that it was gang-related and calls for its removal, before it was ultimately painted over some six months after it went up.
He then returned, and painted another mural, this time seemingly referencing everything that had gone down.
The man behind the pieces, MTO, recently put together and released a documentary film, FL: Unpremeditated Movie, which depicts how all of this unfolded, the community reaction, the media coverage, and more. It’s a fascinating story and one that makes you consider the perception of street art and the questions over public space, as well as issues of class and race.