Our ancient Maya and Egyptian galleries are now home to two brand-new, eye-catching graffiti art murals inspired by the ancient cultures and artwork featured in those exhibits.

Why graffiti art?

Graffiti has become part of the urban landscape, and we don’t often think about the talent and artistry behind it. But in an unexpected space, paired with ancient artwork, we hoped people would stop and take a second look at this modern-day art form.

“Partnering with the Museum of Man to create murals on their walls is a huge transition for graffiti art. Not only did this partnership result in new art inside the museum, it also built a bridge allowing people to learn more about graffiti art…so that it’s seen as a legitimate art form.”

—Jose Venegas of Writerz Blok

Artist Chor Boogie working on the Maya-themed mural.

The murals are the product of a partnership with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Writerz Blok, a nationally recognized urban art program based out of Southeast San Diego that channels youth expression into vibrant graffiti art. Artists from Writerz Blok, along with well-known spray paint artist Chor Boogie, painted them as part of an on-going series of small-scale community-based installations in the Museum.

Across the board many museums have recognized graffiti as a legitimate contemporary art form. It’s an artistic style that’s entirely different from simply using spray paint to tag buildings.

Now, where there were once white walls in the Museum, you are greeted by bursts of bright colors and shapes, and larger-than-life figures like a scarab beetle and leopard.

Writerz Blok’s Jose Venegas working on the Egyptian-themed mural.

We encourage you to get up close to these murals to see their intricacies—from layered and blended colors to tiny splatters and splashes of paint—and to discover what this modern art form is all about.

Learn more about Writerz Blok and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

Read our blog post about these graffiti art murals.

Pictured at top: Artist Chor Boogie works on the scarab beetle design on the Egyptian-themed mural.