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Art Struts Day And Night In Peacock Alley

A new art installation downtown grew out of some large black and white pictures by Michael Cirlos, extracted from his book Humans of San Antonio. It's in a spot that’s quite accessible but perhaps not in a place the public would normally visit.

"The installation is at Peacock Alley, between the 118 and 110 Broadway buildings," Cirlos said.

It's a half block north of Houston, just two blocks from the Alamo. His collaborator, Daniela Riojas, said that as ignored spaces go, it's quite nice.

"Yes, it is considered an ignored space, but honestly the alley is really nice."

IF YOU GO WHAT: Humans of San Antonio Mural WHERE: Peacock Alley, between Houston and Travis streets WHEN: Anytime COST:  Free

Riojas designed the installation for a place that’s surprisingly approachable for an alley.

"You can actually see the photographs really well lit because of the lighting in there,” she said.

The pictures are printed on paper and wheatpasted to the brick walls, showing the brick patterns through the portraits. Cirlos said it’s hard to miss.

"It's pretty massive. Then the entire length of the mural is close to 100 feet," he said.

Cirlos said he wasn’t interested in portraying elite men and women with his art.

Credit Jack Morgan / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Daniela Riojas and Michael Cirlos

"It's more of the everyday people walking the streets of downtown,” he said, "and the purpose of the Humans of San Antonio Project really was to showcase everyone who was walking the streets of downtown.”

The images are striking, a little haunting, and you get a sense that there's a lot going on there.

"Everybody has a story and I think, when you take the time to really listen, I think you can really get a sense of who someone is,” Cirlos said. “And that's what the Humans of San Antonio Project was about."

Riojas says its scale is part of why it works so well.

"I really enjoyed being able to have somebody's portrait so big that you can't avoid it."

A formal opening at a later date will invite locals to see it, but since it's in a public space, you can see it anytime.


Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii