Artist's Todd Gurley II mural goes viral


  • Broken Window Theory??
  • TOP DAWG: Broken Window Theory's Todd Gurley II mural

Broken Window Theory's Hank Samuels rarely misses a Georgia Bulldogs game. The artist says he's been rooting for the Dawgs his entire life, so when junior running back Todd Gurley II went full beast mode against Clemson last Saturday he decided to honor the amazing performance.?

"I think any UGA fan would have done the same if they could, we've been hurting for a national championship for 34 years (the last one was 1980), and I think we have the chance to do something really special again this year," says Samuels, a former CL arts intern, who painted a mural of Gurley II in an "undisclosed location."

Samuel's piece has since made the rounds on sports websites and blogs, and even got response from Gurley. Creative Loafing spoke to Samuels via email about his mural.

When did you decide you would honor Gurley's performance with a mural?
I actually didn't know that I wanted to make the mural until the day after the game when I was hanging out with a buddy. He wanted to paint something for his birthday, and I just came along to keep him company initially. But once we got to the spot where he wanted to paint, I had decided I wanted to create something, and Todd Gurley's performance had been so inspiring that I figured it would be nice to pay a tribute. I'm definitely not the greatest artist, I was actually surprised to see the picture go viral like it did, but I was stoked to see Gurley post the photo on his Instagram and thank us for creating it.

When did you do the mural and how long did it take?
I did the painting on Sunday afternoon probably around 1 p.m. in the afternoon, it maybe took about an hour or so, but after seeing the hype it received I wish I had spent more time on it.

How did you settle on the "undisclosed location"?
The location wasn't really that important to me, I don't paint much anymore, so I normally go to places outside of the city where I know I will be left alone and not bother anyone. Sometimes the dopest graffiti pieces are in the most random/hard-to-find places because they provide an artist the rare opportunity to take his or her time on the piece. Normally, an artist is constantly looking over their shoulder because they're painting somewhere where they could get into trouble.

How did you come up with concept/design?
The concept/design was pretty much all completely freestyled, most of the time that's how my art goes, I just start going at the surface with paint or whatever medium I am using and see where it goes. I like working with irregularities in my work. For instance, I tried and tried to capture his eyes looking at a defender, but I just couldn't nail them down so I threw some shades on his face instead. But the design pretty much grew off of whatever paint I happened to have in my book bag at the time.

Were you expecting this kind of response to the piece?
I certainly was not expecting this kind of a response, I honestly shared the photo with a few close friends that are big UGA Bulldogs fans, and I think the photo made its way around mutual friends until it somehow reached Gurley. I considered sharing it with him but he had already seen it by the time I sent him a direct message with it attached. But once he posted it on his own Instagram page, the thing started blowing up, and now there's random news stories about it on sports news media websites and blogs like Yahoo Sports, Bleacher Report, College Spun, and a few other websites.

If you could do a mural of any local athlete — past or present — who would be next?
Wow, there are so many classic athletes in Atlanta history, I would definitely like to honor Hank Aaron, Deion Sanders, Chipper Jones, Dominique Wilkins, Evander Holyfield, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Matt Ryan, the original Dirty Bird Jamal Anderson, Herschel Walker, A.J. Green, Aaron Murray, Knowshon Moreno, David Pollack, and this might make some people mad, but Mike Vick deserves some recognition for bringing a swagger back to our football team after that disappointing Super Bowl.?

My friends have been encouraging me to do some more, so maybe when the Falcons beat the snot out of the Saints (aka the Aints) on Sunday I will honor the MVP of that game.
? If Gurley wins the Heisman can we expect another mural?
? If Gurley wins the Heisman, I think we will most certainly find a way to honor him through another mural.??

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